Michael sage consulting social media guide series five

Brand communications:
Why Blogger’s relations is now essential

Yinka Olaito
www.yinkaolaito.com www.michaelsageng.com

Preface
Web 2.0 is now making a lot of demands from brand custodians. These custodians include but not limited to top Management, marketing Directors, Managers, Corporate Communicators, Director/Manager, Public relations, Investors relations, CSR specialists and Community Managers among many other duties. Web 2.0 has provided several public communications channels through which individuals, communities and brands can now exchange, communicate, share, post, facilitate discussion, express their feelings. Web 2.0 is now returning power to the people who actually own the brands in the first instance. A brand that ignores the voice of the people and regards it as noise may bite its fingers at the end. Several examples abound. One that most of us will never forget in a hurry is the popular ‘DellHell’ saga. At Michael Sage consulting, we understand that many brands are still in the dark with regards to what to do. This is the reason we decided to publish this easy to read, implement EBook that can help a dummy start the process. We do not consider this effort as extremely comprehensive enough but we believe it the first step in the right direction. So we welcome further discourse, comment and inputs from our readers that will help us serve you better. Individuals are permitted to share, give away, sell this EBook as long as it remains in the original form. While every effort has been made to accurately present facts in this EBook, Michael Sage Consulting as well as the author will not be liable for any error or omission, misapplication of the facts in this EBOOK. If in doubt, contact either the company or the author with the addresses at the end of the book. You may also want to consult other quality materials at both online and offline world.

Brand Communications: Why bloggers relations is now essential
Many brands’, corporate communications and Public relations managers are used to Media relations, Investors relations and customer relations in the offline world. Today there is an increase in number of social media and networking sites. The implication of this is that there is more noise level. This also suggests an increase in social media tools. More also, it points to increase in conversation in places beyond the comfort zones. Behind most effective communities, social networking sites, blogs are Community administrators and bloggers. These online influencers hold and wield a lot of influence on Millions of community members, readers that daily throng the sites to take advantage of the values and tools they provide. What is of interest to us here is that as this trend keep developing, many brands and corporate communicators have not developed effective means of relating with these influencers. Some still believe that bloggers are school kids who are just playing with the computers. When bloggers reach out to some of these brands’ custodians most do not reply nor see any reason to respond as fast as possible. Yet the kind of myths, misconceptions that can spread due to this negligence can lead to unimaginable brand’s damage. I think many still need to take a cue from most reputed ‘DELLHELL’ saga before the alarm will blow at their doorsteps. For those who want to take meaningful steps in this direction, they must prepare to build relationship of value. I like what Lucretia Priutt says about the word ‘build’. She claims build is an action word (verb), it takes time and effort. It is like a garden; you cannot just sow seed and reap. You must nurture, weed and wait. I have also noticed that the few brands who have initiated this step only want to deal with A list bloggers. Even when the A list bloggers content direction has no bearing to their brand’s message, value and equity. To be successful in blogger’s relation, a corporate communicator, public relations or content manager for brands need to carefully observe the followings: Plan and organize: nothing is successful until a plan of action of what to achieve, what to do, when to do it as well as how is put in place. Every relationship needs nurturing. It is better not to start a thing at all than to destroy the process when already implemented. As we know online relationships crises are more viral than the offline. So in planning, top management needs to endorse the process. Key officers who will handle the process need proper briefing with regards to what the responsibilities are. To this end, people with required training in human relationship building will do better than Engineers or information Technology experts. At least this is true in most cases.

Contribute and get involve: After the above is taken care, brand must now release its implementation tactics. Brand through its representative must begin active participation in the selected bloggers’ communities. But please note that you are not participating to sell. That will be discovered early. I often consider as spam or delete comments that are out to sell instead of making quality contribution to the discourse. Also avoid been anonymous. Identify your brand through the use of avatar. It helps community members to appreciate you the more. Pitch: now that your brand is known in the communities, the brand can now make an attempt to pitch the bloggers through their means of preferred communication line. It is expedient that you do not do that openly. Let it be a private communication between you and the community owner or the blogger in question. The community owner and the blogger will appreciate such respect and be willing to help. One thing to note though is that you need to let your pitch be relevant, respectful, precise, clear and value-adding to the community or blog’s direction. Publish, circulate your brand’s content: based on the relationship and agreement you already have with the blogger, community owners or administrators, you can now start publishing your content as a guest blogger or content contributor. In most cases, it is ideal to let the blogger or community owners push your content for community perusal. A smart blogger needs to note also that crafting a story around the issue, itemising values the community members can derive from the brand works better than hard sell. Many bloggers have lost valuable community members through improper management of issues like this. Examples of effective bloggers’ relation we have noticed online include Dell organization. Dell has gained the support of its international CEO. MR Dell has actually granted an hour interview to the blogger that created the issue. MTN Nigeria seems to be taking a step in this direction but much still needs to be done. Do you have a good example of effective blogger’s relations? Please share with the community. Do you need help? Send us a note by joining the conversation.

AND NOW... JOIN THE CONVERSATION

ABOUT MICHAEL SAGE CONSULTING LAGOS NIGERIA Michael Sage consulting firm specializes in helping brand to achieve its aims. It provides unique services in Brand communication and Social Media arena. Our edge is in creating a unique value adding process that will make our customers stand out among the big league. Our aim is to help individuals and corporate brands multiply their results through adequate communication and stakeholders’ engagement. We understand perfectly that the voice of the audience is now important to brand success today. The customer owns the brand. Do not wait until it is too late, talk to us now. Website: www.michaelsageng.com Email: Tel: info@Michaelsageng.com 234-7029778785, 8037156390

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Yinka Olaito helps individuals and corporate brands to maximize values in their brands through adequate exposure of the brand to audience that can pay premium and are turned to advocates. Recently selected as one of the 20 African Media (Main and Social) experts by a United Nations Agency –African region, Yinka Olaito actively participated in a meeting that suggested new communications perspective for the body in Africa. Yinka Olaito is a passionate, certified Brand-PR, Social Media expert, Trainer and Public Speaker who has enjoyed corporate consulting business relationship with brands like GTBank, Pilot Science, RolanPaul Engineering, Nigeria Bar Association, Wellspring Christian centre, TEEC among others. Yinka Olaito’s web 2.0/social Media knowledge sharing sessions has attracted participants from Prima Garnet, Insight Grey, DDB, GlaxoSmithKline as well as School of Media and Communications, Pan African University Lagos Nigeria. Yinka Olaito is a leading voice in Nigeria as web 2.0/social media applications to branding. Yinka Olaito’s works and professional experience has received positive review from international media: The Daily Reviewer USA-as Top 100 Branding blogs, Top100 Marketing Blogs, from CareerRocketeers.com-A must read 150+ career blogs, 100+ career experts to follow on twitter, from Internet Marketing Masters-50 Excellent Blogs that help your online Branding and PBB as Top 30 personal brand experts on twitter. Within Nigeria, such frontline Media: Electronics (Channels Television’s programme ‘Sunrise’, Times Cable Television’s ‘Brand &Products expo’ and Prints (Punch Newspaper, ThisDay, Daily Independent, Business Eyes magazine and M2) have also covered his professional opinion. As a seasoned writer, Yinka Olaito writes on his niche for noted prints media in Nigeria and publishes multiple award winning blog THE BRANDING GAVEL(www.yinkaolaito.com) Yinka Olaito is a Member and Nigeria chapter President Of social Media Club international, California USA; an Associate member of Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, Nigerian Institute of Training And Development(A

member of IFTDO) and until recent the special Assistant on Communications to The National President and IFTDO council Member of the Institute. Yinka Olaito is a three award-winning graduate of Ogun State University (now Olabisi Onabanjo). Yinka also topped his class in his postgraduate studies in Public Administration. Yinka Olaito is the CCO/Lead Consultant of Michael Sage Consulting WHAT people are saying about Yinka Olaito -What a great time we had in your session, you nail it... Bunmi Makinwa(Director, African region UNFPA) -Absolutely stimulating session on social media- Nicola Christofides, senior lecturer behavioural change Comm, University of Witwatersrand, south Africa. -I thank you very much for opening my eyes on the thousands of possibilities social media can offer. For sure we need to engage with this (new?) media in our daily work linked to social change!!! Merci -Cisse Cheik-UNFPA country Rep; Madagascar. -Your sessions are great... Neil Ford, Chief Media and communications, UNFPA New York--You're very welcome... I've heard great things about you- Sarah A,Toronto Canada -Your sessions are terrific, informative an eye-opening sessions- Daniel Sibongo, Media Consultant, Cape Town, South Africa - A 'social media master' per excellence- Akin Adeoya, Publisher, Frontline PR practitioner and Group MD, Marketingmix ideas, Lagos Nigeria Contact: URL: www.yinkaolaito.com E-mail : Yinka@yinkaolaito.com, yinkaolaito@gmail.com Tel: 234-7029778785 Facebook: Olaito Yinka Skype: Yinkaolaito Twitter: @pathfindernig