Seeding Campaigns

as i sit and eat my lunch i thought i'd put down some thoughts of seeding campaigns. our latest launch of O2's orbit 2 is well under way. so far there have been some great reviews of the phone and our approach to this 'pr-marketing' campaign. we've got a really good group of bloggers and it has definately helped that a large proportion of the group are familiar to the process after we launched the cocoon with them last year.

as expected it's created conversations on the approach, and i'm so pleased to see that the response to how we've handled it is very positive. after the cocoon had run its course amelia gave us her 5 tips. we took so much from the cocoon that this time round we were determined to learn from. i think the most important things i learnt, or had confirmed, were these:

  1. be transparent, open about the campaign/what you want/expectations.
  2. be personal, by the end of the campaign you will know more about these people than anyone you've never met - it's obvious but don't treat them like spam.
  3. be professional, you will have to draw the line between casual correspondance and formal
  4. be honest, if you do something wrong own up and move on.
  5. think about measurement before the campaign is over.
this being said, i think there is a limit. i don't think that you can have an ongoing relationship with more than 25 seeders - to remember the last correspondance you had with that person; their last post; ongoing discussions and things you need to do to help them... more than 25 is just too much!

these bloggers are v.important (in a sense) people. one slip and they could let their audience know just how badly your work is for a certain brand... and goodbye brand. hence, the more human you are the more the product will have the focus - which is the whole point of the campaign! least we forget. i'm not convinced that you are dealing with people's ego's and more often than not i would argue that these influential people have got where they are with the help of profesionalism - they know what is acceptable and what is not. as amelia discovered, some people get this horribly wrong:

"Anyway, I still decided to talk about the Skype phone in my article. Then I got this email from the blogger team saying:

"If you were to link to the article from your blog, mentioning the skypehone (perhaps with a picture), I might wet myself..."

Now I have never met this person before, so to get an email like this actually made me quite uncomfortable."

as much as this makes me chuckle... inside i'm cringing, how and why would you put this in an email to someone you don't know! (answer)

the product needs to stand up on its own feet. if your not happy to take constructive criticism don't put it out there for all to see. if you've got a good product then don't fear - the positives will outway the negatives. there will of course be those who see what you're doing as buying good pr with free goodies and it's easy to see why... but as long as you have something of benefit to your seeders then you have leverage - and write they certainly will. (don't forget 'free' sells!)

take a look at darren straight, one of our seeders, this is content gold. a massive review of the phone - great feedback for O2 and a great in depth look for potential customers. everyone's a winner!

and if your in the market for a new phone the blog is up and running with some great reviews
hope you find this informative and if you want anymore thought starters here's some great stuff

Photoshop for iPhone - pah!

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