Proud communication partner of Belgian Homeless Cup - courageaboveall

In principle, duomedia is a Content PR agency, working from Belgium with a Pan-European reach and a strong focus on technical B2B-markets. But from time to time we like to take on a challenge, an opportunity to work from a different angle, to reach a larger widespread audience and to put our creative caps on. Through a good friend of mine I heard about a great social organisation called the Belgian Homeless Cup (BHC). 

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Allow me to briefly enlighten you on what these guys are doing: the Belgian Homeless Cup believes in the power of football & people and is a social-sportive football competition for the homeless. The idea behind the Belgian Homeless Cup is not so much to get those who are homeless or who have fallen through the cracks of society to play football but rather to give these people back a sense of commitment, social awareness, friendship and structure in their lives. Values picked up by going to weekly football trainings and various events where volunteers assist them and lend a listening ear. This social structure ensures that nothing can bring a person down, not if he or she has something to go for. The tagline is very clear about this: “Courage above all”.

At the very beginning of the organisation, the Belgian Homeless Cup worked together with a former Anderlecht and Belgian international football player. This was excellent in terms of building brand awareness and reaching a large audience, but now it was time to go a little deeper. Within the BHC, football is regarded as a means to an end. The real work is being done every week ‘behind the scenes’ by volunteers, sponsors and organisers.

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The BHC teams are locally linked to the largest football clubs in Belgium. In these days of World Cup euphoria, a time when national teams and international football stars are being collected on stickers and all sorts of memorabilia, we saw an excellent opportunity to make digital collectables of the players from the Belgian Homeless Cup.

duomedia designed the visual with pictures and identity kit of BHC players.These BHC heroes, who are maybe unknown within the official teams in the Belgian national leagues, have a very special and often inspiring story to tell. To do so, we needed the internal cooperation of every BHC team. The result was a proud collection of digital collector cards being shared on social media by people who sympathise with the organisation (including a tweet from Belgian football captain Vincent Kompany - thank you!). These cards were being shared as a teaser for the annual Belgian Homeless Cup tournament organised in Brussels. Through the duomedia news releases being distributed throughout all channels we reached the national television broadcast channels in prime time, radio and news-sites, resulting in a nice coverage of the event and more importantly a great opportunity for follow up stories in the near future. We @duomediapr are a proud Communication partner of the Belgian Homeless Cup and we will continue to cheer along!

Louis De Nolf

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Please go and check out the complete album on the Belgian Homeless Cup’s Facebook

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Win-win for PR agencies and journalists

The relationship between journalists and PR/communication people has been a topic of debate for years already. So when I found out that for the first time in Belgium journalists (VVP and AJP) and communication professionals (3C and BRPCA) had been working together on a survey investigating all aspects of the communication interaction, I jumped at the opportunity to hear the results first hand. They are mostly consumer-oriented and, with a focus on the Belgian market, not representative for the whole of Europe, but still, lessons can always be learned.

Among the findings was the figure that 97% of communication professionals thought press releases have an added value for journalists. Not really that surprising I agree. But what was eyebrow-raising was that as much as 79% of journalists agreed with them.

This figure strengthened my belief that journalists will continue to value the work of those PR agencies they have come to trust for delivering timely and accurate information in a responsive way. Whatever market you are active in.

Journalists and PR professionals need to possess the ability to communicate clearly, concisely, and honestly. Especially in highly technical and precise markets, like the technology and industrial ones duomedia is active in. As a journalist, you must be protective of your publication and your reader. As a communication professional, you must be protective of your company or client. That is also why at duomedia we have many team members with a journalist background, and why we work with many expert journalists for copywriting assignment. For us, it is a perfect and natural fit.

Basically, the key elements for being on the right track are quite simple: research the story pitch before sending it, make sure to articulate the content in a couple of sentences instead of sending a manifesto and keep the email subject line newsy and not cutesy. Your company will then belong to the exclusive club of agencies that have ‘got it’ and will earn the respect of the journalists you are working with. In a nutshell, if you can’t write good tailor-made content, talk to people, and put forth easily understandable arguments, you are in the wrong profession. Both as a journalist and a PR person.

So if you “get” it, you will see for yourself that you succeed in joining the community of the industry you are striving to reach. In the end it comes down to showing respect between all parties involved -  journalists, PR agencies and companies - and keeping each other in balance for a perfect win-win-win situation..

You can find a link to the full article by clicking here.

Louis De Nolf

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The 2013 wrap-up blog

Wait, what – wrap-up already? Yes, you got that right, this year has just flown by so it seems. 

Professionally the year has treated us kindly, allowing us to support our customers at great events like Fespa, Labelexpo, Viscom and Fachpack. We spoke to the customers of customers and did some great stories and videos.  We unraveled crossmedia campaigns, developing content for print, digital and social campaigns. Challenging projects, but vital for the future of this industry and PR trade.  First results are more than satisfying, so this is a course we’ll be further pursuing in 2014. In Belgium we say: “Standing still is going back.”

Or as Darwin said: the survivors will be the ones most adaptable to change.

That’s why we were also thrilled to welcome Louis De Nolf to our management team. And expanding our communication reach in the DACH area with the partnership with Naucke_Kommunikation. In Russia we’re also working with  Elena Bondarenko to offer on site communication services. Kicking our strategy into another gear for an even better 2014.

We’re not afraid to challenge our comfort zone, so make sure to send us your wishlist for 2014.

On a personal plane, 2013 did not treat some of the duomedia team members all that kindly. We’ve experienced some scary, tough and rough even couple of days and weeks, but you stuck by us. Your words and acts of support were heartwarming. From the bottom of our heart, thank you

-       for your kind messages of support and consolation

-       for your continued trust in our expertise

-       for putting the personal back into public relations

We’re taking a break that starts December 23, 2013. Most of us will be back on January 2nd, 2014.

Have a festive Christmas and inspiring New Year!

duomedia will be ready to engage with you next year! Above and beyond.

Cheers to 2014 - we’re ready for you!

Some pix at:

#duoXmas

#duoselfie



#SMDAYBE - because content is hot and great content is sexy

The hashtag left somewhat to the imagination plus some comments on my Facebook page, but its content sure set the tone. The organizers went out of their way to get some big references over to the Race Circuit in Zolder. The Audi R8 racing beneath our feet was a bonus and torture at the same time.

Content was the name of the game and did this game get played. What generates great content? Emotion, so it seems. Nearly every presenter advised us to use emotions to create content that sticks. And whereas #DMF13 did not get farther than an emotionless stressing of how you have to track data and traffic, #SMdayBE actually gave pointers on how to analyze that information and put it to good use.

And how does one do that?

1. Good content should be in your DNA and come from the heart, dixit @dadovanpeteghem.

B2B does not stand for Boring 2 Boring.  You and your company are passionate about what you do? So are your customers - find them on the social channels and reach out them. Talk about what they’ve been up to. Emotion triggers interaction. And word of mouth translates online. So engage with your online ambassadors.

2. Whip a conversion strategy into place, @conversionation recommends.

Research, analyse and make an informed decision. What do you want to achieve? How, with whom, at what timing and to what effect? Then you focus on preparing the content. And don’t forget to tap into the information resources available with your internal team of sales, IT and marketing.

3. Tell us a story. The most captivating ones are the ones our mother told, @guidooohh reminds us.

She told them in a slow flow, but they stuck by us for the rest of our lives. Remember how she added more dragons or fairies to the story based on our reaction. That’s content generation - base it on what people want, not what you think they want. And deliver the message on an emotional, rational and esthetic level. Use your facts and figures to tell a story, but make it a compelling and a visual one. Most presenters used a short video to illustrate their statements, the style of the video was adjusted to the content. You match the shoes with the dress, match the visual with your content.

4. Content communication is not a quickie, it’s a relationship. So treat it as such, @Contentgirl advised us.

It should be meaningful and feel right when you’re doing it. Not getting that vibe? Work on it! A practical workshop at the end of the day taught us that the hard way.

5. Respect the organic flow of the digital/social loop.

Collect the info, analyze it and turn it into content. Push the content out and aim and be ready for an organic/viral approach. Solid advice from @philippedepuydt.Collect and analyze that data. Rework. Interact. Experiment (heard of wifi marketing yet? I didn’t).

So what am I going to do with what I picked up?

Try it. Fail. Try again. Feel. Grow. Learn. A new mantra is born.

Maya Staels

 

 



Would you like to dance? said the grand old duke

It used to be a party game – The Grand Old Duke of York – where we chose our partners and marched him up to the top of the hill and we marched him down again. Hearing the Duke of York speaking at the Printing Charity Lunch recently got me dreaming.

I believe that there are things that set our industry apart such as the closeness of its community and its support for associated charities. One key event in the printing industry calendar is the annual Printing Charity Lunch. This year’s event which took place in November was special.  Taking place at Stationers’ Hall in the City of London the main guest speaker was His Royal Highness Prince Andrew, The Duke of York. This was the 186th annual luncheon for the Printing Charity and it was naturally a full house – an eclectic mix of suppliers, organizations, publishers, journalists, print buyers and the like.  

I hadn’t heard Prince Andrew speak before so was looking forward to hearing what he had to say. He was relaxed and outgoing and spoke about his family especially his brother Charles, The Prince of Wales and joking about his 65th birthday celebrations. Prince Andrew talked about his work with education, skills, apprenticeships and SME’s which he believes underpin any country’s future economic success. He praised the Printing Charity for its efforts and work over many years and during challenging times. I have to say, he was a breath of fresh air and I felt a tweet coming on and had to write that he was ‘on the button’ in saying – “give young people a chance to prove themselves”.  The lunch was quite formal with a few announcements including  Lord Black of Brentwood, Executive Director of the Telegraph Media Group accepting the Printing Charity’s invitation to serve for a second term as its President  - HRH certainly livened up the proceedings and tweets were tweeting for hours afterwards including @TheDukeOfYork !

Stationers’ Hall is a world apart with its rich history and ghosts of printers past but it remains a wonderfully warm and welcoming venue for many print associated functions in the 21st century.  For over 600 years the hall has been home to the Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers who continue to support the printing industry today with uptodate events such as the Digital Media Group and, through the Stationers’ Charitable Foundation, the Shine Awards designed to appeal to today’s young people and attract them into a career in publishing. The Hall today is one of the beautiful and envied in London.  

Another key building close by and associated with our industry is St Bride Foundation at the back of Fleet Street, home of the newspaper industry. St Bride comprises the printing industry foundation, the printers’ church, book binding and letterpress workshops and a wonderful printing library and archive. These premises are also used by many in the industry for events.

I think I am very lucky to have these places on my doorstep where I can source the history of our industry, meet with like minds to learn and to network -  oh and dream of dancing with a prince!

Annie Hotton

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http://www.stationers.org/



Digital Marketing First - clear vision, mixed emotions

Attended Digital Marketing First on October 17th at the gorgeous Tour & Taxis premises in Brussels. Printed (that’s right) my entrance badge, floor plan and conference schedule. Spent the whole day listening to the digital specialists and took way too many notes to be processed into one blog. So here are some of the statements that haunt my mind still.

-       We’re more transparent than we want to be

Are YOU? And if you feel that way, how come? Because we don’t know how to handle the digital rise? Do your research and pick a strategy you’re comfortable with, especially in a B2B environment. In my humble opinion, you are as transparent you choose to be.

-       I don’t need this in print, I have apps for that!

True, as a consumer I use apps all the time. But the important stuff, that is still printed at my house and office.  Some speakers said print is dead. I tend to disagree.  I see great value for print in a cross-media approach.

-       We live in a world of instant gratification, mobile puts the knowledge of the world in your pocket.

We do indeed have the info when we need it: during a sales meeting looking up the features of a product, the telephone number of your PR person, or in my case a quote for being a smarty-pants in a blog:

“There are those who seek knowledge for the sake of knowledge; that is Curiosity. There are those who seek knowledge to be known by others; that is Vanity. There are those who seek knowledge in order to serve; that is Love.” (Bernard of Clairvaux) Who are you?

What really got repeated in nearly every presentation was how to drive content. But where does that content come from? Digital can provide you with all the data you need to map out your communication strategy . But you still need to create the content. Again, a selection:

-       Be a gatekeeper, information is pushed from all sides, but you need to value expertise

I could not agree more, a critical mind with a thorough market knowledge and open mindset is golden these days.

-       A user centric way of thinking will be crucial.

What does your audience want/need? Move away from your company-centric approach. A digital user is ruthless, you have to get it right from the first click.

-       Content forking

I love this - the visual of sticking a fork in a big chunk of content pops to mind. Analyse the data you’re tracking on the website. What works, what doesn’t? Kill your darlings if you must, but make sure to tailor your content to what people are looking for. And adjust your content to the channels you’re using. 

-       Engagement online does not correlate to offline sales

We’re building relationships here and laying foundations. (F)actual data can help you show how to achieve that. And in the long run make sales.

And my favourite of the day:

- Don’t turn off your cell phones, you may want to tweet or take notes. (Marcel Molenaar at LinkedIn)

I tweeted. A lot. And often tweeted before I even wrote something down. I’m a digital adopter and my iPhone is sometimes glued to my thumb, but the key input for this blog came from my scribbled notes in my notepad. Because I do remain a print lover at heart.

I believe digital is on the rise and will gain increasing market share in the communication mix.  But I don’t believe in a solely digital approach. I’m a cross-media kind of girl.

Maya Staels

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P.S. From a communication point of view, I would have loved to see at the event: a twitterwall, charging station for the iDevices (a lot that tweeting taxes your battery, I wouldn’t have minded the sales pitch while charging) and a weblink  where I could download all the presentations given that day. See you next year?



Print Efficiently 2013 - efficiently hosted for maximum results

Optimum product efficiency to maximise profitability is something all operations are striving to achieve. New investments may help remedy throughput issues in the various stages of the print production chain, but a fluid operational workflow - from creation to completion - is the only way to have ultimate performance peace of mind.

It is helping businesses achieve this that was the thinking behind this month’s Print Efficiently.

In its third year, and this time staged at Apex Digital Graphics, this two-week event brought together leading UK printing industry suppliers, representing more than 32 leading product brands. 

To demonstrate the latest software, systems and equipment, the partners created five distinct process zones covering pre-press, MIS, web2print and workflow, CtP and litho print, digital print, post-press and mailroom as well as photobooks and value-added print production.

The welcoming and relaxed environment enabled the many visitors to closely examine the solutions and judge for themselves their potential for improving their business, the products and services they offer, and the way they work.

What was interesting was the dynamics of the partners and their collective aim to create an effective collaboration that has something to offer any print business. And in a period of transformation for larger shows and the popularity of events organised for niche markets it was certainly interesting to see how Print Efficiently sits in the print industry’s calendar.

With a number of deals agreed across the partner base it is fair to say there is definitely a place for this all-embracing approach to customers.

Catherine Carter



Labelexpo Europe 2013 - the newbie’s perspective

I don’t know how you are supposed to feel at Labelexpo, but if excitement and marvel are on the fair’s list of ‘sentiments to evoke’, I have to say they succeeded graciously. The fact that this was my first B2B  trade fair in the graphic arts industry will obviously have contributed to the feeling of surprise that constantly overtook me on September 25th - ‘my day’ at Labelexpo Europe 2013. After eleven months of heavy learning and supporting duomedia’s clients in all sorts of ways, I finally got the change to experience what it’s all about. Labelexpo made something very clear to me: we are not trying to sell our clients or their products at all means or by any cost. We are simply trying to contribute on spreading the word on the show and the solutions to help this industry thrive further. We’re all in this together, making the most of it the way we best can.

To see so many players in the packaging and labeling industry gathered in one place, ready to patiently explain anything on their impressive high tech devices, really excited and surprised me.  The first example that comes to mind is Xeikon and I want to thank the booth crew  for explaining what to them will have been a very basic principle of printing; but for me opened up a whole new world. I loved seeing the hundreds of labeled sample products at the booths - if you would know how many things you regularly buy in the supermarket which have a little bit of Esko in them, you would be surprised. And most of all, I enjoyed the live demonstrations these companies are having  for a big and well-informed audience - you can’t just make promises without putting them to the test, but Kodak surely nailed that one on the MPS-stand.

All PR efforts of previous months contributed and built up to this, and although I felt completely lost more often than I dare to admit, I truly felt being a part of the magic. Thank you Labelexpo, see you next time.

Marijke De Troyer

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Have you read the papers?

The newspaper printing and publishing sector may be facing a number of market challenges, thanks to the proliferation of online and mobile communication, but the industry’s positivity and thirst for knowledge was clearly evident at Wan-Ifra 2013.

The 43rd annual exhibition, held this time in Berlin, saw visitor attendance rise by more than 20% to 8,500 from 90 counties, up from the 7,000 who attended in 2012.

This is quite an achievement when you consider the contraction in the sector and also the fortunes of other print related shows which are not faring quite so well.

A lot of the interest is being driven by manufacturer research and development and dedication to creating solutions that are perfectly placed to address the needs for shorter run publications that add value in some way – whether that is greater regionalization, variable content or interactive promotions.

Vincent Peyrègne, CEO of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA), the organiser of the event agreed the feeling in the industry was positive and went on to highlight that he thought the combined approach between digital and litho technologies had a lot to do with it.

He explained that the two working hand in hand was having a significant impact on the print production landscape particularly with more and more suppliers reconsidering how a combined approach can make a difference.

Kodak of course has been a pioneer of this new newspaper production perspective with the development of its KODAK PROSPER S30 Imprinting Systems. Companies already discovering the business-winning benefits of the technology are Axel Springer and News UK. The latter installation, the largest in the UK, involved no less than 22 PROSPER S30 Imprinting Systems and the publisher of The Sun, The Times and The Sunday Times has mounted the high-speed digital printing heads inline on its offset presses at its Newsprinters’s sites Broxbourne, Knowsley and Eurocentral, and at contract sites in Kells (Ireland) and Belfast.  That shows there’s a lot of future in this branch!

And though it is one of the shows that is not as frequented as much by the press, we saw an engaged press audience, all eager to find out more how this graphic branch will further evolve.

We look forward to what the following 12 months bring and how that will be reflected at next year’s World Publishing Expo in Amsterdam, from 13 to 15 October 2014. See you there!

Ingrid Van Loocke



The Good News About Events - Print 13

Tradeshow season is here, and all over the world companies (and the PR firms that represent them!) are actively participating – exhibiting, tweeting, announcing, and making the most of all that these events have to offer.

But as the industry continues to evolve, many of us are asking, “What do these shows really offer us?”

PRINT 13, which was held last month in Chicago, Illinois in the US gives us a great chance to answer that that question.

I talked to a few people in the manufacturer/supplier space who had a long history of attending PRINT and Graph Expo. They told me stories about the “old days” when PRINT took up the all of the McCormick Conference Center - a massive space. They looked around at the trade show and shook their heads over how much the show had diminished in size, now taking only a quarter of the space it once had.

The show was made even smaller this year by the absence of such vendors as Agfa, Heidelberg, Screen and Kodak (though Kodak did have a small presence in the back of the hall.) But out of  24,695 participants, which included exhibitors and attendees, the show organiser officially confirms that 16,728 actual verified attendee/buyers—up 22% from 2012—attended. This means that show goers came well-prepared to examine, compare and purchase the latest graphic communications technologies.

So these are the numbers. But what if we stop measuring trade shows like PRINT 13 only on historical numbers, and look instead at what value the show has to offer the industry?

To start, let’s look at innovation.  Even though it’s only a year after drupa, PRINT 13 saw many companies introducing new products and technologies. There were a record number of entries for Must See ‘Em Awards which are given to the most compelling product introduced at PRINT 13.

WhatTheyThink Senior Editor Cary Sherburne talked about the level of innovation at PRINT 13, saying, “What is really exciting is to see how developers on the software side have sped up their software development cycles. We’ve been slow to do that in our industry, but really, you have to do that today to be successful. As result, PRINT 13 saw the introduction of lots of new and very interesting solutions.”

Attendees were quick to engage with these new solutions. The halls were full of people who were focused on learning more from presentations and product demonstrations.  Vendors I spoke to said there were a high number of attendees who were well educated  - attendees knew what they were looking for before they got to the show and were ready to make purchasing decisions.

PRINT 13 gave us the chance to see how fast this industry is moving. To keep pace, companies need to be engaged with what is happening and with the vendors who are leading these innovations. To achieve that level of engagement, and get in an in-depth understanding of what these innovations mean for their business, events like PRINT 13 are incredibly valuable.

And for the vendors that exhibit at these events, that is good news.

Marion Williams-Bennett



Viscom Paris 2013 : Happy Birthday !

La semaine 39 fut une semaine trépidante pour toute l’équipe de duomedia. Labelexpo en Belgique, Fachpack en Allemagne, Viscom en France… chaque pays faisait son show. Beaucoup de nos clients aussi. Certains, encore plus que d’autres. Esko, par exemple, était exposant sur les 3 salons.

La particularité de Viscom 2013 ? Les 25 ans du salon, sans aucun doute. Un quart de siècle à réunir toutes les solutions et les innovations en communication visuelle dont l’évolution est visible au fil du temps. Dorénavant, la communication en grand format s’inscrit dans une nouvelle dimension. Qu’il s’agisse du digital media par l’intermédiaire duquel le marketing invente de nouvelles formes d’interactivité avec les consommateurs, du textile qui se décline dans des habillages imprimés taille XXL ou bien encore de l’enseigne lumineuse qui se renouvelle grâce aux solutions d’éclairage à diodes.

La fréquentation de cette année 2013 est stable par rapport à celle de l’an dernier, soit près de 11 000 visiteurs et 150 exposants. Toutefois avec 57 % de décisionnaires et 24% de prescripteurs, le salon Viscom Paris enregistre, cette année, une progression qualitative de son public.

La zone d’animation ‘Imag’In The Shopping Center’ dédiée au savoir-faire de la communication visuelle dans les espaces commerciaux a accueilli une  hausse de fréquentation de 28% par rapport à la zone dédiée à l’univers des aéroports, l’an dernier. Très clairement, la communication des espaces commerciaux et des points de ventes B to C à le vent en poupe ! Enseigne, signalétique, vitrophanie, bâches imprimées, affichages publicitaires (panneaux déroulants, écrans), mobilier urbain, éclairage : un marché qui exige prouesses technologiques et performance de haut niveau !

Quelques belles ventes de tables de découpe Kongsberg chez Esko, l’un des plus grands stands du salon pour Mimaki (faut dire qu’il en fallait de la place pour montrer toutes les nouvelles solutions d’impression jet d’encre) ; ce n’est donc pas sans une certaine fierté que j’introduisais mes amis journalistes sur les stands de nos clients afin de leur obtenir la visibilité dans la presse qu’ils méritent !

A vos magazines !

Et rendez-vous pour le prochain Viscom Paris, Porte de Versailles, les 9, 10 et 11 septembre 2014.

Annie Garçon



Labelexpo – a magic label for an integrated (communication) package

Let’s do a blog that reflects the enthusiasm and importance of the show! Great but terrifying idea. Easier said than done. I feel there is so much to cover, one blog can’t possibly cover it all. But here goes.

Official figures teach us that there are 600 exhibitors from 37 countries, filling 7 halls of Brussels expo, 30000 projected visitors and with visiting press from 35 countries. Needless to say it was a key show for many of the duomedia clients present. Especially when looking at the trends Mike Fairley put forward in his opening overview.  Moving into digital? Check! Personalisation? Check! Wine and beverage labels? Double check! With so much going on in this fascinating market, FINAT’s president Kurt Walker couldn’t stress enough that the industry needs good communication to keep up with the trends and regulations – an important task for this global industry association and the key European labeling/packaging show.

So what did we do at this show, you ask? What didn’t we do? You know how we’re always preaching integration in your communication efforts? This Labelexpo and our contribution to it felt like one big integrated campaign. We had a tight schedule to manage all copywriting, press conferences, booth press meetings and social media support, but we managed to fit everything in. Just check our social media timelines to see who was doing what. Anja tweeted live from the FINAT opening speech. Lut could be found shooting videos at Kodak’s and Esko’s. Nancy and myself were meanwhile at Xeikon’s helping out with on-booth copywriting and press conference posting and tweeting. Ingrid tweeted the latest on Kodak and its on-booth press conference. And the entire team (clients and duomedia)(re)tweeted, shared, posted and liked it on Twitter and Facebook, including our support team managing the newsroom and localization, Seb, Marijke and Coline.

See integration is a beautiful thing, but it requires a lot of professionalism, dedication and support to get everything scheduled, briefed and executed. We (duomedia and clients) had a fabulous show, but that’s only because we have an excellent team of duomedia go-getters and driven clients. Thanks for taking our PR advice and increasing your visibility at this show.

On a final note, the #labelexpo hashtag accounts for about 62,480 impressions according to Tweetreach. So I hope all exhibitors leveraged their social efforts prior, during and after the show on a print, digital and social level. Because that’s when you can make magic happen. (Oh wait, isn’t the magic imagery already taken?)

Thanks for having us Labelexpo – we had a blast!

Maya Staels



The Video Opportunity

The numbers tell the story of why video has become so popular. Consumer consumption of video has exploded over the past few years. According to YouTube, over 4 billion hours of video are watched each month. 4 billion. This number means that not only have people gotten comfortable with watching videos online, they actually prefer it.

And we’re not just talking funny cat videos here. No, ask yourself how often you look for a company, its products  or  its representatives and how often you click on the video. See, there’s some serious B2B potential there. And with those 2 Bs we mean:

  1. boosting your search engine results. Research from Searchmetrics found that, of all content included in Google’s general search listings, video appeared most frequently, being displayed in over 70 percent of search results.
  2. building  customer engagement. Customers can see the “human” side of your company delivering a message that they can relate to. Hearing the message, seeing the facial expressions and the inflections give a human voice to the messages that you are communicating in other mediums.

But if you are thinking of getting into video, it’s important that your videos support your overall marketing efforts, and to do that, you’ll need more than just a smartphone and an account on YouTube. To use video effectively, you need to treat it as a part of your overall communications plan.  Like your brochures and your press releases, your videos need to have a clear message and be presented in an engaging, professional way. Some pointers, from us to you:

  • Events are becoming a great way for businesses and publications to do video interviews. Take advantage of these opportunities, but before you do, be sure you have identified the right people in your company to be interviewed. Those people should be briefed on the corporate message and should have some practice so that they feel comfortable in front of the camera.
  • If you are creating your own video, be sure that you have a clear idea on what you want to communicate. To do this, you need the help of a professional – either a videographer and/or a communications professional who can guide you through the process of creating and delivering your message on video in an engaging way.
  • Don’t let the video go to waste! Whether it’s a video you produced, or you appear in a video that was produced elsewhere, its power will be limited if it just gets posted to a website or only on YouTube. Maximize your video by providing links on your website and your social media platforms  like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Do an email campaign to your best customers and prospects and include the video as part of the email campaign. Use the video (or parts of the video) in presentations.

The upcoming Labelexpo Europe conference is an example of an event that will provide great opportunities for creating videos. (Remember this one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZ1Y2E6xLM0&feature=c4-overview&list=UUUTSlVeQnZVAMCXFEtTMu2A) duomedia will be shooting video interviews and updates live for the show floor. You’ll see us there in front of and behind the camera. Be sure to talk with us and see how we can help you capture your video news in a professional, informed, and engaging way.



4 reasons why translations mean healthier search rankings

Appearing on the first page of search results is the Holy Grail of any SEO strategy. One of the most cost-effective – and overlooked – ways to surge up the rankings is with high-quality translations. Here’s why:  

1.     Translated content isn’t duplicated content

Google loves new content, especially since its last algorithm update, Penguin. And the great thing about translated content is Google doesn’t deem it duplicated content. So why not use translations to wring every last drop of value from your marketing collateral? It’s a no-brainer. If you’ve got a whitepaper crammed with expert insight sitting on the server twiddling its thumbs,  translate it for local markets. For a small cost you’ve suddenly got some fresh, Google-pleasing content on your hands. Plus, localized content could really help your sales teams convince prospects in local markets that you’re a company that knows what it’s talking about. 

2.     More content to share on social media

Social media are fundamental to SEO strategies, as Google now assigns more importance to shared content. Whenever you translate content, you’ve got something new to share on social media – essentially, something new that can be picked up by Google. And don’t forget, the lifespan of shared content on social networks is very short – translations multiply this lifespan by the number of languages you translate content into.

3.     There’s less competition on non-English searches

Translations make it easier to rank higher on non-English searches as there’s less non-English content being created. Quite simply, you’re up against less competition.

This is obviously also true with key word competition.

It’s also worth pointing out that when a non-native-English speaker does find your content, they’re likely to be impressed you’ve addressed them in their mother tongue, which will help you build loyal communities in other languages.

4.     More link opportunities mean more traffic

Translations increase the chance of editorial pick-up in online publications. The higher visibility will directly increase traffic to your website, while the higher publication rate will increase the natural linking to your site, which will give your rankings a shot in the arm.

So if your server is brimming with top-quality content – the kind that could really help your customers and prospects with their day-to-day business – why not unlock this SEO treasure chest? 

For the modest cost of a professional translation, you could bump your company up those all-important search rankings.

PS SEO isn’t the only place where translations earn their keep – check out our earlier post on why translations are good for business.

Sébastien Le Roux

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Guest blog - A brave new world for labels

As an industry, we often focus on the challenges facing us. The economic conditions of the last few years have brought with them substantial trading difficulties, and there are other pressures too including the development costs associated with creating ever-more sustainable products.

However, these challenges represent only one side of the picture. The innovations that have continued to take place – both in technology and in business processes and structures – mean that ours is an industry well positioned to continue long into the future. Big opportunities are still out there, and drawing lessons from what has happened in the past is one important way to make the most of those opportunities.   

Resisting commoditization

Label commoditization is a significant issue across the industry. Design and functional packaging trends are impacting label production and leading to a more minimalistic approach – with simpler designs, fewer colors and less sophisticated finishing. When combined with brand owner pressure on label costs, the result can be a very basic approach to labeling and packaging. This can go to the extremes: who could have imagined, for example, the emergence of totally blank packets for cigarettes?

Converters and materials suppliers have to keep a close eye on this trend. My own view is that it presents us with a great opportunity for innovations – for example functional labels and reclosures.  There is an incentive to create products that add value to the printed label, going well beyond its original functions of information, identification and decoration.

One of the most interesting areas where this is evident, and where we are already adding considerable value, is in the evolution of multi-functional labels.  

The potential of smart labels extends far beyond the original tasks of a label. A whole range of smart label materials and converting solutions has been introduced over the past ten years, yet the industry seems to have been slow to exploit the opportunities that are now available to improve food safety, brand marketing, brand protection, traceability and more. So, how can we better meet these customer needs? 

Interactive labels are one example of something that is very interesting to brand owners at the moment.  We are about to see a transformation in the way that brands, through the vehicle of packaging, engage with consumers – linking them directly to brand content via a simple tap with a smartphone. Near Field Communications (NFC) has been around for some time, but is rapidly gaining momentum thanks to the proliferation of mobile devices.  By 2014, 570 million phones will feature NFC technology, effectively changing the retail shelf experience. A typical scenario involves a consumer walking down the aisle of the local market, tapping a food product and instantly generating an e-coupon while also seeing a quick and engaging brand story.  When putting the jar into a shopping cart, suggestions also appear of complementary products from the brand.

Conclusion

This is a brave new world for labels, and brand owners are actively seeking partners in the label industry who can make it all happen. What can at first appear to be a barrier to growth, or even a threat to existing products, can often become a new source of revenue.

Rob Verbruggen

Senior Marketing Communications Manager | Avery Dennison Label & Packaging Materials Europe

 

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