|In this week's issue:
The Growing Use of Infographics for Communications
The Opportunity - The use of infographics isn’t new, but we’re seeing an increasing opportunity for communications professionals to use graphic visual representations of information and data to complement a story or message. The brands we work with have compelling, educational data to show their audiences and as people move closer to strictly digital consumption, we, as an industry, must constantly look at and assess the impact of new, digital-savvy means to reach those audiences. Traditionally, companies would share data in briefings, press releases and via bulleted out emails for reporters, but why not look at ways to visualize the data?
Infographics and the Media
- Journalists and bloggers typically create their own infographics, and some outlets such as the NYT
have teams dedicated to data visualization and information design
. That said, we’ve heard from reporters such as NYT’s Nick Bilton
that he not only wants pitches structured in a way that they can be visualized, but welcomes infographics from companies. For example, the below image featured in the NYT Bits blog
was created by Twitter and depicts the use of Twitter during the World Cup. The raw data was likely extremely complex, but Twitter was able to distill and simplify it so the NYT audience can easily ‘get it’ and they don’t have to spend time making sense of the data themselves. Reporters from other outlets ranging from USA Today
to The Economist
also encourage brands to contribute infographics.
Infographics on your Brand’s Properties -
Look at ways to leverage infographics on your brand’s properties, whether it is on your Web site, blog, Facebook page, etc. For instance, the image from Twitter that was contributed to NYT also was posted on the Twitter blog
. If your infographic is in image format, we encourage you to post it to Flickr
to take advantage of the site’s strong sharing and search functionalities as well as the strong community of existing infographic fans.
- Images aren’t the only format for infographics. Videos are also a weapon of choice on platforms such as YouTube
. Also, Flash animations are an extraordinary way to offer not only information, but interaction, as well. To facilitate sharing and discussions about your infographic video, be sure to make it embeddable, or offer screenshots that are easily embeddable on external websites along with source links.
- If you have an interest in creating infographics or if you have some data you think might make a strong infographic, let us know. Text 100 has the ability to support your projects - whether you’re looking for a graphic representation of a small consumer poll you conducted on Facebook or data center power consumption across the globe - through one of our Next Fifteen
partners. For additional infographic resources, check out our latest Hypertext post
, and infographics are something most graphic designers can handle.
Launching Social Platforms - The Camembert Method
Guest Post: Pierre Le Leannec, Social Media Specialist, Text 100 France
When French multilingual tourism site, France.fr, announced its official launch on July 13th, the French
government organizers never imagined they would instantaneously become the center of conversations on how NOT to launch an online platform. What happened? Below is some background and key learnings from the #France #Fail.
- France.fr had been launch-ready for months and was supposed to showcase France on the web, providing travel tips and practical information on all things France for tourists, investors and residents. The web site, facilitated by the French government, was designed to be the digital entry point for Internet visitors and was set to launch on symbolic French National Day
, July 14th. Supported by Drupal
, one of the most robust and modern content management systems (also used by The White House
), the website was beautiful and modern (some screenshots here
). Everything was working and prepared for launch day, and it seemed the timing was perfect.
The Problem - The launch took place on July 14th as expected. The PR strategy involved broad, open communication with all media, including several major partnerships. Bloggers were the first to break the news on the new website. On the morning of July 14th, the website’s server went down almost immediately – so much traffic was driven to the site because of the pre-launch buzz, the system went into shock. This sort of thing does happen, sometimes several times a day (think: Twitter). But sites usually return to full access, normal load times and full functionality shortly after. Not this time.
- France.fr is still unavailable more than a week after launch and has become a joke in and outside France. But it’s not just the ridicule that’s hurting France.fr. According to Les Echos
, a French business newspaper, the government has already invested €860 000 ($1.1 million) in the site, putting a major dent in the €1.6 million euro total budget. The website is currently in auditing phase – no doubt it’ll take a couple more days before its back up and running. Adding insult to injury, this isn’t the first time a French site has experienced a launch debauchle. In 2006, French national mapping service, Geoportail
, had a similar experience.
So, what can you do to be sure you’re not the next France.fr?
On the technical side:
do serious stress-tests to double check the capacities of your server
double-check the configuration of your server, the health of your database and the module you’ve been plugging to your CMS (Drupal is designed to run heavy traffic website, but a bad configuration with modules can crash everything.
monitor the platform very closely in the first hours to anticipate any problem and make sure to redirect traffic to static page incase of unusual peaks
employ a caching system for backups and spikes in traffic
if you’re not prepared, delay the launch instead of risking a crash of your infrastructure
On the PR side:
be prepared. Organizations should anticipate malfunctions when launching a new website and should therefore have basic messaging developed that can easily be adapted/customized for different audiences if an issue occurs
immediately communicate the situation including details of the current issues and what you’re doing to fix it. Give an agenda of progress and update it regularly
offer an alternative for visitors to use while the site is unavailable
engage with your audience on their turf. Use Twitter / blogs / social media to provide updates on progress
be prepared for some serious bashing if your site goes down. Keep your cool and be sure to monitor (and respond to) comments on Twitter
For some, having a website crash because of the pre-launch PR success could be considered good news. However, when the downtime stretches more than seven days, what began as PR buzz can become a total communications nightmare.
Best Practices: Old Spice's YouTube Campaign, a Viral Success but a Sales Letdown
Old Spice Campaign Generated 35 Million Video Views in Seven Days
Following on the success of February's award-winning ad
, The Man Your Man Could Smell Like
that went viral on YouTube with roughly 15.5 million view to-date, Old Spice has just wrapped what the Washington Post is calling, “one of the most successful viral campaigns in history.”
Beginning July 13, Old Spice unleashed a stream of over 180 videos through its YouTube channel
, during which the brand's mascot, actor/ex-NFL player, Isaiah Mustafa
, answered questions submitted through various social networks, including Twitter
, and YouTube itself. Although he did take questions from “ordinary folks,” a majority of the questions addressed were submitted via Twitter by celebrities, Twitter influencers, brands and news outlets, including:
According to the campaign creators at interactive ad agency, Wieden + Kennedy, the campaign was created using a team of around 35 people working 12 hours a day for its three day duration. That’s pretty impressive.
Here’s a quick look at the campaign results to-date:
A total of 200 video responses have been posted to the Old Spice YouTube channel.
As of Monday, July 19th, the videos have attracted 35.7 million individual views.
The final video reply, addressed to "everyone," has amassed almost 3 million views and over 6,000 comments alone.
The Old Spice channel is the #1 most viewed channel on YouTube for two consecutive weeks now, the #1 most viewed sponsor channel and the #3 most subscribed sponsor channel of all time.
Total upload views for the channel, a metric that includes the original TV ads, currently stand at over 106 million.
On Wednesday (7/14) the brand's official Twitter account had 32,000 followers and by Monday morning it had doubled to 94,000 followers, and is featured on over 2,300 Twitter lists.
Video responses on the brands official Facebook page have recorded upwards of 2,000 "likes," and the brand page itself has amassed over 630,000 likes.
In an interview with France24
, Text 100 Social Media Consultant, Pierre Le Leannec sums the success up nicely saying, “They have managed somehow to find the holy grail of personalized marketing by embodying the brand and establishing a special relationship, almost intimate with their audience.”
However, despite the viral success the sales reports are mixed. Time Magazine
notes that while the campaign is universally praised, the actual sales of the product have fallen 7% (source: WARC
). Yet in an interview with PR Week
, Mike Norton, director of external relations for male grooming at P&G, claimed the customized video responses contributed to a 107% increase in sales over the last month (source: Nielsen data).
Theories on the lack of stellar sales via Jezebel
The Old Spice ads were so successful in raising brand awareness that no guy would actually want to have the product in their shower because it had embarrassing or negative connotations.
The target buyers (young adult women) that were supposed to buy the stuff for their male partners were either purchasing other soap products or not buying body wash for guys at all.
In our opinion, it’s still too soon to judge the full impact this campaign will have on sales and regardless, the campaign successfully introduced the brand to an entire new generation.