IIA Wins Public Affairs Category at the PRCA Award 2012
On Friday 21st June 2012 at the Awards for Excellence in Public Relations 2012, the IIA won the prestigious Award for PR Excellence in the Public Affairs Category. The IIA had engaged the services of Fleishman-Hilliard to deliver the campaign that was centred on the IIA "Critical Skills Retention Policy" to address the Skills Shortage in Ireland.
The Awards for Excellence in Public Relations, hosted by the PRCA (Ireland), the PRII and CIPR Northern Ireland, salute Ireland’s most outstanding communications initiatives in the highly competitive and dynamic PR arena. These coveted awards, now 19 years on the go, set the industry benchmark for excellence across all areas of PR.
We are thrilled to have our worked recognised by the PRCA and to have leveraged our role in this sector to effect positive policy change.
Citation of the winning entry from the PRCA
Our winner in this category took an issue of concern to the stakeholders and put it on the national agenda. From concept refinement to implementation at legislative level they were firm in handling their message and skillful in building alliances. Although modestly funded, this was a very thorough campaign in terms of driving debate, dialogue and change.
Picture: Joan Mulvihill, IIA, CEO pictured with Aidan McLoughlin and Carl Gibney from Fleishman-Hillard
Your website is now live! What’s next?
Search engine marketing, social media, newsletters and email marketing activities?
For what return? Does it work? Why? How? When? What worked? Etc..
Thanks to web analytics software such as Google Analytics, website owners are now empowered with big data presented in a user friendly interface.
Google Analytics is a free web analytics tool. Google Analytics is free, user friendly, easy to install on a website or a blog, easy to integrate with the range of Google services such as AdWords, AdSense, Doubleclick, GWT, etc… This makes Google Analytics very popular et probably the most popular web analytics software on the market.
At TargetOnlineMarketing.com, we decided to review Google Analytics’ usage worldwide in 2012. Our technology partner W3techs.com explains how: “we investigate technologies of websites, not of individual web pages. If we find a technology on any of the pages, it is considered to be used by the website.” W3techs.com’s CEO Matthias Gelbmann adds, “We include only the top 1 million websites in the statistics in order to limit the impact of domain spammers. We use website popularity rankings provided by Alexa using a 3 months average ranking. Alexa rankings are sometimes considered inaccurate for measuring website traffic, but we find that they serve our purpose of providing a representative sample of established sites very well.”
According to Netcraft, there are around 700 million websites in June 2012, of which 190 million are active. On average, Google Analytics is installed on 55.8 per cent of websites – Google Analytics is installed on 100 million + websites -, giving Google Analytics a whopper 81.5 per cent market share of the worldwide web analytics software industry. The second place goes to LiveInternet with 5.4 per cent and ranking third is CNZZ with 4.1 per cent market share.
Some numbers about the use of Google Analytics worldwide:
- In Europe, we love Google Analytics, just under 62 per cent of all websites have it installed
- Only South America beats Europe to the top spot with 66.9 per cent
- In Iraq Google Analytics is used by 3.4 per cent of websites, making it the lowest ranking
- Macedonia is the Google Analytics top ranking country in the world with 83.3%
- Asia is the only region of the world with a Google Analytics usage below 50 per cent with 43.5 per cent. CNZZ would have a much higher usage
- under a third of all .mobi websites use Google Analytics as a web analytics tool – 29.4 per cent to be precise
- just under two third of newly created .xxx TLD websites use Google Analytics with 62.2 per cent
- 84 per cent of .ie sites use a traffic analysis tool vs. 68 per cent worldwide
- Google Analytics is installed on 78 per cent of .ie websites
- Full Circle Studies ranks second on .ie websites
- 5 per cent of. ie sites use Adtech vs. 0.3 per cent worldwide
- Adtech ranks third behind AdSense and DoubleClick
See TargetOnlineMarketing.com infographic ‘Who is using Google Analytics in 2012’
Open Call for GAME, a flagship interactive exhibition exploring the future of play from Science Gallery Trinity College Dublin.
Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland is seeking proposals for an upcoming major exhibition GAME
Call Opens: Wed 23rd May
Call Closes: Monday 2nd July
Exhibition duration: 26 October 2012 – 18th January 2013
More details: http://sciencegallery.com/game
Good design informs our decision making. It is often the most influential factor when we are deciding what we buy, where we go and what we do. This is because the way objects, systems and services work and look, throughout their evolution and life cycle, are the result of people designing the underlying plans, processes and build specifications.
Our individual experiences with the functional and aesthetic qualities of objects, processes and services, consciously and subconsciously, acts as the basis for our personal benchmark for what is good design. And that benchmark not only evolves because of new experiences, it also changes depending on a wide range of variables, including environment, mood, whether we are working or relaxing, etc. When we are faced with a new experience or a purchasing decision we refer to the logical and sensori-emotional (aesthetic) values we associate with our most relevant benchmarks for what is good design.
This means that there are no hard and fast rules about what makes for good design. There is good design, bad design and ‘that’ll do’ design. However, designing your product and/or service and support systems should always come at the end of the development process, not the beginning. This is true whether you are designing a product/service to sell; logo and stationery; website; brochure; tender submission; etc.
Pre-Design: Research; Evaluation and Concept Development
There are many ways of approaching the pre-design stage of any project but it can be simplified down to three steps: Research; Evaluation and Concept Development. By thinking in these terms you can make the process as straight-forward and fast-moving, or as complicated, as you want.
A good designer/developer will do the heavy lifting for you, and steer you through the process in round table discussions and by asking key questions. If you decide to take it all on yourself, you should find a friend or colleague who can offer you a client’s perspective, and is willing to ask difficult questions, as you progress.
To make the most of the pre-design stage you should use a range of decision making models. Among the most widely know analysis models are ‘SWOT’ and ‘PEST’ but looking at resources like ‘The Decision Book: Fifty Models for Strategic Thinking’ by R. Tschäppeler & M. Krogerus will help you find models that are a good fit for you. By evaluating the existing service/product providers and the service/product alternatives in diagrammatic form you can quickly see shared traits and trends. It also means you can easily update the profiles as products, services and the market adapts and evolves.
As part of the Evaluation and Concept Development steps you should look at Design under two key headings: Functional and Aesthetic.
Under the heading Functional Design analyse how the products/services work throughout their lifecycle. How intuitive, robust and enjoyable in the user experience (UX) from the perspective of the target user? How intuitive, reliable and flexible is the UX from the perspective of the people building, maintaining and evolving the service/product?
If you are looking at Logo Design you should be asking how legible the logos are when reproduced at different sizes, in different contexts and on different materials, and the inherent production costs. If you are looking at Website Design you should be looking to identify the target audiences; how easy the sites are to navigate and, in terms of structure and content, are they optimised for the UX of the target audience or for the site owners and managers.
Aesthetic Design is all too often dismissed as being far less important than Functional Design. This is not the case. Our initial reaction to any proposition is a sensori-emotional one and a negative reaction will inform all subsequent decisions. Research has show time and again that people make their mind up about products and services within seconds, often ending the interaction there and then. An existing relationship with an owner or advocate of a product/service can alleviate some of the negativity but a sense of doubt will linger.
An analysis of the effectiveness of the Aesthetic Design of the products/services under review should look at how their sensori-emotional values compare to those of the products/services that are the most likely benchmarks for the target audience. It is about drawing up a mental model of how people would expect, and want, the products/services to work and then comparing it to how products/services actually work. The analysis should also include an exploration of the visual language, including the underlying semantics, of the services/products.
If you are looking at Logo Design, Website Design, etc. you should be looking at the balance achieved between friendliness, familiarity, surprise and professionalism, with the hierarchy of these traits being informed by the sector and type of product/service. Additional traits such as angularity or roundness, hardness or softness and solid colour or gradients should also be considered.
The attributes of the typefaces used are very important. Do you think the typefaces were chosen because of a then-current trend or are they appropriate for the product/service and the target market? Following a trend can prove to be a very costly mistake. In 2010 the Waterstones launched a new logo, presumably to convey a more modern, dynamic identity. Only 25 of the company’s stores were rebranded before January 2012 when the company launched a new new logo – the pre-2010 logo without an apostrophe – because they realised the sensori-emotional values of the 2010 logo were not in keeping with the company. James Daunt, managing director of Waterstones said: “Waterstones is an iconic brand deserving a capital W, and a font that reflects authority and confidence — Baskerville does just that.” (see http://www.logodesignlove.com/waterstones-logo)
Colour is also a very important consideration as in certain contexts and cultures it can have significant meaning. In some sectors dominant brands are seen as ‘owning’ certain colour, e.g. Vodafone is Red, O2 is Blue and Meteor is Orange. You should also be looking at the tone of the language, use and type of images, the hierarchy of images and text, etc.
Concept Development: Setting the Design Brief
As part of this final pre-design step you should review your evaluations and map out the desired Functional and Aesthetic traits of your product/service. The resulting Design Brief should establish guidelines that you believe will ensure your product/service will appeal to your target market while at the same time differentiate you from your competition.
A guiding principal is that you strive to compete on your own terms while ensuring the payoff to your target audience, from their perspective, is at least equal to the payoff they get from your competition. This applies to all stages of the interaction between you and your audience, starting with the payoff they’ll get for giving you their time and attention.
The Design Brief should set guidelines and minimum standards for the Functional Design of your product/service. How do you approach delivering an intuitive, reliable, flexible and enjoyable UX for all stakeholders, within the constraints of your budget? What is the realistic lifespan of your product/service? What aspects of the functional design can you carry through to other products/services to help you move people from being product/service advocates to being brand advocates, open to other products/services?
When deciding on your approach to the Aesthetic Design of your product/service you should look at the pros and cons of designing to your audience’s mental model of how your type of product/service works and the visual language, including the underlying semantics, employed. Challenging these preconceptions so as to create a sense of surprise and personality can work to your advantage. It can establish a reputation of being ahead of the curve, not following it, and – as in the case of Apple, Google and Facebook – allow you to make changes without needing to firstly get the buy-in of focus groups. At the same time, the majority of products/services rely on communicating an impression of ‘responding to the market’. As both approaches work you need to decide which is the best fit for you and then just go for it wholeheartedly.
The Design Process
All design projects are subject to constraints but leveraging Functional Design and Aesthetic Design has been proven to pays dividends. Throughout the Design Process you should alternate between focusing on developing and testing the functionality of the component elements and building in the desired sensori-emotional triggers, until you have achieved the optimum balance possible.
Enthusiasm, inventiveness and attention to detail will ensure the Design Process is enjoyable, and the resulting sense of achievement can be immense, if you trust yourself and your approach. And remember, there are no hard and fast rules. There is good design, bad design and ‘that’ll do’ design.
This is a unique opportunity for the Irish business community to come together to hear the world’s leading technology companies such as Facebook, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Cisco and Linkedin talk about how they can help businesses in Ireland across all sectors achieve growth in the most dynamic and competitive of markets. Added to this stellar international line up are Ireland’s hottest entrepreneurs; these are our brightest business leaders who have led technology and non-technology companies from start up right through to billion-dollar acquisition. IIA’s own chairman, Keith Bohanna, is chairing session 3 on how to leverage technology to add competitive edge.
IIA members discount which will receive €50 off the cost of a two day ticket.
The IIA welcomes the Minister for Research and Innovation, Sean Sherlock’s recognition that the existing method of gathering stakeholder feedback for consultation is not sufficiently interactive and is not reflective or representative of the medium used by internet stakeholders.
The IIA is happy to provide a mechanism for online submissions on the Copyright Review Consultation Paper to gather feedback on this paper. The IIA is currently preparing an online survey which includes each of the 86 questions posed in the Copyright Consultation Review Paper. All members and indeed non-members can enter their comments on the issues, ideas and opportunities raised therein. This will allow the IIA to collate the views of its members and enable us to comprehensively represent their concerns and ideas to Government and input into this important legislation. An IIA working group will be assigned to review member feedback and assemble a position paper for submission to the department. The link to this survey will be available in the coming days.
Non-members are welcome to submit their comments using this survey tool. However, comments by non-members will be passed un-collated and un-filtered to the department as it would not be in the best interests of our members to use IIA resources in working for non-members. I believe this methodology strikes the right balance of being inclusive and facilitative whilst prioritising our member’s needs as we are charged to do. Allowing the widest stakeholder feedback is quite simply in the spirit of the community. Stakeholders are not limited to using this tool but it is open to everyone.
This is a great opportunity for the IIA to provide a mechanism for members to engage in policy formation and to be integral to internet policy in Ireland by representing the best interests of its members.
The Minister, in response to questions by the media yesterday said that people could contact the IIA who were going to facilitate feedback via an online forum. This survey is that forum.
For further information, please contact:
Joan Mulvihill, Irish Internet Association: 01 5424154 / 086 389 7552 firstname.lastname@example.org
The IIA in partnership with Irish Times Training are delighted to launch a brand new Diploma course in e-Commerce Management.
This Course covers everything you need to know to run a successful ecommerce business. Click here for more information.
Module 1: Planning your e-Commerce Customer Proposition
Lecturer: Ronan O’Brien of Zatori – The Costume Shop
Module 2: Business Planning
Lecturer: Fionan Dunne of CFO Services
Module 3: Effective Website Design
Lecturer: Gareth Dunlop of Fathom
Module 4: Driving Customer Traffic – PPC, SEO, Affiliate Marketing and E-Mail Marketing, Deals Management
Lecturer: Ronan O’Brien of Zatori
Module 5: Transaction Management
Lecturer: Bob Curran of Buy4Now
Module 6: eCommerce Customer Services: CRM – Relationships and Returns
Lecturer: Bob Curran of Buy4Now
Module 7: eCommerce Customer Services: Deliveries and Deadlines
Lecturer: Rory O’Connor of Scurri.com
Module 8: International e-Commerce: Translations & Transactions
Lecturer: Mark Rodgers of Cipherion Translations
Module 9: Metrics / Analytics
Lecturer : David Murphy of Amplify
Module 10: Content – Images and Copy
Lecturer: Fiona Ashe of FlasheForward Communications
Module 11: Mobile Commerce
Lecturer: Sian Gray, Mobile Marketing specialist (Nokia)
FREE Module : Breakfast Briefing Managing Customer Information: Your Legal Obligations as an eCommerce Manager from Gary Davies, Assistant Data Protection Commissioner
If you’ve got customer information on file you will need to know in what form and for how long you can store it. You will also need to know for what you may use it. You will need to be fully aware of your obligations as a retailer vis a vis Trading Standards etc.. This module is painful but necessary!
This is a guest blog post contributed by Chris Byrne of Newsletter.ie.
So youʼve used email marketing tools to send email, are comfortable with designing effective newsletters and you track email open rates for your campaigns. So whatʼs next? This article on welcome series will show how you can produce more effective and meaningful results than just knowing who opened your email or clicked on a link.
Whilst a single welcome or activation email is useful, a welcome series is a more effective strategy to continually engage, connect and up-sell with your subscriber over time. Let’s admit it, we’ve often purchased something online, then months later cannot recall where we bought it, right? This lack of recall could, and very often does, drive your hard-won customer to the competition. A Welcome series can help avoid that. Let’s look at an example of how this might work:
Amy buys a pair of running shoes online on Monday. Great, she gets an activation email with the usual shipping and returns info. All good so far. Now let’s look at how a Welcome series differs to sending repetitive promotional emails that could drive Amy away from your product.
On Wednesday Amy getʼs the running-shoes and goes for her first 10k in them; all is good. The next day she gets an email asking “How was your run?” and reminds her of the basic steps to share her running experience online. 3 weeks later Amy gets an email survey asking for feedback “How are the running shoes working for you?” and “Here’s some great stories from other runners just like you” . A special offer for a sports bra is included; f this were Keith, heʼd have an offer on running socks. 6 months later Amy getʼs an email with an offer on the latest running shoe and because sheʼs purchased before, a coupon code is included that she can redeem online or bring in-store. So how do we do that, without sending the same email to every subscriber or worse, in the wrong order? With Autoresponders, you can set these messages up ahead of time and create the rules that will only send the relevant email at the right time and importantly, in the right sequence. And knowing gender with integrated apps like Rapleaf saves some embarrassment too; Keith would not be too impressed with a Sportsbra email !
These welcome series emails can be completely automated if your email platform supports this and can be easily integrated with your transaction systems. Communications which are relevant to your subscribersʼ preference and behaviours are more likely to result in repeat purchases from you -not your competition.