March 2013 Issue #4
This week's edition of Media Monitoring News highlights marketing and PR ideas presented at the SXSW Interactive Conference, including the utilization of blogs and new communications tools in social media networks. The issue also includes essential mobile apps that make your life easier, a guide to writing news releases for SEO optimization and an encouraging article that urges PR pros to stay patient when it comes to social media ROI.
Our featured article examines the conflict between PR and journalism, together with recommendations on how to mend the fraying relationship.
Several articles introduce new approaches in the rapidly changing world of social networking, with insights into Facebook's new Graph Search feature and a compendium of articles on how best to employ Vine, Twitter's new video application.
Two helpful infographics present findings on the future of content marketing and guide PR pros in methods to create quality content. On the media monitoring and measurement agenda, several articles present important new concepts, ideas and cautions.
SXSW panelists challenge social media measurement pros to act like psychologists by delving further into analytics and looking into the behavior that influences the customers' actions. Another set of articles on media measurement cautions analysts to stay alert for fake data that produce defective results.
PR and Journalism: A Broken Relationship?
There's little doubt that the symbiotic relationship between PR pros and journalists (along with bloggers who consider themselves journalists) has grown more acrimonious in recent years. Why? In The Journalist and the PR Pro: A Broken Marriage?
, PR pro Peter Himler cites multiple reasons for journalists' increasingly short fuse and PR folks' growing frustration. Here are some factors: more PR people are pitching fewer journalists, resulting in unwelcomed contacts; automated media selection software enables PR staff to blast emails to unlimited journalists; journalists can easily access story ideas online from sources such as Twitter, Facebook and blogs; PR staffers are often unseasoned and unsupervised; and the remaining journalists are overworked with tighter deadlines. Content marketing has also increased the number of stories being pitched. Himler suggests some rules of engagement - or at least etiquette - to improve the relationship. PR folks should: target the pitch to the key journalist and refrain from sending the same pitch to multiple reporters — or to reporters who don't cover the targeted "beat"; use concise pitches; compress the lede into the subject line; acquire sufficient background information to answer questions about the story and the wider subject before pitching; deliver on promises for interviews in a timely way.
Journalists and bloggers should: reply, if only with a simple"not interested" email; consider forwarding the story idea to an appropriate colleague; accept that the PR person is just doing his or her job; avoid acting like you are the almighty gatekeeper to the editorial kingdom (even if you are); recognize that PR has multiple avenues for story placement including methods that by-pass traditional media (thereby further weakening the business model of the standard news media); and remember that someday you may need the same PR person to gain access to executives for one of your stories - so be civil.
Beginner's Guide to Twitter's Vine: A Compendium
PR pros, Twitter gurus and consumers alike are sharing their excitement for Vine, a new online video sharing service with a unique proposition: its videos are limited to 6 seconds in length.
The mobile app is available only to iPhone users, but by its third weekend, Vine quickly established itself as a marketing and PR tool. Users were sharing more than 2,000 Vines per hour, according to data compiled by Simply Measured
. Hundreds of organizations created 6-second videos about their brands and services. Some contend that Vine is the future of content marketing
Not only is it easy to create and upload videos, but companies can also enable and encourage their followers to upload content.
In an age of short attention spans, the short-video format represents a completely new communications medium in its earliest experimental stage. Users are just beginning to learn what works and what doesn't. The first learned principle: Stick to one core message in each 6-second video.
If you still need to be convinced that Vine's ultra-short videos will add value to your social media plan, check out How Will Twitter's New Six-Second Videos Change the Game?
The brevity of the Vines means viewers are more likely to watch them, and also forward the video clips to their friends.
Ready to dive in? Once you download the Vine app to your iPhone (it's f*r*e*e), you can create a Vine account using your Twitter profile or email address, thereby making your videos available to your current Twitter followers.
Step one is to identify what you want to "say" about the brand or organization through video. Interesting visuals - not talking heads - are the key to success. Case studies are one effective way to learn how to create a successful video. Check out 16 Ways Businesses are Using Vine
for video examples that range from a quick succession of photos to how-to guides on using products. Start-ups are experimenting with Vine
to promote new products, educate users on how those products work and provide inside looks at products and facilities.
Creating a video is literally as easy as pressing a button. There's no editing involved, no advertisements to sift through. The video content can be uploaded immediately. Follow tips in How to Create the Perfect Vine
to fine-tune your project. Finally, employ about Vine's engagement feature. Brands should "Like" and comment on videos related to their company to generate more followers. If McDonald's sees a follower's Vine about someone eating a Big Mac, the company should take action. Ask followers to post videos of your product being used. Less work, plenty of reward.
Once you master Vine and become a frequent user, measure your engagement. Simply Measured
is an early entrant in measuring Vine results. Analyzing how far your Vines reach indicates how well you're doing with Vine, and what still needs to be improved.
There's really no downside to giving Vine a try; your video might not be the best, but you're exposing your brand in a new outlet and reaching potential consumers. That's always worth the effort.
SXSW: New Ideas in Social Media Marketing and Measurement
Salesforce Marketing Cloud / SmartBlogs
Hundreds of great ideas burst forth at the South by Southwest Interactive Conference, held this month in Austin, TX. 10 Great Social Media Marketing Ideas from SXSW
shares some of the more interesting trends. One idea: Keep social media posts light-hearted; "people flock to the goofy stuff, that's the stuff that gets attention." On social media measurement, one panel challenged social media analysts to think like psychologists, as explained in From SXSW: Thinking Like a Psychologist to Measure Social Media Efforts
. Going beyond reach, activity and engagement to study a person's behavioral tendencies could reveal the "why's" behind their social media actions..
Measuring the Wrong Data
Two-Way Street / The Measurement Standard
When it comes to measuring PR campaign results, Public Relations Measurements: Fact or Fake
suggests you know what you're counting. Some metrics actually assess fake data, producing wildly erroneous results. Data from purchased traffic are always bogus, and are meaningless when they only indicate engagement. Confirmation on the issue of bogus data and metrics comes from measurement guru Katie Paine in How to Deal with Big Bad Data: Become a Measurement Fox
. With the plethora of data available, it's crucial to sort out good data from bad, she opines. She identifies some of the"bad data," including results produced by robots. Two cautions: Beware of using data that doesn't match the topic's approach, and keep an eye out for wrong numbers that can destroy credibility. A common mistake, she says, is monitoring and measuring only your company's data. Monitoring competitors' media results and industry issues/trends delivers vital information and data for business decision-making.
How to Connect Content Marketing, SEO and Social Media
Business2Community / Copyblogger
Search engines increasingly rely on signals from social media to rank content, says Eugene Farber, founder of Content Strategy Hub. Worthwhile content inevitably increases social signals and yields improved SEO, Farber maintains in Content Marketing for SEO
. Included in his article is an infographic with helpful tips for creating quality content and improving SEO. Hints include: link out generously, provide detailed content on topics that have not been widely covered and display attractive social-sharing buttons to make the content easy for users to share. If you're running out of content ideas, take a look at the infographic on 22 Ways to Create Compelling Content When You Don't Have a Clue
Social Media Marketing: Concentrate on Engagement, Not the Number of Likes
ClickZ / Target Marketing
When it comes to social media marketing strategies, some businesses focus on the wrong thing, says Krista Neher in The Real (and Hidden) Value of Social Media
. Brands should focus on being a part of the social media dialogue with their customers instead of worrying about the number of likes and reach on their Facebook page. Active engagement drives awareness and sales, and can be much more effective at reaching potential customers on Facebook. The engagement can't really be measured, but brands can build processes like asking new customers how they heard about the company, or by getting feedback from sales teams. Engagement should not be the ultimate goal, according to Jeff Mollander in The Most Powerful Content Marketing Lesson Learned (That Nobody Is Talking About)
. Engagement, he says, is only the starting point. It's the open door to get customers to respond (as in "buy"). It's an engaging (couldn't resist the pun) analysis of the nurturing process of engagement.
Digital Marketing Priorities for 2013
2013 will be the year of content marketing and "omnichannel" companies, according to Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing: Digital Trends for 2013
. Optimizing quality and immersive content across different formats and devices provides a 360-degree, multichannel view of both digital and offline interactions. The competitive advantage lies in businesses collecting and integrating data in the right ways to facilitate multichannel experiences. Key takeaway: In today's digital age, about half of consumers research purchases online before buying in-store. Understand how your mobile users research and buy products.
PR Pros Should Prepare for Facebook Graph Search
You may have heard about Facebook's new Graph Search feature
, which allows users to find others who share their interests based on "likes," photos and posts. Preparing Your Page for Facebook Graph Search
itemizes important measures to take before the feature goes public. Solidify company information, especially its physical location and "About" section, and tag all photos with your business name to amplify your search ranking. Perhaps more importantly, discuss social media policies with employees so they avoid posting pages or photos that may negatively affect the company.
The Do's, Don't's and Myths of SlideShare
SlideShare doesn't get enough credit. Comprised of comprehensive Powerpoint presentations, SlideShare provides an incomparable tool to distribute PR and marketing materials with deep information, according to SlideShare: The Quiet Giant of Content Marketing
. The "do's" of SlideShare: Begin with a bang by challenging a standard principle. Keep presentations to 10-30 slides. DON'T turn it into a self-promotional piece.
Essential Apps for PR Pros
In 7 Must-Have (F*r*e*e) Mobile Apps to Do Your Job Better
, Ryan Holmes of HootSuite recommends digital tools every PR pro's phone should include. Our favorite: Brewster, a personalized address book that aggregates all your customers' and colleagues' contact information across Facebook, Twitter, your email and other platforms.
B2B vs. B2C: What Works for Social Reach
Ted Nguyen USA
One key to social media marketing is worthwhile content; another is effective distribution of that content. Based on a study by the content marketing firm Compendium, How to Maximize the Reach of your Social Media Posts
shares tips on how businesses and brands can improve the reach and engagement in social media networks like Twitter and Facebook. Interestingly, the guidelines differ for B2Bs and B2Cs. One difference: tweets with question marks and exclamation points received fewer clicks for B2Bs, while the punctuation benefited B2Cs. Another finding: Hashtags work better for B2B than B2C.
Make Better Use of Metrics
Marketing analysts aren't fully utilizing The 5 Most Overlooked Metrics
, thereby passing up some potential competitive advantages. Is it easy to get to your product page? Is the page designed so consumers can check out a product easily? What percentage of the people who visited the product page actually purchased it? Employing the right metrics is vital to gaining insight into effectiveness.
News Releases Still Effective In Social Media Era
Social Media Today
It's time for PR pros to change the way news releases are written and measured, says Tara Geissinger, of SEO Content Solutions. In Using News Releases to Boost Your Online Visibility
, Geissinger notes that news releases have SEO benefits and can serve as valuable sales tools. Bottom line: Content marketing and infographics may be frontrunners in PR and marketing communications, but omitting news releases completely is a mistake. Instead, she suggests writers upgrade news releases by employing keywords and optimizing the title and summary so they both pack a powerful SEO punch.
Your Voice in Twitter: Learn from the Best
Ted Nguyen USA
Which Twitter approach works best for your company? Learn from these Top Twitter Accounts
and see which style fits best. Starbucks personalizes their account with enjoyable, topical messages, while Hertz is all about customer service and interaction. Often, the product determines the company's voice, but that doesn't mean you can't mix approaches to heighten customer engagement.
Ask Big, Receive Big
Billy Joel and the Audacious Power of Asking
encourages PR pros and marketers alike to "ask big." The article and video tells the story of a college student who, while at a concert, had the courage to ask Billy Joel if he could accompany the singer on keyboard for "New York State of Mind." Not everyone will be lucky enough to get a "Yes," like the student did, but "asking big" may well be the best way to produce big results. In this case, "asking big" will almost certainly change the trajectory of the student's musical career.
Social Media ROI Takes Patience
How to Enter the Blogging World
Your website is already SEO-optimized and you have a strong social media presence. How do you further increase your exposure? By blogging and guest blogging, according to The Ultimate Resource Guide to Blogger Outreach and Guest Blogging
. The article includes 35 resources to help you identify blog placement opportunities including guest blogging networks like MyBlogGuest and BlogSynergy and blogger outreach networks like BloggerLinkUp. Since most blogs are topic-specific, they offer exposure to individuals with interest in the topic. Influential blogs are now included in organic search results from Google, Bing and Yahoo. As a result, blogs offer targeted placement with significant readership.
The PR Industry: Then and Now
If you've been in the PR industry for a while, How the PR Industry of Yesteryear Compares with Today
is a fun way to reminisce on the good ol' days. The infographic points out that, compared to a decade ago, most aspects of PR are unrecognizable. TV is one thing that hasn't changed much, but YouTube and other online video services are now in the process of disintermediating entrenched networks and cable TV services, just as iTunes upended the way people buy music.
Quote of the Week:
"1 in 3 burglars is an eBay PowerSeller." - The Poke
PR Meetings, Seminars, White Papers
— 2013 Marketing Hall of Femme
, hosted by Direct Marketing News, will be held March 22 in New York, NY. The cost to attend is $120 per ticket and $760 for a table of seven.
— Get Marketing 2013
, hosted by Vocus, will be held June 20 in National Harbor, MD. The cost to attend is $745 for customers and $945 for non-customers.
— Crisis Communications Conference
, hosted by PR Week, will be held June 20 in in London, England. The cost to attend is £499 in-house and £599 for agencies and suppliers.
— Press Release SEO: Ten Ways to Rule Search Rankings
. The social web has invigorated the press release. Although good writing "best practices" still apply, developing an effective press release in the SEO and social media era requires a change in process.
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
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ONLINE SOCIAL MEDIA MONITORING
|BlogSquirrel - blog monitoring service monitors 7+ million new postings each day in 75+ million blogs worldwide.
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