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“Get Creative, Get Weird, Get Noticed” Innovative Ways to Get Your Message Spread May, 2008.

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“Get Creative, Get Weird, Get Noticed” Innovative Ways to Get Your Message Spread May, 2008

“Get Creative, Get Weird, Get Noticed”

Innovative Ways to Get Your Message Spread

May, 2008

The Agenda

• Introduction• Word of Mouth• The Key: “Grassroots Multipliers”• Technology to Enable Your Effort• Getting Creative• Mobilizing Multipliers


Introduction: Today’s Presentation

• Getting a message spread• Word of mouth at grassroots level• Finding the spreaders• Using technology• Using creativity• Political focus, but lessons for brand/product

spreading as well

Introduction: John Hlinko

• John Hlinko – President & CEO– Early leader, MoveOn.org – Top 5 PR Professionals of the year, PR Week– DraftWesleyClark.com & DraftObama.org – Founder ActForLove.org– Lots of other awards from prominent adults (see

www.Grassroots.com if you’re curious)

And yes… he’s goıng to wın

Introduction: Grassroots Enterprise

• Serve the F-500, trade associations, nonprofits, governments– Investors are Reid Hoffman (LinkedIn) and Peter Thiel (Paypal)– Team has built and led some of most successful grassroots movements ever– Offices in DC, San Francisco, and Toronto

• Combine technology with communications strategy to build grassroots support for products, companies, and causes

– Identify and mobilize evangelists– Spread awareness and adoption of client offerings– Respond to regulatory, legislative or marketplace challenges

• Grassroots communications experts– Messages that work online, messages that are read and spread– Leveraging social networking/emerging media technologies

• We don’t just build web sites or communities, we build movements

What We Do

• Recruit– Design, architect, and build online presence – Connect with universe of existing stakeholders– Identify and recruit new stakeholders

• Engage– Use regular, frequent contact to build trusted two-way relationship– Build a compelling narrative– Build profiles using actively and passively provided information– Identify and cultivate “Multipliers”– Monitor and influence blogosphere/social media

• Mobilize– Recruit others through email, widgets, social media (e.g., Facebook,

YouTube, MySpace, personal blogs)

Selected Client Experience


• 2008– 3 “Best” awards (and counting) for use of social media

• 2007– Golden Dot—Outstanding National Online Campaign

• 2006 – More first place Internet Pollies than any other firm (6 in total)

– PR Week Top 5 PR Professional of the Year

• 2005– PR Week Campaign of the Year

– Sabre Award—Internet Site: Health Care

“The Grassroots team has a unique passion for the blogosphere, understanding how to knit together ads, site creative and ideas into a narrative that really engages online hyper-influentials...Their playfulness, passion, teamwork, theatrical intuition and risk-taking translate into uniquely effective campaigns.” - Henry Copeland, President, BlogAds.com

Word of Mouth Marketing

Why Is It Important?

The Media Landscape is Changing Rapidly

• Consumer skepticism: 76% don’t believe that companies tell the truth in advertisements (Yankelovich 2006)

• Media Fragmentation: The average US household now receives 100 TV channels, compared with 27 in 1994 (Nielsen Media Research 2005)

• Content Creation: 35% of internet users participate in creating media online

(Pew Internet 2006)

Word of Mouth Marketing

• The concept is simple: – Giving people a reason to talk about your products and services– Facilitating that conversation

• Why do it?– When it works: $0 CPA– 65% rely on friends/family most for product recommendations– In buying products, 85% rely on peer reviews than experts

• The practice is a bit harder– Authenticity– Transparency– Measurement and analytics– It’s more difficult than direct marketing

The Old Way….

The New Way…



What Does This Mean?New Opportunities….• Everyone has now has tools and platform

to help build your brand.• Platform encourages viral spread of

messages and memes across profiles• Opportunities exist to get people to

interact with issue on a deeper level

…New Challenges• Loss of control over positioning as consumers control

conversation • Everyone has now has tools and platform to tear down

your brand • Video or audio “mash-ups” of official branding or

messaging can go global• Conversations that used to happen offline are now

indexed and searchable

The Key to it All: The “Multipliers”

Who are the Grassroots Multipliers?

• Individual as publisher• “Brand advocates” “Mavens” “Influentials”• Vocal about their preferences• Willing to take action• Eager to recruit • Multipliers online and offline• One Multiplier = 5, 10, 50, 100, 1,000 others

What Content Inspires Multipliers?

• Topical/in the news• Emotionally impactful (humor, anger, etc.)• Cognitive dissonance • Dash of “Beavis and Butthead”• 117 emails • Ignore the “joy sponges”

Finding Multipliers using Technology

• Multiplier Mining: Not just spread, but read


Social Media Scan

Social Networking:

Social Media:

Social Bookmarking:

Social Media: Automatic “Multiplying”

• Items you add to your profile get spread to others in their news feed

• Post Items to Your Feed! News articles, videos, blog postings, photos – anything that promotes your issues

• As people join groups, become friends or add photos it is broadcast to their list of friends

• If a friend says he or she is associated with a product or cause, it’s a higher value touch point than just seeing a traditional ad

Social Media: Automatic “Multiplying”

Mobilizing Multipliers

• Measure what is spread• “Pitch” them like reporters• Get them active in their social media groups

Using Technology

Web Content ManagementEnable extremely rapid publishing and editing of customized and personalized information on the Web, and generation/moderation of user-generated content—e.g, blogging, rich media

Interactive CommunicationIntegration of personalized

e-mail, fax, and phone communications among organization, stakeholders and third-party decision-makers

Database and Results TrackingTrack and centrally store all stakeholder profile information, campaign activity and enable precision targeting. Provide excellent visibility into ROI, including actions taken and response rates by stakeholder group, geography, issue interest, etc.

TransactionsIntegrated online fundraising/ transaction capability, with ability to deliver targeted solicitations based on stakeholder profile and behavior

The Grassroots Multiplier® Platform

Customize and Personalize

• Identify individuals’ attributes, issue preferences and commitment levels for action

• Use actively and passively provided information• Customize and personalize on individual level• Engage across the spectrum of commitment

– Cultivate stakeholders and increase level of engagement– Make the right ask of the right person at the right time

• Measure results in real time and respond accordingly

Passive Support

Active Support

Engaged Participation

Fervent Participation

Logical Interest



Getting Creative: Case Studies

TFK: One Site? No, 200 Sites

Guerrilla Marketing for a Brand

DC Olympic Curling Team

• Issue driven campaign• Blog-driven media strategy• Became a phenomenon

– Minimal investment yet explosive growth in traffic

– Print coverage: Washington Post, Roll Call, Time Magazine

– TV: NBC, Fox, International– Online: Salon, innumerable blogs

• Labatt approached for sponsorship– Minimal investment = Explosive growth

in traffic – Coverage in Washington Post, Fox

News, Roll Call

• 2006 Viral/Email Campaign of Year

Entertainment Software Association

Video Game Voters Network

• New movement to mobilize adult gamers to take political action

• Over 10K signups in first week, over 150K at last count

• MySpace site launched to complement main effort

– Rapid growth, with prominent celebrity “friends” added quickly

– New paradigm for exponential expansion of support and reach

• Golden Dot finalist for “Online Campaign of the Year”

PC Ontario: Leveraging Social Networks

Draft Wesley Clark

• One of the most successful grassroots movements in American political history

• In under six months:– $2 million in pledges – Over 50,000 supporters – Hundreds of local chapters– Worldwide media coverage– Convinced Wesley Clark

to run• Received the 2004 “Golden

Dot” for “Best Breakout/Impact Internet Movement”

The “Sweet” Secret

CafePress.com: Not Just “Logo-Wear”

Mocking a Villain: NBCC

• “Golden Boob” award to highlight opponent

• Focus on “Abortion Breast Cancer Coalition”

• Generated grassroots firestorm

• Turned antipathy for opponent to support for cause

Using a Villain: Park the Movie

• Happy name coincidence• Existing villain• Focus on multipliers in

specific community

ActForLove.org: Power of Primal Urges

• Online dating – for Democrats

• Promoting causes and products

• “Take Action, Get Action”

Mobilizing Multipliers

Amplifying: DraftObama.org/YouTube

• Leveraged small support base to drive placement on YouTube

• Became top news YouTube video, which in turn caught attention of other YouTubers

• Became major media story in matter of hours

Amplifying: Great Big Sea

• Small but loyal base of fans cultivated online

• Driven to buy album during first week of release

• Led album of traditional Irish folk music to open #3 on the charts—beating Alicia Keys

• Large opening gave album enhanced media attention, legs

Amplifying: “Park” the Movie

• Leveraging focus on opening weekend in small market (Pittsburgh)

• Building a list of “pre-customers” in advance

• Using Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, and blog ads

• Stay tuned

Wrapping up

• Find and mobilize “Multipliers” – Social media audit– Measure what is read and spread– Pitch them like reporters

• Amplify the power of supporters– Channel action at the most buzz-worthy time– Take advantage of social media opportunities

• Use the power of a villain• Use the viral power of a cause

– Find a cause – even if tongue in cheek – to act as the viral “host mechanism” for your brand


John Hlinko

President & CEO, Grassroots Enterprise


[email protected]