Q&A with MasterCard’s Vice-President of Worldwide Communications


By   |   February 3rd, 2016   |   Reading time: 3 minutes Interviews

We chat to Bernhard Mors from MasterCard about social listening, brand storytelling, and more.

Bernhard Mors is vice-president for Corporate and Digital Communications at MasterCard Worldwide Communications. As a leading technology company in the payments space, we were interested in finding out how the MasterCard team uses metrics and social media to inform their communications strategy.

Bernhard kindly answered a few short questions for us. Read on for insights into how MasterCard uses data and audience analytics to plan their storytelling, and how Bernhard’s team uses Spike every day.

What is your role at MasterCard? Can you give us an overview of a typical day in the office?

I’m part of the Digital Center of Excellence in Worldwide Communications at MasterCard. I look after global brand publishing and social listening and manage the relationships with various technology partners. Our goal is to engage key influencers around four key themes (innovation, safety & security, financial inclusion, global cities) and to drive advocacy for MasterCard.

As a global brand, how important is social media for managing reputation/reaching your audience for MasterCard?

Very important. We have two ears to listen and one mouth to speak. It’s absolutely critical to understand what our stakeholders care about, what they talk about, who and what they engage with, what their questions are. Audience data and insights are the foundation to drive relevant engagement.

Has MasterCard had much success on alternative social platforms?

When it comes to listening, we take a broad approach – leveraging tools such as Prime Research, Muckrack and Spike. On the engagement side we currently focus on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram as well as our brand Newsroom and are constantly exploring new platforms.

How do you and others at MasterCard use Spike from NewsWhip in your daily workflow?

Every morning at 9.30 the digital & social team comes together for a “daily huddle” to look at developing stories online and on social from around our industry and beyond; current newscycle, trending hashtags, opportunities to engage on that particular day. Spike is among several platforms we use to do this.

On a weekly basis we use Spike to identify the top owned and earned stories for our brand and our industry.

On a regular basis we also look to Spike to better understand the velocity and relevance of certain news stories to answer questions such as: who’s driving them? How much traction are they getting? Should we get in or stay out of a conversation?

How important are analytics in managing reputation and measuring success at MasterCard? What metrics are you most interested in to gauge success?

Very important. We’re most interested in measuring engagement and advocacy – both quality and quantity. Share of voice among our competitors is a data point that we check daily, sometimes hourly depending on the day and whether we have news to share.

Do you have any advice for other communications and PR professionals out there on how to get ahead and best manage reputation online?

Get executive buy-in and take your organization with you on your journey. Take listening seriously. Embrace new technologies and be agile. Create physical spaces where your employees can collaborate around data and insights. Invest in good storytelling around themes that are relevant to your audience. Tie into big socio-economic trends, e.g. inclusive growth, internet of things, urbanization.

What next?

1) Sign up for a free trial of Spike and keep track of emerging stories about your brand in real time.

2) Subscribe to our weekly newsletter, read by over 10,000 media and industry experts each week.

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