Category Archives: Poem news

I moved from advertising to PR for one reason: social media

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Siona Singletary never thought she’d work in PR, but then something massive happened: Facebook became the biggest news site in the world.

For the past 16 months, I’ve been working in PR. There’s a sentence I honestly never thought I would type. I cut my teeth in advertising and never looked for anything outside of it. Back then, PR was something I simply did not understand, or admittedly care that much about. My main experience of PR came from working on integrated campaigns and “integration” was a buzzword used for show.

But then, something big happened. The king of social platforms, Facebook, made the shift from a photo-sharing platform to a news source. In fact, it became the largest referrer to news sites in the world (overtaking Google in 2015). Suddenly the platform became a source of information, a place to tell and share stories. This shift made conventional social advertorial content stick out like a sore thumb. People no longer wanted to a see a photo of a product, they wanted to read a story about it.

Fast-forward to today, and people are more ad savvy than ever. 96% of the people that discuss brands online do not follow those brands’ owned profiles. Dark social – the sharing of content in places marketers can’t track, like WhatsApp and email – accounts for 75% of all online content sharing, with no sign of change. So even if people are reading your product story, it’s now difficult to fully track who is sharing it.

What’s the challenge we are facing?

This brings about a question: What’s the ultimate goal with social content for brands? In an ideal world, I’d love to say sales, but unless e-commerce is fully integrated into social platforms there will always be barriers to conversion. Furthermore, can a social platform be an e-commerce platform at the same time, or must one eventually give way to the other?

Let’s rephrase the question: What are the ultimate and achievable goals? I believe they are engagement and conversation. Social media is our post-postmodern-day word of mouth and we all know that’s the best recommendation you can get, it’s genuine and it shows intent. A RadiumOne study recently told us that those who share brand content are nearly 10 times more likely to convert. If that share was a dark share, it’s also believed to be more impactful with the recipients, as it’s more personal. So, if we kick those goals of engagement and conversation, consumers will be driven in-store and online to purchase by their friends and family. Which is much more meaningful.

If we take this onboard when planning a campaign, the first problem we have is how we track all this dark activity? The second is how do we make content that people want to talk about and share? Those billboard-style brand and product ads that used to clog up chronological newsfeeds have long been redundant as a stand-alone approach to retaining humans’ attention on social. Humans won’t share ads, for many, many reasons:

1. It’s an ad.
2. It’s most likely not very interesting.
3. It’s not adding any value to the user – it doesn’t give them any social currency (make them seem funnier/more interesting/smarter).
4. It doesn’t connect with them, they cannot see themselves in it.
5. It’s an ad.

PR ideas on social media

So, what does engage humans? The ever-elusive viral social campaign (that we can’t really track properly) relies on one thing now more than ever. A good story. A good story, with the right human insight can connect a consumer with a brand and instigate action. And here’s the kicker, good stories like these have been created by PR professionals to generate scores of editorial articles for decades.

Editorial articles are objective and hold authority, they can affect the way consumers think about a brand, even more so than a brand campaign perhaps. PR, by nature, is designed to make a lot of noise and traditionally this noise was enough of a KPI. However, social has opened the possibility for this noise to be measured, analysed, optimised and retargeted. Now we can control who we share the story with and understand how engaging a story was.

We already know that a newsworthy story makes for good social content and now we have access to the means to prove it and fine-tune it. A newsworthy story based on a solid human insight is what makes a piece of content sharable. Fundamentally, PR and social are highly compatible and highly effective when it comes to moving people.

What am I suggesting? Let’s put an end to the traditional process of advertising as the default lead. This isn’t the answer in 2017, especially if we always fail to integrate. How about leading a campaign with a PR idea? A shift in the perspective of many marketers is still long overdue.

 

Siona Singletary is Digital Strategy Director at Poem Group.

 

Alternative Meat Co Product Range Featured on Social Media

Social Media Strategy & The Decline of Organic Reach

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Businesses on Facebook have a new challenge to overcome, the decline of organic reach. In 2016 alone, the organic reach for Facebook pages fell a massive 52 percent, meaning it is and will become even more of a challenge to utilise social media marketing to effectively reach a large online audience.

Before you freak out and abandon your social media strategy, there are some things to consider moving forward. Content creation, optimisation and the digital strategy involved will naturally have to evolve as businesses battle to reach a lot of the same consumers that are all within the one space. Basically, content needs to be unique, effective and relevant for it to gain traction online.

Take for example our 2016 launch of Alternative Meat Co. With an audience unaware of the product, we created a content led campaign that featured Dave Hughes sparking conversation around meat free substitutes in a playful and comedic way. In a room dominated by meat eaters, a vegetarian/flexitarian voice was heard.

A kebab shop stunt video that saw Dave Hughes dupe self confessed meat lovers into eating Alternative Meat Co’s plant based meat substitutes achieved a huge organic reach of 2.79 million, which massively outperformed our paid reach of 1.89 million. We then released a second video within an hour of the MLA’s annual Australia Day TVC which sought to give a voice to the vegetarian/vegan population of Australia. Again, the organic reach (2.59 million) heavily outperformed the accompanying paid strategy (911k). Apart from high social traction, the well timed Australia Day video was also covered by around 160 individual editorial publishers both on and offline.

The reasons for the success of the organic reach was due to strong granular targeting and retargeting based off audience ad recall, insight led content and the use of graphic supers and a hook to encourage engagement and discussion on the posts. This allowed for our paid strategy to complement the already existing strength of the organic reaction and meant we were able to communicate to an even broader and larger audience.

The social strategy and content optimisation meant the video was able to act as a conversation starter which snowballed the organic reach as viewers tagged their own audiences and shared their thoughts on the product and the campaign itself. The Alternative Meat Co campaign went on to win Mumbrella’s Comms-Con Launch Campaign of the Year.

‘Like a ship emerging from the fog’

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The dictionary definition of ‘emerging’ is to… ‘come forth into view or notice, as from concealment or obscurity – like a ship emerging from the fog.’ 14 months ago Poem wasn’t concealed or obscured; it just didn’t exist. Today we’re sailing hard like we’ve been in business for the last five years, working with the likes of Google, Expedia, Cartoon Network and The Cancer Council. And amazingly, through all this hard work, we’ve been noticed. A couple of weeks ago we sat at the Mumbrella Awards with all our peers as finalists for Emerging Agency Of The Year, against The Special  Group and Emotive; two highly successful Australian agencies that we hugely admire. What a privilege and reward for what’s already been the best year of our careers. Our friends at Special took home the final honours, but that didn’t stop us from celebrating like we’d won, because we still felt like we had.

Can agencies have a role in their staff’s personal development?

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A couple of weeks ago we celebrated completing Poem’s 1st year of business by taking the whole team skydiving. Is that weird? It’s definitely not normal, but we figured we had to do something epic to match what’s been an epic year. We were all up in that plane together. We jumped out one after the other. We shared that stomach churning anticipation followed by the exhilaration of landing and the three day high that follows. It was truly the best thing that I’ve done at work with colleagues and for some, it was a real personal challenge and life changing experience. What is strange though for me, is that it’s led to a whole lot of thoughts in my head about what a work place’s role in its staffs’ lives should be and where to draw the boundary.

My first media world job was in London fifteen years ago at Freud Communications.  I was there for over five years predominantly because I had great mates there, I knew the work was forward thinking and the place inspired me. We worked hard, played hard and Matthew Freud, the owner did some kick ass motivational talks. I wouldn’t say it helped grow me as a person, but it was a key stage of my life and gave me a good work ethic. Since then I’ve worked for a total of four other companies until deciding to start Poem, however they’ve all been steps up on the career ladder as opposed to life changing periods.

I wonder whether there is actually a role for companies to have in staff’s personal growth rather than just career. Can we be more than just a wage, fair working environment and career progression? Can we inspire and encourage staff to be more and develop as people? I don’t know.  Maybe not as we grow bigger.  But right know I feel like we have an opportunity to do something amazing. I’m not saying it’s about extreme sports at a once a year party.  But since we’re starting from scratch, can we build in ways to give staff more trust, flexible time, annual leave without policies. I think my biggest bug bear about climbing the career ladder, has been the policy on a 20 day a year holiday allowance with two weeks maximum to be taken at any one time. It limits you to holidays as opposed to meaningful travel experiences that can’t be had within just two weeks. We want to change that.

Everything is changing (I guess everything always is), however right now because of new technology, commonplace high speed internet and changing demands of a Millennial generation, it feels like we’ve hit a real high step change, which a lot of established agencies are struggling to see over. I’m hoping that agency and career life changes for the better and that we manage to break the restrictive mould that’s existed in offices since the 60s. Being a year old I reckon we’re in a good position to help that change happen.

– Rob

The launch of the world’s first cold pasteurised milk.

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This month we launched Made By Cow, a world first innovation by an Australian company that’s used cold pressure to kill all the bad stuff in untreated milk as opposed to boiling it. It’s totally safe to drink, contains more of milk’s natural goodness and it’s unhomogenised, so there’s a tasty layer of cream on top – just the way it should be.
There was a lot of preparation that went into this campaign. The messaging had to be perfect and how, when and which media we went to in order to break the story was key, as milk surprisingly, is a complex subject full of polarised points of view and passionate opinions.
We decided on ABC News and Fairfax as the two exclusives. They were given access behind the scenes to the farm, the cold pressure technology and interviews with Saxon, the founder and our nutritionist, Lyndi Cohen. These two opinion forming media let the rest of the country know we were onto something serious, so the rest of the country and then the rest of the world’s media also got on board. By the end of the week we been across the whole of Fairfax, News Corp, The Daily Mail, Huffington Post, Mashable, Ch 7 News, Ch 10, ABC TV / radio and online amongst many others.
To help educate people about the process and why cold pressure is so much better than heat pasteurisation, we worked with The Explainers to create a short 1 minute animation made for Facebook and targeted relevant geographical and interest-based audiences.
As a result of this publicity and social content only, Made By Cow sold out within the first three days and is still hard to find in store. Whilst initially being stocked in just Harris Farm Markets and About Life Stores, retailers both here and abroad have been requesting further product every since. The issue now, which is a good issue to have, is keeping up with demand.

 

Google Play collaborates with Elizabeth Rose

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From Arcade Fire to building a six-sided Cube video with The Presets, Play has a long history of collaborating with music artists to meld the latest technology with art. Their latest project with up and coming Australian music artist Elizabeth Rose was a true collaboration from start to finish, that allowed her fans to play with an interactive music video built for mobile. Gone are the days where MTV style music videos are a promotional necessity, these days fans watch everything on their mobile phones. Google Play’s goal is to create new ways for people to experience music, so an interactive mobile music video is the place to break new grounds.
We worked with digital creative company, RGA Sydney, to launch the experience and selected a handful of preferred media titles including News Corp, Junkee and The Music for exclusive briefings and preview of the video before it launched to the public. As a result, the editorial roll out was phenomenal, perfectly positioning Google Play as the thought leader and pioneer in new music experiences.

 

Hello from Poem – it’s been emotional.

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After six months of cafe meetings, schooners, accountants, lawyers, bank managers, agency names on beer mats, domain registrations, email servers, web and logo designs, brand positioning, ten rounds of credentials and chats with friends, family and peers throughout, we’ve finally done it. Poem is a thing. And it feels great. The reaction we’ve had from the industry’s been heart warming and genuinely the feeling of coming into work each day is immensely exciting and refreshing. Here’s the first trade media article we had in Mumbrella about the launch.

Special thanks to a few people below who deserve credit for their outstanding work in bringing the Poem website and logo to life:

Jason Ierace for the amazing photography on the website. We’re still waiting to be included within his next fashion and beauty portfolio.
Pimm Van Nunen for our logo
James McIntosh for the quick turn around on a great looking site – he also does great video content if you’re looking



Get in touch with a human to hear more about work we’ve done and how we can help.

rob@poemgroup.com.au
+61 408 249 141

matt@poemgroup.com.au
+61 424 693 683

270 Devonshire Street,
Surry Hills // Sydney, NSW 2010.

©Poem Group Limited