Leveraging Social Media to Deliver Key Messages Tuesday, April 5, 2011 Alayna Francis, Swiss Re Ryan Stanton, Sphere Consulting
Digital Trends Setting the stage
How are stakeholders getting messages? How is the general public engaging social media • The Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism study on new and old media found that: • 50 percent of Americans report that they “rely on the people around them to find out at least some of the news they need to know.” • 44 percent of Americans get news from email or via updates to social media networks • 50 percent of links on Twitter go to mainstream media outlets, 40 percent to web-only news sources (such as blogs) and 10 percent to other sources (such as wire services) • Bloggers rely heavily on mainstream media for sourcing with 99 percent of blog links going to mainstream media sources (and 80 percent of those links going to four outlets: BBC, CNN, New York Times and Washington Post) How journalists are using social media • A recent Cision/GSPM media study stated that: • 89 percent of journalists source stories from blogs • 65 percent of journalists use Facebook and LinkedIn for research • 61 percent of journalists rely on Wikipedia for information • 52 percent of journalists use Twitter
Edelman Digital: 2011 social media trends • ATTENTIONOMICS • Marketers begin to realize the value of attention – and not just reach and impressions – in driving conversion. Data points focused on impression metrics aren't the end all be all any more. Instead, value of the relationships, emphasis on the messages are taking center stage. • THOUGHT LEADERSHIP • Companies will recognize that to stand out they must activate credible individual expert voices who can propagate new ideas and engage in meaningful conversations around them. • STORY TELLING • Humans crave stories. Technology constantly advances the art of storytelling and creates new expectations. It also help marketers connect – those who can tell a story in an engaging succinct manner will get more air time than those who do not.
Table of Contents / Agenda • The Issue: Neal Bill • Getting Started • Marketing Strategies • Results
Neal Bill: What is it? • HR 3424, introduced by Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA), was a piece of legislation that would have imposed a significant tax on reinsurance that a foreign-owned U.S. insurance firm buys from an offshore affiliate. • Wrongly perceived as a "revenue raiser," this bill was gaining support in the context of the economic crisis. Neal bill supporters perpetuated that passing of this bill would "close a tax loophole" and "level the playing field" – making it an "us versus them" combat, alienating global entities on behalf of a few domestic ones. • In reality, raising taxes on reinsurance companies with foreign affiliates would have dire and long-lasting effects on the US insurance market including: • Increase the cost of insurance for consumers and businesses • Reduce the availability of catastrophe insurance • Destabilize the US insurance market • Raise questions of fairness (violate WTO agreements) • Invite international resistance and retaliation • Erode US competitiveness
The Challenge • Aggressive opposition – winning in the court of public opinion in a challenging economy; cajoling an anti-foreign sentiment in a financially precarious time • Buzzwords resonate: "tax loophole," "foreign," "tax evaders" • Cutting through the clutter • Trying to find the right experts to partner with – ones who have experience taking complex topics and making them topical • Struggle to develop a message that will be understood and will resonate with key audiences
Stage 1: Crafting The MessageThe Message Makes The Medium • Reinsurance is a complex, confusing topic • Risk transfer does not factor into day-to-day lives of citizens • How can you take this removed, obscure topic and make it relevant? • Simplify the message • Visualize the message • Making the message personal
Stage 2: Maximizing your marketing • Title, keywords and thumbnails oh my! • Develop your YouTube account • Promote through various social media channels that make sense for your brand, product and/or issue • Choosing the right meta tags - keywords are well…key • To allow comments or not, that is the question
Stage 3: Campaign Approach • Coordination with Regulatory affairs team –information, political nuances, existing lobbying engagement needed to be considered for any communications plan that would run parallel to existing lobbying efforts • Integrate new media outreach into larger strategy • Holistic approach to create a “buzz” • Leverage media opportunities • Finding support and opportunities for allies and third party outreach • Garner support by driving the message • Determine who your stakeholders are and which old and new media channels serve them
Getting to viral using non-traditional means • Finding the right “mix”
Other things to consider…. According to Search Engine Journal: "……you are looking at roughly a 15 day window of marketing efforts put into YouTube…There is a freshness factor to your videos and it is much more difficult to get videos honors and movement within the search algorithm if the video is old." "You would be better off removing that video and re-submitting it if you are looking to produce honors in a given field and to have a chance at hitting the home page with greater ease."
No risk, no reward – what were the results? • Imitation is the sincerest form of….talking over the original video? • 23,000 video hits • 10 traditional media interviews • 15+ articles appeared • Video reposted on InsuranceJournal.com • Mentioned in industry blogs (Risk Mgmt Monitor, Reactions, etc.) • Representation on Twitter • Employee response • Regulator response • Client response
Influencing The Policy Debate Opening Statements by Chairman Richard Neal Select Revenue Measure Hearing on Reinsurance July 14, 2010 “To say this issue has spawned a furious lobbying campaign would be to put it mildly – you can watch the competing videos on YouTube. This hearing will formally air many of those views, although perhaps in a less entertaining way.” Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA)
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