Karen’s PR & Social Media Blog

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June 16, 2011

Interactive Social Gaming & PR: The next big thing in Strategic Communications

One of the growing areas within social media is integrating the commercial and gaming experience for everyone to be a part of.  Understanding the role in which consumers are not only interested in the product and services brands can provide, but they are also focused on the innovation and creativeness of the approach in reaching out to new audiences.  So, what is the new trend that PR professionals need to be on board with?

The new trend can be summarized into just three words:  Interactive Social Games.  It appears that it has been a huge hit in marketing and advertising campaigns – so PR has to see how this can be integrated into campaigns as well for various clients.  Allowing individuals to participate, engage, and interact with the particular product in a real scenario while giving them the capabilities to share this through social media is the next growing trend in strategic communication in advertising, marketing, and public relations practices.

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McDonalds and TMobile have done this with their latest campaigns – and the focus is to get attention immediately with consumers with the notion that they get to play a game to get a certain prize through an interactive billboard (free item from McDonalds) or experience in real life from an eye witness account a pop culture icon within social media (Angry Birds).

All of these campaigns are what are considered to be experimental, however, their viral capabilities in generated rapid word -of-mouth conversations and allowing users to have the capabilities to share, comment, and redistribute this information with their friends and followers. What is interesting is that both of these campaigns were in other countries (Sweden and Spain) – so, it will be interesting to see these various campaigns here in the States.

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The question that arises when you look at both of these campaigns is – how can PR professionals integrate this into their current PR practices and measures? This is just a new way in presenting information – but it does have its differences.  These campaigns are still geared towards gaining publicity and awareness about a particular brand, product, or cause – but the focus is not pushing the information about the brand, but allowing the user to participate and redistribute this information through sharing and commenting about their personal experiences with the brand.

Digital storytelling through social media and other tools like videos allows others to have an eye-witness account of what others have experienced.  However, like Walt Disney focused on when his own company and movies – it all begins with a good story, so content (key messages & informational points) within the interactive social game needs to be strong in order to effective among key audiences.

In other words, the rules of the social media game for advertising, marketing, and public relations professionals are changing.  We are living in a social information consumer, tech savvy, and hyper-linked society. The professionals that will succeed have to be able to look at the window to see what others are saying, what are the current trends and issues, and listen to what others are saying (windows), but we also have to look at what we need to do internally to spark creativity and innovation through research and strategy, and determine best practices to handle with these challenges in the profession (mirror).

Hope you all are having a great day!

Best Wishes,

Karen

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