Liberate Media blends online PR with offline PR expertise to form a uniquely positioned social media agency.

Archive for April, 2008

Second Life resource list – is it still a good place to build brand?

April 15th, 2008


As you know Liberate Media is a big believer in sharing, and today we will be passing on our in-depth Second Life research and resource list to you.

You will find enough resources here to decide weather Second Life is a legitimate and effective way of highlighting your company’s profile or not. Leading brands like Coca Cola continue to have a presence in this virtual world, but this doesn’t mean that they’ve got it right!

For me I’m still not sure, and you hear very little about Second Life these days! However, having said that Reuters has a Second Life news centre which is bang up to date.


Second Life on Wikipedia

Starting your Second Life

My Virtual LifeA journey into a place in cyberspace where thousands of people have imaginary lives.

Second Life Businesses

7 tips for real-world businesses in Second Life

Second Life: It’s not a game – Tech leaders think Second Life could be a gold mine

Five Rules For Bringing Your Real-Life Business Into Second Life

Armani in Second Life

Second life Brands map

Coca Cola Launches Second Life Contest for New Coke Machine

Dell Island in Second Life

Other Second Life posts

Lots to do in Second Life – events board

Reuters Second Life News

Mashables Second Life Tool Box

Virtual Worlds Poised to Become Valuable Work Tools

Video Tutorials – Second Life Wiki

Second Life Education Wiki – 5 Worst Websites – TIME

Second Life Herald – virtual world news blog

C4 Second Lives – Find out more about the people living in Second Life

Twitterbox – a Twitter Client for Second Life

Second Life Profiles, the ONLY dedicated online community for Second Life players

We are always looking to add good research or resources to our research/resource archive – please let us know of other any other useful Second Life posts we can add.

We would also be interested to hear how your company is using Second Life and if you think it is still a useful brand building tool…

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South Africa’s First Social Media Press Release – The Standard Bank Pro20 Series (cricket)

April 14th, 2008


You may or may not be aware that Liberate Media has been following the Social Media Press Release for some time.

Following my previous post Will the social media press release (SMPR) reach tipping point by the end of the year?, I was pleased to hear about the SMPR being used in other parts of the world aside from the UK and US.

South Africa-based Standard Bank has been using the release template as part of the Standard Bank Pro20 Series cricket tournament.

Read more about the release here.

I was bowled over (cricket pun!) by the release. It’s one of the best examples of the SMPR I have seen to date, and of course will be added to the Liberate Media research/resource page.

Click on the image to view the Pro 20 SMPR.



What I really like about the Kaboom SMPR is:

  1. The design: they have taken the colourful punchy format of the twenty twenty game and used it for the SMPR.
  2. The release is set out on a logical way: Quick facts followed by the multimedia assets and then the core information.
  3. They have some great quotes for bloggers/journalist to use.
  4. From the release you can follow Pro 20 conversation on Twitter and join its Facebook group.

It’s a really great effort, and for me, this has set the SMPR standard. It’s clean, well laid out and easy to follow.



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How do you respond effectively to a negative video leak?

April 11th, 2008


I was thinking about PR use of video this week in a positive mood when the Wal-mart internal video story broke.
At first, it seemed like a trivial side-story to the Us economic meltdown, and one that would die away pretty quickly along with the muffled laughter from the consumer giant’s competitors.

But it seems to have a lot of life in it yet as the company that released selective clips of internal Wal-mart events refuses to back away from offering the entire 30-year catalogue to anyone who wants to pay. Clips are out on YouTube and seeded on many key sites, including the pressure group site Walmart Watch .

How would a PR2.0 agency respond to the story, spreading visually across the web.

I may have missed something but the Wal-Mart site and its blogs make no reference to the story and there has been limited comment from the company on business TV and to press agencies.

But the story is damaging and adding weight to the campaigners’ arguments against the company and its practices.

So, the questions I’m wrestling with are: how do you respond effectively to a negative video leak? Do you release counter-footage, shoot new distractive video that entertains and shows you in a more positive light? Do you have to respond in a visual way at all or go for non-contextual, traditional response.
Do you just ignore it and hope it goes away?

It’d be good to hear what you think.

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Weekly social media and web 2.0 news round up for week ending 11th April 2008

April 11th, 2008

We have been scouring the blogosphere all week for the best hot social media and web 2.0-related news and resources. We have also added all the new links to the Liberate Media resource/research page, – it’s a little slow to load but well worth the wait!



How to Get Customer Service via Twitter

A Guide To Twitter: What It Is, How To Use It And Twitter Tools

A List of Twitter Apps, Services and Tools

For some reason, Twitter hasn’t yet taken the journalist community by storm

My Essential Twitter Tools



7 tips before building your blog

Blogging: Tips for Writing Your First Blog Post’s First Annual Blog Index

Get Your Blog Google-Ranked In 30 Days or Less

Wikio Blog US: Top 50 Worldwide Most Influential Blogs of April

Practical Guide To Starting A Corporate Blog



The Beginner’s Checklist for Learning SEO


Other social media

Where To Upload Your Video Clips Online To Obtain Maximum Exposure And Visibility?

What is social media? -peoples definitions

6 Ways To Make Life Easier With

Ultimate Social Media Resource List

How to Target the Right Social Media Sites

Facebook Chat Launches – First Impressions

Will the social media press release (SMPR) reach tipping point by the end of the year?

Social Media Networking and ROI: How to Maximize Value and Minimize Cost

Please tune in next friday for the next weekly round up…

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Would you work in-house with your clients?

April 10th, 2008


Today’s question focuses on a nightmare scenario for many PRs; working in-house with your clients. Traditionally this hasn’t always been the most welcoming invitation, but at Liberate Media we’re trialling the idea of placing consultants with our clients.

Let me make it clear, we’re not outsourcing our consultants over a significant period, it’s more along the lines of a weekly secondment to assist both parties in communication, news gathering and simply being on the ground to action activity immediately.

We’ve found this practice to be extremely useful so far, and would welcome feedback from others that have tried similar ideas, either agency-side or in-house. Did it work? Is it a long term solution? What are the advantages and disadvantages?

Having done it myself, i think it certainly can and does work. However, i’m not sure it would work in every case. To make it workable, i think the client needs to have the volume and quality of news opportunities and/or opinion-focused response opportunities to justify having a member of the team in the office, and in our case that has been a defining factor.

We’ve also realised that in-house working has many other benefits, such as helping the client to understand PR processes and also to get to grips with the demands of the media. Beyond tactical issues, it also allows us as PRs to truly appreciate the client’s vision and react to breaking news in real-time, as well of course as cementing those all-important client relationships.

Let me paint a picture for you. You’ve set up a brilliant interview, but the client isn’t answering the phone – problem solved, you just walk over to them and tell them how important it is, they’re on the phone in five minutes. Need a document approving? No problem, forget email just carry your laptop to them and let them read it there and then – beautiful!

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Join in the fun, come play the social media jigsaw

April 10th, 2008


Were having a little bit of fun in the Liberate Media office today (and it’s not even Friday)… and we thought we’d share our game with you.

If you have a spare two minutes, why not give it a go.

The game is to put the web 2.0 logo jigsaw back together as quickly as you can. It’s as simple as that.

So far the record time for Liberate Media is 2 minutes 14 seconds – I’m sure that can be beaten!

Now it’s your go. Don’t forget to let us know your time!

The time starts when you move your first piece…

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Will the social media press release (SMPR) reach tipping point by the end of the year?

April 8th, 2008

question mark

This SMPR has been talked about many times before. I’m asking our audience if they think it will reach its tipping point by the end of the year? At the moment it is still very much in early adopter stage, but at Liberate Media we believe it has the potential to reach ‘social epidemic’ (as Malcolm Gladwell would say) in 2008. Could it replace the likes of the more traditional press release format?

A few key facts on the SMPR:

Over at Wadd’s tech PR blog he has a nice post on: UK media and PR industries yet to be convinced by Social Media News Release (SMNR) – which suggests that perhaps the tipping point will not be reached in the UK quite yet, but the US have taken the SMPR format a little more on board. The comments on the post give some other excellent points of view.

Please let us know your thoughts on the SMPR making its tipping point, or do you think it will disappear like Lord Lucan?

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Napster Cat vs Xoost Cat!

April 8th, 2008

As you may be aware one of Liberate Media’s clients is Napster , originally a P2P filesharing service, now an online music store and subscription service.

The corporate identity of Napster is a cool headphone wearing cat:

Napster cat

Vs the imposter!

xoost cat

It kinda looks like the sassy, female, rogue equivalent to the Napster cat, don’t you think?

The xoost cat is the logo of - a web search engine with a difference. The difference being all your searches are saved to your account, you can also socialize with other Xoosters on the basis of common search interests. Another feature is the ability to share your Xoost searches with your friends on other networks such as Facebook or Twitter.

I’m off now to let both cats out of their cages for a fight to the death…I’m rooting for the Napster cat!

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Question Time: What’s the ideal balance between PR and social media consultancy?

April 7th, 2008


question mark

This week we’re running a daily Question Time on the Liberate Media blog. We’ll be posing a timely question to our peers and industry network, suggesting our views on the subject, and inviting informed responses back. There’s nothing like a bit of open debate and collaboration sometimes!

We thought we’d begin with a general question about the ideal balance brands/organisations, and PRs, should be looking to generate between traditional PR and social media consultancy.

I’ll begin by saying outright that there is no correct answer here. It’s a subject that is still very much up for debate, with some going so far as to argue that PRs are not the best people to be providing social media consultancy. An opinion I strongly disagree with.

At Liberate Media we’re of the opinion that digital PR should offer a blend of traditional PR and social media techniques. From our experience, it makes sense to have one consultancy handling the two, with the two strands being interlinked, as creative ideas, collateral and messages can often be effectively cross-fertilised.

We do not believe that PRs should be differentiating themselves through social media (as is rapidly becoming the case unfortunately), but instead be integrating social media thinking with more traditional PR techniques. At the end of the day, we’re not re-writing why people communicate, but how, and it’s this that PR and social media need to address together.

The exact split between PR and social media investment is the tricky bit! The social media resource model that has emerged over the past 12-months is project-focused, with spikes of activity around product launches etc. While this makes overall sense, at Liberate Media we believe there is also a strong case for retainer-based social media consultancy to allow for profile and brand building, and reputation management etc, to respond to the speed at which issues break across social networks.

We’d be really interested to hear your views on today’s question. Please let us know your thoughts…

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SeaWorld makes a splash in social media (re-visit)

April 7th, 2008

I thought it would be interesting to go back a year and re-visit an excellent example of social media marketing.

SeaWorld San Antonio has done a nice job of utilising some great social media techniques for its newest ride Journey to Atlantis.

It has used a project-based approach, that includes the use of multimedia (Youtube, Flickr), a blog to promote the new ride, and have participated in conversation on targeted social networks to communicate a message.

This is an excellent approach and one that should be adopted by all. It’s not the only way to create a social media message but it is a good way of communicating a new product, service, person or business.

A few notes on the SeaWorld website. I like the social aspect of being able to upload photos to the site – which at the time of writing was not working. Also I could not find a link to the Journey to the Atlantis blog – which has the note:

“This site is going dark for a couple of weeks while we do some behind-the-scenes work. But have no fear, we will be back with some new stuff and an exciting contest.”

Overall nice use of social media tactics which is let down by the above highlighted problems!

Below is the Journey to Atlantis ride. – LOOKS PRETTY GOOD…

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