Professional networking on Facebook

To connect with people, you have to meet them on their own grounds. This is what Monster must have thought when developing Beknown. Beknown is a professional networking application, which allows people to network at the place where they spend most of their time online: on Facebook.

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Twitter, a threat to a journalist’s personal brand?

Following the debate at BJIT last Thursday, I was surprised by some old-fashioned statements that certain panel members put forward. What struck me the most was that not all communication professionals are convinced of the added value of new media for both journalists and media companies as a brand.

The debate got heated when Pol Deltour, national secretary of the Vlaamse Vereniging van Journalisten, stated that Twitter is a threat to the journalist’s personal brand and a danger for the credibility of the media he is working for. In his eyes, social media changes the way journalists are perceived: as marketers rather than journalists. But haven’t journalists always been marketers? Aren’t we, in fact, all marketers of our personal brand? Like Alain Gerlache, journalist at RTBF, says:  “Journalists are a brand”. They are the face of a media channel! People read newspapers because journalists are writing qualitative articles about topics that interest them in a way that pleases them.

Traditional media shouldn’t worry, good content is still king. But the game has become more complex.  Accept the fact that scoops no longer exist as speed is the new normal in a world where people are 24/7 confronted with an information overload. Have faith in your journalists. They are capable of using the same common sense they use in their stories online! So please, embrace new media as a way to leverage the brand.

Frankly, I can’t possibly think of a better way than to let journalists syndicate the good content they and their colleagues produce and engage in a discussion afterwards. This leads to more active engagement from the audience and helps build long-term relationships with them as a consumer. Rather than fearing new media, journalists and media companies should try to use them strategically to leverage their (personal) brand, build credibility and establish authority.

Just so you know, Reuters’ social media policy embraces the fact that journalists have (a desire for) a personal brand.

iPhone vs Blackberry vs Android users: is perception reality?

Product development & The YouTube generation: Open Design

Thomas Lommée, owner of the design studio Intrastructures in Brussels, believes the world has changed. The world we now live in is no longer hierarchical, it is a network society. People are not only connected to each other, but also to producers and products. Only hours, or even minutes, after a product launch, reactions and reviews are published. Today’s world is all about dialogue. Someone blogs about it, someone else reads that blog post and designs a new application for the product involved, a third person customizes, repares or hacks it, someone posts a ‘how to’ video on YouTube, etc. The essential is everyone does something with the product. Users are no longer passive receivers. Moreover, they put it online!! The beauty is the product evolves constantly without the producer interfering. A new eco-system of product development is born. But how exactly is an efficient dialogue shaped?

Thomas Lommée has illlustrated his vision of today’s world in a new Peer-to-peer communication model that focuses on product development, the area in which he, as a designer, is the most active.

In his opinion, the Internet and this new, horizontal, network society are promising omens of new social dimensions. He strongly believes that, more than ever, we are evolving into a more active, more engaged society that allows user initiatives. 

What fascinates me the most is the level of importance he attributes to the Internet and social media. The Internet and social media allow you to connect with people from all over the world in just seconds. Next to that the Internet is the place where knowledge is accumulated at an ever growing pace. In fact, what he believes is the message that many professional 2.0 communicators have been trying to spread for several years: people are not careless egocentric individuals. On the contrary, more than ever, people are willing and motivated to share their knowledge and to help other people. The fact that they can do so individually, from behind a computer screen or from their Smartphone, is just a mere contradiction in the new society.

Keywords for Open Design are: transparancy, usability, active end-users, self-improving products and open producers.

From a communications professional as well as from an entrepeneurial point of view, this is exactly what is so interesting. Companies should be open to these new relationships and concepts as they generate new opportunities, innovative ideas/concepts/products/etc… It is beneficial for the end-users as well as for the producers. The benefits for the end-users have already been discussed above; the benifts for the entrepreneurs? Innovations lead to what companies are interested in the most: generating revenue, making profit and $$$$$$$$$$$$$. Or am I mistaken? 😉

However, there is one question that remains unanswered in this story… ‘Is the Internet a catalyst for this new world order or is it the foundation, the corner stone that has laid the basis?’. But maybe that just isn’t important…
What’s your opinion?

To found out more about Thomas Lommée, his company and his projects, visit his website,

Source: Knack Weekend (a Belgian lifestyle magazine), n°41, p. 126-134.

First European PR Job Seeker of the Week

Hello all!

I am pleased to announce you that I am PR Job Seeker of the Week on Gen-Y PRogress, Lauren Novo’s PR blog. She informed me I was the first European PR Job Seeker she published, which makes me of course very proud!

Every week she gives a young graduate (or soon-to-be graduate) the chance to explain why he/she is a talented PR pro that deserves a chance. Next to that, she blogs about various topics concerning the PR business, ranging from social media issues to some of her more personal experiences.

Lauren’s blog was launched in September 2009 and has been up and running for over a year (hence her recent celebration post). Already, she was received national recognition in the USA by PR Daily, Brazen Careerist and top industry leaders and bloggers. Moreover, In March, she won a ‘judges award’ through the Florida Public Relations Association. In June 2010, her blog was nominated as best up-and-coming in the PR Readers Choice Awards! Quite impressive, hu?!

She is absolutely worth following on Twitter and adding to your blogroll!

Hope you enjoy the article! And tell me, what’s your opinion? What’s well written? What’s bad about it? What should I have emphasized more/less?

Looking forward to some useful tips!

Top 5 songs to listen to before a job interview

Whether you are the coolest person on earth or the most stressed rabbit that ever hopped around, everybody is nervous for a job interview, especially if it is one of your firsts… Sweaty hands, self-confidence hitting rock bottom, checking what time it is every five seconds, your heart beating out of your chest, your blood rushing to the head, … The stress is omnipresent!

So before I leave the house, or even better, on the way to the interview I take the time to listen to these songs. If it’s necessary I’ll even sing along (though I’m sure you don’t want to hear that!)! You’ll be amazed by the therapeutic and calming effects!

Tina Turner – Simply the best

R Kelly – World’s greatest

Marvin Gaye – Ain’t no mountain high enough

Luther Vandross – Ain’t no stopping us now

Snap – The power

And here’s one to feel better in case you didn’t survive the selection process… 😉

Gloria Gaynor – I will survive

Infographic: Quickstart Guide to Social Media for Business

A couple of days ago, @Princess Misia’s shared a great Infographic “A Quickstart Guide to Social Media for Business” with the world(I ❤ Social Media)! It is so great I couldn’t resist reposting it…

More and more businesses are expressing interest in social media and slowly but surely companies are diving into the SoMe pool. However, many companies are diving with their eyes shut, hitting rock bottom, hurting their business head and pulling back asap. They often don’t understand that it takes more than just their presence to succeed. It is crucial Social & Digital Media professionals educate clients that wish to dive in the social media pool! And what better way than a simple – but oh so efficient – infographic…

This magnificent Infographic distinguishes 14 logical steps a company needs to go through to start off their Social Media adventure. As Sasha Gaya once stated, if a picture says a thousand words, an infographic says a million…

Originally developed by @B2Bento, a B2B Marketing Agency in Singapore.

Tipp-Ex erases Federer’s video: THE interactive viral video of the moment & its keys to success!

In my last post, I wrote about Gilette’s magnificent viral video starring Federer. Well, forget about it! Tipp-ex recently released the most appealing interactive viral video I’ve ever seen! Check it out!

Pretty impressive, hu?! The video was released 26 August and has been viewed over 3 million times. According to the French ad agency Buzzman, producers of the video, there are already more than 40 alternative ends. Have you tried typing ‘moonwalking’ ;-)?

But what exactly are the key factors to success?

1. Interactivity: at the end of the first video the viewer must decide about the bear’s faith by clicking one or the other button. In the second video the viewer can make up an alternative end by changing the video’s title. This is exactly what viral marketing is about: involving people! You use people to spread your message. People want to be involved and engaged! Don’t forget that the people’s voice is one of the most powerful marketing tools ever! Use this wisdom wisely and you shall be rewarded! 

2. Link with core business: in a truly fascinating way, Tipp-Ex has succeeded in connecting the channel to the message and the company’s core business, ‘correcting’. In this case, Tipp-ex allows you to write (first video) and rewrite (second video) the story. Noticed the link with the brand’s slogan ‘Write and rewrite’?

3. Product visibility: It is not until the second video that the PocketMouse makes its entrance. In fact, the first video shows no sign of a product of any kind (the contrary would have a baleful influence on the viral video). Although the Tipp-Ex Pocketmouse is visible from the start of the second video, the viewer at first sight doesn’t pay attention to it – let alone he is bothered by it. It is not until the hunter steps out of the video to grab the Pocketmouse to rewrite the story that the viewer focuses on the product. Wooow!!! So subtle, yet so effective!

4. Endorsement effect of Social Media: with viral marketing the key is the ‘buzz potential’.  Successful campaigns create that amount of buzz because the content is uniquely engaging and causes the urge of individuals to share it. Admit it, after having rewritten the story, you immediately shared the video on one or more of your social media accounts, didn’t you? 🙂

The viral marketing campaign has already been a great success! Hopefully their sales follow the same path of success! They sure as hell deserve it! 🙂

If you are interested in finding out more about viral marketing, do read Kevin Allen’s ‘Viral Marketing 100 Success Secrets’.

Btw, I wonder if the developers got their inspiration from the successful serie ‘Mad Men’? 

Gilette viral ad: Federer’s Robin Hood stunt: Fake or Real?

These days, viral videos  shoot out like mushrooms. Companies find them easy to execute, they don’t weigh on the communications/marketing budget, they almost certainly reach their target audience and generally evoke quite some buzz. However, brands often forget that the buzz is only about the ad – as a channel – not about the brand, adding little to no value to the brand’s awareness or reputation.

One of the most discussed viral ads of the moment is a short behind-the-scenes video shot during the making off a Gilette campaign, starring Roger Federer and a not-so-eager cameraman in a ‘Robin Hood vs the Apple’ scenario. Need I say more? Just watch and enjoy!

I believe the power of this viral video lies in the fact that it has initiated a discussion on whether or not Federer’s service is real. On the one hand, people want to believe it’s for real because they see Roger Federer as THE most talented tennis player of the world, on the other hand, people are well-aware of theendless possibilities of video editing, possibly fooling the mob.

I convinced myself to believe it because I think Roger Federer is one the most gifted modern gladiators alive!
So, what do you reckon? Share your toughts!

How to: read this blog?

In my first post, I didn’t really say much about what this blog is about, so here’s the deal! Hope you like it!

I Heart Communications’ unique approach is to link widely spread communications concepts, insights and best practices to real-life situations, hoping to engage in Influential Interactions.

This blog captures and shares best practices and key learnings from a wide variety of experienced communications professionals  by linking them to trending topics. Hook-ups will mainly be what this young communications pro comes across in his daily life, ranging from worldwide issues to personal experiences relevant to anyone who is interested in communications.

My areas of interests are very wide. Topics will therefore certainly evolve around the Big 3 of the Communications Business – Public Relations, Advertising and Marketing – without losing sight of an Integrated Communications Approach. As I am addicted to Social Media, you can certainly expect some posts on that theme too! Furthermore, I have a particular interest in Semiotics and Applied Psychology and a weakness for Creativity and Innovation.

I will try to post something every other day, but don’t shoot me if I don’t ;). As the icing on the cake, I’ll invite a guest blogger about once a fortnight!

I see myself as a dynamic hands-on young communicator, passionate about and dedicated to the cause of spreading the ‘I Heart Communications’ message. I recently graduated from Uni, after having finished an advanced master’s program in Multilingual Business Communication. I’m therefore looking for a first job experience, preferably in an English-speaking country.

I hope you enjoy reading the posts and I’m looking forward to some possibly Influential Interactions,


PS, I’ll start posting “real” posts as of tomorrow 😉