March 2013 Issue #3
Media Monitoring News this week covers a wide range of topics on public relations, marketing and social media, including tips on writing persuasively and dealing with social media complaints. There are also worthwhile insights on keeping PR businesses current; strategies to keep blogs healthy; keeping sportsmanship and kindness in the marketing industry; and much more.
The first featured article looks into the do's and don'ts of social listening - and questions whether social media monitoring by business is an invasion of privacy. The article examines the fine lines that businesses can violate.
The second featured article assesses the cost-effectiveness of outsourcing media monitoring and measurement instead of doing it in-house. Most businesses - even smaller businesses and not-for-profit organizations - can reduce real costs and be more productive by outsourcing those PR functions.
In an article we call "Ode to Newspapers," which appeared in the Berkshire Hathaway letter to stockholders, Warren Buffett defends local newspaper publishing and its importance to communities and businesses. It's a better defense of newspapers than publishers themselves have made - and offers a raison d'etre that can lift newspapers back to profitability. Acknowledged as one of the great investors of all time, Buffett backed his opinion by recently purchasing 28 daily newspapers for over $300 million. In defending the importance of newspapers in this digital age, Buffett implicitly highlights the value of PR placements in newspapers.
In this social media era, blogs are often overlooked as a target for PR placements, but the article on the influence of different media sources confirms that consumers trust blogs more than social networks in weighing purchasing decisions.
Thoughtful articles on "sportsmanship" and "kindness" explain how it pays to be nice in business.
The Fine Line between Listening and Annoying
The Baer Facts / The New York Times
Does media monitoring intrude on consumer privacy? Is it a form of electronic eavesdropping? Some people are wary. So what's a business to do? By adhering to standard etiquette, businesses can engage in social listening without invading the privacy of consumers. As a Times
blogger puts it in Omni Hotels: The Power of Social Listening
, "Brands have an incredible opportunity to uncover and rectify issues, learn customer insights and gain competitive intelligence in social channels via listening" without intruding. Moreover, according to Social Listening: Damned if You Do, Damned if You Don't
, most companies listen too narrowly to social media conversations and miss out on opportunities to better connect with social media users. Helping consumers is totally acceptable. Inserting your brand into conversations where it may not be wanted is not.
Is Outsourcing PR Measurement Worthwhile?
The Daily Dog
Some PR pros may not realize it, but a quick number crunch could show that outsourcing PR monitoring and measurement could cost less than doing it in-house. In Easily Weigh the Pros and Cons of Outsourcing PR Measurement
, Kristin Jones of Wallop! On Demand, a PR measurement service, itemizes the tools you need and questions to ask to determine if in-house or outsource is best for your organization. Knowing how much it costs to perform measurement and monitoring internally is essential in making the right choice concerning outsourcing. Key questions: How much time and manpower does your company spend tracking media coverage and analyzing results internally? How many team members are responsible for handling measurement, and what is their salary? Even for smaller organizations, outsourcing is more cost-effective - and staff can use the time saved to perform more strategic PR functions.
• = Must Read
Ode to Newspapers
Berkshire Hathaway / Warren Buffett
Newspapers are dying. Everyone knows that. Everyone except renowned investor Warren Buffett. In the annual shareholders letter for Berkshire Hathaway, Buffett explains his rationale
for purchasing 28 daily newspapers over the past 15 months at a cost of $344 million in the face of declining newspaper revenues. Buffett's explanation is an ode to and defense of newspapers and their role in society. [The segment on newspapers starts on P.16 of the shareholder's letter.] Buffett admits that the move may be "puzzling" given the financial problems of newspaper publishing, but believes the purchases make economic sense because local newspapers still provide the best combination of immediacy, ease of access,reliability, comprehensiveness and low cost for local news and services. Newspapers, he believes, will continue to reign supreme in delivery of local news, classifieds and advertising. "There is no substitute for a local newspaper that is doing its job… I believe that papers delivering comprehensive and reliable information to tightly-bound communities and having a sensible Internet strategy will remain viable for a long time," Buffet says. PR implication: Placements in newspapers and other print media still matter - a lot.
PR Insights from Business Wire CEO Cathy Baron Tamraz
After being named CEO in 2005, Cathy Baron Tamraz reshaped and revamped Business Wire and the entire newswire industry by being the first to develop an Internet-based news distribution platform, the first to issue a "smart" release, and a pioneer in the implementation of rules and processes for financial regulatory disclosure. In this interview with Daily Dog
titled The Most Powerful Woman in PR
- a title she would likely disavow — Ms. Tamraz shares her perspective on the importance of PR services staying current, the challenges of keeping up with communications technology, the growth of social media, the future of PR, and what it's like to work for Warren Buffett
Consumers Favor Blogs as Go-To Source for Purchase Decisions
Social Media Examiner
Which social platform has the most influence on consumers? According to Blogs Outrank Social Networks for Consumer Influence
, blogs trump social media giants like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter as the online service most likely to influence a consumer purchase, based on the 2013 Digital Influence Report
by Technorati, a blog directory and search engine with a major stake in the success of the blogosphere. The data show that blogs trail only retail sites and brand sites as the most influential digital resource when consumers consider a purchase. Consumers rank blogs highly for trust and influence. Why? Because independent bloggers can usually be counted on to share their special expertise in fair-minded and comprehensive reviews and posts. Conclusion: PR professionals would be wise to aim for placements in influential blogs.
The Science Behind Persuasive Writing
One word can make all the difference when it comes to persuading readers. 7 Scientifically-Backed Copywriting Tips
presents effective and research-driven ways to draw in and persuade your audience. PR and corporate communications pros can invigorate their copy by employing the writing tips. Keys: Make 'em FEEL something; soft-pedal adjectives.
The Best Content Marketing Tactics for 2013
Move over, social media and email. Content marketing is now the leading focus among marketers, according to a 2013 poll. In Which Content Marketing Tactics Get the Best ROI?
eMarketer explains that with content marketing now a top priority, it's important to invest in content strategies that will get you the best ROI. One big surprise: "Infographics," a "hot" communications tool and an expensive one to develop, is ranked quite low on the ROI payoff.
"The Nasty Effect" of Reader Comments and Customer Reviews
MarketWatch / The New York Times
Reader reviews are a big problem - both for consumers and businesses - because roughly one-third of them are fake. Discover more issues with customer reviews in 10 Things Online Reviewers Won't Say
. If you had any doubt about the effects of negative reviews and comments, study the results reported in This Story Stinks
, an opinion piece in The New York Times
Differentiating between B2B Marketing and PR
6 Reasons Why B2B Social Marketing is Different than PR
compares the goals and strategies of PR and social media marketing. There's value in having a PR firm work on social media for a B2B company, but their role should be focused on building relationships, not on developing and implementing social media strategy. However, that's the opinion of a social media marketing company. Many others believe that PR professionals are well-positioned to develop social media strategies and have the necessary skills to implement most all social media functions with the possible exception of customer service.
5 Steps to a Successful Digital Marketing and Measurement Model
Without structure and a defined purpose, digital marketing campaigns are likely to fail. Avinash Kaushik identifies and analyzes five key steps to a well-structured Digital Marketing and Measurement Model
. Step 1: Identify your business's objectives. Such planning spawns insights into what's most important to the business and helps keep campaigns on target.
The Women of Social Media
Weber Shandwick, in association with KRC Research, conducted a study of Digital Women Influencers
, an online survey of 2,000 North American women to identify segments of women who are influential in social media. The study provides some interesting insights about the female market that PR pros and marketers should consider in developing social media strategies and digital engagement. The Women of Social Media: Second Segment in Study of Digital Women Influencers
examines those women who are deeply engaged and influential in social media. As described in the article, there is "a sizable segment of North American women who enjoy using their social networks so much that they prefer socializing online over dating or spending time with their partner." Conclusion: Marketers should go beyond coupons and promotions to build more emotional ROI into their social media brand platforms to engage these influential women long-term.
How to Respond to Social Media Complaints
The growth of social media makes it essential to learn how to deal with online criticism. Dealing with Social Media Criticism: Deflect, Defy, Defend?
presents an array of examples of how businesses have dealt with customer frustration through social media. Conclusion: Figure out which strategy works best, and set rules on how interactions and complaints should be handled. Then consistently follow the established policies and process.
Keeping Blogs Healthy and Interesting
Social Media Today
Once a business begins using a blog for marketing, its biggest challenge is keeping the blog healthy, consistent, profitable and interesting, says Chris Street, Bristol Editor's commercial content creator. How to Re-vitalise Your Blog Marketing
explains how to keep a business's blog relevant and fresh.
Good Sportsmanship Means Good Business
Kids who participate in sports learn the rules of good sportsmanship from an early age. Those early lessons usually carry over even into professional sports. The Value of Sportsmanship in Business
makes a strong case for similar good sportsmanship in business. Author Michael Hess includes specific examples of ways to show good sportsmanship in business - and how it pays off.
For PR and Marketing, Kindness Can Be Key
Sometimes it pays to be nice, says Tamara Littleton, CEO of the social media management agency eModeration. If executed correctly, businesses can give back to their customers and market themselves in a generous light by performing good deeds. If you're skeptical that these kindness campaigns will look like marketing stunts, Littleton shows you how to avoid over-doing it in Can Brands Perform Random Acts of Kindness?
The key: Acts of kindness should be done with the expectation you'll receive nothing in return. One example: CyberAlert's PR Grants
to not-for profits.
PR Meetings, Seminars, White Papers
— Content Strategies Summit
, sponsored by Customer Management IQ, will be held March 21-22 in Miami, FL. The cost to attend is $1,599 for users and $2,099 for vendors.
— 2013 Nonprofit PR Awards
, sponsored by Ragan Communications, is now accepting entries for their competition. Award deadline is April 5.
— Web Analytics Deep Dive
. Go beyond page views and other basic metrics. When done right, web analytics information can help you meet business objective and determine future strategy decisions.
PR & Marketing Job Openings
The listing for this issue includes PR job openings and marketing positions — with detailed job descriptions for each. Readers are invited to submit job postings to firstname.lastname@example.org
Best of Previous Issues
Determining Your Media Monitoring Needs
Print News Monitoring Vs. Online News Monitoring
Broadcast Monitoring for TV & Radio News
Selecting a Social Media Monitoring Service
F.r.e.e & Low-Cost News Release Distribution Services
|CyberAlert 5.0 - local, national, and worldwide news monitoring and press clipping service monitors 55,000+ online news sources in 250+ languages each day.
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ONLINE SOCIAL MEDIA MONITORING
|BlogSquirrel - blog monitoring service monitors 7+ million new postings each day in 75+ million blogs worldwide.
||CyberAlert VDO - monitoring of consumer-generated video clips in 200+ online video sharing and news sites.
|Netpinions - consumer discussion / word-of-mouth / buzz monitoring service monitors 100,000+ online message boards, forums, and Usenet news groups.
||Twitter & Facebook - Monitor your key words in all Twitter tweets and all Facebook public posts.
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