Monday, January 19, 2009

Class 4: Grabbing Attention

Today's class was all about figuring out how to grab attention using social technologies, specifically how to grab attention for the causes that we are all working on.

We began by talking generally about companies / causes that have grabbed our attention and trying to isolate what it was that enabled these campaigns to do so. We identified some key things that effective campaigns do to successfully grab attention, which included:
  • Be short - whether it is a video or a tagline - this keeps people's attention; Dove's Real Beauty campaign was based off of a brief video
  • Use viral networks and have people send it to their friends
  • Make it personal - add people's names to emails / promotions
  • Own a color or image - Breast Cancer owned the color pink; Apple owned White
We then discussed how to build a strong brand by diving into the key aspects of brand asset allocation, which are:
  • Differentiation - how distinct is the brand
  • Relevance - how meaningful is the brand
  • Esteem - how much do people respect the brand
  • Knowledge - how intimate do people feel with the brand
It is important to have more differentiation than relevance, and more esteem than knowledge.

We finished the class by breaking into our pods to discuss how we can best grab attention for our causes and projects. There were some great ideas leveraging Twitter, Facebook, status / away messages, and email signatures / headers. Now we're off to experiment to see which tactics work best!


  1. During the breakout session, our team really struggled to find a clear focus for the campaign to reform the BCS. In keeping with the advice to Be Short and Keep People's Attention, we feel like we need to narrow our target such that the messages and calls to action can be succinct and powerful.

  2. For today's assignment, I spent time on twitter posting messages about our cause and directing people to our new blog. However, I felt as though I was not getting much traction. It seems that right now, twitter is more of an anonymous social network - I do not know most of the people who are "following" me - and I had difficulty grabbing the attention of strangers. I am now wondering how my results would have changed if I had posted the exact same messages in my status updates on facebook, where I have some sort of personal relationship or history with my network.