Gorkana Workshop

On the 25th of October, we were lucky enough to be given a workshop by Gorkana Senior Clients Insights Manager, Orla Graham. Gorkana is a social media monitoring website, who have worked with Tesco, VISA, The British Red Cross and Microsoft.  After studying at the University of Ulster Graham dived straight into her career in Marketing, then eventually joining the Gorkana team in 2013 focussing primarily on analysis then in 2016 taking up her new role as the Senior Clients Insights Manager.


Graham focused our attention to Anti-Weed campaign issued by the NSW (New South Wales) government:

Organisational goals: 

-To prevent the use of cannabis in NSW, particularly among young people.

-To increase the number of young people who have never tried cannabis.

Campaign objectives:

-To raise awareness of the risks or consequences of recreational use of cannabis.

-To empower teens to reject the first use of cannabis for recreational purposes.

Communication objectives:

  • Appeal to the curiosity and involvement, associated with smoking cannabis.
  • To challenge the belief that cannabis is a safe and acceptable drug.
  • To empower teens with the know how to reject use of cannabis in social situations.
  • To empower young people to look after their mates and discourage use of cannabis.

Primary audience is people 14-18 years old in NSW who are contemplating trying cannabis, people who have used cannabis but not frequently, people influenced or around peers who are users.

Secondary audience are young people 14-18 years old in NSW who are not contemplating trying cannabis (never used).

Other influencers can be peer groups of the primary target audience or influencers such as teachers.

Measurement Framework:

Gorkana tries to balance their social media campaigns around a measurement, and by this they encapsulate four key features that allow a campaign to be effective and last a long period of time.

The objectives are usually based upon strategic planning which allows the campaign to be organised professionally, communications objects which focuses upon the different channels of communications and how to effectively use them, target audience being able to connect with the correct publics, and benchmarking which essentially means evaluating and comparing other campaigns.

Inputs such as activity plan which is a plan to crate a buzz around the campaign, campaign the event which is bringing media attention, press releases to bring attention to written and online press, events, media and influencers such as YouTubers or celebrity endorsement. These inputs allow the campaign to become efficient

Outputs qualitative metrics which analyses the amount of people who have interacted and have opinions on the campaign, quantitive metrics the amount of people who have shared, liked or even viewed the said campaign and targeting metrics the predicted outcomes of the campaign set.

Outcomes include social media engagement which entails the amount of impressions the tweets or Facebook interactions the campaign has had, increasing awareness of the message the campaign is trying to send to its publics and eventually the all important sales that the campaign is trying to receive.

Crisis Management: The Ebay vs Facebook debate

Ebay got into some hot water, after people were found selling holocaust memorabilia products on their site. Ebay immediately understood the mistake of allowing the memorabilia to be sold so released a statement apologising to the public.

Whilst similarly, Facebook also got into a sticky situation when a video of a woman being beheaded in Mexico went viral on their feed.

Screen Shot 2016-11-11 at 13.01.08.png

Facebook left it there rather than delete it; Facebook issued a statement saying that it wasn’t up to them to remove it as what people post is their prerogative leading Facebook to never issue an apology statement.

The moral of these issues was to always issue and apology as soon as possible to calm the situation in hand or in the case of Facebook – don’t say anything at all. Don’t send an apology statement after the incident.

The Gorkana workshop allowed us to understand how to create objectives for a campaign, allow it to grab the limelight and also how to deal with crisis management hiccups efficiently or in silence.

PR Frat members, Orla Graham and our course leader Nicky Garsten.

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