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5 Ways to Make Your Corporate Newsroom Social

October 29, 2010 at 4:03 pm PST



Corporate news content isn’t very social by nature; historically, this includes some text-heavy press releases, maybe an earnings report, topped off with some ‘talking head’ videos. All is not lost. With a few simple (and some obvious) steps, you too can make your corporate news content social. Here are just 5 steps that we took for our corporate newsroom.

1.      Facebook Fan Page/Twitter Handle -- Setting up a Facebook Page and Twitter account should be one of the first things you create (after amazing content). Distribute your content by placing it in a Facebook post and/or Tweet to let the sharing and engagement begin.

2.      Youtube -- Almost all of the Cisco PR videos can be found on our Youtube channel. The viral possibilities, search engine rankings, and ease of use make it a must use tool.

  • We currently house almost 900 videos on Youtube with 1.5M views and counting.

3.      Flickr -- Flickr allows us to easily upload and embed our photos within our news content. In the end, Flickr increases our SEO, makes our photos social and creates another entry point for our news site.

  • We currently share 784 photos with 1.3M+ views.

4.      Social Sharing buttons -- Social Sharing buttons give readers the ability to take our content and recommend it to their network which is essential in getting our message across a multitude of networks.

5.      Live Streaming Video -- Live streaming sites, in our case, Ustream, has created an environment that magically transforms our “talking head” executive videos into a fresh, engaging and insightful dialogue, driven by social media.

  • We have currently reached over 41,000 views on this new platform. Watch this quick video about Talk2Cisco to learn more about the program:

What’s next for our corporate newsroom?

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The Three Phases of ‘Social’ Usage by Media Companies

At our recent discussion at IBC about the challenges of monetizing content through social media, Claude London of BBC Worldwide identified three evolutionary phases media companies go through with social media and their branded content.   (BTW: if you haven’t already heard the recording of this event, including Alex Balfour’s presentation on how the London 2012 Olympics is using social media, click here).

Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve been explored Claude’s concepts with various media execs in the digital media space, and have generally received a “yep, that’s what we did” response.  Given the general consensus, here are the three phases media companies go through:

Phase 1 – “Social” as Communications

Business justification:  It’s cheap

Objective:  It’s cheap; do we need another reason?

Given the “free” or low-cost nature of many social channels, many brands get into social simply because of the price point.  There generally is not a holistic strategy or business objective beyond following the crowd, or even because the boss heard about this <Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, etc> thing.

This is the Wild West of social with little centralization or corporate standards.  There is also wide variability in the type of editorial content pushed out via the channel.

Phase 2 – Promotional Vehicle

Business justification: Engaging a broad audience to make them aware of our content

Objective: Identify and recruit fans of our content.  While there are some brands that “listen” or engage audiences in a dialogue, there is usually a push or one-way mentality to the engagement.

After some period of letting the interns drive the social strategy, the media company wakes up and realizes they have several thousand followers on Facebook or Twitter… the light bulb goes on when they realize how effective social can be in attracting and engaging audiences (and it’s cheap!).

At this point, they put more rigor around their efforts often:

  • dedicating staff
  • formalizing and centralizing some social media processes/standards and
  • starting an editorial process for identifying what content to push out to audiences

Social efforts and teams are usually still decentralized, and the focus is on growing audience reach.

It’s at this point – when social starts becoming its own channel, and requiring some level of investment – that some media companies begin to outsource to outside vendors/agencies/experts.  How much the company outsources is a good predictor if they’ll progress to the next stage or not.  As Claude pointed out in his original comments “social media is as much content as it is marketing. Content is what we [the media company] do.  Don’t outsource that.”

As Claude and others have recognized, entertainment content and brands distributed in social channels take on a life as their own as valuable audience experience.  Companies that view social as just another promotional channel don’t recognize the value they’re leaving on the table by not making social and their digital content strategy one-and-the-same.

I’m not advocating that media companies should ONLY be social on sites they control – after all, it’s critical that media companies go where audience lives.  Media companies should just have a strategy about when they’re using social channels for promotion vs a social entertainment experience that they’re trying to monetize.

Phase 3 – Relationship and Monetization Platform

Business justification: Audience want to interact with, and around my brands… why shouldn’t I build a longer-term, valuable relationship with them – one that I can monetize

Objective: Build brand value, and revenue

Few media companies have made the leap into this last phase, although many in the last 6-12 months are starting to make this transition.

Whether they’ve outsourced or not, in this phase media companies realize they have been giving away their three most valuable assets to 3rd parties:

1.       Premium content

2.       their brand and

3.       the data about the audience (or in other words, the direct relationship with consumers)

They look to remedy this situation by exerting more control over their content and brands to make sure they are realizing some of the value being created on these high-value, social entertainment experiences.  To achieve this, media companies begin to centralize staff and activities to realize economies / efficiencies of scale.  They also tend to adopt a portfolio approach to their social channels, segmenting them by them by the experience or value they add at each stage of a consumer’s engagement with that brand or content.

The actual monetization of content is highly dependent on what is appropriate for that brand, audience and the social channel in which the experience is happening.  Experimenting with what monetization efforts work with what social channels and audiences is the new Wild West.

I’d like to hear your perspectives on this. What phase is your company in?  What do you think  are the critical factors or items for a company to move from one phase to another?  Are there any companies doing a great job at monetizing content in the social channel?

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Talk2Cisco Recap: Social Media and Cyber Security

How do I keep my personal information, personal online? What are the risks of losing confidential corporate data with so many employees using social media tools in the workplace? What is the best way to keep my family safe online? These questions and many more were answered as part of the latest Talk2Cisco episode; live from the Emergency Operations Center at Cisco headquarters in San Jose, California, featuring Cisco Senior Security Advisor, Christopher Burgess.


Highlights from the broadcast:

4:53        What are the risks of losing corporate data with the prevalence of social media tools in the workplace?

9:23        How is social media transforming the way we do business?

16:15     Are there risks associated with sharing links online?

25:04     How do I keep my family safe online?

October is Cyber Security Awareness and Cisco has a number of resources to keep you, your business and your family safe online.  We also posted the slides from this broadcast on slideshare. Christopher referred to our Social Media Guidelines, feel free to check them out.

Be sure to follow Talk2Cisco on twitter for the latest show updates. We look forward to hearing from you on our next broadcast.  @Talk2Cisco

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It’s Not Too Late to Submit a Video for the “Cisco@25, Cisco In 25” Video Contest!

It’s been almost two months since we first launched the “Cisco@25, Cisco In 25” video contest! Thank you to all who have participated in the contest. We have received some funny, interesting and very insightful videos in response to the question, “where do you see technology going in 25 years?”

However, we still have a few days left in the contest! It’s not too late to submit your video response and be in the running to win a brand new Flip slide HD camcorder! All you need to do is submit a video response answering where you see technology going in 25 years. It’s so simple and we want to hear from you!

If you need a little inspiration check out three new video responses below and let us know what you think. You can also check out all of the video responses underneath our contest promotion video on YouTube.  Be sure to read the contest guidelines and official rules for the directions on how to submit your video response and become one of the winners of the “Cisco@25, Cisco In 25” video contest!

Can’t wait to see your video responses! You have five days! Ready…GO!

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Making Video a Part of Your Communications: How to Overcome Perceived Hurdles

“Video, video, video…Use video in your communications!”  How many of you reading this, whether a marketing lead at a large company or a one person wonder running a small business trying to get YOUR company’s story some attention have heard this?

As a communications professional, I hear this all the time. The reasons for using video are many…too many in fact to list here. But, at its core, video is authentic… or at least it can be. If you want to see a person give an answer or explanation and it’s on video…you know it is the person responding….not the talented wordsmithing of someone else. With video, you can see and hear what you are learning about …and I’m sure one day soon we’ll be able to smell video as well.

The  Pew Internet & American Life Project’s first major report on online video and the project’s State of Online Video study give us a few other meaty stats on video:

  • More than half of online video viewers share links to the video they find with others.
  • Online video now reaches a mainstream audience.
  • 57% of online adults have used the internet to watch or download video.

So why is it, when someone mentions doing a video, the hairs on the back of your neck go up and you want to crawl into a hole?

Let’s point out some obvious hurdles…or assumed hurdles:

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