Posts Tagged ‘video’

Chevron’s video shows new communication tactics

November 3, 2009

To combat a $27 billion lawsuit against Chevron-owned Texaco in Ecuador, Chevron produced a video to tell its side of the situation. The lawsuit accuses Texaco of polluting the rainforest, and the video includes interviews with Chevron executives disputing that the company is at fault. Former CNN correspondent Gene Randall was hired to narrate the video.

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Days after the Chevron video appeared, a planned 60 Minutes segment aired on the lawsuit, which led to criticism of the company’s video production. The video did not explicitly state that it was made by Chevron, but it was posted on both the company’s corporate Web site and the company’s YouTube channel.

Dave Samson, GM of pubic affairs at Chevron, said the company created the video because it did not think coverage of the lawsuit was fair. The company directed reporters to the video and sent it to key stakeholders, and he believes they did so transparently. “Anyone who came across it would [know] that it was produced by us,” Samson said.

Video sourcing is an issue that’s plagued the PR industry before. In 2007, the FCC fined Comcast $20,000 for airing unidentified VNR on its stations. Simply putting a video online doesn’t make it a VNR, but given the increasing call for transparency from consumers, some believe the company should have done more, like adding a company logo. 

“The problem with the Chevron video is it misleads the public into thinking it’s a real news story,” said Rich Klein, VP at Beckerman PR and head of its law firm practice.

The video is indicative of new communication tactics in play for lawsuit defense. Klein noted that defendants and their attorneys are more willing to use media “to match what the plaintiff’s attorneys are doing.” Because of the viral nature of online news, the video’s corporate origins could become lost, so transparency would be maintained with a logo.

If the judge rules against Chevron, the company could face the largest damages award ever handed down in an environmental case, dwarfing the $3.9 billion awarded against ExxonMobil for the 1989 spill in Alaska.

Click here on the Chevron site for videos on the lawsuit and situation in Ecuador.

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Take my Pradas and chocolate, but not my social networks

October 28, 2009

In a research study and report by ShesConnected Multimedia, it was found that more than one-third (36%) of online US and Canadian women would give up chocolate, their Pradas or their mothers-in-law before they gave up their social networks. (However, only half would be willing to pay subscription fees to continue using such networks.)

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The study, “The Power of Social Networking for Women,” found that 53% of online women use social networks at least weekly, and that social-networking women – most of whom are highly engaged and comfortable with technology – are one of the fastest growing segments on social networking sites.

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Though it is unsurprising that Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are the most popular social networks for women, ShesConnected reported that they were surprised by the fact that a large number of women are using such sites to network, market and otherwise promote their businesses.

The top five reasons women belong to social networks:

  • To network professionally
  • To stay up-to-date with friends
  • To stay up-to-date with groups they belong to
  • To promote their business.
  • To research products or services

The most popular social networking activities for women:

  • Viewing video
  • Reading blogs
  • Posting photos
  • Writing in blogs
  • Posting comments

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“Women using Social Networks are finding such high utility in these sites that they are becoming a central component of their lives online,” the firm said in a press release, adding that “marketers need to focus on how best to provide value to the community,” ShesConnected noted following the study.

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Social networking and blog sites capture more internet time and advertising

September 28, 2009

Source: NielsenWire

“Americans have nearly tripled the amount of time they spend at social networking and blog sites such as Facebook and MySpace from a year ago, according to a new report from The Nielsen Company. In August 2009, 17 percent of all time spent on the Internet was at social networking sites, up from 6 percent in August 2008.

‘This growth suggests a wholesale change in the way the Internet is used,’ said Jon Gibs, vice president, media and agency insights, Nielsen’s online division. ‘While video and text content remain central to the Web experience – the desire of online consumers to connect, communicate and share is increasingly driving the medium’s growth.’

Among those taking note of this trend: advertisers. Estimated online advertising spending on the top social network and blogging sites increased 119 percent, from approximately $49 million in August 2008 to approximately $108 million in August 2009 – all despite a recession. Share of estimated spend on these sites has doubled, from 7 percent of online ad spend in 2008 to 15 percent in 2009.”

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Read full press release.

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Missed viral opportunity for Major League Baseball

September 17, 2009

Two days ago, during a Phillies baseball game, fan Steve Monforto caught a foul ball. After a few high fives with his family and friends, he handed the ball to his daughter, who immediately turned and threw it back onto the field. After the initial shock, Steve reached down and hugged his daughter. After all, she was only doing what she thought was the right thing to do!

Of course, the MLB caught this touching moment on video, but so did a lot of other fans in the stadium. The video immediately hit YouTube, creating quite a buzz. A scene as adorable as that one was sure to go viral, and Steve’s catch was pretty fantastic as well.

Unfortunately, the MLB didn’t see it that way. They pulled the YouTube video claiming copyright infringement and instead posted the video on the MLB.com site. Bad news is, there is no embed code on the video, so users can’t pass it along.

Yesterday, a handful of users took things into their own hands and began posting videos of the news recap instead—literally shooting video of their television set! We’ll see what the MLB has to say about it.

With social media at its peak, you’d think the MLB would have jumped on the opportunity to spread its brand, while at the same time sharing a great moment in baseball with the masses. Instead, they’ve decided to ban all fan-generated video, and are hoping people will head to their site to watch clips. It might happen, but it certainly squashes the viral potential user-generated content has proven itself to have.

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Best Buy uses social media to improve 401k participation

September 15, 2009

In an effort to increase 401k participation, Best Buy turned to social media and created a video contest for employees. The company encouraged employees throughout the retail chain to submit videos that would motivate involvement in their 401k program. The plan worked, and Best Buy increased participation by 30 percent.

Check out the winning employee video:

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Why start a blog?

July 29, 2009

Over the past few weeks, I have been speaking to clients about the ins and outs of blogging. And the question I always try to answer first is, “Why start a blog?”.

For businesses, a blog is a place to begin building relationships with your audience. It’s a place where transparency, honesty, and relevancy all meet.

Blogs allow your business to:

  • provide relevant information regularly
  • receive feedback from readers and engage them in discussion
  • distribute content more widely through search engines, online communities, and so on

Blogs allow your readers to:

  • receive regular updates from you when they want, where they want
  • easily share your content
  • find you through search engines via keywords and tags

Content is key, of course, so create useful content and publish regularly and consistently. Consider using audio and video in your posts. Different people interact with content differently. A podcast or video post might be exactly what your audience is looking for, and it may deepen the relationship if you are the voice/face of your blog. The Flip video camera is a favorite of mine. It is simple to use and with an editing program like iMovie for the Mac, you can create short video segments (vlogs).

Polls, surveys, and contests are also a great way to engage your audience. And they can be fun too! PollDaddy is a great polling tool and WordPress has a plugin that allows you to create and manage your polls through the admin area. WordPress also has a survey plugin, SurveyGizmo, and SurveyMonkey is a great tool as well.

Promote discussion on your blog with commenting and be sure to follow up with your audience. Participate on other blogs as well…it’s a good opportunity for exposure and linkbacks to your site.

David Meerman Scott of Web Ink Now offers some insight on the top five corporate blogging mistakes and how to avoid them.

Any other ideas, tips, suggestions for starting and maintaining a good blog? Let us hear them.

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