social media case study: Virgin gets it right with customer relations

What works about Virgin’s PR here is that the day, though militantly organised, somehow gives the impression of being cobbled together at the last minute (and that genuinely is meant as a compliment). Tea breaks and tongue-in-cheek ideas make the day fun for the teams, which feeds through into interactions with consumers.

Even the attitude of its press release was spot on, “None of us are going to stand up and say that we’re ‘social media experts’… We’re all learning about social and appreciate that by its nature it’s about community and, when working together, an engaged crowd consisting of Virgin teams along with fans and followers means a fantastic hotch potch of knowledge, ideas and expertise.”

via ReputationOnline » Blog Archive » Virgin’s social media ‘marathon’ was anything but tired.

social media, the CIPR way

Before leaving for maternity leave last year, I was invited to be part of the CIPR’s social media panel along with:

  • Daljit Bhurji ACIPR – Managing Director, Diffusion (@Daljit_Bhurji)
  • Mark Borkowski – Managing Director, Borkowski (@MarkBorkowski)
  • Rob Brown FCIPR – Managing Director, Staniforth (@robbrown)
  • Stuart Bruce MCIPR – Managing Director, Wolfstar (@stuartbruce)
  • Dominic Burch – Head of Corporate Communications, ASDA (@dom_asdaPR)
  • Simon Collister – Head of Non-Profit and Public Sector, We Are Social (@simoncollister)
  • Gemma Griffiths – Client Director, Racepoint (@GemGriff)
  • Katy Howell – Managing Director, Immediate Future (@katyhowell)
  • Marshall Manson – Director of Digital Strategy, Edelman (@marshallmanson)
  • Danny Rogers – Editor, PR Week (@dannyrogers2001)
  • Julio Romo MCIPR – PR and Communications Consultant, twofourseven (@twofourseven)
  • Philip Sheldrake – Partner, Influence Crowd LLP (@sheldrake)
  • Stephen Waddington MCIPR – Managing Director, Speed Communications (@wadds)
  • Robin Wilson – Director Digital PR & Social Media, McCann Erickson (@robin1966)

The panel aims to work across the CIPR to identify new opportunities, including social media measurement, publishing best practice social media guidelines, informal workshops to engage CIPR members with experts, and a series of interviews with some of the world’s leading social media thinkers and practitioners. Lots has happened in 2010 and lots more is planned for 2011.

I attended my first meeting last week and some things to look out for in the short term are:

CIPRtv – the monthly TV channel from the CIPR covering topics such as Big Society, digital democracy and providing a chance to see some of the industry’s leaders in the spotlight.

Social media guidelines for practitioners, currently on the wiki and due to be released in updated form early April.

The CIPR’s April conference on Social Media – information coming soon here

We’re currently formalising our plan and outputs for the coming 12 months and I’ll publish it here as well as on the wiki when it is ready. In the meantime, keep up to date by following the CIPR’s twitter feed and wiki or dropping any of us a line.

journalists on Twitter

Came across a site today that is really handy for following what journalists are talking about on Twitter, especially as more and more are requesting that PRs pitch stories and get in touch that way.

The site has been created by SawHorse and can be found at

The following list of journalists have been added, their tweets being syndicated  and also some info on their profile, follower numbers etc.

take your (Twi)pick

Came across this site today courtesy of Steve RubelTwipick let’s you view the masses of Twitter photos posted on any given topic.  Uses all the photos posted on Twitpic with a particular tag and groups by trending topics so v easy to use.

Was a fun way to watch all the London Marathon photos being posted this afternoon. Can see this being really interesting and informative in the case of a larger world event – a digital rubbernecker‘s dream maybe?


is being yourself enough?

An interesting post from my client at Alterian – Ian Truscott – on the power of being yourself or as a company, letting employees play their part and make up the social face to the company as a whole.

As I commented on the original post, I think “be nice” is a good mantra for the way we behave online and also for life in general but I like my colleague Ged Carroll‘s additional one “be useful”.  Being useful is where all the different “yous” come in – I am assuming you are meaning the “faces” to the company can come from anywhere within the organisation here?

…and they should…..technical people need to be there, customer services, marketing, comms, senior management….

I like the thesis number 84. from the Cluetrain Manifesto as it sums it up perfectly:

“We know some people from your company. They’re pretty cool online. Do you have any more like that you’re hiding? Can they come out and play?”

As people realise the biggest benefit to being online – listening to your customers and being part of their community – is learning intensely valuable info about where you business should be going and what you should be doing better, this will become a no brainer.

Right now there are a huge number of companies that still don’t get it.