Online strategy for Scottish Water – press release

Image of droplet of waterw00tonomy, Scotland’s leading content marketing agency, is delighted to announce that it is providing Scottish Water with online strategic consultancy.

The utility is seeking to create online services that clearly demonstrate its ongoing commitment to providing excellent customer service. w00tonomy is working with Scottish Water to identify an online strategy, through its understanding of people-focused websites, particularly given the changes that have happened to the internet over the past three years.

Chris Wallace, Director of Communications at Scottish Water said “Customers are at the heart of our business and increasingly they look to connect with us in an online capacity. Therefore, it is important for us to continually review what we offer in this area, and we are excited to be working with w00tonomy on preliminary strategy.”

Stewart Kirkpatrick , Content Marketing Director of w00tonomy and award-winning editor of scotsman.com from 2000 to 2007) said: “Our experience has taught us that to reach target audiences clients need to build a relationship with them based on interesting and relevant content – and websites that deliver these effectively. We are thrilled to be working with Scottish Water and are impressed by their vision of the future.

Content marketing watch – Googles new SearchWiki

Content Marketing Watch is our weekly opinoin piece on the latest industry news; covering the areas of content marketing such as analytics, online marketing, content optimisation, search engine marketing and digital marketing.

We don’t know if people have truly realised the full implications of the latest development from Google Labs, SearchWiki.

Away the from the techincal detail the bottom line is that this new feature provides customers with an additional way to switch off the messages they don’t want to receive and to rate your content.

It adds to our case that your SEO strategy should not focus on just achieving a high ranking for your key search terms. With Searchwiki if the content isn’t relevant your page could be removed or worse negative user generated comments could adversely affect your brand. Where does that leave you. You have to drive your online marketing strategy from the principle of providing content that delivers value to your customer, which is Content Marketing.

In more detail, the new search feature allows you to customise your search results when you are logged into your Google account. You can promote a search result so that the next time you do the same search it appears where you can find it easier. It also lets you add notes and see the notes other people have added for your search results. You can find out more by watching the video below.

Content marketing cast – interview with Gavin Venters of SHOW

Gavin Venters heads up Scottish Health on the Web and is one of the early pioneers of the Internet within the NHS in Scotland. Gavin shares his vision of the online health in the future and discusses current innovative practice within the NHS.

This interview was conducted over Skype as you can tell from my telephone voice.

Keep a look out in the New Year out for the patient video interviews mentioned by Gavin.

w00tonomy teams up with leading newspaper design agency

w00tonomy has formed an alliance with Palmer Watson, one of the world’s leading newspaper design agencies.

Our expertise in online content will help them move into the field of newspaper websites while their knowledge of how design can maximise the appeal of words and pictures adds to our offering to our clients.

Here’s some highlights from the press release about this:

Having been at the forefront of newspaper design throughout Europe and beyond for the past 10 years, Palmer Watson has for some time been exploring options to widen its operations as the newspaper industry moves towards an increasingly digital future.

The new partnership will allow Palmer Watson to combine its renowned design, content and branding experience with the digital expertise of w00tonomy.

Like Palmer Watson, w00tonomy is small but vastly experienced team, with crucial expertise in the field of optimising the appeal of online content.

w00tnomy’s content marketing director, Stewart Kirkpatrick, who succeeded Palmer Watson director Terry Watson as head of content at scotsman.com in the late 1990s, helped make the site a multi award-winning publication which was one of the top 30 Google news search sites in the world. (He left when the newspaper was sold and scotsman.com reverted to a standard newspaper website.) Kirkpatrick was named by the UK Press Gazette as one of the 50 people shaping online journalism worldwide and is a member of the international committee of the Online News Association.

Along with fellow directors Tony Purcell (a web development pioneer) and Dr Graham Jones (an online communications expert), w00tonomy, in conjunction withPalmer Watson’s multi award-winning newspaper track record, aim to offer newspapers a wider consulting service that will help publishers to maximise the opportunities of the digital crossover, and enhance their online and mobile offering.

Several of Palmer Watson’s projects have resulted in the newspapers being named “World’s Best Designed” in the prestigious Society for News Design competition, the most recent being the Danish broadsheet, Politiken, in 2007. 

Founding directors Ally Palmer and Terry Watson began working together in the 1990s in Scottish newspapers and were instrumental in The Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday being recognised worldwide as among the industry’s best. Since forming Palmer Watson, the agency has worked with around 40 publishers – including such iconic newspaper titles as Le Monde and El Pais – across Europe and Scandinavia, and in South America, Russia and Africa. It is currently involved in projects in India, South Africa and the UK.

The combined team will be able to provide to publishers and editors practical, relevant and hands-on expertise encompassing all aspects of how newspapers should be approaching the digital era:  technical, content, revenue, traffic, strategy and design.

The focus of the Palmer Watson and w00tonomy partnership will be on:

  • enhancing the newspaper website user experience
  • creating dynamic content that will boost online traffic
  • maximising traffic
  • optimising online revenue opportunities
  • growing online communities
  • building the ideal combined online/offline user/reader package
  • assisting with newsroom integration and content management

Content Marketing Watch – why the public sector should blog

Content Marketing Watch is our weekly piece on the latest industry news; covering the areas of content marketing such as analytics, online marketing, content optimisation, search engine marketing and digital communications.

To blog or not to blog is a contentious issue for the public sector. Supporters see it as a way for Government to engage in dialogue with people and bring a human face to what is often perceived a souless bureaucracy. The more skeptical see it as communications minefield.

At w00tonomy we believe that blogging is right for the public sector.

Having worked for years with people in the public sector we are always been struck by the disparity between the portrayal of the public sector as impersonal and the passion that many people in the sector feel for their work.

Online we believe one of the main reasons for this is that public sector bodies seek to manage all communications through corporate sites. These sites clearly serve a purpose by providing us with a single source of facts and information but by their very nature they speak with only one voice. The price you pay by limiting your use of the Internet in this way is that you loose engagement and personality.

Blogging provides a way for the public sector to bring that expertise and passion to the surface. It doesn’t have to be from a single person – it can be from a team or a department; you can also invite contributions from experts and interested groups in the field.

To illustrate, here are some “in the field” examples of how blogs are being used in major policy areas from across the pond.

  • Environmental. The Energy Savers blog is a vehicle for discussion and education around environmental issues for the home, workplace and travel.
  • Transport. A blog like this would be of great interest to those in Edinburgh who are trying to deal with the roadworks around the city; the Fast Lane Blog provides a forum for transport officials to discuss and explain public transport policy. The content is provided not only by the team but also by guest bloggers
  • Foreign Policy. Its not just the social issues that can be dealt with through blogs. Dipnote is website where participants are given the opportunity to discuss important foreign policy issues with senior Department officials.
  • Health. Secretary Mike Leavitt has set up a personal blog for his department in which he talks about the health challenges facing the States at home and abroad.

Mike Kujawski has pointed out there are key questions the public sector body needs to answer before setting up a blog

  • Which person or team can write/represent the agency?
  • Can you generate enough content of interest?
  • What is the level of commitment to the blog?
  • What content are you going to produce?
  • What are your review processes?
  • How will you mange comments?

If at the end of considering these questions you decide not to set up a blog, there are potentially thousands of blogs out there that may still be talking about you so you need to be listening and commenting

Content Marketing Watch: ScotWeb2, the web and the public sector

Content Marketing Watch is the latest feature section to be added to our interviews and opinion pieces. For those of you in the industry who are looking to maximise the most value from the content on your site each week we will have a piece on the latest industry news; covering areas of content marketing such as analytics, internet marketing, content optimisation, search engine marketing and digital communications.

Hotfoot from ScotWeb2 – a get-together of those with an interest in the public sector and the internet. Organised by Alex Stobart, a recovering civil servant, 

The highlights, apart from my workshop on making the most of content, were talks by James Munro of PatientOpinon and Simon Dickson of Puffbox.

James’s described how his site offered patient feedback on NHS services. He demonstrated that inviting the public into the conversation, even with negative comments, led to positive outcomes. He also demonstrated PatientOpinon’s automated tagging system for comment, which was one of my “wow” moments of the year.  

Simon Dickson caused everyone’s ears to wring with his revelation that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website cost £19.2m, with the CMS alone costing £1.47m.  Staggered by this he set up a business that builds websites using WordPress, which costs zilch.

This event was a great start to the coming debate over how public sector websites embrace the future.