Not so long ago, talking about new forms of disintermediated communication by companies was a fast way to be condemned by guardians of journalistic and communicational purism. How dare companies suggest occupying safe spaces traditionally reserved for the media? However, the combination of various factors, such as the the media crisis – of its business model as well as its credibility – the digital tsunami that minimized the costs of creation and dissemination of media messaging, the generalization of social media into the mainstream and companies’ need to carve a niche in the conversation that proliferates on the Internet, has caused that argument to be diluted in the waters of the ocean of modern society.
Therefore, today’s web is abundant with branded content pieces – a flourishing income stream- as well as brand communication initiatives through social media, corporate blogs and messaging through media formats of comparable quality to traditional ones. They are already a common currency in this society of information. Orange’s case is paradigmatic of this trend for the audacity that it has in its combination of media and messaging.
The reality of a company can’t all be said in a communiqué
It’s rare nowadays to find a company that doesn’t use digital platforms to reach their audiences directly and instead preferring situations that require active participation in traditional media to communicate their messages. Because the entire essence of a company can’t be explained in merely just a press release, press conference or an interview, even as these tools are of unquestionable usefulness.
Today, the companies that differentiate themselves are those that live by purpose and that make their mark in the world by accumulating positive contributions to greater society. After all, it is society that legitimizes companies to become opinion leaders. Such purpose also serves to remind companies to always keep in mind its raison d’être and plays a role in attracting and keeping the most qualified professionals. To that end, possible “partners” become attracted and approach companies with which they share values and objectives, etc.
With Orange, its approach to communication is varied and audacious, ranging from the traditional press release to branded content through social networks, corporate blogs or its own Nobbot.com, a platform focused on innovation that plays in the same league as other informative websites of similar characteristics, whether it be traditional media platforms or not.
Content promoting proper use of technology
In terms of branded content, the company has opted for this format “to encourage reflection on the relationship between technology and families and to demonstrate that we want to accompany them and help them in ensuring the responsible use of new technologies,” in the words of Orange´s brand, communication and sponsorship director Isabel Alonso.
With this objective in mind, Orange generates valuable discourse about relevant issues related to the use of new technologies which concern all of us, opening the debate on sensitive issues as Sexting, Cyberbullying and the abuse of mobiles by minors and adults alike, including Sharenting or exposing children to adult content.
To achieve this, Orange has designed an educational website that grows and expands its content monthly to accommodate issues that most concern families and society in general. The website effectively disseminates itself to a growing audience through videos and reports published in the media in the form of branded content pieces. All of this is done under the umbrella hashtag #Porunusolovedelatechnology (for a love-centered use of technology).
But what results has Orange obtained from such a commitment? The effect goes well beyond winning multiple awards and recognitions, such as winning third place in the Youtube Ads Leadership award, the Silver award at the CdeC festival and prizes at the El Sol advertising festival, among others. The videos from the campaign record more than 13 million views per month. This extraordinary diffusion has contributed directly, according to company studies, to an improved public perception of the Orange brand.
As for the other publicity methods pursued by Orange, dominated by web content and other content on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Youtube, the results are not far behind either. The set of corporate websites – By Orange, Let’s Talk about Companies, Pop TV – accumulate 5 million visits per year, combined with 4 million views on its Youtube videos or 7.5 million views on Instagram. It’s website ‘Unlocked’ has also been a success, a site devoted to covering the emerging phenomenon of E-Sports recently dubbed as one of the most interesting sites from which to learn about the so-called “21st century sport”.
An honorable mention is deserved by Nobbot.com, an informative website about innovation that doesn’t speak as much about the Orange brand as about the environment in which it operates and that offers “neutral” information. It offers a purely journalistic viewpoint on innovation and progress in all areas where technology is predominant, and additionally, it offers a holistic view of the progress of mankind. This risky venture has received the support of Nobbot.com’s audience, and 2018 will have ended with more than 7 million visits.
It is strikingly clear how the spectacular results obtained by Orange serve as an example that we are fortunate to live in an extroardinary era of human history in which, thanks to technology, we all can speak and be heard, becoming the whirlpools of streams of that can generate the dynamics towards social change. This potential lies in the hands of individuals, but can also be within organizations. We are all the beginning and end of communicative processes, and likewise we are also the means of the media.
By David Martínez Pradales
Chief Editor of Nobbot, Orange’s website dedicated to innovation