March 2013 Issue #5
This week's Media Monitoring News touches on multiple topics of importance to public relations and marketing, including the value of free news release distribution sites; the organization and content in online newsrooms; and new approaches to crisis management.
Articles on social media include analysis of laws affecting posts on Twitter and other social media and several articles on how to best utilize social metrics. Also included are methods to avoid writer's block, outsourcing PR tasks to save time and money, and the power of blogging in a social media program.
Our featured article highlights the Pew Research Center's State of the News Media 2013 findings. The study aggregates a year's worth of research on the deteriorating condition of the news and broadcast industries and summarizes what it means for both journalists and the practice of public relations.
How can communications professionals make more effective presentations? The very best presenters, including Steve Jobs, employ time-tested techniques to create more impact and better engage the audience. You can learn those presentation secrets from the article on the world's best presenters - and apply the lessons to client presentations, pitches and marketing collateral.
This week, we also introduce a new feature to our newsletter: Factoids of the Week, offering quick and interesting facts about PR, marketing, social media, markets and consumers.
Pew Research Center's Media Report: The Good and the Bad
Pew Research Center
Reporting on the continued erosion of the newsroom, the Pew Research Center's State of the News Media 2013
paints a grim picture for both print and broadcasting industries. Less advertising and fewer subscribers/viewers mean fewer journalists, resulting in fewer and and shallower news articles. For PR pros who still rely on traditional media to transmit their messages, the dwindling news content increases competition for news placements. As a silver lining for public relations, the growth of social media and the public's continuing hunger for news mean PR pros can now deliver information directly to consumers. "Newsmakers and others with information they want to put into the public arena have become more adept at using digital technology and social media to do so on their own, without any filter by the traditional media," the report cites. Conclusion: The way to reach the media has changed, but the public's need for compelling stories has not, as Andrew Shane surmises in The Days of Major Media Using Your Release Verbatim Are Over
. As always, relating an enthralling story and maintaining ongoing relationships with established and influential journalists remain the most effective paths to earned media placements.
Insights on Free Press Release Distributors
Sorting through and selecting among all the free press release sites for a dependable distributor can be frustrating. Vitis' Free Press Release Sites - 2013 Test Results
offers data and insights on coverage and effectiveness. Of 82 free press release distribution services in the test, only PR Urgent placed a release in Google News - regarded by many as the most important online source of news. The report lists sites to avoid and warns against use of news release distribution services that post all releases indiscriminately with no editorial controls. Bottom line: Traditional news release distribution services such as Business Wire may be more costly, but provide better coverage and value. As a service to its clients, CyberAlert maintains a list
of free press release distribution services.
Treat Social Listening as a Process, with Monitoring as the First Step
Organizations must incorporate monitoring into the social media marketing plan as a crucial first step. "Listen first" is the social media equivalent of "look before you leap," says Seth Grimes in The Rise and Stall of Social Media Listening
. But listening programs to date have produced limited benefits, he contends. To advance the listening process, he presents five research-oriented listening steps that include getting the right data, understanding the customer dimensions and creating a framework for analysis and action. (See A Marketing Analytics Framework for CMOs
from Gartner). Grimes quotes Becky Wang of Droga5: "I can do all the social listening I want, but unless I have a psychographic profile or demographic information that goes beyond gender and age, I'm really limited."
Compact Guides to Crisis Management
Melissa Agnes / PR News
13 Tips for Effective Crisis Management
and The 10 New Rules of Crisis Communications
offer condensed guides encompassing the major rules for crisis management. Both stress the importance of having a crisis plan in place before the storm hits and issuing clear social engagement rules for employees. Top suggestions: Don't set your brand's logo as a profile picture - people want to hear from people; utilize Twitter to connect with journalists and schedule potential interviews.
Modernize Your PR Tools and Strategies
PR drives more business when it employs up-to-date tools and tactics. While public relations once thrived on words in print, How to Modernize a Public Relations Strategy That's Stuck in the Dark Ages
suggests leveraging visuals and video to tell a more compelling visual story. To journalists, newsworthiness now means the bigger picture, including big data the reporter can reference and relate to.
The Effective Online Newsroom
How to Maximize the Impact of Your Online Newsroom
offers pointed advice on the topic of online newsrooms. News should be well-categorized with a special section for breaking news. An "in the News" section should include coverage from outside media and blogs. The newsroom should keep the same color palette and graphic design used in the corporate website.
Presentations: What Would Steve Jobs Do?
Emotion, not logic, is what gets people's attention. 7 Lessons from the World's Most Captivating Presenters
can help improve your new business presentations, pitches and other presentations. The article references Steve Jobs, Scott Harrison and Gary Vaynerchuck - leaders in different industries, but all known for their inspiring presentations. Instead of working with bullet points (which Jobs never used in any of his presentations), the best slides overflow with visuals, metaphors and simple text that get the audience to buy into the pitch.
The Power of Blogging
Maintaining a social media presence in Facebook and Twitter isn't enough to be an "influencer," reasons Jeff Bullas in 10 Insights on Social Media and Blogging Influence
. Blogs significantly influence online purchasing decisions, according to research in Technorati Media's 2013 Digital Influence Report
, yet brands spend very little on blogging advertising and marketing. Why? Because blog's power isn't easily measured, Bullas explains. Nonetheless, blogs have a significant place in the social media presence, ranking fifth in the market's top 8 social platforms.
How to Utilize Social Media Metrics
Social media measurement can provide insights that enhance company performance. Garret Moon defines core measuring concepts and explains how to turn the numbers into action in A Quick-and-Dirty Social Media Analysis That Won't Cost You a Dime
. Moon includes basic calculations to answer three key questions that measure success: Are my efforts bringing traffic to my website? Is my social reach growing? Are people enjoying my content?
The Metrics behind Social Media Success
Social Media Examiner / MarketingThink
Marketing Engagement Requires Knowing Your Audience
Heidi Cohen / Social Media Today
How can you effectively engage with your audience if you don't know who they are, or what they're saying? Studying and understanding your audience is crucial in developing a social media strategy that works, Bryan Kramer of PureMatter declares in 6 Steps to Becoming a Good Social Listener
. Recommendation: Treat social media as a two-way conversation by creating a listening strategy, complete with a set of acceptable responses to different types of comments. According to Social Media: Do You Know Your Audience?
income levels and demographics differ markedly among various social networks. Getting to know your audience not only helps improve engagement; it also points to social media marketing success.
Legal Issues in Social Media
The Wall Street Journal / Windmill Networking
Many brand managers are unaware of the legal complexities in social media marketing. Essentials of Social Media Law: How to Get Started Legally
into social media marketing strategies, according to Paid Tweeters Beware: The FTC Is Watching
. The updated regulations, released this month, apply consumer protection principles to social media posts. The regulations mandate, for instance, that Tweeters clarify when posts are advertisements.
Visuals in Social Media
Social Media Examiner
Creatively integrating images into your social media increases engagement and the likelihood that the content will go viral. 26 Ways to Use Visuals in Your Social Media Marketing
offers many helpful and innovative approaches to incorporate and combine visuals into social media content.
Social Media Measurement Snafu: The Coke Story
When an AdAge report
revealed Coca-Cola study results purporting to show that online buzz had no measurable impact on short-term sales, Coke representatives immediately stepped in to soft-pedal the findings. Wendy Clark, senior VP of integrated marketing communications and capabilities at Coca-Cola, explained that the findings are true in isolation, but they don't take into account the entirety of the role social media plays. "Today's progressive marketers know better" than to measure just one form of social media, Clark says in Buzzworthy: Social at the Heart Creates Impact
. Key takeaway: It's important to measure social media in as many channels as possible to get a complete understanding of its ROI.
Blocking Writer's Block: A Course in Creativity
Outsourcing Saves Time, Eliminates "Boring" Work
Outsourcing doesn't mean "turning to the dark side," SEO consultant Matt Beswick promises in The Big Guide to Outsourcing
. Just as public relations departments utilize outsourced services for media monitoring and measurement, tasks like conducting research or writing can also be outsourced. Elance.com and Guru.com are two examples of these online contract bid sites where, after posting the skills you need and work to be done, you'll receive job bids from competing freelancers. It's a cost-effective solution to eliminate "boring" work and produce projects when staff time is limited. Beswick recommends starting small with projects, and if you find a contractor who produces good work, send more comprehensive assignments. In hiring freelancers, organizations must be cognizant of financial issues that freelancers face as mentioned in Tackling Concerns of Independent Workers
in The New York Times
. The article describes the efforts of the Freelancers Union to provide health insurance and other association-like benefits for independent workers.
The Major Don'ts of Content Aggregation
Content aggregation has become a formative marketing tool for many brands (including CyberAlert). If you're going to aggregate content to educate your customers, you'd better be doing it right, says Rebecca Lieb of Altimeter Group in 8 Ways Brands Are Screwing up Content Aggregation
. Many of the worst content marketing mistakes involve unethical practices like lack of attributions. Another wrong move: Including all links from the same source. The whole point of aggregating is to mix sources for a well-rounded view to your topic.
How to Evolve into a Social Business
A distinct gap exists between organizations with social media strategies and those that are truly social businesses, according to Altimeter Group's The Evolution of Social Business: Six Stages of Social Media Transformation
. To evolve into a social business and drive business impacts, companies must start with external-focused social media initiatives and gradually integrate each internal business unit with social media and social methodologies. Stage 1: Listen to learn. Understand how customers use your social channels and prioritize strategic goals where social can have the most impacts.
Factoids of the Week:
90% of consumers put their trust in what other people have to say about a company or product.
86% of influencers blog, but 38% of brands don't listen to the blogger/influencers ideas about what works for their audience.
Humans process images 60,000x faster than words and recall information presented as images 6x more easily than text.
Quote of the Week:
"Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning." - Bill Gates
PR Meetings, Seminars, White Papers
— The 2013 Mobile Web Awards
, hosted by the Web Marketing Association, is now accepting entries. The deadline to enter is May 31. Entry fee is $250per category and $175 for the non-profit category.
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.
||CyberAlert TV - broadcast news tracking service monitors closed caption text of news broadcasts on all national news networks & channels plus all local TV stations in Top 100 U.S. markets.
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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