Honours Assignments

INNOVATION LINE

PROFESSIONAL DEPTH

Attend a conference related to your professional development (Domain 7) or join a professional organization related to your field and attend at least one of their meetings. Propose a plan of action to integrate the ideas and information you learned there.

James Andrew and his expertise – EDELMAN conference about Paid Digital Media (11, December, 2015)

On 11th of December we had a conference about Paid Digital Media by James Andrew, who leads the international digital team in Edelman’s office in Frankfurt. He is among other things responsible for programmatic buying, sponsored online content, mobile and video content for clients. He introduced to us DSPs which are networks that work with a lot of independent websites and make sure that while a person is surfing in the internet automatically gets customized ads. The scary thing is that everyone’s IP address is saved during this process and the data is sold. He showed us this (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HALw5kXPeKE) video how big corporations are now able to access our data.

The next big topic he talked about how we as Digital PR Consultants can use Paid Digital Media for our clients. He suggest search retargeting and site retargeting for our clients.

Search retargeting according to Marketingterms.com (n.d.) lets advertisers reach out to new customers by using a visitor’s search history to predict his or her interests. For example if someone searches for terms like “clean”, “energy” and “environment” and spends some time on the websites, e.g. Google AdWords can use this data and show the user ads about sustainable living.

Site retargeting on the other hand is re-marketing or re-engaging with current customers. This happens when a consumer looked at a website or purchased something on a website. This data is used to bring back the consumer to buy more.

James also said that e-mail marketing is back and even more powerful than before. If you have a consumer’s e-mail address it is probably the most valuable thing a brand can have. The consumer already showed interest in the brand and the brand is able to send them individual content instead of spamming. With too many advertisements all over the internet, a crazy information flow happens and a lot of consumers are tired to be spammed with new information. Individual e-mail content that really connects to the consumer is a good way to reach out to tired consumers.

In addition is Paid Sponsored Content a good way to trigger awareness for clients’ products online. Paid sponsored content means to collaborate with publishing partners’ editorial staffs to create story contents. This would have benefits for both partners, since our client would spread awareness and the publishing partner would earn money. One famous example is Huffington Post.

Furthermore James talked about native videos as an advertisement tool. These have sprung up allowing publishers to contextually serve ads. In contrast the YouTube pre roll video ads are not the thing anymore. The future for brands lays with video influencers and a paid strategy for them. Having good influencers for brands and pay them accordingly to talk about a client’s product or brand is the most successful way to spread awareness nowadays. In addition PR is already prepared for it (media relations, press relations), it just needs to be applied to another medium.

As a conclusion he states that contextual paid content is always better than a paid media plan like e.g. social media banners.

This conference really opened my eyes what corporations know about us and our online behaviour. Moreover I learned what is good online advertising (which is NOT using the data carlessly and anti-contextual) and I think this will be very helpful if I pursue a career in digital PR.

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PASS IT ON

During your internship/study you dive deeper into new knowledge areas. Write a blog “teaching” others about one of the theoretical areas you are learning. It is important to cover not only the facts, but reflect your own insight and explain the topic in a larger context.

Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Advertising in the context of my internship

SEO and SEA – a brief introduction

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is to optimize a website in that way that it is ranked higher when searching for specific key words. A little example: Our client simplyscience.ch is a Swiss website for children, so they can learn something about nature, the world etc. They want to write an article about life in the desert. Now they hired the Digital Consulting Team to make a keyword research in order to optimize the article about life in the desert. Which terms are searched by users? Do they google “life in the desert”, “flora and fauna in the desert” or “animals and plants in the desert”? The website then will be optimized according to the keyword that has the most searches. To find good keywords, you need a Gmail account and sign into Google AdWords. In Google AdWords you can find the tool “Keyword Planner” which helps you to search for most often searched terms. If you type in e.g. “desert” you see how many people search on average in a month for “desert”. In addition google also proposes related words with high search volume there, e.g. “the desert”, “desert ecosystem” or “life in desert”. This shows that “life in desert” is searched more than “flora and fauna in the desert” and we rather optimize the website with the term that is most commonly searched.

A website that really helped me to understand how all things work together in SEO is: https://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo . So if you want to learn more about it, check it out J

SEA (Search Engine Advertising) is another search engine marketing. In contrast to SEO which is generic, SEA is aimed at paid advertising. You might noticed that when you google something, the first three websites that are offered to you often have a little yellow “Ad” (in German it is “Anzeige”) box next to their name. This is SEA! Simple as it is. SEA is also connected to keywords. If simply science’s ad wants to be found when searching for “experiments for kids Switzerland” google shows them how much it would cost per click on the website. This means of course that search terms with higher monthly search rate are more expensive than search terms with lower search rate. You as a website can set a limit of money you want to spend on SEA. If your maximum spending budget is 1.000€ you would rather go for small keywords that are not too expensive per click.

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Once you decided for keywords you have to write the ads. For your headline you have 25 characters, for your first and second line you have 35 characters. Write as compelling, short and attractive as possible. Use the keyword you write the Ad for in the headline (this is the search term people entered, give them what they want!). Make sure the first line triggers the user’s interest in your website and state the main features of the service or product. The second line is for waking people’s desire (“50% off for everyone”) and a call for action (“Click & buy now”).

SEA and especially SEO are very important in nowadays online marketing. I am glad that I learned about it during my internship and I hope I can expand my knowledge in the future. The most interesting thing is that Google changes its search engine often, and you have to adapt to it very quickly in order to stay competitive.

EXPAND

Introduction of Image Making

I followed an online course about Graphic Design from the California Institute of Arts on Coursera. The course was called “Introduction of Image Making”. In this course I had to make several assignments about Image Making – it was quite interesting. We e.g. learned all about different materials to create images, tried out new methods of image making and composition of images. Most importantly was the focus laid on what kind of meaning images and compositions can create and how the meaning can be changed by changing the composition. In this way it definitely has to do something with communication: what can a photo, an image, a poster etc. communictae? How can I communicate what I want?

I think this course was super interesting and I learned a lot. I am now more aware of how composition, scale and white space can create totally new meanings to a picture, poster or booklet. Since my domain 7 is “The digital world” including Social Media and things I learned during my internship, but also Media Design and Photography this course helped to create new meaning to my pictures (whether it is Graphic Design or Photography).

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One of my works during the course:

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NETWORK CRAFTING

Spend time building your network strategically. Who will be important to help you build your career? When you analyse your network, what is missing? Build your connections in the depth of your profession (experts, academics and professionals) but also broadly (diverse professions, local community, social activists, leaders, politics). How do you plan to “give back” to your network : what can you offer them? Who would you still love to link with that you are not already connected to? Are there professional organizations you should join?

My Network:

I am not going to state any names in here (due to privacy reasons) but I will try to give an overview over my connections.

  • Since I did an internship at Edelman in Hamburg I have a lot of connections to colleagues from the different departments. I have connections to people working classic PR, as well as to the Digital teams like the consulting team and the Edelman Studios. In addition I have connections to the HR department of Edelman Germany. I also have contact to the head of Edelman Digital in Germany. In addition I worked with a lot of digital colleagues from Berlin and Frankfurt. I am certain that I can turn to my former work colleagues if I need a professional advice or if I am looking for an internship again.
  • My mother’s cousin also owns a big communication agency, which I am certain would also offer me an internship.
  • I also have connections to the cultural sector, especially the Goethe Institute.
  • Due to my friends from the Hanze, who are all doing internships across the world, I also have connections to different companies.
  • During my study abroad I have one professor who worked in different pharmaceutical organizations, which I count also as a connection.
  • Through LinkedIn I am connected with various recruiters e.g. TravelBird in Amsterdam.
  • I also have contact with photographers in Germany and Taipei.
  • Other than to my future profession I have connections to local politicians in my home town, artists, teachers, social activists in Costa Rica, early intervention workers, nutritionists and a lot of students from all around the world.

Me and my network:

I believe that I can give back to my network when one of my broader network when I help them with communication work, e.g. I created flyers for an early intervention institution and created a website for a nutritionist.

I would love to link with more people in the communication and in the digital sector. I would like to get to know people working in Public Affairs and people who are active in the digital sector like successful blogger, photographer and people working in other digital agencies.

I would love to do more internships in the future or work as a student trainee at different PR agencies either in the digital or in the public affairs sector.

SOCIAL ACTIVATION

Attend an event or seminar which is focused on cultural aspects of your local community.  Post event, make follow up contact with one organization/person you met during this conference. Apply your own professional skills to help them further their goals. Explain how this contributed to your own learning, but also your sense of social citizenship.

Dumplings around the world

I have to admit that I did not follow the instructions for this assignment in detail. But – hey! – we are in the Honours programme. Think outside of the box, right? 🙂 Instead of attending an event and learn about social citizenship, I organized an event and created social and cultural exchange among local Taiwanese students and exchange students. It was more a local community meets foreigners event. I hope this slightly different interpretation can still count for my Honours portfolio.

I together with Benedikt and a Taiwanese friend of ours (Raymond) we organized a Dumpling Feast in our exchange University (National Taipei University). With this, I follow my path of food events and projects, aimed at cultural exchange or recipe sharing. In my first Honours year I and Antonia created a Foodblog (here!) and a Dinner Crawl through different restaurants in Groningen with an “educational goodie bag” for every participant (After movie here!).

We decided to set up an event in the food court of our University where we made Dumplings from different countries. We made German Knödel, Polish pierogies and Korean and Taiwanese Dumplings. Every team had one “leader” from the country the dish was from and who was teaching the other participants how to prepare the traditional dumpling from his/her country. In addition the leader also explained the story behind the different dishes, when it is eaten and if it has a special meaning.

Polish pierogie e.g. are often sweet and where formerly peasant food before they became popular in the whole country and there are special pierogie for different seasons in the year. German Knödel (made from potatoes and stuffed with fried onions) on the other hand where always more a dish for knights and aristocrats. Chinese (Taiwanese) dumplings come in different forms and fillings. We made dumplings with minced pork and cabbage filling. One legend says dumplings were made by a doctor who tried to heal the people from his home village from chilblain in the winter. The people in the village especially could not feel their ears any more. So he made dumplings in the shape of ears with a filling of herbs and spices against the cold and boiled them in a soup and gave it to his patients, who all got warm and strong again. Korean dumplings are called Mandu and eventually came to Korea with the Mongolians in the 14th century. Korea was buddhist at that time and the dumplings hid the meat inside.

Not only did we hear ancient stories about dumplings, but we also shared cultural stories with exchange students and Taiwanese students. We had a multicultural event with French, Czech, Japanese, Polish, German, Korean, Indonesian and of course a lot of Taiwanese people. We used the food and the process of food making for people to exchange knowledge, stories and anecdotes. Since Taiwanese people are generally shy, especially towards western students, this event was the perfect opportunity to warm up with each other. Over food and the stories behind it, Taiwanese forget their shyness, because they are so enthusiastic about their food.

I would say this event was a great success and I learned that food and cooking connects different cultures with each other, no matter how different we are. After some events that came adrift (remember last year’s Charity Ball…) this one was more carefully planned and I really learned how to best approach organzing events. We applied for funds from the University and the International Students Club for the feast, convinced the employees at the food court to host us in their kitchen and started promoting the event pretty early. In the end we were able to finance it completely with funds we got from the sponsors and it was free for every participant. In addition Benedikt and I both purchased fixed focal lengths for our DSLR cameras, so I was able to pursue my hobby as a food photographer during the event as well, which connects to my Domain 7.

I am very happy that we organized the event together with our Taiwanese friend. We learned international team work once again, had delicious food and interesting stories and took a ton of photos. See yourself (click through the slideshow to see all pictures):

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INSPIRATION

We all need role models. Arrange an interview with someone who stimulates or motivates you professionally , related to your “domain 7” competence. Publish an article about that interview. Don’t forget to share it with the interviewee and receive feedback.

I chose to do my “Inspiration” interview with Joana Gröblinghoff, who is my role model in professional career. She started as a freelance photographer and blogger and opened with her boyfriend the creative agency 100tausendlux (more info here), who creates (social media-) content, image productions, illustrations and influencer relations for brands. Furthermore they also offer digital consulting and analyzing services for firms. In addition to the agency, they also have their own online magazine and stationery brand “Odernichtoderdoch” and the photography and video team “Lichtpoesie” with own model index. See here and here!

Since my Domain 7 is digital communication and Joana is an expert in the field, I chose to do an interview with her. In addition I admire her strength and braveness to open her own digital creative agency, which also motivated me to ask her about her path of life and how she achieved to stand where she is now. I consider for my own professional life to open up an own digital consulting agency, so this interview was really inspiring for me.

Read for yourself:

You started as a photographer and blogger and so far you own your own creative agency, which creates social media content for other brands. In addition you sell self-designed stationery collections. Was it your goal from the beginning onwards or did it just happen over time?

I could have never dreamt of how this whole thing developed. We were always open for new things and liked to exchange ideas with other people. Then sometimes new opportunities emerge and new doors open up, which you just decide to step through. I just simply stopped thinking: “I cannot do it” and started to say “I will just try it” to everything. In addition, as a photographer, I was very active on social media which developed enormously in the last years – I just went along and always had a good sense for what people like to see.

What would be your advice for other people who want to start their own digital agency? What was the greatest obstacle?

The most difficult thing was to delegate work instead of doing it on your own. Lone wolves do not stand a chance in this field. You need to be able to trust and not only share problems, but also success with others. You need a team that sticks together as a family – there is a lot of emotionality and work involved and it can definitely not be taken for granted. I learned a lot about people and trust in the last years and it is not easy to find compatible people, who share not only vision but also motivation.

What do you think are the newest trends in the digital world? What is the “next big thing”?

That Facebook is barely used anymore, is already common knowledge. Instagram is mutating more and more into an advertisement platform and all these big influencers who travel through the world and get all the luxury offered, visible for everyone on Snapchat, won’t be wanted anymore. I guess that then an “old-new” wave will over roll us and everything should go back to be being totally down to earth. Yoga and mindfulness, the girl next door, holidays in your own country. It is just a guess – but everyone will eventually get sick of this polished world. I am in favor for more real people.

What are your plans for the future? In which direction would you like to go with your agency? Do you want to position yourself on the international market?

We would like to open our own shops with “Odernichtoderdoch”. I dream of a shop, where it always smells like waffles and you cannot only shop, but also relax in cozy armchairs.

At which point did you think: “Only photography is not enough for me”?

You can find so many inspiration on Pinterest, YouTube etc. and it got easy to teach yourself things on your own. You suddenly have so much more opportunities and start to combine photography and text, text and design, design and HTML … The chain is endless. The more you teach yourself, the more opportunities and ideas you get. “Only photography” did not appeal to me at some point, there are just so many amazing ways to live your creativity.

Which literature can you recommend for people who want to learn more about digital marketing? Or did you achieve everything you know today through “learning by doing”?

You learn the most when you are active on social media every day. Since I myself was/am a blogger, I got to know both sides and knew exactly what worked and what definitely did not work. It was a process in which you always learned something new. I don’t even know good literature about the topic – what counts is human empathy, the interest for blogger and influencer and the closeness to the target group. You have to dive into this world to fully understand it.

What is the best part of your job and to be your own boss? What is the most difficult part?

Working alone did not make me happy. I needed people around me that motivate and inspire me. I know for whom I get up in the morning and for whom the office should be decorated nicely. It is like a family for which you would do anything. It is only difficult when facing unpleasant tasks, e.g. critical evaluations with employees. One does not like these things, but you have to get rid of tensions right away – the atmosphere in the office is the most important aspect for the team spirit.

Thank you Joana!

Joana

For my German readers here the interview in original language 🙂

Du hast als Fotograf und Blogger angefangen und mittlerweile hast du eine eigene Kreativagentur, die Social Media Content für andere Marken macht. Außerdem verkauft ihr selbstdesignte Schreibwarenkollektionen. War das von Anfang an dein Ziel oder hat es sich einfach so im Laufe der Zeit ergeben?

Ich hätte mir in keinster Weise ausmalen können, dass sich das Ganze mal in diese Richtung entwickelt. Wir waren schon immer offen für Neues und haben uns gern mit anderen Leuten ausgetauscht. Irgendwie ergeben sich dann Möglichkeiten und es öffnen sich neue Türen, durch die man einfach hindurchgeht. Ich habe aufgehört zu denken: “Ich kann das nicht” und angefangen mir bei allem zu sagen: “Ich probiere es einfach”.  Dazu kommt, dass ich auch als Fotografin viel in den sozialen Netzwerken unterwegs war, die sich in den letzten Jahren enorm entwickelt haben – ich bin einfach mitgegangen und hatte schon immer ein gutes Gefühl dafür, was die Leute sehen wollen.

Was wäre dein Rat für andere die sich mit einer eigenen digitalen Agentur verselbständigen wollen? Was war die schwierigste Hürde?

Das schwierigste dabei ist, Arbeit abgeben zu können. Einzelkämpfer haben in dieser Branche keine Chance. Man muss vertrauen können und bereit sein, nicht nur Probleme, sondern auch Erfolge teilen zu können. Man braucht ein Team, das wie eine Familie zusammenhält –  da steckt viel Emotionalität und Arbeit drin und ist auf keinen Fall selbstverständlich. Ich habe in den letzten Jahren viel über Menschen und Vertrauen gelernt und es ist gar nicht so einfach die passenden Menschen zu finden, die sowohl Vision als auch Motivation teilen.

Was denkst du ist der neuste Trend in der digitalen Welt? Was ist das „next big thing“?

Dass Facebook kaum noch jemand nutzt, ist ja schon bekannt. Instagram mutiert nach und nach zu einer einzigen Werbeplattform und die ganzen großen Influencer, die gerade für jeden auf Snapchat sichtbar durch die Welt reisen und jeden Luxus geboten bekommen, will bald keiner mehr sehen. Ich schätze, dass uns dann wieder eine altneue Welle überrollt und alles wieder total down to earth sein soll. Yoga und Achtsamkeit, das Mädchen von Nebenan, Urlaub im eigenen Land. Nur so eine Vermutung – aber diese ganze glattgeleckte Welt kann doch bald keiner mehr sehen. Ich bin für mehr echte Menschen.

Was sind deine Pläne für die Zukunft? In welche Richtung möchtest du mit deiner Agentur gehen? Wollt ihr euch auch auf dem internationalen Markt positionieren?

Wir wollen mit Odernichtoderdoch gern eigene Shops eröffnen. Ich träume von einem Laden, in dem es immer nach Waffeln riecht und man nicht nur shoppen, sondern auch auf gemütlichen Sesseln entspannen kann.

An welchem Punkt hast du dir gedacht: „Nur fotografieren reicht mir nicht“?

Auf Pinterest, YouTube und Co findet man so viel Inspiration und es ist leicht geworden, sich Dinge selbst beizubringen. Man hat auf einmal so viel mehr Möglichkeiten und fängt an, Fotografie und Text zu kombinieren, Text und Design, Design und HTML… Die Kette ist endlos. Je mehr man sich beibringt, desto mehr Möglichkeiten und Ideen hat man. “Nur Fotografie” hat mich irgendwann nicht mehr gereizt, es gibt einfach viel zu viele tolle Arten, sich kreativ auszuleben.

Welche Literatur kannst du empfehlen für Leute die mehr über Digitales Marketing lernen wollen? Oder hast du alles was du heute weißt durch „learning by doing“ erreicht?

Das meiste lernt man dadurch, sich täglich auf den Sozialen Medien rumzutreiben. Da ich selbst auch Blogger war/bin, habe ich beide Seiten kennengelernt und wusste genau, was geht und was gar nicht geht. Es war ein Prozess, in dem man immer wieder dazugelernt hat. Gute Literatur zu dem Thema kenne ich gar nicht – hier zählt ein gutes menschliches Einfühlungsvermögen, das Interesse an Bloggern und Influencern und die Nähe zur Zielgruppe. Man muss in diese Welt eintauchen, um sie zu verstehen.

Was ist das Beste an deinem Job und daran dein eigener Chef zu sein? Was ist das anstrengendste daran?

Alleine zu arbeiten hat mich unglücklich gemacht. Ich brauche Leute um mich herum, die mich motivieren und inspirieren. Ich weiß, für wen ich morgens aufstehe und für wen das Büro hübsch ausgestattet sein soll. Es ist wie eine Familie, für die man alles tun würde. Anstrengend ist es eigentlich nur bei unangenehmen Aufgaben, z.B. Kritikgesprächen mit Mitarbeitern. Sowas macht man nicht gerne, aber Spannungen müssen sofort aus der Welt geschaffen werden – das Klima am Arbeitsplatz ist das Wichtigste für den Zusammenhalt des ganzen Teams.

An dieser Stelle nochmal ein dickes Dankeschön an Joana! 

Joana 2

EXPERTS

What are the “great minds”, the intellectuals in your field? Who are the innovators? Describe the expert landscape : who is leading the change in your profession?  Who can you think of from “outside” your profession  who could have a great influence (from another field)?

The Experts in Communication with special regard to my “Domain 7”

Who are the leaders, the great minds in communication? Of course – at first the common communication theorists pop up in my head: Gerbner, Stappers, Lasswell and so on. The communication theories we learned in university and I believe are relevant to the communication field. But do they form the field, change the landscape of communication?

Well, maybe not. Communication is what everyone does, so in general we are all influencing the communication landscape.

Looking at the professional field, I strongly believed that brands, marketeers, PR practitioners are influencing the communication landscape the most. They determine what we talk about, what we post about on Facebook and what we eventually buy in the end. At least this is what I thought before my internship – Regarding the digital communication landscape (my Domain 7), Blogger, Instagrammer and YouTuber have by far the most influence. I was basically shocked by the influence they have: thousands and millions of follower, a crazy click rate for blogposts and an incredible amount of likes for photos on Social Media. Agencies and brands basically beg for the people with a high amount of reach and with a large community because they want to do collaborations with them. Collaboration in this cases mean that they get money for promoting a product or service on their channel (and believe me it is not a little amount). I think this concept has a great influence on the communication and digital landscape nowadays. Where will it lead us? I do not know, but I believe that this form of communication and influencing gets bigger and bigger. We rather buy products when people behind a camera, which seem as normal as you and me, say it is a good lip balm/ eyeliner/ clothing brand/ taxi service/…. than when brands advertise their products.

Since social media is the medium to bring across this form of communication, also the founders, creators and designers of social media have a great influence on the communication landscape. They determine how photos and videos are displayed, which algorithms are used to show us the content we want to see and how money via social media channels can be made.

I believe that communication is a vital thing, which can be influenced by many means and actors. Of course also from outside the communication sector. In China for example, blogger relations and Instagram collaborations would never happen. Why? Well, because the politicians restrict the internet and therefore alter the communication landscape.

These are some thoughts on the digital communication landscape, as I experienced it in my internship and what I believe is important to think about now. It might be only my own opinion, and I would be happy to get into discussion with people who might see it differently. 🙂

SCIENCE

Read 3-5 scientific (peer reviewed) articles related to your “domain 7”and critically reflect upon them in the context of your internship/study environment.

“Mapping and leveraging influencers in social media to shape corporate brand perceptions” by Booth & Matic (2011)

Summary:

The article is mainly about how “nobodies” become “somebodies” and are now “demanding the attention of communication profesionals” (Booth; Matic, 2011). The new “somebodies” are now creating a revitalized level of awareness for brands and companies. The article further elaborates on the fact that communication professionals should interact with these “somebodies” to establish effective outreach strategies (e.g. in Marketing, PR, etc.). The article further suggest that a successful social media approach for optimizing a brand’s image or sales should include these new influencers and that communication professionals (e.g. from an agency) are responsible for integrating the influencer in the social media strategy.

My opinion:

This article supports my view on the experts in the communication field and more specifically in the digital communication landscape, as I mapped it out in the previous assignment already. As I experienced it in my internship, the new “somebodies” really have a great deal of influence on both: public and communication professionals. We as an agency had to map out influencers for our client, and give advice on who to approach. We also were responsible for approaching the influencers and negotiate about possible payment. I experienced the business as crazy. These people started as totally “nobodies” and established a large community with their beauty blogs, fashion hauls and follow-me-around vlogs. And they make a great deal of money with it! So I agree with Booth and Matic and would go even further and say, online marketing now should have a great deal of influencer marketing incorporated.

 

“The Impact of Social Media Marketing on Brand Loyalty” by Erdogmus & Cicek (2012)

Summary:

The article is concerned on how to build and mantained customer loyalty and what the role of social media could be. The article gives a detailed overview about the research conducted (costumer who follow at least one brand on social media in Turkey, 338 participants, stepwise multiple regression analysis). The result of the study is that brand loyalty is indeed affected by social media. Social media affects the brand loyalty of customers positively when a brand:

  1. Offers advantageous campaigns
  2. Offers relevant content on Social Media
  3. Offer popular content on Social Media
  4. Appears on various different Social Media platforms / Offer applications on Social Media

To go in detail about the content customer want to see on social media: customer prefer to see, share and like funny content, technological content and music content.

My opinion:

In my internship I was responsible for monitoring various social media channels for different clients like Alete, iglo, HP, PayPal etc. In addition I was also responsible for creating content for these channels.

To establish brand loyalty is a very hard task, but I agree with the authors that social media can play a vital role in establishing it. Still I believe that the authors might be too broad in their assumptions. I was responsible for different kind of clients, from different sectors and for every sector the content that was shared and liked most was varying. For Alete (a baby food brand) emotional content was most successful and established more fans and loyalty. For HP technological and funny content was most successful, whereby for PayPal online security posts where generating a lot of traffic and interaction. I think the authors were too broad when stating what content is liked: I think it should vary for every target group. Funny content might work for some brands, but not for all (imagine an NGO who is collecting money for starving children – funny content would be inappropriate).

“Do brands targeting women use instamarketing differently: a content analysis” by Hassan (2014)

Summary:

The article analysed five retail companies and their Instagram marketing efforts. These brand specifically target women. The article contrasts Instagram marketing targeting women with Instagram marketing aimed at the general public. The article first gives a background to social media use for brands, e.g. that it opens a dialogue between brand and customer. The article then talks in detail about how the analysis of five big brands that target women took place. Hassan uses the strategies used by Goor (Self efficacy, sales response, relationship, emotion) to get insights how women get persuaded on Instagram. The results show that brands aiming at women as their target group vary more in the use of strategies than when targeting the general ppublic. Additionally the study showed that brands who target women tend to prefer sales response and emotions strategy. The results suggest that women tend to purchase more impulsive and that brands clearly should target women different on Instagram than the general public.

My opinion:

In my internship I did a lot of Instagram content for the baby food brand Alete which was in fact only targeted at women. I totally agree with the fact that emotional content was highly successful for this target group. I think that a brand should always adjust its advertising strategy according to its target audience and that a general public simply does not exist. You cannot reach everyone with the same advertising efforts. In addition I believe that when choosing Instagram as a platform for marketing, you already choose some sort of a target group, since Instagram is mainly used by younger generations and women are on this social medium in the majority. So I do agree with Hassan about the difference in targeting women, but would say that the comparison with the “general” public is a bit vague and might be not the best to compare with.

BRAINSTORM

Organize a brainstorm session with 3-5 people who can help motivate you to create ideas with the help of the “design thinking” model. After the session, create a prototype for the brochure to explain that idea to an investor.

My prototype –  my own digital PR and content agency (a dream of freelance)

I am not entirely sure if I understood this assignment a 100%, but I decided to create a brochure for launching my own freelance service as a digital consultant and content creator for social media channels for brands. I did this brainstorm session with some work collegues from Edelman, back when I did my internship there. It was just a fun meeting and we brainstormed about: how would you go freelance in today’s communication agency landscape. These are our findings:

  1. Build a network! Maybe through working in a digital/PR agency for a couple of years until you build your own network of clients.
  2. Trust in yourself!
  3. Be curious – never stop learning. Read a lot about the newest trends in digital marketing, learn how to professionally take photos (for the content creation) and be active on the relevant social media channels to stay up to date on what consumers want.
  4. Be the best!
  5. Own the right equipment!
  6. Love what you do!

Katharina blenk (1)

SELF REFLECTION YEAR 3

After finishing all the assignments for my third year of the Honours Programme, I looked back on everything I did during the year and I realized that I was intensifly trying to achieve my Domain 7 competency. Of course, I was also able to master the other Domains, but in general I was maybe a little too much focused on gaining knowledge and experience in the Domain Digital Communication. The explanation, why my focus was on this Domain is easy: 1. I did my internship in the field and I was very enthusiastic about my time at Edelman and 2. It interestes me a lot (and maybe also the most ;)).

I will also send the Excel sheet to my Honours Mentor but I like to take some time and space here to reflect on each Domain, what I achieved in my third year and on what Domains I want to work more on my fourth year of the programme.

Contextual Intelligence

The ability  to appraise, explain and evaluate dynamic contextual variables inherent in a complex and changing environment. 

I think I mastered contextual intelligence when I learned about SEO and wrote this blogpost about it to “Pass it on”. It was quite hard in the beginning to understand how everything works together when it comes to SEO and SEA, but I hope my blogpost will teach you on what it is, how it is utilized and in what broader context it should be understood. The world of Google is changing constantly, so you really have to understand how it works in order to adapt to it quickly.

In addition I was evaluating the articles I read in the “Science” assignment, so I think I learned contextual intelligence there as well. Not only did I read the articles and summarized it, but I also formed my own opinion about what was said, critically analyzed it and compared it to the things I learned in my internship.

Still, I hope to enlargen my contextual intelligence in projects in Year 4, to be even more able to understand the complex coherences of the world. Especially since I am doing the PA specialization, I like to find out more about the political coherences in world affairs.

Creativity and Innovation

Ability to generate new ideas within or across domains of knowledge, drawing upon or transcending with established rules, relationships, forms and methods. 

I consider myself as a pretty creative and innovative person and I think that this Domain is not the main concern for me to work on. I love design and photography and I showed creativity and innovation already in the first year of Honours when I took the interdisciplinary courses “Honours Design Challenge” and “Creativity and Entrepreneurship”. In addition we shot all the pictures for our foodblog ourselves, had a cooperation with a media designer to create our logo and handcrafted goodie bags for our dinner crawl.

But of course also this year I wanted to work on my creativity and innovation abilities. This is why I took the mentioned online course, which was full of creativity: I e.g. had to transcend the rules of art and create motives with every day objects and play a lot with composition and think out of the box.

In the “Pass it on” assignment creativity was also demanded. This might slipped my mind, since I was so enthusiastic to pass on my knowledge about SEO and SEA. I still hope the post was written creatively and illustrated the topic in an entertaining way when using the SimplyScience example.

The “Brainstorm” assignment also asked for creativity and I think, this was achieved quite easily. Brainstorm sessions are mostly creative as well as innovative and the prototype I created after the session was enthusiastically designed with a new online seign tool I teached myself.

I like if my work breathes creativity, so I will keep up working on my creativity in Year 4. Still this will not be my main focus, since I think I am already very creative.

Expression and Literacy

Ability to participate and express in the media-saturated, information-rich society. 

This Domain should have among other things achieved by the “Inspiration” assignment. Although I had mail contact with my role model, which is a photographer close to my hometown, who managed to grow her little freelance photography in a media consulting and content creation creative agency with own stationery collection, I was not yet able to make the interview with her. If I will not manage before the summer, I will hand it in in Year 4.

In addition does the assignment “Social Activation” require Expression and Literacy. I am not sure if I understood how and why, this assignment was chosen to strengthen the ability to participate and express in the media-saturated, information-rich society, since the focus is in my opinion not so much on media and information.

I still think that I achieved with all the assignments a quite god level of expression and literacy. My posts are straight to the point and capture the essence, while being entertaining.

In addition was expression and literacy a huge part og my internship, since I learned how communicate professionally with clients and e.g. create social media posts with impact.

Initiative & Curiosity

Ability to taking initiative, is doing more than is required or expected in the job. Ability to ask questions to find more information or search for a solution, being interested in the theoretical backgrounds, as well as in matters of applicability in specific situations.

I certainly did more than was required in the “Social Activation” assignment. We took the initiative to organise our own little event in university and it was a huge success. 🙂 Also in the “Pass it on” assignments I showed curiosity to dive deeper into the topic and create a teaching post about it. In addition I did not only pass on my knowledge from the internship, but I was also curious to see how it would work for my personal blog and I always do research on Google AdWords before tagging my travel-blogposts.

Of course also the brainstorm and creating of a prototype was filled with creativity and curiosity. I took the initiative and organized it in the first place and then we discussed: What would you need to do in order to start a freelance consulting service? How could a brochure look like? What information should be on there? This assignment was one of my most creative ones and I think, I (and we as a brainstorm group) did a good job.

Out of curiosity I also chose the online course I followed. I wanted to know how to give my photography and my media design more meaning, how composition can alter the meaning of an image immensly and I think I implemented it already in my travel photography and some media design jobs.

Social Citizenship

A “Social Citizen” is consciously and actively part of a globally connected and complex world and contributes to the community’s values and practices.

Of course the assignment “Social Activation” was dedicated to become more of a social citizen. We organized a culture, tradition and food exchange – which followed my previous Honours projects from last year, which all were dedicated to food and cultural learning. So I believe that I already achieved a great deal of Social Citizenship in the first Honours year and this event was a “follow-up” event to my previous ones.

Not only did the Honours assignments help me to reach Social Citizenship but also my time in Hamburg, working for an international PR agency and having a lot of contact with international clients and collegues and my study abroad in Taipei, where I met a lot of international and Taiwanese students, dived into a completely new culture and tried to adapt to the Asian way of living.

Strategic Thinking

Ability to adopt a helicopter view of a situation to uncover challenges and opportunities and turns these into valorized actions.

Of course the “Science” assignment somehow led to Strategic Thinking, since I was reading different scientific articles and analyzed them with my own knowledge. Maybe I could have gone more into depth and outline opportunities and challenges this knowledge brings with itself.

In the “Brainstorm” assignment we first brainstormed and therefore tried to establish an overview about the topic and then channeled the ideas and thoughts into specific actions, one should undertake in order to freelance as a digital media consultant. I think also this assignment helped me to achieve that my thinking got more strategic.

Also the “Professional Depth” assignment was dedicated to Strategic Thinking. I believe that I got a good overview about the conference topic, but I might not have the “helicopter” view on the topic and did not analyze it too critically. Back when I wrote the post, I was in this Digital bubble and maybe should have questioned the topic more in order to uncover the challenges and opportunities of the topic.

In general I would like to work on my Strategic Thinking domain in Year 4, in order to be able to achieve that I keep a “helicopter” view on things, to see opportunities and challenges clearer. This could help me for my future professional life and my dream of freelancing.

Digital Communication

Ability to understand, analyze and utilize digital communication and social media and navigate confidently through the the current digital communication landscape. 

My self – chosen domain. And probably also my favorite one! I believe I mastered this Domain throughout a lot of assignments in Year 3, like “Professional Depth”, “Brainstorm”, “Science” and “Experts”. In addition will my interview be with a woman who opened her own creative digital agency, which also belongs to my Domain 7.

I think I managed to succeed in this Domain and might focus less on it in Year 4 in order to grow in other Domains.

COMMUNITY LINE

Before arrival

Find a popular book written by a local author. Read it! You might learn more about the culture that you didn’t know. Blog your arrival and your book choice – don’t forget pictures!  ( blogs meant to be clear and to the point! 250-500 words

Taiwan A to Z – The Essential Cultural Guide

Before my big Taiwan adventure started I read the book “Taiwan A to Z – the essential cultural guide” by Amy C. Liu. The author is born in Taipei and immigrated to the US when she was 13. Since 1999 she lives again in Taipei and works for the Community Service Center as well as with major intercultural service providers globally to provide intercultural training and global leadership programs.

Her book is an inspiring guide about Taiwan, the amazing food you have to try, cultural habits, superstitions, customs, national holidays and much more.

The most interesting chapter was about indirect communication and how Taiwanese express themselves. Maintaining relationships is here the key: “The main function of communication is to maintain existing relationships among individuals, and to preserve harmony within a group”. She elaborates on the having and giving face and how imortant it is to Taiwanese people. When I arrived here in Taipei I recognized pretty early that saying “No” often includes loosing face and Taiwanese people try avoid it, even if they mean “No”. They mostly remain silent, which often means that they are still considering and that there is some objection which is not convenient to share openly for them. If they say “yes” it often means “I hear you” rather than agreeing to something. For me as a person from a low context culture this is sometimes hard to understand.

Another very interesting chapter was about gift giving. There are ceratin things you should never give to a Taiwanese person as a gift, e.g. clocks because the phrase “giving a clock” (song zhong) sounds like the phrase for sending someone off at their funeral.

This book really helped me to understand the Taiwanese culture and if I encountered a situation so far, that on the first look was weird for me, I remembered something I read in the book and adjusted my attitude towards the situation.

I am very happy that I have this book and learn so miuch about Taiwanese people, food and the culture with it.

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Be a tourist! Become a local!

Get to know your new home through the eyes of a tourist. Visit the major attractions, eat the local specialties. Next, find a local and get them to show you their town – away from the main attractions. Maybe they will take you home for a local meal? Learn about the neighborhoods and the things that are important to the locals. What has this exercise taught you about your new home – and we expect you to critically analyze your hew home culture. Blog your experiences – don’t forget pictures or video! 

Becoming a local in Taiwan is easy – or not?

One thing I have to say about this assignment: going to Taiwan means meeting locals and spending time with them. Taiwanese people are very interestd in the western way of life and our thoughts. Since I am here I spent a lot of time with Taiwanese people and made very good friends among them.

Some activities I did together with locals:

  1. Spending time on the night market. Always. It is just very handy to have a Taiwanese person at hand to translate the menus and tell which food is the best. And Taiwanese food is really amazing!!
  2. Visiting the temples in Taipei. You learn way more about the stories and different gods when going to a temple with a Taiwanese friend.
  3. Visiting sights in and around Taipei: like the zoo and some villages in the mountains. It is cool to see where the locals go.
  4. Visiting the presidents office with a Taiwanese lecturer, who lived several years in the UK and has a very good understanding about western and asian culture and culture clashes. We had a very deep conversation about the newly elected president of Taiwan and the relation to China.
  5. Going to Kenting (a city in the north at the seaside) with some Taiwanese friends.
  6. Visiting Kaoshiung and making a scooter tour with a Taiwanese girl to the Buddah Memorial Center.

And I hope there are many more activities to come!!

What I learnt about Taiwanese people is this: they are super friendly, it is hard for them to say no, sarcasm isn’t their favorite, waste speration is very important, they are proud to be Taiwanese, they love their food, they are very interested in western culture, bubble tea is basic food – always, they have a very low alcohol tolerance, they love to break the rules – but only sometimes ;), a lot of them cannot swim, what their parents say is valued a lot, they always try to help you if you are lost (even if they have to use their arms and legs to explain it) and so much more.

The country is so special and wonderful because of the people here. Still it is a completely different culture and sometimes it is hard to adjust to the local mindset. I am trying my best to dive into the culture as much as possible and I love experinece Taiwan together with Taiwanese people.

 

Where’s the Party?

Research a local festival, event or cultural celebration : then Attend and participate! Blog your experiences – don’t forget pictures or video!

Lanterns in Jingtong

I wrote a long blogpost with a lot of pictures about the Lantern festival in Jingtong! 🙂 You can find it here!

I hope there will be more festivals and cultural celebrations I will attend during my time here.

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