News & Updates

News and Perspectives from Integrated Media Strategies

 

NC BioImpact was originally a $76 million Golden LEAF grant-funded initiative called the Biomanufacturing and Pharmaceutical Training Consortium, or BPTC.  The consortium comprised industry, the NC University System (UNC), and the NC Community College System BioNetwork.  Other partners included the NC Biotech Center, and the NC Department of Commerce.  Its goal was to develop the infrastructure and programs to provide the specialized workforce for North Carolina's biotech industry.  The principal at Integrated Media Strategies led BioNetwork's marketing and recruitment, growing student recruitment in life sciences programs from several hundred a year to several thousand.  He also chaired the BPTC's marketing committee which developed a strategy to market the state's life sciences workforce programs as a way to give companies locating in North Carolina a strategic competitive advantage.   

The challenge was simple - create positive sentiment to counter 100 million dollars of negative advertising, misinformation and PR from the petroleum industry and develop support for an advanced biofuels industry that didn't yet exist. On a budget.  In 2010, the principal at Integrated Media Strategies planned, developed and implemented an  integrated media campaign with a new website, digital and social media, participation by the general public, and public service announcements on TV.  By the end of the campaign, the campaign had achieved some impressive results:

  • More than 100,000 people visited the booth where the campaign was launched during the 2010 State Fair
  • 550 unpaid green-screen video endorsements by the general public in three thematic areas - biofuels are good for the economy, environment, and strategic security
  • Twelve 30 second PSAs were created from the video endorsements that were seen by more than 80% of North Carolina residents.  Airing them during March Madness helped, too.

The principal at Integrated Media Strategies launched and branded the Biofuels Center of North Carolina and as part of the organization's communications goals obtained and led a federally funded American Recovery & Reinvestment Act public education campaign about cellulosic biofuels in North Carolina.  He drafted the campaign plan and led a small team of contractors to implement the plan between the end of October 2010 and April 2011 and despite a highly compressed timeline, successfully managed an integrated media campaign that generated millions of positive interactions about advanced biofuels. 

The campaign began with a green-screen booth at the NC State Fair that solicited unpaid endorsements about biofuels from the public.  Using talking points, more than 550 videos were generated over the 10 days of the show at an average of one every 10 minutes from the approximately 100,000 people who visited the booth.   Within 24 hours of being shot, the greenscreen videos were edited and uploaded with appropriate metadata to a new dedicated biofuels Youtube Channel and embedded on searchable pages on the NC Biofuels campaign website

We have assisted the Advanced Manufacturing Alliance develop and implement a strategic approach to its communications infrastructure, branding, and develop common messaging among the partner organizations.  This is a key element for consortiums where members have disparate brands, strengths and priorities. We developed a website with partitioned user access for the 10 community colleges, file storage and transfer capabilities for curricula and video, and a built-in browser-based video conferencing capability to ease interactions among colleges widely dispersed across North Carolina.   Already, searching for "advanced manufacturing, NC" shows the Alliance at #1 in Google.  Integrated Media Strategies was selected for this project, which is the larget single grant to a community college in the 50-year history of the North Carolina Community College System.  We have provided guidance on how to effectively post updates on progress, thereby positively impacting student recruitment, economic development positioning, Google ranking, search visibility and transparency with the grant funders, the US DOL.

biofuelswikithumbAthough this site is currently no longer being supported, during the period it was up, it attracted an average of 35,000 topic views a month from more than 60 countries. The 1,300 pages of content on the wiki was contributed by more than 120 registered users.  Among the unique features on the site was a plugin that connected users profiles with their Linked In profiles, so that they could post pages to Linked In groups after creating or updating content on the wiki. The open source site, which was initiated by the principal, provided useful content a broad range of visitors looking for information about industrial biotechnology, biomass crops, biofuels, bioproducts and bioplastics and related subject matter.  It also had a section for company listings.

 

b2ap3 large newmediatrends"75% of PR agency owners don't know much about social media"  That's a headline from a recent PR industry survey showing the extent to which social media is impacting some of the traditional ways of doing business.  The survey highlights how 90% of Public Relations owners don't believe social media will replace traditional print and broadcast media, but simultaneously assert that 78% say it's important to offer social media services. 

Pitching a campaign with a social media component tacked on doesn't work.  It isn't culturally sustainable, and can create and expose brand and messaging dissonance with consumers and stakeholders. Tweets say this, practice says that. New media has consequences for organizations who are being caught flat-footed at the speed with which conversations can evolve and communications should be organized - to use a military phrase - to fight today's war, not the last one.

 

 

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