April 2013 Issue #1
Media Monitoring News this week includes resources for crisis management, tips to improve headline writing and content, and steps to determine which social media metrics work best for your company.
The media relations article features Lou Hoffman's viewpoint that content is more critical than having a strong relationship with the media for story placement. An alert about a controversial website cautions PR pros to fact-check their sources.
Two off-beat solutions may help you improve headline writing and pitches.
Our featured article examines intellectual property ownership issues associated with outsourcing creative and technical sources. The articles stress the need for "work for hire" agreements and explain which types of projects qualify.
A guide to improving business on Twitter's Vine proves particularly useful in social media marketing, especially with the difficulty of integrating creative brand promotions in just 6 seconds.
The Great Content Ownership Debate
Ad Age / CopyLaw.com / ASJA
Outsourcing to freelancers and other independent contractors can be a cost-effective solution to complete specific PR and marketing tasks. However, outsourcing can also produce ownership issues. Who owns the copy you hired the freelancer to write? Who owns the photograph you commissioned? Who owns the programming code the contractor produced for your app? Most clients think they own the work they commission. That's not necessarily true — and ownership issues can get messy, warns Marketers, Agencies Locked in a Data Tug-of-War
. The solution is a "work for hire" agreement signed before the freelancer commences work. The "work for hire" agreement specifies that the client owns all rights to the contracted work. Determining whether a particular work falls under work for hire is not always clear-cut, and requires considering both the nature of the work and the context of its intended use. What Every Publisher Should Know about the "Work for Hire" Doctrine
from CopyLaw.com drafts a set of instructive guidelines on outsourcing work to freelancers or contractors. The American Society of Journalists and Authors provides detailed guidance in Rights 101: What Writers Should Know about All Rights and Work Made for Hire Contracts
What You Know Vs. Who You Know
Can a quality pitch really beat a strong relationship with the media? Lou Hoffman of The Hoffman Agency thinks so. Hoffman, a fervent believer in content and storytelling in the PR business, referred to a recent meeting he had with PR pro Jane Wang that he documents in The Great PR Debate: Rolodex vs. Content
. Wang's research successfully transformed her pitch into a BusinessWeek
story, even though she didn't know John Tozzi (the reporter) beforehand. Her secret? Doing homework on the media property, identifying doors that led to Tozzi, studying his previous articles and packaging the pitch to align with Tozzi's interests.
Reputation Management Crisis Strategy: Follow Lululemon
Protecting your company's reputation starts with practicing textbook crisis communications. When Lululemon, an athletic clothing company, recalled batches of its yoga pants last month for being too sheer, it covered all the bases of PR crisis management: admitting the mistake, keeping media informed and maintaining CEO integrity. Another kudos: The company laughed at itself by splashing its stores with the message, "We want to be transparent with you." PR Daily
analyzes the company's response in Lululemon Practiced Textbook Crisis PR during Yoga Pants Frenzy
. Responding quickly with little information about an issue is better than no reaction at all, adds The Definitive Guide to Online Reputation Management
from KISSmetrics. If a customer complains on Twitter, respond promptly with "We are aware of the problem. We are working on it and will get back to you as soon as possible."
Back Your Pitch with Evidence
Just as a criminal trial demands evidence, convincing a journalist or client requires support behind your claim, Stacie Levy of Kenshoo contends in What's Your Evidence?
Videos and third-party data are "evidence" PR pros can use to support their pitch, while marketers should apply case studies and client testimonials to make their case.
Bogus Tweets Raise Caution Flags
Controversial website, LemmeTweetThatForYou, allows users to generate fake tweets using celebrities' Twitter names. Take a look at some of the potentially misleading tweets assembled in How I Faked Celebrity Tweets in Support for My New Book
by Brian Solis. The stunt raises a caution flag for PR pros, bloggers and journalists who rely on Twitter for sources, story ideas and consumer engagement. Bottom line: Always verify sources and facts.
Content Marketing Tactics to Increase Reach
To spotlight your content above the Internet's endless marketing ocean, Heidi Cohen stresses the three C's: Content, Context and Composition. One hint via context: Content doesn't always coordinate across the board with social media platforms; what succeeds in Facebook may not be appropriate for Twitter. In Content Marketing: How to Get More Readers
, Cohen elucidates seven actionable content marketing tactics including: plan for content use across platforms, include your branded website as a content source; offer links to related content to keep readers engaged; encourage customers to write customer reviews.
Resources Invested in Video, Research and Blogs Are Worth It
No surprise here: B2Bs and B2Cs have different objectives when it comes to social media marketing strategies, as observed in Which Social Media Marketing Tactics Work Best?
But one thing the two company types agreed on: Blogs and content marketing best achieve social objectives. The study also found that the three most difficult to execute social marketing tactics were the most effective. Key takeaway: Investing time and staff on video and audio content, research, white papers and blogs pays off.
Where to Add Adjectives and Where to Cut Them Out
The best writing advice, ever: Improve the verbs; delete the adjectives. Avoid meaningless and redundant adjectives, cautions How to Avoid the Destructive Power of Adjectives in Your Marketing Copy
. Rule of thumb: If omitting the adjective doesn't change the meaning of your sentence, delete it. In content marketing, adjectives can be beneficial if they're emotion-rich and sensory, with the occasional made-up adjective thrown in (i.e. This product is un-put-downable).
Building Brands with Customer Content
Customers gravitate to recommendations from other customers. According to Customers Don't Trust Brands, They Trust Themselves
, companies and brands can capitalize on that by embedding customer product reviews directly on the company's website. Connecting to your customers gives your website an engaging feel and makes your product more credible to other customers.
No Universal "Cookbook" for Social Media Metrics
SAS Institute / Marketing Land
With the right practices, social media drives profits, explains the Five Best Practices for Social Media Measurement
. Best practice No. 2: Specify the company's social media goals. What is the R in your ROI? Who is your audience? Where do you stand against your competitors? As explained in The Truth about Social Media Measurement
, social media metrics are unique for every company, so you can't just replicate what everyone else is measuring. Identify the function of each social media network and match it with your business initiatives.
How to Write Engaging Headlines
ProBlogger / Assist Social Media
A Guide to Growing Your Vine
Like Instagram, Twitter's new Vine app forces social media marketers to develop a new form of creativity. If you're stuck figuring out how to cram an original, engaging visual into a 6-second video, skim some of the ideas offered in 7 Surprising Ways to Grow Your Business on the Twitter Vine
. Marketers can employ an educational series of "how-to" videos to demonstrate product use, or use Vine the most obvious way: promotion. For more ideas and a beginner's guide to using Vine, see CyberAlert's Vine compendium
released last month.
Social Media Monitoring Tools: Where to Start?
Paul Fennemore identifies key issues to consider when selecting social media monitoring services in Navigating the World of Social Media Monitoring Tools
. Start by deciding what you want to measure, then decide which metrics you are going to use, he recommends. Trying out a tool is the best way to get a feel of what it can do, so take advantage of monitoring services (like CyberAlert) that offer free trials of their services.
The Secrets to Success
Today's recipe for success mixes courage, creativity and a little technology, according to Jeff Bullas. 10 Secrets to Being Insanely Successful
counsels professionals to be passionate about their projects. "The reality is that you can create a life you dream and love if you have the courage to make some key decisions and take some initial steps on that journey," he says. One requirement is to develop expert-level skills that help others. Secret No. 10: A pulpit. Use a blog and social media to tell a compelling story and develop your mission.
Factoids of the Week:
About 70% of PR agencies provide a full range of services, including media relations, crisis management, lobbying, event management and fundraising services. (Hoovers)
Americans spend an average of 6.75 hours per month on Facebook, and only 21 minutes per month on Twitter. (Morrison & Foerster)
81% of companies on the 2012 Inc. 500 list use LinkedIn. That tops even Facebook, where only 67% of the companies are using Facebook. (University of Massachusetts Center for Marketing Research)
56% of people in the U.S. have a social networking profile, and 22% of them use social media several times a day. (Morrison & Foerster)
Quote of the Week:
"The secret of success is to know something nobody else knows." - Aristotle
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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