PR in Global Economic Crunch

From Scobleizer TV

Lots of interesting content in here. I’m particularly taken with their – admittedly a bit fluffy – overview of social currency and the value of a large following vs reach vs velocity to PR and influence measurers.

But the part I keep thinking about, is the first bit. The discussion on why companies will be looking at social media in an economic downturn.

I think that once companies realise that they can gain 5x brand recall, drop 1/4 customer/technical support costs, and so on and so forth, the economy will force them to take some baby steps into this area.

What this does to agencies, who are facing an incredible squeeze as companies stop buying media on TV and newspapers, as viewers drop off, as budgets are tightened is scary. I reckon by May this year (2009) the bloodsheding will be in full flow.  Fairfax was just the start. The bigger question is this: if you have a 30 million dollar budget from Vodafone, or 20 million from JetStar, how do you spend it online?

Cos the economies are screwed online if you look with a traditional marketing eye. For example, making a TV ad used to cost (ballpark) around $70,000 – $120,000 a few years ago. In the last 2-3 years, it’s dropped to 20-25k if you are lucky. But what do viral videos cost to make? You know what I mean – the “let’s make something (supposedly) funny and whack it up online, see what happens”. One US company just offered $900 to make a video. Heh.  They will probably put a Make Us A Video competition online, and get it for free, for not much difference in quality.

Quality is always hard to quantify (geddit? geddit? :P) You might think a professional film crew with a hundred years experience between them deliver quality. I think a user generated video, complete with wobbly cam and overacting, that gets a million votes on your site or 7 million views on YouTube is a better investment in peer to peer marketing. Nice production values are nice to have but not if they come at a cost of distribution.

There was more to this post but I have had it sitting in drafts for a few days. Anyone who blogs knows that is the kiss of death. Once in drafts for more than 48 hours, it’s doomed to stay there for eternity. Crying Help! Help! Release me! But no-one hears.

I’ll do a Part Two later. Unless you want to take up the challenge? You’d have to blog about spending $30m in social media. Whether it’s necessary etc. What does a CEO do with that additional money – they HAVE to spend it, can’t leave it sitting there.  Though I think that means we SM consultants can put our prices up 🙂  Have a go, or wait for Part Two,  me no mind either way. 😛

Or you can just watch the video. Without the rest of my guff around it.

Laurel Papworth

Named by Forbes™ Magazine in the Top 50 Social Media Influencers globally, named Head of Industry, Social Media (Marketing Magazine™) and in the Power150 Media bloggers (AdAge™). CERT IV Training and Assessment certified trainer (Diplomas and Certificates etc) Adult Education. Laurel has manager Facebook Pages for Junior Masterchef, Idol, Big Brother etc. and have consulted on private online communities for banks Westpac, not for profits UNHCR & governments in SE Asia. Lecturer, social media, University of Sydney for 10 years and Laurel has 11,000 online students. Laurel Papworth personally connects to 6 million followers online and has taught around 100,000 people in the last 10 years how to be social media managers.

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