Week 175 – A different project

Johannes reflects on a recently finished project that was different from how we usually work.

When we talked about our plans for 2014 for 2014 two weeks ago, we mentioned how important it is for us to get into a meeting with a possible client, because then we can explain much better what we do and how we approach our projects. We also try to spend as much time in person with our clients as possible. But sometimes, a project is completely different but works out anyway. We just finished one of those with a large German organization.

How this project was different:

  • The client found us via Google and our website.
  • We have never met them in person.
  • The project was about social media in Brazil.

Researching social media in Brazil

They asked us to help them figure out how to do community building around a new online platform that is about to launch in Brazil. As neither Igor nor I speak Portuguese, we recruited a native speaker with some experience in social-media research. Based on our briefing, she put together a huge document detailing the social media behavior of Brazilians, their favorite social networks and possible partners and collaborators to promote the online platform.

All the meetings during this project were conducted via Lync, a Microsoft online conferencing system1, which worked ok for these purposes.

The research was well received in our first online meeting with our client. But in this meeting, we also began to much better understand what our client needed: a study and recommendations for how to do this on a tight media budget and in an environment where the term “social media” is met with distrust.

A theoretical model combined with practical scenarios

So we created a report that detailed our current point of view of how to set up a digital ecosystem around an online entity, based on our version of the bought-owned-earned-media model. We explained in detail why social media (without ever using the term) could be an integrated part of all efforts and works best when it’s not handled as “YetAnotherMediaChannel.”

To make this more feasible for our client, we developed three contrasting scenarios that all used the same model but emphasized different aspects and had differing needs of budget and resources.

Deliverables designed for the client’s use

We usually create these kind of reports and handbooks in Keynote because these documents have to be presented most times. But they also should be understandable by others who are not getting the presentation. That’s why we like to work with a combination of visual and text slides. The visual slide shows the idea or the concept and is for the presentation. The text slide puts the visual slide into words. In a presentation context, we (or our client presenting the deck to others in her or his company) just hide the text slides. From the feedback that we get, this seems to be helpful for our clients.

Last week, we had the final online meeting with out client and walked them through the report we’ve created. They seemed to enjoy our holistic view of how different types of media converge and how we combined our insights with practical recommendations for possible courses of action. It’s always a gamble to come back to a client who asked for “social media“ and present them with a more comprehensive approach. But so far, it has worked out for us every single time.


  1. To be clear, it’s the client’s preferred conferencing system. We wouldn’t recommend using any digital Microsoft services right now, because PRISM. 

Author: Johannes

Johannes is a strategist and consultant for digital communications. His work is informed by his experience of working with brands like Deutsche Telekom, MTV, Postbank, Maggi and Nike and by his insatiable appetite for finding the bigger patterns behind current developments in technology and science. Holding a diploma in Media System Design, Johannes is a regular speaker at web and marketing conferences like Republica and the Social Media Summit.

2 thoughts on “Week 175 – A different project”

  1. “To be clear, it’s the client’s preferred conferencing system. We wouldn’t recommend using any digital Microsoft services right now, because PRISM.”

    What would you recommend instead?

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