Tag Archives: Social Media

Instant feedback boosts engagement


veski live tweet image_v4


When you plan your next event, don’t forget to include a Twitter hashtag to ensure the conversation continues long after the last guest has departed.

We have been in event planning mode for the past few months to celebrate our client veski’s significant milestone – 10 years of inspiring innovation – and make it as memorable and as momentous as possible.

Last week was chock-a-block full of events, media and celebrations, culminating in a gala dinner over the weekend on the evening of the actual anniversary. More to come on these events in upcoming blog posts!

It has involved a plethora of plans, run sheets, speech notes, venue theming, collateral writing and design and to top it all off ensuring there’s a Twitter hashtag for audience participation and to capture the conversation.

Among the events to celebrate the milestone was an industry symposium: Smart Australia 2030 at Federation Square.

When you bring an engaged audience and leading minds together to talk about the future of the country you’re going to get lots of involvement.

So, if you don’t have the right hashtag you’re going to miss out on all the valuable comments and ideas from the audience.


Here are some of the tweets from the #veski2030 symposium

veski live tweets_FA


Listen to your audience

When you listen to your audience you get instant and valuable feedback.

The next time you’re planning an event, don’t forget to include social media as part of your engagement strategy—what’s your hashtag, how are you going to manage the comments during the events and how will you ensure all participates by know how to follow the conversation.

Running on social media


In November 2009, 25 emergency service workers donated a month of their annual leave to run 6,021km from Cooktown to Melbourne. Their aim was to highlight the impacts of climate change to the social, economic and ecological health of Australia, as well as the potential solutions.

the c word was approached to develop a social media campaign for Run for a Safe Climate. Our crew became the “Official Social Media Partner” and implemented a six-week campaign using Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr and blogs to:

  • increase awareness of Safe Climate Australia and Run for a Safe Climate
  • begin a conversation with people on social networks across Australia
  • increase awareness of local initiatives and solutions

We achieved significant support across multiple social media channels, including more than 1,500 Facebook fans and 800 Twitter followers. We also reached an extended audience of 15,000 Facebook fans and 53,543 Twitter followers thanks to support from Cool Melbourne, Greenpeace and Green Cross and our 30 most-interactive Twitter followers.


Run for a Safe Climate is a fundraising and awareness-building campaign on behalf of Safe Climate Australia. The aim of this campaign was to highlight the impacts of, and potential solutions to, climate change in Australia.

Safe Climate Australia is a non-profit, non-partisan organisation launched by Al Gore in July 2009 and formed by concerned climate scientists, and community and business leaders with a shared understanding of the need for emergency action to restore a safe climate.


the c word had a crew of three communication professionals working tirelessly during the six-week campaign. Our days were rigidly organised to ensure we were monitoring and updating the various social networking channels from early morning to late evening.

phase 1: Preparation

Preparation for a social media campaign is as important as training for a run. We started by brainstorming ideas and preparing a comprehensive social media strategy covering the relevant channels, including an action plan for each tool. While Twitter, Facebook and the blog were the primary focus; we also used Flickr, Twitpic, YouTube and Google Reader.

Next, we educated the runners and support crew about what was required from them to keep the social media content flowing and engaging. Many were basic Facebook users but hadn’t had much exposure to Twitter. Rather than teaching them to Tweet from their own devices, we decided to manage the content by collecting updates via text messages.

We developed a blog calendar to guide our content and also collected facts and trivia about every destination we were visiting. We also prepared runner profiles, strategically followed people on Twitter, posted calls of support to Facebook fans and drafted blog posts about the route, destinations and community forums. The final activity was the development of a social media pack for bloggers.

While social media is a powerful communication tool, it can be enhanced with traditional communication. Before the Run began, phone calls were made to Victoria Police, Melbourne Metropolitan Fire Brigade, Country Fire Association and Cool Melbourne to garner support across social media. As a result, we tapped into such well-established resources potentially adding another 100,000 people to the potential campaign audiences.

phase 2: The launch

On the day of the launch, the c word tweeted and twitpic-ed at the media launch and the official launch. We also posted photos across Flickr and Facebook, and posted an overview on the blog.

phase 3: The Run begins

Despite not spending the whole time on the road, we posted daily updates on the blog, Twitter and Facebook to keep fans and followers updated. The first few days were a little quiet due to the remoteness of the location and a lack of phone reception. However, a steady flow of text messages, images and updates continued for the 28-day journey. The personal approach and authentic personality of the updates and images resonated with fans and followers and resulted in support through retweets, blog posts and Facebook interactions.

Daily blog posts about upcoming destinations, weather conditions and runner profiles were uploaded throughout the day. Google Reader was used constantly to identify relevant blogs to pitch to, Twitter people to follow and to monitor online coverage.

As well as posting updates about the Run itself, we were continually monitoring other relevant topics to share with our followers. We also maintained high levels of communication engagement by continually responding to messages of support from fans and followers. The immediacy of the responses allowed people to engage with the run and develop strong ties. This translated into calls of action from many fans, messages of support and even fundraising efforts.

@janstewart @thecwordagency & @frombecca tweeting from Sydney community forum

phase 4: The last kilometres and after the Run

The final day was a big day for the runners and a huge day for the social media crew, with updates and images being uploaded regularly to give supporters in other states a chance to be a part of the festivities. This was one of the busiest days of support and the twitpic of the ‘000 Climate Emergency’ human sign received the most views of all our images.


One of the initial challenges was timing. We only had a couple of weeks to develop the campaign before the Run began. It also followed successful social media campaigns for Youth Decide and EnviroWeek which created a level of ‘Green Fatigue’. And there was competing noise with Copenhagen fast approaching, Liberal Party leadership challenges and the Senate’s rejection of the Emission Trading Scheme.


Overall, the campaign was an extreme success with social media tapping into more people than the 30 community events taking place along the route. With the potential reach of fans and followers exceeding 60,000 in such a short time frame, the results exceeded our expectations.

Champions such as Twitter followers @unenergy, @FollowMeAussie, @frombecca and @AdamBandt helped spread the word to their supporters and were very vocal in increasing our fan/followers base. We even secured messages of support from celebrities such as Mia Freedman and Biggest Loser’s Michelle Bridges.

The key outcomes from the campaign were:

  • Great foundation of 1,500 plus Facebook fans and more than 800 Twitter followers over a six-week period
  • Further reach of 15,000 fans via support from Cool Melbourne, Greenpeace and Green Cross and potential reach of our Top 30 most interactive Twitter followers is 53,543
  • Since October 2009, there have been a total of 8596 Facebook page views and an average of three interactions per post
  • Twitpics were extremely popular. Aerial shot received 394 views with an average of 39 views per image
  • Secured excellent social media exposure for major sponsor NAB and official automotive partner Mercedes Benz Cars Australia
  • More than 770 @replies/mentions during six-week campaign including 322 re-tweets and an average of 25.1 @replies/mentions per day while across Twitter it remains at 5.3
  • Several radio interviews were secured via Twitter connections

Although not a flawless campaign, it did re-affirm the need for an on-the-ground specialist and more importantly to need to draft and collate as much information and content as possible ahead of time. The destination posts and Town Trivia, which were developed early, proved to be a useful tool in delivering interesting yet relevant content, particularly when mobile phone reception was poor or the team was otherwise occupied.

With the foundation set, future campaigns have an amazing pool of resources to tap into. Twitter in particular has proven to be good for marshalling active supporters – which we’ve seen for following campaigns such as Walk Against Warming – and with ample preparation time, they can be invited to events and help drum up support to raise more funds.

If you’re interested in hearing what social media can do for your organisation, please contact Jack or Maryann on 03 9676 9040 or email info@thecword.com.au.

Tweet you later,

the c word

A private conversation about social media

Cone of silence from Get Smart

Cone of silence from 'Get Smart'

We have been up to our eyeballs with social media at the c word office; tweet this, upload pic here, accept friend request, retweet there. Our fingertips are suffering from exhaustion. 😛

Last week we hit the road with leading privacy and social media expert Mozelle Thompson in Australia for the International Association of Privacy Professionals conference. As we ferried him from interview to meeting to interview, we got the chance to chat about social media.

Along the way we asked for his top four social media issues and although he laughed at our penchant for even numbers, he was happy to oblige.

According to Mozelle the top four issues for social media are:

  1. how advertising will work?
  2. the lack of discussion around the limits of transparency
  3. legal responsibility for user-generated content, and
  4. the desire to ‘switch off’.

To start with Mozelle said: “People are looking at behavioural advertising … but I don’t think people understand what that means”.

“If you ask them: ‘Do you want ads targeted to you based on your profile?’ they might say ‘no’. But then you say: ‘Is the problem that you don’t want ads … because if you want it for free you’re going to have to have ads and if you’re going to get ads then would you want ads targeted to you?’ they would say ‘yes’.”

Mozelle believes (and we concur) the dialogue hasn’t progressed enough in the public eye. Let’s not keep this conversation private.

We wondered how this applies to online newspapers without established social networks and Mozelle believes we’ll see more partnerships with websites who want to target ads to you based on your demographic – so it will seem more seamless.

“The question is are you willing to give permission for targeted ads as opposed to general ads?”

On the issue of transparency, Mozelle said while we want governments to let us know about what they’re doing and what our neighbours are doing, it gives the public a lot of information about you.

He said: “It’s a global issue but especially in western societies where we’ve made this big push towards government transparency but haven’t defined what that means yet”.

The third issue Mozelle brought up was around who is ultimately legally responsible for user generated content.

“There’s this continuing war, just because it’s on YouTube, is YouTube responsible for someone putting on content that you find offensive or objectionable? You don’t hold newspapers responsible if somebody puts a crappy ad in.”

The fourth issue which made us hide our Blackberries and iPhones was that at some point, not right away, there may be a reaction to this real time availability of information.

“You may have a backlash from some people who decide they don’t want to be reachable. Are we going to start creating digital technologies that allow you to disconnect?”

And in between all of that we’ve kicked off a social media campaign for Run for a Safe Climate. We started with a training session for the runners and volunteers involved with Run for a Safe Climate – the question now is “how will they tweet while running?”

Have a great week,

the c word