2011 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,800 times in 2011. If it were a cable car, it would take about 47 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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7 Favourite IKEA Campaigns

This is my guest post for Higher and Higher by my friend Petya Georgieva. Petya is a PR professional in Bulgaria and an active blogger. I recommend you check out her PR blog and follow her on Twitter.

IKEA is well-known and recognised around the world for its affordable and smart furniture it sells in its huge blue and yellow stores across the world. The Swedish brand is also one of most innovative companies in terms of design, simplicity, user experience and marketing. In fact, IKEA campaigns have won various awards around the globe. The success and popularity of their campaigns are so high that every time a new campaign starts, creative agencies and marketing departments need to put more and more effort to maintain the level of ingenuity. And so far it seems to be working. IKEA campaigns continue to be original, creative and fun.

IKEA also understood the importance of different markets and carefully considers cultural differences when starting a campaign. The end products usually are quite different and amusing. Here I have selected some of my favourite campaigns by IKEA, each of them designed for a specific region.

IKEA Germany

This campaign was set to promote IKEA’s assembly service, where for a small rate per hour you can hire an IKEA employee to set up your newly bought furniture and spare you the extra hustle of doing it on your own. Although I have to say that some of the designs in the video catch the
eye…



IKEA Austria

IKEA comes from Sweden – a country where people are very open-minded and friendly. It is probably one of the reasons why Swedish people are quite comfortable with the topic of homosexuality.

And it seems that they’ve tried to transfer this in a TV spot for the Austrian market. Watch this hilarious ad with an unexpected twist at the end…

IKEA France

Paris is famous for its beautiful architecture, parks, fashion and recently, its subways. Have a look at how IKEA managed to transform a dull subway into a desirable place for people to hang out and take a break from the busy city life…







IKEA The Netherlands

This one is actually quite current. Here is the 365 campaign where IKEA commits to publish a different commercial everyday. This definitely requires great planning and organisational skills. Watch the video for more details…

IKEA Australia

This campaign was designed to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the IKEA catalogue. The great 3D street art quickly attracted a lot of spectators who were able to “dive” in the IKEA world…at least for a couple of minutes…

IKEA UK

This is another great and really funny campaign. With the help of stand-up comedians IKEA asks you to join the debate on who is messier – men or women? Seems like this is one of these on-going never-ending disputes. Can IKEA declare a clear winner? Well, for starters you can watch the video first and then cast your vote here

Last, but not least, I’d like to share my favourite with you.

This is IKEA The Kitchen campaign which promotes the brands ktichen line. When I go to IKEA I barely spend time looking at their kitchen department and I doubt that most people around my age do. But after watching this, I think the next time I’m at IKEA I will have a look at their kitchens…just for fun.

Oh, and I just can’t stop listening to this song!

And here is the whole version of the song:

My definition of social media

I just had a dream. It was a strange dream: I dreamt about social media. Or at least, there was a moment in this dream where I finally defined “social media” for myself.

For quite some time I was looking to formulate a simple and short explanation for my own use about what “social media” is. And also: why am I so fascinated with its world and power? Why should I continue to use it? I wanted to make this clear and not just rely on other people’s thoughts and impressions. I was also looking for a definition that fits within the Twitter-set limit of 140 characters – a definition would only work for me if it was to be concise and to the point.

Well, I think I finally have it. I finally have a definition about “social media” that fits within all the criteria I already mentioned and answers my questions. And this definition is good enough for me to even get me out of bed at 7 and inspire me to write this post.

But I think I kept you waiting for a while now and it’s high time I share my revelation about what I consider “social media” to be and why should I (and if you like it – you) embrace it and continue to use it. Here it is:

Social media takes down barriers and brings us together. And together, as people, we become empowered to change worlds.

And now it’s your turn: what is “social media” according to you? Why do you use it?

I’m looking forward to your thoughts!

Morning! Complete the sentence: A tweet a day…

Morning! Have you had your morning coffee yet?

Good morning!

It’s Monday and it’s time to roll up our sleeves and start a new and, hopefully, a productive week. We all have our daily routines and rituals at this time of the day and week to help us get going.

Last week, while I was talking with a friend of mine he asked me the following question:

How will you finish this sentence: A tweet a day… ?

So, I thought this was a good brain tease, especially early in the morning. Then I asked some of you on twitter and facebook for your own suggestions. As a result there were some very witty responses.

This time again I am asking you the same question – How will you complete the sentence “A tweet a day …?” You can respond wherever you want – on twitter, facebook, or here in the comments.

In fact, to make it more fun (and easier to follow) use the hashtag #atweetaday on twitter.

Let’s get these brains all fired up!

Oh, and here is a list with some of the suggestions I’ve received last week:

@Icindo A Tweet a day… Will make me Sweet like a Fay! 😉

@digitives A tweet a day … makes the bird okay 😉

@_E_L_L_Y_ A tweet a day… is just a better way of starting the day with a “hey” 🙂

FB: Dian Nedyalkov A tweet a day….no way 😉

FB: Katina Kostova A tweet a day… makes your hair gray 😛 But twenty make you look friendly.

@maringerov A tweet a day… keeps the smartphone away.

@W2erner A tweet a day will result in exactly 33 tweets in the beginning of May.

@maevanheijst a tweet a day is not enough to tell you what i want to say

@AmberCadabra A tweet a day…can set off an avalanch of lost productivity if you’re not careful? 😉

Take care and have an enjoyable and productive week!

Marin

The GREAT Ayrton Senna – honest, inspiring and very personal

It is hard to put into words how I feel when listening to this remarkable speech by Ayrton Senna – one of the greatest Formula 1 drivers of all times. First of all, it is very personal to me, because I can relate to everything he says. Second, it is my belief that we are in control of our own lives and it is with great discipline, devotion, determination and clear goals in life that we can achieve success.

Do you find these words touching? Can you relate?

3 PR lessons from the Charlie Sheen saga

Picture from @charliesheen 's Twitter stream

Charlie Sheen. Over the last couple of days you’ve heard a lot about him. The stories have been everywhere – press, TV, internet, radio. Putting aside the players and issues in this story, I’d like to focus your attention on three communication practices which I believe the actor’s public relations team has been doing really well.

Express clearly your side of the story and stick with it!

First, and most important of all, over the last week the actor and his team of publicists have been openly sharing their side of the story. Charlie Sheen, being a spokesperson for himself, tells his story in a transparent, honest and direct way, in a language that is easy to understand by everyone. The message he wants to communicate is very clear, he sticks with it all the time, and repeats it confidently over and over again – he is clean, ready to get back to work, and the twitter hashtags #winning and #tigerblood are well-known nowadays.

In contrast, there has been almost no word from the camps of Chuck Lorre and CBS. Those two parties have missed on the opportunity to present to the wider audience their own side of the story. As a result of that, the public might turn against them in the near future and take the side of Sheen later. Hearing only statements like “no comment” will most certainly not help their cause.

Increase exposure to your message!

Second, the actor’s camp has generated enormous level of exposure for their message. Charlie Sheen interviews have been broadcasted, published and streamed all over the place. And all of them happened in the time frame of 48 hours! Moreover, various different media have been utilised to help increase the exposure levels. You open a newspaper and you read about the actor. You switch on the TV and you can see an interview with him. You tun on the radio and you can immediately recognise his husky voice. You go online and you are overwhelmed by the amount of material streaming across various social networks, blogs and other sites. You simply can’t avoid it – you’ve been exposed to the message. Job well done PR Team Charlie!

Pay attention to new technologies!

Third, Charlie Sheen’s communications team did not ignore the importance of new technologies. In this particular case, the actor’s team acted quickly to get him on Twitter and start spreading the message on the social network. And what a result that was! His account (@charliesheen) has become the fastest growing twitter account ever. In two days the actor accumulated more than 900 000 followers. At the time I am writing this post he has more than 1,3 million followers! No one has ever done that in such amount of time. By starting a Twitter account, the actor quickly expanded his network and was presented with a great platform where he can express all his thoughts. Using this medium, the actor can easily share his side of the story and continue to increase the exposure to his message.

To sum up, going in front of the public with a clear, honest and easy to understand message, using various media to increase the exposure to this message, and adopting new communication technologies has allowed Charlie Sheen to present his side of the story surrounding his personal life to a broad and influential audience.

This is what I find most interesting from this whole story. What about you? Can you infer any other good communication practices from this case study? Let me know in the comments!

The most important media corporation – YOU!

The most important media corporation!

I believe that in today’s interconnected world each and every one of us is a media corporation with several media outlets. If you are reading this, you are a member of my audience. You probably found this content on platforms like WordPress, Facebook, Twitter or similar. So, you’re also using these channels. You produce, consume and share content on them. Therefore, these are your media outlets – all of them part of your media corporation: YOU. We can also look at it as your personal brand.
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