Creativity in Public Relations » twitter Creativity, marketing, great ideas, smart thinking, public relations, insights, inspirations, innovations and more. (Formerly known as Ryan's View) Wed, 05 Aug 2009 00:52:54 +0000 en hourly 1 Nike Text Chalk Messaging For Tour De France Mon, 13 Jul 2009 00:30:44 +0000 Ryan Peal Heard about this froma friend who is a massive Tour De France fan so not sure if its been on TV as part of the coverage or not, but a great example of creative thinking using technology to entertain people in a whole new way.  Enter the Nike Chalk Bot.

Most of us have done some type of chalk drawing in our lives, showcasing our inner michelangelo for anyone who happened to walk by our sidewalk.  This form of art has also been used by friends and family who write special encouragement messages on marathon, bike and walking events all over the world.  Now, those messages can be written by a cool robot that accepts up to 40 characters and then prints/chalks them onto a road or sidewalk – in clear, legible letters of all sizes.

Take a moment to watch the video to see how it all plays out, then follow the ChalkBot on Twitter and send in a tweet of encouragement for the Tour De France riders.  I’m guessing this robot will have some sisters and brothers spreading the text chalk love all over the place, probably coming to a sidewalk or road near you soon.  Solid on all fronts – a great way for Nike to continue to support Lance Armstrong’s live strong campaign in a whole new way.

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8 Examples of “Win Great Stuff” Efforts To Drive Twitter Followers Wed, 01 Jul 2009 12:12:04 +0000 Ryan Peal Getting followers on Twitter for brands is an obvious new way to engage and entertain people (and of course raise awareness of products they sell).  I’ve been watching a new trend over the past few months of brands using a new “tweet to win” tactic to motivate and encourage people to follow them on Twitter in exchange for the chance to win some big and small things – an easy way to build an active and current database, with people “opting-in” to actually hear from these brands.  This isn’t for every brand (although I’m totally waiting for BMW or Mercedes to giveaway a car – you know it’s coming) but for some it can work very well.  Here are 8 of some recent favourites – great to check out to see if this could work for you.

  • twtFM – Yesterday this new twitter app launched a way to win a new iPod Touch complete with Colbie Calliat’s new album (Breakthrough) and tickets to an upcoming show by checking them out and tweeting about it.  With twtFM you can stream your favourite music using mashed up with Twitter (worth check out)
  • Moonfruit – these guys who create do-it-yourself website building tools are celebrating their 10th anniversary, and doing it in style giving away 10 new MacBook Pro’s, one each day for 10 days.  All you have to do is tweet using #moonfruit and a creative message and follow Moontweet on Twitter to see if you’ve won – nice!  Still a few more days to win.
  • SquareSpace – also celebrating an anniversary (their 5th) with a Twitter giveaway is Square Space, makers of great software to create beautiful websites.  They are giving away 30 new Apple iPhone 3GS, one each day for 30 days – anyone who sends a tweet with #squarespace is entered to win and of course you need to follow them on Twitter to see if you win.   One more week to win.
  • Mr. Tweet – One of my favourite ways to find people via Twitter, Mr. Tweet, has regular giveaways of books and flash drives, T-shirts and more fun.  You can obviously follow Mr. Tweet on Twitter and/or check out the Mr. Tweet blog to see what the latest giveaway.  (Also, when you visit the blog scroll down to see the “live traffic feed” and you’ll see yourself visiting from your home town in the sidebar – nice added fun.
  • The Pro Designer – an easy one from these guys, you simply make a comment on their website and you are automatically entered to win a one-of-a-kind Twitter T-shirt.  And of course you need to follow them on their blog and via Twitter, so a nice casual way to attract some new followers.
  • Buddy TV – this one was from a few months back, but simply offered fans a chance to win a new Sony Blu-Ray Disc player by following them on Twitter and tweeting a specific message about the competition – plain and simple.
  • Twitter Power – another one from a few months ago but a great example of an author who hosted a live show via UStream to talk about his new book, giving away bookstore gift certificates every hour he was broadcasting via Twitter when people tweeted a simple tweet about him, his book and the competition.  Another one that was simple and to the point.
  • Mashable – one of the goliaths of Twitter really understands how to do “tweet and win” contests right – as evident by a book giveaway they recently did.  To win people simply had to tweet a fun Twitter tip to @mashable with #twittertip included in the tweet.  The most original, funny or creative tips, as judged by Mashable, won one of 5 books.   And a few weeks ago did a similar contest to win passes to the “140 Characters Conference in NYC  (people won by simply tweeting why the wanted to attend, using the @mashable and the #140conf in their tweet).
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CEOs Sleep Outside Overnight For Charity Fri, 19 Jun 2009 01:26:43 +0000 Ryan Peal Last night it was cold (7 Celsius; 44 Fahrenheit) and rainy in Sydney.  And last night more than 200 CEOs from some of the city’s biggest companies felt it more than the rest of us, participating in the annual “CEO Sleep Out” – raising funds and awareness of the more than 20,000 people in Sydney who are homeless each night (part of the more than 100,000 homeless people nationwide, a third of those are children and nearly half are women).

The event was hosted by St. Vincent De Paul Society, and takes a head-on approach to raise awareness of the homeless issue by inviting CEOs to see what their life is like for just one night.  It’s easy for anyone to write a check, it’s quite another to experience a cause firsthand and in turn, probably become a vocal ambassador to help even more. The CEOs were able to bring their own warm clothes, a sleeping bag and a pillow, but were only provided a piece of cardboard and were fed soup, bread and tea/coffee for dinner and porridge and an apple for breakfast.

CEOs either volunteered on their own or were nominated by co-workers from the campaign website which made sending a “you should participate” email.  Once a CEO agreed to participate they set-up a profile on the website and then invited colleagues, friends and family to sponsor their night out with a donation on the site.  And donate they did – the campaign has already raised more than $500,000 and with the CEOs returning to their jobs today that number may go higher as people are inspired by the stories they are no doubt hearing today.

I spoke with Andrew Littleproud, the APAC Regional Director of McAfee (an H&K client) who participated in the event last night to share his thoughts on the experience.  Here’s what he shared:

“The whole event was an incredible eye-opener.  Throughout the event there were different people sharing their own storeis of either being homeless now or once homeless.  The reality of homeless people couldn’t be farther from what the perception is – 80% of people are women or kids or families and not only sleeping outside but sleeping in cars, staying with friends and family.  Some of the speakers had lots jobs last year and talked about being homeless with kids.  Once you lose your address its hard to apply for welfare or health benefits.  And when you try to apply for a job without an address you can see how the downward spiral can start.  You start losing your feeling of security, how you are perceived in the community and other psychological issues.  We all talked about how we had friends in countries all over the world making donations and hearing about the event, and some talking about the event being covered by the media as well, so it was great to know this event was reaching other places who also have a homeless issue.  I tried to start sleeping at 11PM but obvioulsy it was cold and there were a lot of people snoring and getting up in the middle of the night and then getting up early – the whole experience really brought the issue home.”

The numbers speak for themselves – $50 can provide a homeless person with a bed, a meal and a fresh change of clothes for one night.  Double that and you can help fund the Vinnies Night Patrol vans that deliver food and hot drinks to homeless people across Sydney.  A donation of $500 will help a homeless person complete a life skills course to help them get back on their feet.

The campaign works on so many levels.  First up, the experience.  Its one thing to tell a story about a homeless person, it’s quite another to sleep outside on the street. Second, the word-of-mouth that occurred last night via people at the event using Twitter to in-person conversations happening at businesses all over Sydney today, raising awareness of this important cause.  Third, the visuals from the event, showing some of Australia’s most powerful business people sleeping outside.   And finally, how the event itself made it very easy to ask someone to donate – how could you say no to someone who is going to be doing all of the work, sleeping outside, in the cold (and in the rain).

Growing for only 8 people 4 years ago to 60 last year and now more than 200 this year, its great to see a campaign so worthy making such an impact.  Now, next up, this concept needs to “go global.”  It’s an easy event to replicate and one that would only help to raise awareness of this incredible issue.  And know that Sydney was the home to the first “Earth Hour” and the legendary “Movember” campaign, I’m hoping that CEO SleepOut will become the next big Aussie innovation to go global.

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Indie Sydney Radio Station Asks Richard Branson For $1M Sun, 14 Jun 2009 22:43:32 +0000 Ryan Peal Before the economy drama independent radio stations were already having a tough time, battling not only the mega broadcast radio networks that own multiple stations but also iPods, MySpace music, digital radio and satellite radio, just to name.   But when you throw in reduced advertising dollars it’s easy to see why indie radio stations are hoping to hear a different economic tune soon.

One great indie radio station in Sydney – Fbi – is tackling their financial challenges head on, recently launching a fundraising campaign with one target in mind:  Richard Branson and $1M dollars (or 450,000 British Pounds).  While Sir Richard may not seem like an obvious choice – he’s not Australian and he doesn’t have any connections to independent radio – but he does like one thing . . . publicity.

The campaign – Ask Richard – launched a little over a month ago and works on a simple premise:  get Richard’s attention through some type of publicity stunt or event or something that motivates him to donate $1M to FBi.  If your action/idea/stunt was the catalyst for Richard to hand over some big bucks you get rewarded too – to the tune of $50,000.  (And don’t worry, if Richard donates less based on your idea you still get 5% of whatever he gives.)  The campaign blog site and Twitter activity captures everyone’s amazing ideas and inspires others to do more.

To get Richard’s attention, the station has given its loyal listeners an open playbook – do whatever you think could work to get Richard to write the big check.  And the listeners have responded with a number of amazing ideas, including:

  • Hosting a flash mob wearing Richard masks in front of Sunrise (Australia’s top morning news show) studios when Sir Richard was in town and being interviewed on the show
  • Having a “We Play Til You Pay” all day concert event, inviting people via Twitter and Facebook to be a part of the event
  • Creating a mini viral video game with a Richard character grabbing money off of a tree and giving it to FBi before the tax man comes
  • Launching a Google Ad Words campaign under the assumption that Richard Google’s his own name and will then see the FBi campaign
  • Making T-shirts and posters and having fans wear them and put them up everywhere
  • Translating “Ask Richard” into as many languages as possible

The campaign works on multiple fronts.  First, selecting a high profile target (that would be Richard) and leveraging a known insight that motivates his daily life (that would be publicity).  Next, giving everyone a “do whatever” call to action, not limiting any idea or thought.  And of course the simple visual for the campaign being used on T-shirts, posters and social media banners ties everything together.  A great example of a campaign that knows its audience, keeps the conversation credible and authentic.

Now the finale – Richard Branson called in this morning (15 June) to FBi for a live radio interview from his Necker Island home.  Turns out, as the story goes, that Richard heard about the “Ask Richard” campaign first from an Australian girl who allegedly swam 2 1/2 miles from an island close to Richard’s island, swimming right up to his beach and telling him about the campaign.  (Sounds fishy but let’s go with it.)  Richard said he has asked his teams at Virgin Mobile and Virgin Atlantic and V- Australia to help out FBi – and on-air promised to give a few flights to the UK and LA via his airlines for some lucky winners of the radio station.  The station is starting a “Save FBi” supporter drive campaign and will definitely use these prizes for some great fundraising efforts later this year.  The on-air host for FBi was able to get some money out of Richard – $70 – to become an annual member of FBi.  Richard stated the obvious – they get asked for money all the time and try to channel their funds to their global efforts around climate change and disease control in Africa.  The $70 is not $1,000,000 but no doubt Richard’s Virgin empire will be jumping in to help as much as possible, and hopefully will help keep the FBi radio station on the air for years to come.

Who knows, maybe Richard will change his mind.  Come on Richard, pay up already.  We’ll call it RFBi – Richard’s FBi – haven’t you always wanted to “own” the FBI?

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Bed Jumping Around The World Mon, 11 May 2009 23:22:07 +0000 Ryan Peal Bed jumping – I was a rock star at it when I was little and its lucky that a four-city event called the “World’s Biggest Bed Jump” wasn’t in Australia as I would have stolen the show.  The event took place last Thursday to raise awareness of InterContinental Hotel Group giving away a bunch of free nights, and bunch in this case means 5,000,000 free nights in 4,000 hotels in 100 countries.

The campaign went visual – creating huge, giant worthy beds with built-in trampolines and placing them in New York’s Brant Park, Convent Garden in London and locations in Shanghai and France.  And, to drive some additional media interest, InterContinental rounded up some Olympic gymnasts and trampolinists (is that a word) to grab the attention of people walking by, and then invited people to come on and have a jump for themselves (and if you did jump you also got an iTunes gift card for 10 free songs – nice touch).  And yes, the Pointer Sisters “Jump” was played loud and often throughout each event.

People who came to the event were directed to two campaign sites (that link to each other) one is GetAFreeNight and the other is WorldsBiggestBedJump.  On the Free Night site you can register to get up to four free nights by staying at a number of the groups hotel destinations.  And the website is worth having a look at for more reasons than just seeing people jump on beds.  It’s a great example of a social-media driven site, with multiple videos from YouTube on the home page, updates via Twitter and a Flickr photostream – a multimedia smorgasbord of content.

Overall the campaign ticks the boxes of a success effort on multiple fronts – going to the people with something that is fun and entertaining (the huge beds); leveraging social media to extend the campaign effort and visuals; having some type of free offer to drive added interest; bringing in some level of celebrity (with the Olympians); and a fun twist of a simultaneous, multi-city event.  Definitely worth getting out of bed in the morning to check out.

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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-04-26 Sun, 26 Apr 2009 05:30:00 +0000 Ryan Peal
  • Please Retweet: Sign this petition : “Save the Giant Slide” – #
  • UNESCO + 32 institutions today launch World Digital Library — manuscripts, maps, rare books, films, prints, photos #
  • Today’s the day – go see EARTH the movie & Disney plants a tree (only opening day – hurry up already) #
  • Playing with new Social Media Index tool, easy snapshot of brands showing up in online conversations #yam #
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    Ashton Kutcher, Twitter, H&K Help End Malaria Sat, 25 Apr 2009 00:40:21 +0000 Ryan Peal In one of the biggest examples to date of the new ways people hear about things and get involved (beyond hearing from traditional media channels like TV, radio and newspapers) Ashton Kutcher and CNN use the power of Twitter to drive awareness by millions of the campaign “Malaria No More.”

    It all started with a magical number – 1 million followers – who would be the first to get 1,000,000 people to follow them on the microblogging sensation taking over the world, Twitter.   Ashton, we are so on a first name basis, has been a huge ambassador for spreading the fun and power of Twitter, providing people with a fun peek inside his world but also guiding people toward causes and events that do things to help the world.  As people love competition, both Ashton and CNN were both gaining big followers recently, with the big 1,000,000 finish line (or starting line perhaps) coming strong.  Both Ashton and CNN were approached to celebrate the winner to the big magical number with a donation (and related awareness) to fund the purchase of mosquito nets to help combat Malaria in Africa.

    The traditional media (like CNN) was attracted well, like flies, to the competition and covered the race as well as the related finish line donation.  The big day happened last week and Ashton showed up on Larry King to talk about his win and of course talk about the Malaria No More campaign.  Both Ashton and CNN donated $100,000 to purchase 10,000 bed nets for the campaign.  (watch the video here)

    Inspired by Ashton’s feat, Malaria No More wants to build on this momentum and use Twitter to generate even more awareness leading up to World Malaria Day this Saturday, April 25. Their ultimate goal?  Fund 1 million bed nets in the next five days.  A tall order perhaps, but as the CNN race demonstrated, combining social and traditional media can yield impressive results.

    On Thursday, Ashton announced that 100 of his best Twitter friends (including the likes of Oprah, Sean “P Diddy” Combs, Jimmy Fallon, Ryan Seacrest) will tweet about malaria on World Malaria Day, driving extensive awareness and hopefully traffic to the website for people to make as little as a $10 donation to help the campaign.

    This campaign has a ton of key learnings for us to think about.  First off, of course, is the combination of social networking (like Twitter) with traditional media (CNN) to maximise both channels and work in tandem to drive awareness and traffic to a campaign site.   Secondly, celebrities actually leveraging their star power to shine the spotlight on an issue that doesn’t somehow benefit them is extremely powerful.  There also is something to be said about a challenge, a goal or some big number to reach – people like being involved and being a part of a movement so the 1,000,000 goal worked well.  And the Malaria No More website does its job by having a simple homepage to guide people to easy ways to read more and to donate (sometimes sites can be so busy that they lose people who took the time to visit).

    Full disclosure – Malaria No More is a nonprofit organization near and dear to our hearts here at H&K through our current work with a broad malaria coalition (in conjunction with the Football World Cup 2010 in South Africa).

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    Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-04-19 Sun, 19 Apr 2009 05:30:00 +0000 Ryan Peal
  • this is crazy, twitter can tell you when your plants need water #
  • RT @EntrepreneurEnc Nice one, 10 crazy ideas that made someone crazy rich #
  • Great new survey from Microsoft on internet trends in Europe #
  • Heard of Poken? If not, you will soon. Great overview of the social media biz card magic it provides #
  • New survey estimates 75% of teens on some form of social network, wonder what other 25% are doing? #
  • Church in No. Carolina asks people to tweet during sermon #
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    Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-04-12 Sun, 12 Apr 2009 05:30:00 +0000 Ryan Peal
  • Love this – 9 reasons why teachers should use Twitter #
  • still trying to figure out this analysis of a wiki of a bunch of social media marketing examples #
  • Powered by Twitter Tools.

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    Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-04-05 Sun, 05 Apr 2009 05:30:00 +0000 Ryan Peal
  • Lovin’ this site that tracks the URLs being tweeted the most, great for trendwatching #
  • RT @MauriceMaas: 8 Excellent Tools to Extract Insights from Twitter Streams (via @sampad) #
  • Great article on local politicians in Georgia using Twitter, Facebook; transparency gone wild! #
  • Loving all of the fun using grease monkey user scripts for twitter, worth a search to find ones for u #
  • My favourite day of the year – April Fools! how many “kick me” signs can i go through this year. :) #
  • great round-up article on some new social networking sites/tools to check out #
  • hysterical new lifestyles condoms ad starring the condom fairy (almost nude start, wait 4 fairy) #
  • New tool doubles # of chrctrs per tweet. :-( Do I want 2x chrctrs on Twitter, takes fun out of it? #
  • WPP Group M announces today – ad slump will continue into 2010, when will this roller coaster be over? #
  • Yahoo has officially released its Yahoo Mobile portal, both for the Web and as an iPhone app. nice. #
  • how much more multi-tasking can we do? Y! TV Widgets; twitter on 1 part of TV, watch movie on other #
  • RT@andrewjnla Frank Gehry selected to design eisenhower national memorial #
  • Heading to HK marketing blender event – transparency and scrutiny in new world, H&K worldwide CEO speaking #hkblender #
  • #hkblender Looks like near 100 people have arrived, close to a full house in our new space, should b a great convo #
  • #hkblender nice intro video recapping new world order and merger of brand and reputation #
  • #hkblender solid panel – robert gottliebsen of, indira naidoo of abc/sbs and paul taafe – H&K ceo #
  • #hkblender indira “how do we stimulate confidence and restore trust” #
  • #hkblender robert “new capital system, reinvented on simpler basis will emerge” #
  • #hkblender paul taafe “companies will provide metrics like sustainability policies, how treat employees, how products really work” #
  • #hkblender robert “pacbrands situation is like vegemite being outsourced to another country” #
  • #hkblender paul taafe “pacbrands was a surprise, wasn’t telegraphing challenges in advance, execs had lost touch with consumers” #
  • #hkblender paul taafe “power of new ability for angry consumers to speak and act with a loud and aggressive voice won’t change” #
  • RT @ManiKarthik: 50 Fabulous Web Tools for Group Projects #
  • New Axe/Lynx site pulls social media mix-up like Skittles #
  • #FollowFriday @creativesoul @mstuyvenberg @andrewjnla @JDEbberly @McCoyDigital #
  • Take That Boss! Twittering and watching YouTube videos ‘makes workers more productive’ @garethdaine #
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