Social media: don’t publish and be damned

By DAVID BOYES

EVERY time I am introduced to an organisation that is seeking help in establishing a social media presence, I am tempted to say: “Have I got news for you.”

And then: “Do you realise that as soon as you begin reaching out to your target audience and beyond through social interaction – whether that’s by way of a blog, a Twitter account or through Facebook or LinkedIn – you have started a publishing business? As such, you need to understand the rules of engagement, the legalities, deadlines, the ability to listen, respond or react, sometimes at lightning pace, across numerous platforms simultaneously, in order to protect your reputation or capitalise on a business opportunity.”

I put my hands up now. I have never been brave enough to put it so bluntly. Putting a potential client on the defensive is never a good idea. But I always impress on them that my experience as a journalist will keep them out of harm’s way on the social media stage. [Read more...]

©WordMediaCo Ltd. If you wish to reproduce or translate this article, you may do so, provided you add the following credit: This article was written by David Boyes. He is a media consultant and trainer who empowers businesses to use social media more strategically. For more information visit: http://www.wordmedia.co

Inspirational film for business leaders

THOUGHT-PROVOKING, challenging and beautifully lit, this film contrasts an unrewarding  existence in business – as riches and opportunity are blindly pursued at the expense of huge amounts of energy – to that of a life based on a philosophical and holistic approach.

The word “love” is used in a context that will not be familiar to most people. Courageous or cringe-making? Your choice.

ON WISDOM from Nic Askew on Vimeo.

©WordMediaCo Ltd. If you wish to reproduce or translate this article, you may do so, provided you add the following credit: This article was written by David Boyes. He is a media consultant and trainer who empowers businesses to use social media more strategically. For more information visit: http://www.wordmedia.co

In the beginning, there is the word …

AS our name suggests, we believe in the power of words. Words can enhance or damage, communicate or confuse. Being able to use the right words in any given situation imparts credibility.

Words are key in the communications revolution that is currently unfolding – primarily on websites but also in social media. The internet is the public domain, websites and social media platforms are forms of publishing. If companies and other organisations are to maximise their presence in the digital domain, they need to harness the power of words.

WordMediaCo provide media consultancy services to corporate clients. Whether it’s public relations, website content, social media strategies or blogs, we nurture and protect hard-won reputations through concise, compelling communication.

Words are becoming more important than ever, as we start to witness Google’s new search engine optimisation model which will no longer rely as heavily on keyword chicanery and meta data manipulation. Instead, the emphasis is going to be on content – and fresh, organic content at that.

Organisations who are in the habit of putting a pile of keywords at the bottom of web pages and in their meta keywords tags in order to keep them at the top of the Google rankings are in for a nasty surprise.

Google wants relevance, quality and a good user experience. Make your content relevant and do the best you can to make it useful for a user. Keywords should be naturally placed in your content, not forced.

Organisations who value their reputation must realise that damage can be inflicted on their image if the information they disseminate online won’t cut the mustard. They also have to realise that social media activities and blogs are a key part of the mix, enhancing their Google ranking. Time, energy and other resources will have to be drawn upon to ensure that a prized brand identity is protected or enhanced and that the corporate message behind it continues to be fresh, vibrant and relevant.

WordMediaCo provide the highest quality content for new and existing websites, for blogs, for social media activities and for public relations campaigns. All our material is prepared by professionals with an innate understanding of the media and experience of mass communication.

We ensure that corporate organisations present themselves professionally, appropriately and in a way that enhances their image and reputation by giving them credibility through words that are relevant, compelling, engaging and consistent in tone and style. Credibility is the business.

See the light: if you want the power to shine through, your message has to be clear

 

©WordMediaCo Ltd. If you wish to reproduce or translate this article, you may do so, provided you add the following credit: This article was written by David Boyes. He is a media consultant and trainer who empowers businesses to use social media more strategically. For more information visit: http://www.wordmedia.co

Social media seeds in the Big Apple

Getting the message across: Times Square, New York

By DAVID BOYES

WHEN the United States of America sneezes, the rest of the world catches a cold, goes the time-honoured saying. Yet, on the British side of the Atlantic, it would appear that, in one aspect of modern business life at least, preventative medicine has been taken by the bucketload, when it comes to social media marketing.

The reticence in some commercial quarters to wholeheartedly embrace the social media dimension is something of a mystery. But there must be a reason because everything in life is explainable.

The affliction that prevents small to medium sized enterprises delving into the most exciting and potentially beneficial realm of the current age must have its roots somewhere. Is it ignorance? Doubtful. Is it fear? Perhaps. Is it a pre-conceived notion that the social space is [Read more...]

©WordMediaCo Ltd. If you wish to reproduce or translate this article, you may do so, provided you add the following credit: This article was written by David Boyes. He is a media consultant and trainer who empowers businesses to use social media more strategically. For more information visit: http://www.wordmedia.co

Testimonials

What others say about us

“WordMediaCo are ahead of the curve, when it comes to websites. They are providing a service that is unique – and vital. Furthermore, the integration of social media and PR has proved invaluable for us.”

Brian Gallacher, Managing Director, Pacific Building Ltd

 

“WordMediaCo are the kings of content.”

Jim Convey, LadderIT

 

“Our website needed a massive makeover to match a corporate rebranding. The website design and the content produced by WordMediaCo came together beautifully. The end results exceeded our expectations. By adding public relations and a Twitter-based social media strategy to the mix, we are now communicating more effectively with our clients, abroad and at home.”

Diane Irvine, CEO, Healthcareskills Training Ltd

 

“If it hadn’t been for WordMediaCo, our company would have had just another, so-so website with no coherent and engaging message and no logical information stream. Our business would not have benefitted.”

Ian Byers, CEO, Stravaigin coach tours

“Heard a lot about social media but not really sure what it’s all about or if it applies to your business? Want to know more about how social media can improve your company’s business performance but not sure where to start? Need some solid advice about what works and what doesn’t? Then the Beginners Social Media Class (half day) I attended, led by David Boyes of WordMediaCo, is a must for you. David delivered a very simple, well thought-out class which debunked urban myth and legend about this communication phenomenon.  IT IS APPLICABLE TO ALL TYPES OF BUSINESS. Best of all, he’s running more beginners’ classes as well as master classes.”

Phyllis Joyce, Pure Jenius

 

“We bought a website for our business and were shocked to discover we had to supply the word content ourselves. No one told us this would be the case. To be fair, we should have realised that the words on websites don’t fall from the sky – someone has to write them. Fortunately, WordMediaCo came to our rescue. Their expertise and experience meant we could have the website we always dreams about.”

Helen and Kevin Woods, owners, The Potting Shed

“WordMediaCo brought a badly needed focused dimension to our online offering, allowing us to better identify our target audiences and communicate more effectively with them. The experience they have in the fields of public relations, communications and social media are impressive indeed.”

Dawn Murray, CEO, Westend Aveda Ltd

©WordMediaCo Ltd. If you wish to reproduce or translate this article, you may do so, provided you add the following credit: This article was written by David Boyes. He is a media consultant and trainer who empowers businesses to use social media more strategically. For more information visit: http://www.wordmedia.co

Case studies

Pacific Building Ltd

PACIFIC are a small company with a big-name client list. By big, we mean BIG. McDonald’s, KFC, JD Wetherspoon, Bupa and the Gleneagles Hotel are just some of the companies who enjoy a fruitful relationship with Pacific Building, who have just 30-odd employees. Pacific, like many small to medium-sized organisations, desperately wanted an enhanced brand profile and a presence in the media – mainstream and industry-specific.

Pacific were justified in wishing to highlight the fact they were “leaning into the big picture”. But they were typical of smaller companies, in that they did not have the time, know-how or resources to actively pursue a full-blown media campaign.

WordMediaCo initiated an integrated strategy that drew attention to Pacific’s achievements and their admirable ethos of ”respect, fairness, collaboration, quality and a right first time approach to everything we do”. Public relations, media engagement and a programme of vigorous social media activity were the foundations of WordMediaCo’s strategy to place Pacific in the spotlight as one of the success stories of Scottish, if not United Kingdom, construction during one of the worst economic downturns the world has seen.

Pacific managing director Brian Gallacher stated: “WordMediaCo’s huge experience, know-how and powerful contacts gave us the outcome we wanted. From website to public relations and social media, our company’s message is being conveyed to our target audiences in a consistent and integrated manner.”

HC Skills International Ltd

HC Skills, who provide renowned clinical training programmes for medical professionals in 30 countries, were in a conundrum or two.

First, like Pacific, they wanted an enhanced brand profile and deeper media involvement. Second, they had purchased a high-end, bespoke website that included a host of complex features but was devoid of content. Problem No1 involved the regulatory, data protection and confidentiality requirements that affect the flow of information both within and from the medical sector. Problem No2 was to write to a website structure already in place.

Vast media experience and a light touch were the key ingredients. WordMediaCo’s unmatched know-how in target audience engagement, even in a regime of strict controls, and and our ability to apply a consistent, professional tone in message delivery were the cornerstones of a strategy that allowed HC Skills International to achieve their objectives. A discreet social media outreach was also thrown into the mix.

WordMediaCo also helped HC Skills – who are based at the Golden Jubilee National Hospital in Clydebank and have a satellite office in Madrid – to cement a prestigious partnership with the Royal College of Surgeons and to explore new business relations with corporations the United States.

Hc Skills CEO Diane Irvine acknowledged: “Without WordMediaCo’s unmatched experience and their innate media understanding, we would not have had a successful outcome. Social media, about which, if I am honest, I was dubious, has also given us an edge in a business sector that is in large part reluctant to engage with new communications platforms.

“We are looking forward to continuing our partnership with WordMediaCo who will, no doubt, continue to come up with creative approaches for the benefit of our product portfolio. Reputation is everything for our company, and we know it is in safe hands with WordMediaCo.”

©WordMediaCo Ltd. If you wish to reproduce or translate this article, you may do so, provided you add the following credit: This article was written by David Boyes. He is a media consultant and trainer who empowers businesses to use social media more strategically. For more information visit: http://www.wordmedia.co

FAQs

Why should companies put so much store by a high quality internet offering?

Digital media is taking over from conventional forms of communication. It is fast becoming mainstream. According to the latest available research data, Twitter gained 100 million followers and Facebook 600 million in 2011 alone. Furthermore, smartphones that access the web are owned by 27 per cent of adults and 47 per cent of teenagers in the United Kingdom, according to Ofcom’s Communications Market Report. If companies are to shine in the crowd, their message has to be concise and well targeted.

I remain to be convinced. What’s your response?

Contact any of our delighted customers. They will give you an impartial opinion of our merits.

Are the words on a website really that important?

Statistical analysis has shown that the revenue of a company that sells goods or services on the internet can be cut by up to 50 per cent if just one spelling mistake is detected on a website. With internet sales in the UK alone running at £530 million per week, that’s a lot of revenue being put at risk. When there are underlying concerns among customers about fraud and safety, getting the basics right is essential.

What do you mean by “form should follow function”?

That your organisation’s message (the website content) is the most important ingredient and it should, therefore, inform the presentation and delivery of that message (the website design).

So are you saying that most websites are put together incorrectly?

Yes. A flawed concept results in a poor outcome. It’s like decorating a room in your home. You don’t buy unmeasured quantities of any available patterns of wallpaper and paint and then start lashing them on to walls and ceilings, hoping the result will somehow be acceptable – because it won’t. It’s a disaster in conception and execution. You should ponder the task first, visualise how the room blends with the rest of your home, then you work out colourways, themes and the types and amounts of materials you will require. Then you start.

Isn’t that a little simplistic?

Perhaps. But we believe our approach, while straightforward at first glance, is the definitive, professional way to deliver the right result every time.

©WordMediaCo Ltd. If you wish to reproduce or translate this article, you may do so, provided you add the following credit: This article was written by David Boyes. He is a media consultant and trainer who empowers businesses to use social media more strategically. For more information visit: http://www.wordmedia.co

Social media

It’s a social thing … target your audience

SOCIAL media is THE tool of the moment for business. Unfortunately, many are fearful of trying it, some are prejudiced against it and the minority muddle through with it.

The fact is that social media is an immensely powerful way of communicating in an intimate way with your target audience. Reputation can be enhanced, a public profile can be created and nurtured. For those involved in online commerce, sales can be improved.

Gone are the days when a company would purchase space in a sector-specific publication or mainstream newspaper for the insertion of an advertisement that would, generally, appear once.

Unless the message that was conveyed was particularly appealing or striking in appearance, the reaction (or lack of it) would be obvious in a very short period of time.

Social media allows companies to engage with their audience 24/7 in a way that has previously been impossible.

Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Foursquare and other networks are a potential communications goldmine, if handled correctly.

At WordMediaCo, we place the emphasis on Twitter in the social media strategies we provide for for corporate organisations.

Why? Because, despite its 140-character limit, Twitter is versatile and integrates easily with a wide range of other applications. It also has outsized media clout – much of the mainstream media now relies on Twitter for its stories and ideas, so if you can get noticed here, the payoff can be considerable.

Twitter’s key concept of the “Retweet”, which allows you to redistribute any Tweet you like to your own audience with a click of the mouse – and allows everyone else who sees it to do the same – gives it incredibly powerful virality.

Short and Tweet: much of the mainstream media relies on Twitter for news

©WordMediaCo Ltd. If you wish to reproduce or translate this article, you may do so, provided you add the following credit: This article was written by David Boyes. He is a media consultant and trainer who empowers businesses to use social media more strategically. For more information visit: http://www.wordmedia.co

Website content

Let it flow: bridge the communications gap

THE internet is in the public domain. Websites are a form of publishing. These two facts may not be not hugely concerning for individuals who enjoy the burgeoning facility to communicate with others in the digital sphere.

But many organisations who value their reputation do not realise the damage that can be inflicted on their image if the information they disseminate through a website is not prepared to the highest standards.

WordMediaCo provides superior content for new and existing websites, prepared by professionals with an innate understanding of the media and experience of mass communication.

We ensure that corporate organisations present themselves professionally, appropriately and in a way that enhances their image and reputation by giving them credibility through words that are relevant, compelling, engaging and consistent in tone and style.

We have the knowledge and experience to identify to organisations any material that could unwittingly cause them reputational damage and provide advice on information that should or should not be included – and where legal and/or regulatory pitfalls may lie. The result is an intelligent and surefooted approach to communications in the modern media field that is rooted in respected values. We can be relied on to deliver what you need, leaving you to concentrate on your business.

From scratch …

WordMediaCo can provide a full website service – design, functionality and content.

Refresh …

WordMediaCo can give corporate websites a “makeover” which will result in better communication between company and client.

PR services …

WordMediaCo provides a PR service for organisations who wish to dovetail it with their website offering.

Empty promise: incorrectly handled, your website could become the equivalent of a deserted street

©WordMediaCo Ltd. If you wish to reproduce or translate this article, you may do so, provided you add the following credit: This article was written by David Boyes. He is a media consultant and trainer who empowers businesses to use social media more strategically. For more information visit: http://www.wordmedia.co

Why use WordMediaCo

New and old: traditional values make the difference

ALL organisations have a web presence to attract business, achieve strategic goals and open and maintain lines of communication with their target audience and beyond.

However, a website is more than a just business tool – it is the public face of your organisation. It says to the world: “Look at us.”

Under such scrutiny, image and reputation need to be able to hold their own. Credibility has to shine through. Like most constructions, foundations are the key. Your Website is your foundation, driving your company’s entire communication package.

It’s the power of the word – the good, “old-fashioned word”. In fact, it’s the good, old-fashioned published word, in digital form, and its ability to enhance or damage, to reach out or shy away, to communicate or confuse must not be under-estimated.

The world’s biggest corporations know this. Look at their websites, and try to find a spelling, grammatical or syntactical error. You won’t. Mistakes, almost invariably, don’t exist. Credibility is everything. Errors in the word game destroy that. There is no room for them.

Put simply, if an organisation’s credibility is intact, they will trade better. For companies who do not sell goods or services on the net but have a web presence, the credibility issue nonetheless remains.

The last word in credibility: a website free of spelling and grammatical is invaluable

©WordMediaCo Ltd. If you wish to reproduce or translate this article, you may do so, provided you add the following credit: This article was written by David Boyes. He is a media consultant and trainer who empowers businesses to use social media more strategically. For more information visit: http://www.wordmedia.co