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Email is king – but what accounts for its reign?

Despite the rise of social media platforms and their multitude of messaging applications, email remains the go-to communications tool for exchanging messages in the business world. This simple, efficient, inexpensive way of sending and receiving text and visuals was credited as the single-most important way to communicate with clients and customers, according to a new study. All the apps of today fail to compare. Yet much remains unknown about how and why email is used and how effective it still is.

 

Somewhat off-message

 

While communication teams crave knowledge about how useful email and other communications channels are, there is a lack of agreement and ideas on what, exactly, we need to know about the sending and receiving of messages. Deciding what metrics should be used and how to even start measuring communications brings up big challenges. Internal measurement of communications in companies remains mysterious. Finding clarity will be of incalculable worth to digital marketers, since persuasive messages need to be received in optimal right way at the right time if they are to be most effective.

 

Don’t forget to write

 

While ROI and SEO rank highly in the minds of businesspeople and the PR firms that help promote them, the lack of attention paid to how information is exchanged in the information age is of growing concern. Marketers who are able to paint a picture of and take advantage of precisely what effective communication is stand to greatly boost potential in years to come. As IT continues speeding up communication and giving us more options on how to communicate, the metrics of effective messaging will be of increasingly great interest to anyone with something to say.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

Our award-winning communications team blends human interactions & digital engagement seamlessly to produce results for brands.

Best PR Agency Delivering PR | Social | Digital. 

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The problem with PR crises today

Fake news can be just as damaging as legitimately bad news. Crises are crises – even when they don’t really seem like they should be. A new consumer behaviour study states that over half of its respondents reported that they visit social media sites at least six times a day. And while social media are ideal platforms for digital marketers to cheaply and efficiently spread key messages about clients, they are also awash with fake news that can have a negatively impact.

 

Online, all the time

 

The 2019 Crisis Impact Report: How Consumers React to a Brand Crisis, which summarises the main messages of 2,000 buyers of all kinds of products, details how misinformation remains at scourge in the information age. The proliferation of social media has led to countess reports, blogs and posts on an endless variety of topics. Unfortunately, this means that untrue information about brands can spread with little notice. Professional crisis teams need to be ready to deftly counteract with facts and stories. Keep in mind that no two crises are identical; sometimes you simply have to go with your gut.

 

Do something; do the right thing

 

Consumers expect that their favourite companies will be first to learn of a problem and first to do something about it. Delay is associated with complicity, embarrassment, uncertainty or other unfortunate outcomes. A tactical delay can seem reasonable, yet often leads to deeper problems and smaller profits. Prudence is called for, but so is direct action and a consistent message spread far and wide, so as to limit any negative fallout from unwanted news. That being said, happily though, there’s enough information out there these days that things tend to be forgotten: the report emphasises how stories with negative news decrease by 70 per cent within four months after the bad news breaks. Happily enough, part of a successful strategy for rehabilitation a reputation is thus simply waiting out the clock without acerbating the situation.

 

Key moments for core messages

 

The thing about crises is that they are also windows of opportunity. Reinvention and refocusing on core principles is always a good idea, even in the good times, lest companies become overly complacent when rivals are hungrier.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

Our award-winning communications team blends human interactions & digital engagement seamlessly to produce results for brands.

Best PR Agency Delivering PR | Social | Digital. 

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The Russians are buying online

While Russia’s economic growth only sputtered along in the first half of this year, registering less than 1%, e-commerce in the country shows no signs of stopping. During the same six-month period, online shopping surged by a rate of 26 per cent. Despite sanctions from many Western nations and reluctance by some demographics to give up traditional shopping patterns, market analysts see the growth in e-business as a sign of good things to come.

 

Just in time for winter

 

The stunning growth accounts for over $US11 billion in sales of products and services spent on credit via smartphones and laptops. The longer distances to and simpler selections in brick-and-mortar stores, not to mention epically harsh weather conditions during the long Russian winter, goes far in showing why business trackers and digital marketers are confident that the trend will continue to grow in popularity. News of the convenience is spreading rapidly in small towns and villages across the world’s largest country. The changes to lifestyles are nothing less than revolutionary.

 

Just the beginning

 

The percentage of online sales in Russia is 6 per cent now, indicating just how much room for expansion and opportunity there is for companies who can tap into the market of netizens with rubbles to spend on wonders of all kinds from the wider world. Chinese manufacturers in particular are in prime position to cash in on the trend, for various factors related to long-term convenience, primarily logistics and price. And to think, just a generation ago a significant amount of trading across Russia took place in frenzied, five-minute stops along the Trans-Siberian railroad, with products being hastily lowered from the train to buyers and money handed up to sellers. All across mother Russia, the future is very much now.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

Our award-winning communications team blends human interactions & digital engagement seamlessly to produce results for brands.

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The art and craft of email -Part II

As the first half of this two-part blog described, the vast majority of emails go unread. The importance of making your email relevant and readable is thus not to be underestimated. One key tip is – as this should be well understood by now in the era of texting – is to keep to the point. Subjects should ideally be between six and 10 words long. In addition to reduced attention spans, and an IT incursion into all facets of life, most emails are now read on smartphones. The reader of your email may very well be in transit somewhere, navigating the physical world around them, so won’t have a lot of time to commit to reading your message – but also may very well have curiosity as to why you’re contacting them. So email well and be respectful of their mobility and the other worldly pressures.

 

Make your key message key again

 

Necessitating the recipient of your email to scan through several sentences before getting to the main point of your message is unadvisable. Don’t bury your key message. The first sentence your reader sees should almost always express your most important points. That being said, some cultural norms seep into email culture. For example, emails in Latin America often start with a bit of small talk rather before the main idea is expressed. But for the most part, it pays to be precise.

 

To be clear

 

Keep your main ideas clear and keep your words to the point. Brevity matters. In fact, in the era of texting, the subjects of emails can serve as the entire idea, and simply be followed by a message body that’s blank. Just sign off your short subject with “EOM” (End of message) or “NNTR” (No need to reply).

 

Keep positive

 

Another advantage of clear, short sentences and messages is that they prevent misinterpretation. A significant issue these days is that many emails are interpreted more negatively then the sender had in mind, and ambiguous words are taken to reflect ideas or a darker tone that the sender hadn’t intended to convey.

 

So what about emojis?

 

It depends. It helps if you know the receiver. While a smile in real life can work wonders, studies show that smileys are not their e-equivalents, but less effective conveyers of feelings. Worse emojis, may come off as overly informal or even unprofessional. More broadly, email ethics vary across cultures. Moreover, a lot of communication is sent through body language. So when you’re relying on messages sent mostly in just a few words, and mostly on smartphones, keep in mind that clarity is king.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

Our award-winning communications team blends human interactions & digital engagement seamlessly to produce results for brands.

Best PR Agency Delivering PR | Social | Digital. 

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The art and craft of email –Part I

An average of 280 billion emails are sent every day. That’s quite a lot. And, on balance, quite wasteful: nearly 80 per cent of them are never opened or dispatched to the junk box on sight with the help of algorithms. While social media and other communications innovations continue to change the nature of sharing ideas, email remains a key tool of modern business. Marketers who want their emails to be read need to be aware of how to maximize chances that their messages are getting across and have the potential to be acted on.

 

Lying in wait

 

There’s a lot of email entering your inbox that is not overtly a waste of time, and still needs to be sorted through. In fact, of course, it’s often rather relevant to business. One recent estimate is that the typical office employee is bequeathed a nice, round sum of 100 emails every day, and that they have approximately 200 unread emails lurking at any given time in their inbox. That’s a lot of email. So how to get noticed and be seen as merely one more contributor to one more addition to someone’s inbox intake?

 

10am on Tuesday

 

That’s the optimal time for sending an email and having it read and acted upon, according to an extensive analysis of this modern-day, yet somewhat dated communication tool. By midmorning on the second day of the workweek, the last weekend has started to fade from memory and the approaching weekend seems a bit too far off to fully envision. This enhances productivity, the peak of which is 10am on Tuesday, a study shows.

 

Make it personal

 

A short but heartfelt ‘Good seeing you yesterday’ or ‘Thanks for the coffee’ to start things off gives your email a boost of about 17 per cent that it will be read. In an increasingly impersonal world, genuine signs of humanity are welcomed and encouraged. Emails with a polite but meaningful yet non-robotic reference to a shared occasion or common acquaintance will help keep your message from being ignored.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

Our award-winning communications team blends human interactions & digital engagement seamlessly to produce results for brands.

Best PR Agency Delivering PR | Social | Digital. 

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The spectacular potential of quantum marketing

The future is now (and then, and both and neither of these things, perhaps). The much-anticipated quantum computer has arrived, thanks to – and this should be no surprise really – Google. While traditional computing is based on zeroes and ones, quantum computing turns this traditional state of “on” and “off” states to the next level. The stakes are high in what this means computers will be capable of doing for us and knowing about us, not to mention assisting and suggesting in purchasing decisions. The rules of traditional computing have just been upended, and the impact on society will be profound.

 

A whole new Google Earth

 

There’s a whole lot of Googling that will help you get your company noticed. Without Google Maps, your visibility is limited – make sure your company is listed and is located where on the app where it is actually situated in the real world. How about your SEO? When you Google for your firm’s name, how high is its placement on the world’s top search engine? What about Google AdWords? Is this increasingly popular service being used to your company’s advantage? While the world has grown accustomed to Google’s gargantuan influence in business and so many other fields, the tech giant’s recent claim of ‘quantum supremacy’ may be the biggest game changer of all. The US has sunk over $420 million into R&D for quantum computing, and the results are beginning to be felt worldwide.

 

The future is quantum

 

Digital marketing will never be the same after the implementation of quantum computing, which takes what have become digital norms and turns up the speed, potential and intensity, in a shocking variety of ways. The market for quantum computing will be estimated to be worth about $5US billion next year. That’s just the beginning. It is predicted that in just 20 years, there will not be sufficient bandwidth and energy required to keep all of the world’s computers running. A new type of computing is therefore needed looking just at this metric alone. Quantum computing is arriving just as it looks most needed. Forecasting and predicting and a range of problems that would had previously taken even the standard computers of today some time to solve, will be done much, much quicker on quantum computers. When quantum computing becomes more widely available to business, the effects on how we buy and sell things – and a whole lot more – will be subject to innovation and disruption cycles like nothing we’ve seen before.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

Our award-winning communications team blends human interactions & digital engagement seamlessly to produce results for brands.

Best PR Agency Delivering PR | Social | Digital. 

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Small businesses making big moves online

It’s all about standing out these days. Actually, it always has been, of course, but the rules are changing now more than ever, and even then it can be hard to stay on top of them, not only because they are constantly changing, but it is truly a mystery who is making them and even what they are. Nevertheless, there are many guidelines to creating and sustaining an attention-attracting business. When adhered they will help boost your chances of success in the complex world of digital marketing.

 

Stay on top of the situation

 

While there are countless platforms for sharing ideas today, there are a variety of strategies and tips that when practiced together can aid your chances of success. For starters, stay current about digital marketing about positioning small businesses, get to know everything you can about your target audiences and their spending habits, and make your key messages are easily adaptable to different mediums and ways of interacting with them, including smartphones, laptops, and tablets. Content-wise, make sure the information you project is both interesting and practical to your audiences and potential customers. Make sure your messages are being transmitted on a few social media platforms.

 

SEO time

 

Saying the right thing won’t matter as much if no one hears your message. For that, the intricacies of search engine optimisation must be paid attention to. Reading up on and receiving alerts on the latest SEO trends and tricks is a must if you want to keep in the minds of those who have the greatest effect on your ROI. The more digital inroads are made into once common advertising practices, the easier it is to make shifts when necessary. The more that firms proactively study what steps rivals are taking, which of them work, and which can be most easily adapted to messages and promotions for your particular products and services, the easier it is for your firm to do the same. And be prepared for even greater changes to business as usual – like quantum commuting – which are already on the way…

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

Our award-winning communications team blends human interactions & digital engagement seamlessly to produce results for brands.

Best PR Agency Delivering PR | Social | Digital. 

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Expecting the unexpected in PR

Reputation repairs are among the most relevant and risky jobs for any PR firm. But while the potential for damage is significant, so too are the chances for turning lemons into lemonade. By focusing on what public relations boils down to – engagingly relating to the public and providing them with key messages reflective of a client’s core principles – the worst can not only be averted, but transcended.

 

Old dogs, new tricks

 

Much of the problem these days relates to the proliferation of things digital. Ideas, especially those of an embarrassing or sensational nature, which tend to spread quickly through social media. Everyone’s a videographer. And a potential part of the paparazzi. Moreover, the newness of digital marketing continues to create opportunities for smallish problems to blow up into artificially big crises. Once the bad news hits, the key to it not allowing it to trigger a more significant, long-term financial problem is often simply making sure a strike force is ready to jump into action. In the information age, disrupting preexisting expectations of perceived job responsibilities and the reluctances to change old ways is essential. The bottom line is worth it.

 

In Twitter we trust

 

If crisis strikes, stay calm and head for cycberspace. Response teams need to be savvy in their pushback on multiple social media platforms to help mitigate unwanted news that actually often ends up being more profitable than formal campaigns. Part of the solution, though, is timeless: know your clients. If you don’t, PR companies are at the mercy of parties who do or claim to. But being knowledgeable about your client’s strong points is only one key part of being prepared. Another, not to be underestimated in the digital age, is knowing how to effectively spread the message and counteract less attractive messages. The old adage about there being no such thing as bad PR is put to the test in ways that would have been imaginable when the expression was coined. In today’s world, the nature of public relations and reputations are very much on the line if your team doesn’t make the most of spreading the good word about your firm online.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

Our award-winning communications team blends human interactions & digital engagement seamlessly to produce results for brands.

Best PR Agency Delivering PR | Social | Digital. 

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Splurging on me, electronically

What do you get when you combine the energies of the world’s largest e-commerce company and the world’s most popular pop star? An additional boost to what is the world’s biggest single-day spending phenomenon, organisers of Alibaba’s Singles’ Day hope. This year the day will be lent the considerable star power of Taylor Swift, who will highlight a spectacular show in Shanghai promoting the event. While November 11 is set aside as a holiday in various Western countries as Veterans Day, Armistice Day or Remembrance Day, in China the day is a 24-hour online shopping phenomenon that now outranks Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving once known as the biggest day in shopping.

 

Look East

 

For more than 10 years the Singles’ Day has surged, and now has assumed a primary position in the history of capitalism and marketing. Last year Alibaba earned a whopping US$30 billion in sales on November 11. This represented over an increase of over 25 per cent on the previous year, which in turn was nearly 40 more than in 2017. The message signaled this year with the inclusion of the ultimate marquee act that Swift – the world’s highest paid celebrity, who has a net worth of US$360 million – is that the online shopping king very much intends to extend its reign and defend its position as the go-to platform for buying all imaginable products and services.

 

Eleventh-hour bargains

 

The growingly popular one-day event for spending online takes inspiration from the greatest number of “1”s in the day’s date – 11/11 – as well as the demographic realities of fewer marriages, marriages taking place later in life, growing affluence and IT growth reflected in much of East Asia. The last-minute opportunities available for just an hour more after the clock ticks 11pm on the eleventh day of the eleventh month well represents the enthusiastic nature of the day, and the mushrooming opportunities for digital marketing in a world increasingly getting accustomed to going on shopping sprees while relaxing at home.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

Our award-winning communications team blends human interactions & digital engagement seamlessly to produce results for brands.

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Is your business AI-ready?

A complete AI takeover might seem far away, but it is growing rapidly to play a mainstream role in the future of business. Major global corporations have already adopted AI to strengthen their social media and consumer research. Even Thai companies have added AI to their communication process, using chatbots to keep customers engaged.

 

AI has the ability to observe, interpret and evaluate enormous amounts of data. In this process, it can uncover trends and patterns revealing extensive insights into consumers that can easily overwhelm the human mind. It takes seconds to do what a human mind can take days to comprehend.

 

The last revolution that reshaped the PR industry was the emergence of social media. It’s hard to envisage what AI can do for this industry, nevertheless another revolution is on the cards with a potential for us to do much more in a fraction of the time. Businesses need to be prepared to embrace the future when it knocks on our doors.

 

Learn AI and determine whether it will help your business

 

AI has been around since the 20th century, but there’s still a misguided fear among people that it will take all our jobs and change the world as we know it. This can be traced back to the lack of understanding about AI. Knowing what it can and cannot do will give you a clearer picture. In the case of PR, AI is incapable of completing tasks which require a human input like creating long-form content and making a connection with people. However, it can play a crucial supporting role to agencies by providing consumer insights and monitoring campaign progress. It is important to take time to research AI to harness its power to help your business.

 

Now that you know what AI is about, find out the value it adds to your business. The most important aspect from your business’s point of view is ROI. Test the waters with a pilot project adopting an AI tool that you believe could help your business. Experimentation is essential in this era of new technologies.

 

Making sure your team is AI-aware

 

AI can be complicated sometimes but it symbolizes the zenith of technological advancement, unlocking endless potential for businesses. A new era is just around the corner with AI leading the way and to thrive in this era teams must be prepared to welcome the change mentally and in practice. Training workshops, brainstorming sessions to gauge how AI could add value to the business and hiring tech-savvy employees are some of the things that could help your business make a move towards the future.

 

As the world is one-step closer to validating AI on a much larger scale, it is crucial for businesses of all industries including public relations, to be prepared to enjoy the fruits of a potentially life-changing technological advancement.

 

The Human & Digital Communications Agency

Our award-winning communications team blends human interactions & digital engagement seamlessly to produce results for brands.

Best PR Agency Delivering PR | Social | Digital. 

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