CAMPAIGN: ‘Net reputation' survey gets people talking

Despite ­being very well known in mainland ­Europe, Viadeo had zero UK brand awareness and asked Brands2Life to create a campaign to generate a buzz around its UK launch.

Campaign: What Does Your NetRep Say About You?
Client: Viadeo
PR team: Brands2Life
Timescale: March to April 2007 etc
Budget: £8,000

Viadeo is an online business network with over a million members across Europe. Members use Viadeo to create a professional online profile and keep in touch with business partners, find jobs and look for new staff.

Objectives
To create maximum impact for the launch of Viadeo via coverage across business and consumer media. To ­encourage individuals and recruiters to sign up to the Viadeo business ­network.

Strategy and plan
It takes minutes to set up a personal blog site, upload a video clip to YouTube or post pictures online. Brands2Life decided to explore this trend and show how the personal information people leave on the web contributes to their own ‘Internet reputations’, and how this information could be damaging in the wrong hands.

The agency commissioned a survey of 2,000 consumers and 600 employers to explore how people share personal information online.

The results were startling. Sixty per cent of employers enter interviewee’s names into Google and a quarter of HR directors admitted rejecting candidates based on the dubious personal information they’d found on the web. Brands2Life coined the term ‘NetRep’ and wrote a strategic branded report, ‘What Does Your NetRep Say About You?’ The team also developed a ‘Top Tips’ guide to managing your NetRep, encouraging people to create a professional personal profile on Viadeo.

Brands2Life briefed a number of prominent HR bloggers to seed the story online and then arranged a series of advance briefings between Viadeo and mainstream business media.

Measurement and evaluation
In one week alone, more than 40 pieces of coverage appeared, including nine national hits, and an audience of more than 19 million people was reached.

The NetRep report was featured on BBC Radio Five Live twice, before ­being picked up by Radio 2, BBC World Service, Capital Radio and Xfm. The Financial Times ran a ­quarter-page feature, as did The Daily ­Telegraph, the Daily Mail and London freesheets London Lite and the­londonpaper.

Trade coverage included Personnel Today, UK Recruiter and Growing Business. The story also gained coverage in Spain, the US, Australia and India. The Net­Rep launch created the biggest spike of blog conversations about Viadeo in its five-year history.

Results
The number of sign-ups to Viadeo’s UK network rocketed. The advertising equivalent of the coverage achieved was in excess of £250,000 for the first ten articles alone. Head-hunters and recruitment agencies also called Brands2Life to ask how they could join the Viadeo network and access its premium services.

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