About Stephen Waddington

Stephen is a Partner and Chief Engagement Officer, Ketchum and Visiting Professor in Practice, Newcastle University. Chairman of Future Proof policy unit and Past President, CIPR. Author of Brand Anarchy and #BrandVandals; and editor and contributor to Share This and Share This Too. Connect with him on Twitter: @wadds

Author Archive | Stephen Waddington

Working With Wikipedia

Critics claim that Wikipedia has become too powerful and that it operates without the recognized processes or oversight common for more traditional media. While errors in traditional media can be dealt with swiftly through well-established processes, the process of introducing changes to Wikipedia’s pages is different. This is the issue that puts Wikipedia in conflict with the public relations industry.

However, engaging with Wikipedia correctly represents a massive opportunity. Wikipedia is the sixth most popular website in the world according to web information firm Alexa; beaten only by Facebook, Google, YouTube, Yahoo and Baidu.com. It is a crowdsourced online encyclopaedia of more than 20 million topics in 285 different languages and is frequently the starting point for online research.

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Four Lessons From Hanging Out With Google Glass

I caught up with Ketchum’s Ben Foster via a Google Hangout earlier this week. He’s a senior member of our US digital team and a teacher at DePaul University, Chicago. Foster has been trialling Google Glass for the last month or so, after making a pitch to be part of the #IfIHadGlass project.

We talked about his pitch and what he’s learned about how content is served from Google Now or Wikipedia, and recorded via the wearable device. Always-on content marketing is an increasingly popular means of brand engagement. Yet Glass provides one of the first opportunities for brands to truly engage with consumers in a continuous and predictive way.

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Camp Ketchum: Winning on the Communication Battlefield

The fragmentation of media brought about by the Internet has made engagement between an organization and its audiences more complicated than ever before. But there is also a significant upside. Digital and social forms of media make it easier to understand audience behaviors and motivations.

The result is that communications has an emerging role at the highest levels within organizations. It also means that public relations agencies are increasingly competing with other marketing and management disciplines.

This emerging battlefield was the topic of a presentation that Zocalo CEO, Paul Rand, and I gave today at Camp Ketchum in Mont Treblanc, Quebec. It’s a battlefield where we’re fighting in new business situations to assert our value against advertising, digital, and media agencies, as well as management consultancies.

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CEOs Failing to Use Social Media as a Leadership Platform

Leadership is in crisis. That’s the headline from the 2013 Ketchum Leadership Communication Monitor (KLCM) .

Less than a quarter of people around the world believe that business leaders are providing effective leadership. It’s shameful and my view is that it could be so different if leaders embraced new forms of media.

KLCM is an annual analysis of the impact of leadership communication on the reputation of organizations. We seek out the viewpoint of 6,000 people in 12 countries.

In 2013 the study found that effective communication is the top attribute of great leadership for the second year in a row. 75 percent of respondents viewed effective communication as very important to leadership. The link is irrefutable.

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What’s New on Google+

Google announced a slew of developments to Google+ at Google I/O last week. Google+ combined with Google search, is an influencer management system that enables Google to build a social graph of each user and a semantic history of their web usage. We’ve spent the last few days reviewing the new additions to Google+ and road testing some of the new features to understand what they mean for audience engagement.

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Tom Foremski: Corporate Media Could Displace Traditional Media But Must Be Audience-led

Corporations have spotted a gaping hole in the market left by traditional media and are attempting to fill it with their own forms of corporate media.

But according to former-Financial Times journalist turned media entrepreneur Tom Foremski, corporates are failing to connect with their audiences and there are very few successful examples of the genre.

Foremski was interviewed by communication consultant Stuart Bruce at a CIPR PR Thought Leader briefing in London last week.

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10 Ways to Use an iPad for Public Relations

I’m increasingly on the road in my role at Ketchum. My iPad has become an invaluable piece of kit for working on the move.

The functionality and productivity benefit of apps is so good that it’s almost become possible to run a communication team or public relations agency from a tablet device.

Here’s a list of ten areas of PR that can be facilitated with the iPad:

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Do PRs Need to Jump Onto Google+?

If you’re a PR professional you’re almost certainly busy. So is Google+ something worth investing your time in if you are already on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter? The answer is firmly yes.

Changes to Google’s search algorithm in the last 18 months or so, combined with Google+ and Author Rank – have created an opportunity ideally suited to the skills of the public relations industry.

Google+ was followed in April 2012 by a second change to the Google search algorithm called Penguin. This removed sites that had built their authority by building low quality spam links.

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A Six-Second Revolution: 10 Ways to Use Twitter’s Vine

Twitter introduced a video service recently called Vine. It enables you to create a six second video and share it with your social network.

It has huge potential as a means of storytelling for communication, marketing and public relations. Brands such as Gap, The Daily Beast, NBC News and Urban Outfitters have been quick to jump on board.

The app is only available on iOS at the moment. There’s no news of when other flavors such Android will be available but according to Twitter’s Vice President of Product, Michael Sippey they are in the works.

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Social Media Wake-up Call for Laggards

How do you convince skeptical managers of the value and benefit of social media?

That was a question that was raised at a conference for the further education sector last week where I gave a keynote on social media and reputation management.

The digital marketing event in London, UK, was hosted by the Association of Colleges. The audience was made up of communication and marketing practitioners from further education colleges in the UK.

The primary audience for colleges is 16 to 18-years-olds seeking both academic and vocational qualifications. Every piece of available data reports that this audience segment has a voracious appetite for social media and its consumption of traditional media is diminishing fast.

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