Managing what’s mine…

digital assets


It’s more than a misspelled swear word.

DAM, it’s good to be back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Yes, I meant to say DAM.

While eight-year- old me is giggling at typing out something so closely resembling a swear word, 20-year -old me sees just an acronym (and also an opportunity for word play, but I digress).

DAM, or Digital Asset Management, is the management, organization and distribution of digital assets from a central repository.

Okay, what’s a digital asset…

A digital asset (eight –year- old me is laughing at how this also closely resembles a swear word) are images, multimedia and textual context files existing in a binary format that come with the right to use.

That last part is important because if something doesn’t have parameters for use, it isn’t considered an asset.

Like in this blog on digital rights management when I showed you how you could determine if you were using someone else’s created content legally and correctly.

How do I start managing my assets?

In that blog, I gave a demo on how to find and understand a photo’s licensing information using Flickr. It just so happens Flickr is a perfect example of digital asset management.

I should say Flickr is a great friend of mine. I’m not looking to make money off of my pictures or anything, they’re free for use. It’s mostly a compilation of pictures I need to be able to access on a computer for academic or professional reasons. Flickr, for me, is quick, efficient and I always know I can access certain pictures in a specific place when my phone’s camera roll just isn’t cutting it.

The point is, even though I’m not posting brilliant photography on there, I can still set parameters for use. Thus making these photos assets.

So, what does a tool like this mean for public relations professionals working within or managing a brand?

Anyone can sign up for Flickr and use it however they like, as long as they have, or create, a Yahoo account.

A company or organization can create one account, give members of their marketing/communications team the login information, and then everyone has access to photographs the content manager has approved to reinforce brand image. Members of the team can then use these photos for assignment as they need.

Other tools can do this, too. Like Hootsuite (specifically its content library), Google Drive, and Dropbox. All of which I am an avid user.

But with Flickr, the brand can set parameters for use on their photos and people outside of the organization can use them, since profiles are public, if they follow the licensing guidelines.

I guess, what I’m getting at is: I’ve got Flickr on the brain. Because the Project Apollo Archive uploaded more than 8,400 photos of NASA’s lunar missions to Flickr earlier this month.

DAM, space is cool.


Walgreens, we’re looking at you…

Hey guys! This week my partner, Ruben, and I teamed up to write this blog over Walgreens’ content strategy together. Be sure to check out his blog here.

And if you need a refresher course on the different types of content, you can check out my last blog here.

So, here’s what we think…

But let’s start with the technical stuff first, from October 1st to October 14th, Walgreens posted to Twitter 23 times, Instagram 10 times, and Facebook 5 times.

First, let’s go in-depth with Twitter.

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Over a 14-day period, Walgreens’ tweets consisted entirely of short and sweet copy, a shortened link to take you to their website page for whatever product or service the tweet was advertising, and an accompanying image. The content was all original, with varying focus, but the format was the same. All 23 tweets fit this description.

Fair enough, but Ruben and I are a little blah about it.

But what’s really interesting is Walgreens’ level of interaction with their Twitter audience.

While they’re not often found retweeting users who mention them, their community manager sure is spending a lot of time replying to their audience members.

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Walgreens consistently thanks anyone who tweets them for shopping at Walgreens, for sharing their stories, and even for thanking Walgreens for service.

Ruben and I both tweeted Walgreens in an attempt for some extra credit, and we each got responses within minutes.


If any of you have interacted with a brand on social media before, you know how exciting it is when you get a quick, personal response.

Thanks, Walgreens. You made us feel good AND earned us some extra credit.

All in all, Walgreens’ Twitter is used to send out advertisements in an effort to draw followers onto their website. BUT they are powerful, personal and quick with their user interactions.And we like that.

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Walgreens’ Instagram, while less active than their Twitter, is almost more captivating.

While they do still promote their products and services here, it’s done a little differently. The copy is typically along the lines of,  “____ is happening today/soon! Find what you need to celebrate in store.”

Links included in captions on Instagram are not functional, so Walgreens does not include the links to their website we saw on Twitter here. We think this gives their Instagram a more relaxed tone behind their original content.

However, where Walgreens is extremely interactive on Twitter, if you take a peek at the comments on their Instagram photos, brand response is nowhere to be found. Even when a customer takes to the comment section to complain about poor in-store service.

Not good, Walgreens. We can only hope you’re, at least, handling these customer service issues in private forums since you’re not responding in the comments.

But, it should be said that Walgreens’ Instagram is very pleasing to the eye and not trying to sell product and services in a way that’s overwhelming. Good for you, Walgreens.

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By the time we got to Walgreens’ Facebook page, we knew what to expect. Original content, identical to Instagram and Twitter, beckoning audience members into their nearest Walgreens to solve whatever common, seasonal problem they’re experiencing.

Except here, they post way less than Twitter or Instagram. But here, they are responding to customer comments.

BUT they seem to only be responding to positive comments. Situations where they can reply “We love you, too.” And they respond to the occasional frantic customer, directing them to call 9-1-1.

This could be better Walgreens, but at least you’re replying, unlike Instagram.

All in all…

In summary, Walgreens’ social media is a solid 6/10. Their copy for their original content is enticing. They’re generally interactive, and quick when they are. And they’re consistent across the three major platforms.

However, they’re consistent almost to a fault in that their major social media accounts are almost identical.

And, they’re neglecting Facebook. Which is odd considering their target audience is of the older variety that tends to frequent Facebook…

But Ruben and I will always have a soft-spot for Walgreens social media because they earned us some extra credit. Thanks for the fun, Walgreens.

You can form your own opinion of their content strategy at Walgreens’ Twitter, Facebook and Instagram by following those hyperlinks. Let us know what you think about their content strategy!

Content Inventory

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The audit you’ll actually want to do…

Quick! Think of your favorite brand.

Quicker! Think about how you interact with that brand on social media platforms.

Do you follow them on every media platform possible? Do you love their posts? Do they post consistently to your liking? Do you share/retweet/favorite them on a regular basis?

Now, consider your answers to those questions. I’ll wait while you do.

Cue Jeopardy theme…

Do you have your answers? Great! You, my friend, just performed your own small-scale social media audit.

“Dana, what on Earth is a social media audit?” I am so glad you asked!

Now I know the word “audit” may trigger some panic because, y’know, taxes. But I promise this kind of audit is one you want to utilize (especially if you’re an aspiring PR practitioner like me).

A social media audit is essentially an examination of how a brand manages their brand online and whether or not they’re utilizing social media to its fullest potential.

Step one of a social media audit is to research. Identify the brand’s “why.” Why are they doing what they’re doing? Identify the brand’s target audience and how the “why” fits in with their demographic and psychographic.

Then, take an inventory of the brand’s digital and social channels. Their website of course, but what social media platforms are they on? Do they have an app? A blog?

Then you should check out their search engine optimization. Basically, when you Google/Yahoo/Bing search the brand, are they the first result?

After that, go to all of their social media platforms and determine how large their follower/audience count is for each one. It also helps if their accounts are verified. While you’re there, evaluate what kind of listening and engagement strategy they’re implementing. Do they reply to tweets from their followers? Do they respond to complaints in a way that is visible to all of their followers?

Finally, it’s time to evaluate their content strategy. This encompasses their frequency of posting, their consistency of content across platforms, tone, calls to action, types of content.

Types of Content

Types of content is my favorite to tell people about because once I tell you about them, you’ll see them everywhere.

Curated Content

  • This is when a company or organization seeks relevant content that already exists and posts it on its own social media accounts.
  • An example of this is when an organization will tweet out a link to an article that was written about it.
  • Here’s an example. A blog on content curation, posting information about content creation, educating by utilizing content creation.

User Generated Content (UGC)

  • UGC is pretty much just what it sounds like.
  • You’ll probably recognize it as when a brand will tweet/post something like, “Send us pictures of you _____!” And then they’ll share their favorites.
  • Essentially, this is when brands utilize audience engagement to get their audience members to contribute to their content creation efforts.

Crowdsourced Content

  • This is similar to UGC, but not all the same.
  • The best example of this is Wikipedia. Meaning it is when a brand looks to its audience members for contributions and inspiration.
  • Like UGC in that the audience does the work, but different in that this is more for ideas of content instead of content itself. (i.e. “What do you want to see on our blog this week?”)
  • Here’s a great article on why crowdsourced content can be useful.

Original Content

Ah, dear old friend…

  • This is exactly what it sounds like.
  • A brand plans, creates and posts content made entirely from scratch. Photos, blogs and copy all from the mind of the brand’s digital planner.

There you have it, the four types of content. Good to know if you’re planning to perform a social media audit anytime soon.

And, if you’re like me, you’ll start recognizing them everywhere you look!

(Did the “Full House” theme just get stuck in anyone else’s head?)