Web 2.0 revolution is turning public sector marketing landscape upside down

We now live in an era where the communications and marketing landscape has been completely turned upside down in both the public, non profit and private sectors. Organizations  do not have  full control of their messages/brands. The whole Web 2.0 revolution has resulted in the democratization of the web. More important it has changed marketing and communication in ways that in my  wildest imagination I never dreamed could happen .

Its impact is enormous and will have major impact on how we do our marketing and communications work in the next few decades. The major difference with social media is it’s about engagement and dialogue as opposed to one-way communication. The technological barriers that have restricted the “one-to-many” model of communication are no longer present. Now anyone can start a blog (yes that includes me) , post a video, write a review,  join a social network, start a podcast (in seconds), and have their content viewed or heard by millions at virtually no cost. Yes I said no cost.

The next generation of marketing and communications  will not require major advertising and marketing budgets but learning how to use the new social media marketing technologies that are available.  There are over 200,000 new blogs started every day. Bloggers update their blogs regularly to the tune of over 1.6 million posts per day, or over 18 updates a second. Facebook has surpassed 200 million users! Twitter, a public short messaging platform, is used by 14 million people at any given time… that’s communication power. Would you believe that there are more podcasts than there are radio stations in the world! The topics cover every niche imaginable. Niche marketing has been given a new meaning and we are only at the beginning of this marketing communication revolution.

The questions organizations should be asking themselves (and know the answers to) are: “What are people saying about us/our services?” and “How can we get engaged to make a favourable impact in this rapidly evolving world of social media, before our existing communications become largely ineffective?”

Consider these stats: in the month of March, 2009, Canadians alone performed over 31 Billion searches on Google. According to Comscore, Canadians show highest usage of social networking sites. Online video popularity has grown 30% over the course of the last year and YouTube alone has over 336 million daily users.

It is predicted that more than 70% of Canadians will have mobile phones with Internet Access by the end of 2009. Most youth 18-24 already do. This will give marketers an incredible opportunity to develop customized applications geared at the popular open platforms developed by Blackberry , Apple, and now Google. With the advent of Web 2.0, there has been a birth in something called the “Social Media Press Release” geared at influential bloggers that have the ability to reach the people that you want to target. These bloggers can be easily identified through “Social Media Monitoring” techniques. Essentially this is a Press Release stripped of any bias and packed with rich media (videos, pictures, audio, quotes, etc…). It is targeted at social media influencers (mainly bloggers) and has proven to be a highly successful way of reaching target audiences using the “conversational” as opposed to “communication” approach. This press release can be posted as a link on your website or sent directly to bloggers with whom you have an established relationship already. For more information on social media releases go to the Canada News Wire site.

Feeling intimated , why not consider some training in social media marketing or in public sector marketing

Centre of Excellence for Public Sector Marketing announces new workshops and courses.

New Partnership and Workshops!

The Centre of Excellence for Public Sector Marketing is happy to announce a new working relationship with the Centre of Excellence in Communications (CEC). Through this partnership CEPSM will be offering workshops more frequently and in a variety of geographical locations. Our first workshop, Social Media for the Public Sector, is at the beginning of October with Mike Kujawski, visit the CEC website to learn more!

Professional Certificate in Public and Non-Profit Marketing

This certificate is brought to you by CEPSM in partnership with the Sprott School of Business at Carleton University. Participants will gain skills and knowledge that are critical for marketers in the public and non-profit sectors. We engage all participants in a rich learning environment that reinforces theory with practical, real-life examples based upon the extensive experience of our instructors.

To get more info go to Sprott School of Business Professional Programs


Calling all non profits and public sector marketers… check out Twitter

If you not heard about Twitter , YOU HAVE PROBABLY HIDING IN A CAVE OR WORK FOR A GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATION DOES NOT ALLOW THEIR EMPLOYEES ACCESS TO SOCIAL MEDIA. So let me help you with some information.  Twitter is one of the fast growing online platforms that is being used for marketing and communications.  It can be used as a marketing tool, but you must do it right by following the Twitter etiquette in order to be effective.

Like much of social media… it’s another ear to the ground, another touch point, another “opportunity to build relationships,”. It’s a new and emerging platform that’s only now finding its footing: there’s a lot of garbage you have to wade through, at times, and it’s sometimes unreliable but you have to be there or miss the proverbial boat.

According to Douglas McIntyre at Time Magazine  micro blogging platform Twitter has 32 million users, an increase from about 2 million a year ago, according to research mentioned in the Wall Street Journal. Some Internet measurement services show that figure increasing 50% to 100% month over month. While it is not clear that Twitter will become as large as social networks MySpace and Facebook or video-sharing site YouTube, the company could certainly have 50 million visitors by the end of the year.Twitter can be used with ease on both PCs and mobile devices, and limits users to very short messages of 140 characters or fewer ( which for me is a real challenge), it has become one of the largest platforms in the world for sharing real-time data.

As Twitter grows, it will increasingly become a place where organizations  build brands, do research, send information to their target audiences , and most important for public sector and non profit marketers community engagement. There is a possibility that Twitter like the whole field of social media will transform your organization. But I fear that public sector  and non profit marketers will be slow off the mark. It really bugs me that these 2 sectors are always the last ones to get on board with  new marketing vehicles. Can you believe that there are public sector organizations that have banned the access of social media . HOW SHORTSIGHTED!

For Twitter to be a part of an organizations communication efforts they need to allow their clients and stakeholders to "follow" them on Twitter. That allows them to choose which organization they are willing to get messages directly from.

McIntyre makes some very good points, he states while Twitter may be great value  for using Twitter to communicate with its audiences, the danger is that the Twitter community could turn against a marketer viewed as being too crass by being relentlessly self-promoting. Twitter users have set up their own rules of conduct when using the service, not unlike those with MySpace and Facebook. These rules were not put together by Twitter itself, which mandates only rules of use. Like many social-network sites, Twitter is self-governed by its members, and organizations must take that into account .

Twitter is  in the early stages of development, but if I was a betting man I predict that many organizations will use it as  a marketing tool. Twitter will probably evolve into both a community of individuals and a community of organizations who want to have ongoing communications with their audiences. 

Finally like all social media tools , you need a strategy before you use tactics like twitter. Too often at the Centre for Public Sector Marketing we see organizations trying to apply social media tactics with out a marketing strategy. Big Mistake!!! My colleague Mike Kujawski runs a great blog and gives workshops and courses on how to use social media as a marketing tool for public sector and non profit organizations. Check out his blog. 

Oh yes! if you want to follow me on twitter go to www.twitter.com/jimmintz

Happy twittering or should I sat tweeting




Calling all Public Sector Marketers… If you are not using social media marketing strategies you are seriously out of date


A recent article in ADAge should open the eyes of those of you have not moved into the social media area

Union Square Ventures partner Fred Wilson has seen the future, and it’s in “earned,” not paid, media, which has big implications for marketers, agencies and, of course, the media itself.

“There are still a lot of marketers out there buying their media when they could earn it, and earn it a lot less expensively. “

While overall spending on marketing may go up, traditional-media outlays are declining, and spending is growing on the creative and technology necessary to implement social campaigns on Facebook, Twitter and MySpace.

As a venture capitalist, Mr. Wilson said,” he’s funding companies that address the new marketing paradigm, from earned-media platforms such as Twitter and social video site Boxee to next-generation ad agencies such as Federated Media and Clickable, and from analytics firms such as ComScore and Quantcast to tech platforms such as FeedBurner and Dave Morgan’s Simulmedia. “

“The challenge for marketers then, is to engage with social media in an authentic way, and know they are going to be punished by its denizens for any perceived spam. “

Once a niche phenomenon, social media has achieved mass, network-TV-like scale. Mr. Wilson predicted Twitter could reach 50 million users, or one quarter the size of Facebook today, by the end of 2009.

  We have always known that earned media is the key to success in public sector campaigns but the paradigm is changing radically. No longer can marketers depend on old style public relations/communications campaigns. The new and improved strategy is social media.

Those who work in social marketing or involved in government, non profit and association marketing need to “get with the program”  

As someone who has been in the marketing game especially public sector /non profit for many years , I have seen a heck of a lot of change in marketing and communications trends  but never I have witnessed such a major shift as social media marketing .

  If you are wondering how to get in the game go to my colleague Mike Kujawski’s blog www.mikekujawski.ca. or better still come to his workshop at MARCOM Social Media Marketing 101 on June 2 2009 in Toronto. For more info go to www.marcom.ca

For those who want to sharpen their skills in social marketing come to my session at MARCOM How to Create a Customized Social Marketing Action Plan on June 2nd in Toronto.
During this tough economic period it is time to get serious about developing social marketing programs that do not just increase awareness and educate but actually change attitudes and behaviour.This unique workshop takes you through a proven process for developing and implementing a successful social marketing plan. The Course Workbook guides you through the process for creating your own Customized Social Marketing Action Plan. This workshop has been designed not only for marketing and communications professionals who specialize in social marketing, but for anyone involved in the planning of marketing, outreach and public education strategies aimed at changing attitudes and behaviours.By attending this workshop, you will save countless hours of planning time and learn proven techniques for launching a successful social marketing initiative.

You will learn how to:

  • Implement a social marketing program on a very limited budget;
  • Develop a step-by-step structured approach that makes preparing a social marketing plan a breeze;
  • Differentiate social marketing from public education, outreach and other communication strategies;
  • Use social marketing to give you a single approach for mobilizing communities, influencing the media, lobbying/advocacy, building strategic alliances with business.

Also I will be moderating a panel that will feature  two practical case studies in the area of social marketing ” moving from campaign research to strategic implementation – everything you need to know. ” Joining me will be executive directors Bob Oliver of Pollution Probe and Brian Shifman from the City of North Toronto, Vaughan on the morning of June 4th at MARCOM 2009

For more info go to www.marcom.ca



Calling all public sector marketers and communicators: Get knowledgeable about web 2.0 or you will become a dinosaur

Just read a terrific report called

Change your world or the world will change you
The future of collaborative government and Web 2.0

by Deloiite

The authors suggest that “in today’s tech-savvy world demands tech-savvy government. Increasingly connected citizens
and stakeholders are asking governments to deliver services more rapidly and efficiently. Yet the public service bureaucracies that form the governmental backbone often take a conservative
approach to adopting the latest Internet-based technologies to accelerate service delivery.”

They point out that “by relying on older, more manual processes, government agencies are unable to share local, national and global resources as effectively as they could. These processes limit what a
government can do, how fast it can do it and how thoroughly.
Although largely out of necessity, this solo model is giving way
to a collaborative one.”
“For the most part, this shift is being driven by drastic changes in the
governmental and societal landscape. In an increasingly globalized
world, policy challenges transcend geopolitical, socio-economic,
cultural and generational boundaries. In doing so, they test
conventional governments as never before. Issues such as
pandemics, aging populations, climate change, rising citizen
expectations and public safety are both global and local in nature.
These types of complex challenges will increasingly test government
interactions in the years to come.

The authors urge Governments to get with the program.

“To respond effectively to this new depth of challenge, governments
must redefine how they make policies, share information, deliver
services and manage operations. These new, networked models
of government1, combined with the emergence of Web 2.0
technologies that facilitate the requisite level of collaboration, will
help governments improve how they work together both globally
and locally to solve complex problems that would otherwise be
impossible to resolve.

Their solutions:

Governments should get started with the following:

• Educate the organization by helping staff at all levels understand
what Web 2.0 applications are and how they can help the
organization meet fast-evolving objectives
• Develop a strategy by establishing clear priorities for online
collaboration that align to organizational objectives
• Initiate a pilot project by identifying a specific opportunity to
drive early success – test the organization’s readiness to embrace
the principles of online collaboration
• Evaluate existing enterprise technologies to determine their
compatibility with the evolving Web 2.0 strategy
• Create policies that maximize the benefits of adopting Web 2.0
within the organization
• Measure the results by establishing key performance indicators
that help measure the strategy’s success
• Embrace a culture of collaboration by continually evolving how
interaction happens with stakeholders inside and outside of

So if you are working in government and are not knowledgeable about web 2.0 get off your butt and get educated quickly. A good start would be to subscribe to my colleagues Mike Kujawski’s blog at www.mikekujawski.ca or better still register for his workshop. go take his workshop in Toronto at Ryerson University on Halloween, October 31 2008 .

My advice: do not let another year go by where you are not up to speed with web 2.0 or you will “be behind the 8 ball”. Also next year we may have web 3.0 or wait for it web 4.0 and you will be “left behind… not good for your career.

Many marketing students coming out of university are sharpening their 2.0 skills and when they join your organization they will be way ahead of you. Yikes!