DigitalPR With Celestine Achi: March 2014

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Social Photography: Are Photos Top Currency in Social PR?

Posted on Saturday, March 29, 2014 No comments

Saturday, March 29, 2014


Having read the recent publication of PRWEB, I thought it worthy to share this content originally written by PRWEB to those of you in the PR industry who have decided wisely to join the digital train. Converting from digital immigrant PR PRO to digital native PR PRO.

There are always two reasons why we make and act on certain decisions - the reason given and the real reason. To understand the power of images, you should also follow real reason why Facebook acquired WhatsAPP for a whopping $16 Billion which is 10% of Facebook market cap

It’s easy to understand why 55 million photos are posted to Instagram every day – pictures are inherently shareable and transcend language and cultural barriers. People connect with pictures on an emotional level, so it’s essential that companies incorporate photos into their social PR strategies.


You can integrate pictures into your social PR strategy with these three methods:



1
Lay Your Cards on the Table.
Don’t make your customers click another link to enjoy the content you post. Show it to them within your profile’s wall or stream. Use Twitter Cards to enhance Twitter posts with embedded photos or other media experiences.

2
Let Your Personality Shine.
Offer glimpses into the “making of,” behind-the-scenes and day-to-day realities of how your company does business. Clothing retailer SEH Kelly uses Instagram to show how clothes go from the factory to the shop window.

3
Enhance the Story.
Augment new content such as blog posts, eBooks and press releases with related photography posted on your company’s social media accounts and link the photos back to the main content on your site. The Container Store reports that Pinterest is its number one social media source of website referral traffic and revenue.


The popularity of social media sites such as Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr reveals that photographs are top currency in social PR efforts. Pull out your iPhone, start snapping and cash in on it!

WHAT IS YOUR DIGITAL CITIZENSHIP STATUS? A NATIVE OR AN IMMIGRANT? - Celestine Achi

Posted on Friday, March 28, 2014 No comments

Friday, March 28, 2014


While recently performing the formal inauguration of the Media Advisory Committee on Broadband, Vice Chairman of the Broadband Council, Ernest Ndukwe, in his charismatic nature smiled and said "Broadband remains critical to the development of Nigeria and to the individual. Anyone that is not able to use digital devices is not part of the digital world. We want to ensure that every Nigerian is a digital native, no matter how remote they may be located…”  The term broadband commonly refers to high-speed Internet access and can be simply defined as a fast connection to the internet that is always on and allows a user to send emails, surf the web, download images and music, watch videos, join a web conference, and much more. 

A deeper meditation on the words of the Vice Chairman of the Broadband Council, Ernest Ndukwe, brings to fore the issue of digital citizenship once more. The terms “digital native” and “digital immigrant” were originally coined by Prensky, Marc. It is either you are a digital native or a digital immigrant or you need to begin to ask yourself which line of the digital divide you are in.  According to Brian Keith, A digital native can be defined as a person who was born after the introduction of digital technology. Digital Natives use online services like Facebook, YouTube, Google+, Skype, LinkedIn and Twitter on various digital technologies, such as smart phones or a tablet device. Digital Natives have blended their online life with their offline life.

Digital natives can be compared with the older generation who are learning and adopting new technology. These are called digital immigrants. The term digital immigrant refers more often to people born before the introduction of digital technology or who are still hooked to life before the Broadband. Ironically, some Digital Immigrants created the digital technology used by Digital Natives.



It is amazing to me how in all the hoopla and awareness these days about the positive impact of broadband, we could still see the digital divide widening. A really big discontinuity has taken place.  Looking out at the information technology landscape today, one will be tempted to say that there’s something different about today’s youths and emerging entrepreneurs. They’ve never lived without Google or the Web or apps or cable TV or cell phones. They click and drag with flair. They are called digital natives while the older adults who still remember and live a life before broadband are called digital immigrants.

Unlike the immigrants, the natives could surf the Web, upload photos, exchange texts, swipe and navigate apps, and chat by Skype. The natives’ are known for their speed and innovativeness.

3 Types of Digital Immigrants
If you are a Digital Immigrant, it does not mean you are automatically technically inept. You can actually be very technically astute.  Digital Immigrants will have to deal with Digital Natives, as illustrated below by Rupert Murdoch. Murdoch explains that Digital Immigrants must begin to assimilate into the Digital Native culture and their way of thinking. While the sentiment sounds good, it may not be as easy as you might initially think. But that is part of the reason why the Nigerian Government is positively projecting information about the Nigerian National Broadband Plan and the benefits that the broadband technology enables to all Nigerians.

The Avoiders: This group does not adapt to new technology quickly, if ever.
The Reluctant Adopters: This group is aware of new technology and adopts to it at a slow pace.
Eager Adopters: This group enthusiastically adapts to new technology. They embrace it.

3 Types of Digital Natives
Dr. Ofer Zur (a Digital Immigrant) and Azzia Zur (a Digital Native) classifies Digital Natives into three sub-categories:

The Avoiders: This group consists of people, who are born during the digital age, and do not desire new technology. They are not enamored with Facebook, Twitter, Istagram, or Youtube.

The Minimalists: This group is aware that digital technology is a part of their daily life. They choose to interact with only the most interesting things to them personally. For example, a young person who does not have a Twitter account and avoids Facebook and only sends emails and downloads ebooks.

Enthusiastic Participants: This group is the largest group of Digital Natives. Like their Digital Immigrant cousins the Eager Adopters, Enthusiastic Participants embrace and use all forms of digital technology. This group prefers texting and tweeting over sending out email blasts. They are aware of the latest technology, trends, and tools. Their online and offline lives are blending together.

Note however, that most often, digital immigrants are the parents, teachers, and managers of Digital Natives.

Worthy of note is that as digital Immigrants to adapt to their environment, they always retain some degree of their life before broadband footprint. Like one who only does search online after combing the library manually or one who prints out his email to edit before sending. You may also imagine a journalist or PR Professional not on twitter.

We all know that we are living in an increasingly technologically driven world. We can debate the pros and cons of this reality but we can't deny that the world has changed very quickly in head spinning ways.

I was recently discussing with a client for an online demo of one of our products and it was shocking that the client would prefer driving down to my office from Ikeja to Lagos Island for the demo rather than having it over Skype or Go-meeting. We are in the Digital Age – the 21st century and to live in it one really does need to be connected to broadband in a world  that really demands comfort with and access to technology. 

You probably noticed that some Digital Immigrants and Digital Natives classifications are almost identical. A Digital Immigrant, who is an Eager Adopter, will naturally work well with a Digital Native, who is an Enthusiastic Participant. They will probably text each other, follow each other on Facebook, share online stories about similar interests, and talk about the latest gadgets and technology.

Finally, I dare ask. Having read the foregoing, would you say you are a digital native or a digital Immigrant? 

Let me have your feedback/comments below.

SMILE STRENGTHENS DIGITAL CITIZENSHIP IN NIGERIA AS IT LAUNCHES A SUPERFAST BROADBAND INTERNET - By Celestine Achi

Posted on Friday, March 14, 2014 No comments

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Internet has become part of the way Nigerians live, learn and do business. Digital revolution is increasingly changing the way we communicate and access information. Millions of Nigerians are already joining the digital space and more of them are set to join in the coming months. Google estimated that Nigeria has the 2nd highest YouTube growth in Sub-Saharan Africa and has since overtaken South Africa as Facebook's largest user base in Africa and estimated to grow by 21% in the coming months. On LinkedIn, two new Nigerian professionals signs up every two seconds while twitter is fast becoming the most important source of information in Nigeria.
Uninterrupted speed is needed if the citizenry must seamlessly access the full benefits of a quality and reliable broadband internet network that is very fast and enriches the user experience. 
I was therefore elated when Smile Nigeria successfully launched and rolled-out the first true 4G LTE (4th Generation Long-Term Evolution) Broadband internet services in Lagos.
The Smile 4G LTE is known to be the fastest internet in Nigeria; allowing users to stream movies, music, pictures, download data without buffering, loading and without the frustration of network search or fluctuation.
Announcing the Lagos launch yesterday, Smile Group Chief Operating Officer, Tom Allen said the goal of Smile Nigeria is to provide Nigerian Broadband Internet users with speed, quality, reliability and simplicity.
He added that Smile's Nigerian Customers are already experiencing world-beating speed and quality in excess of 6MHbps and worthy of mention is the fact that some Nigerians are already running at average speeds in excess of 20Mbps which is said to be substantially faster than the speed that can be achieved in other parts of the world, including the United Kingdom.
To verify this claim and to test the speed of the Smile 4G LTE, I and my staff personally used the Smile 4G LTE and downloaded 2 movies in 4mins record time without buffering, loading and waiting. 


For the digital world, a reliable and fast access to the internet is no more a luxury but a necessity, and broadband penetration can impact Nigeria GDP by a phenomenal 3% increase. Mobile penetration is growing exponentially in Nigeria. in 2013, more Nigerians bought a smart phone than a PC which makes me agree with the assertion of Smile Chairman, Dr. Earnest Azudialu-Obiejesi that mobile broadband will play a crucial role in the transformation and development of the country.
We must celebrate the Broadband Council in Nigeria for massively promoting the deployment of broadband. For Nigeria to become one of the world’s leading economies by year 2020, high-speed broadband networks like SMILE’s will provide every Nigerian with the needed fast, reliable and affordable internet access that is a fundamental requirement that can transform technology, level the playing field and give businesses access to regional, national, and international markets irrespective of geographical location. Description: https://fbexternal-a.akamaihd.net/safe_image.php?d=AQDr3_PZtr1VKKhR&url=http%3A%2F%2Ftracker.sendible.com%2Fmessages%2Fb4d9b233-898c-4444-adcd-7ca17447c4e4%3Fservice%3DFacebook%28note%29%26f%3D3182356%26view%3Dtrue

THE FUTURE OF PR: DIGITAL PR - 9 CRITICAL STRATEGIES FOR EVERY PR PROFESSIONAL by Celestine Achi

Posted on Sunday, March 9, 2014 No comments

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Social Media as we know it today is gradually moving beyond growth to saturation. This also means that the practice and strategic communication of public relations is changing quickly.

Last week, I was honoured to be a featured speaker at the PRCAN MASTERCALSS SERIES9 where I had an opportunity to speak about Digital Public Relations and Online Reputation Management. Here's a quick look at what I think about digital public relations and how it will generally impact on PR professionals in the coming days, months and years.

Over the past five years the media landscape has altered dramatically. PR has evolved into digital communications. And for the PR Pro and chief marketing officer, that means big changes in how to engage the target public most of which are now online.

Everyone is becoming a media outlet with the power to break news, find news, share news and information online and, as a result, traditional PR and the traditional media companies are feeling the pinch. The Public Relations Professionals and Journalists are under pressure and newsrooms no longer have the resources to dig deep and cover all the stories they’d like to. This opens to the door to some amazing Digital PR opportunities. Having a working and strategic understanding of digital pr can help you take advantage of these new avenues of content and earned media.

The PR Professional no longer need to solely pitch the media but can now become a media creator through strategic content marketing, content amplification and search: Static news as it were are now been transformed into conversations and bypassing the ‘gatekeepers’ to speak directly to the online target audience has become the trend.
News can be spread further, faster, and more directly to a specific target audience than ever before in history. It allows us to maximize news like never before. Instead of being satisfied with a single placement, your news can be shared exponentially.


STRATEGIES FOR THE PR PROFESIONALS
1.       Integrate Social
Everyone knows that social media has evolved into a network of connected platforms that are increasingly influencing perception and creating relationships with the public which is in tandem with one of the two core purpose of public relations – to create awareness, credibility and goodwill. Social media is presently on the cusp of becoming the dominant form of online content and researches have shown that it is expected to surpass portals as the most engaging online activity.

Leveraging on social can indeed and will always impact on brand visibility with the force of a tsunami. A well thought out Social amplification can only lead to an influence path for a brand.


2.       Be Media Creators and incorporate content marketing into your mix
Optimize and Repurpose your content (press releases & bylines). A single press release can be re-purposed into a Slideshare presentation, a blog post, a guest blog post, infographic, a LinkedIn news update, a call to action to Share on the social network and a piece of content can flow out to multiple sources.

The target public has become an ardent consumer of online media PR professionals are not solely pitching the media, but they too are media creators.

3.       Turn Your Content to an Engaging Viewpoint
Instead of simply putting your press release on the wire, turn it into a blog post that connects the news to an engaging viewpoint; use it as the Launchpad to discuss a related issue, educate, or dive into a juicy Q&A. Find ways to take an offline PR campaign to social… and vice versa. The key is to provide value.

4.       Content Integration and Optimization
Today’s PR doesn’t allow for silos. Content marketing, search engine optimization, social media, customer service – all of these things are blended into the total solution that we are responsible for. If you don’t know the basics, there is no time like the present to dive in.

Once you have your content underway – take it even further with the second major piece of digital PR: SEO. This particular function should not belong to the IT silo, or the web programmer silo – it’s a marketing function that should cross into all PR activity. Even if it isn’t yet deliberate, it’s having an impact by virtue of what you are publishing online – and you can boost your impact by taking a mindful approach, instead of accidental. CONTENT has become KING. Purposefully develop content that is findable and shareable and that can be optimized.

5.       Search Integration
Every piece of content has to be optimized for search. Content has to be discoverable. Search is how people find content online. If your content is never found, it won’t be seen and shared. Learn to integrate search keywords to expose your news to those who are searching for similar content.

You have to be able to find content before one can share content and amplify them on social media. For the PR Professional, you need to learn how to build Twitter lists so you can monitor journalists on Twitter. Building twitter list has become a “must know” skill for the PR professional.
6.       Digital Media Relations & Outreach

PR professionals need get on board with the people who are most passionate about what you're doing and with the many faces of Influence ranging from the Celebrity, the Connector, the Authority, the Agitator, the Activist, the Analyst, the Insider, the Expert, the bloggers and journalist. Learn what the media and the different kinds of online influencers need and want. Use social media to find and engage with the right influencers and provide them content and the tools that help them do their job.

Every segment of your stakeholders has people with influence. Finding these folk and building a relationship with them is essential. Part of Digital PR is finding the true evangelists and turning them into Brand Ambassadors.


7.       Monitoring
There are millions of conversations happening online. Across the blogosphere, In wikis; in online videos; in forums and social networks; on microblogs like Twitter and throughout the social media universe. Understanding and responding to these conversations about brands, reputation and end-user opinion in Social Media is a critical element for the PR professional if he/she must tap into the right conversations to find gaps, opportunities, threats and possible flaks in the making. Once you have the raw data from a monitoring tool like Sendible which is more robust and can further make you understand the implications of the given results or actionable insights that will drive your goals and content campaigns.


8.       Reputation Management 
When was the last time you checked your digital footprint? Consumers have discovered the power of their voice online and the implication of this development to the PR Professional is that prospects, competitors and customers are all online.

If and when a situation arises where a customer, patient, policy holder, constituent or employee feels slighted or badly treated, you can be certain it will be shared on social media channels. What happens online stays online. Worst if it is negative and better if it is positive. Controlling negative and damaging messaging and reputation of the company with robust online reputation management tools and content is one of the two functions of PR Professionals

9.       Measurement

Every action online can be tracked. Analytics has become an integral part of Digital PR. Your team has to understand how to track and analyze where the content goes, where it gets picked up and republished, who tweets it, who responds. It is possible to measure outcomes rather than outputs in Digital PR. Google Analytics now has a PR Dashboard – we can install it for you and show you how to set PR goals that can be tracked to show ROI.
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