April 2013 Issue #4
In this issue of Media Monitoring News
, we combine the insights of multiple PR and marketing experts to provide a well-rounded report on online reputation management, media monitoring and content creation.
Our first feature article touches on the challenges of online reputation management that you may have overlooked. Handling negative reviews is usually the top concern among online reputation managers, but a low number of reviews — even if positive — should also raise a flag.
Our second feature article provides an opposing viewpoint to our feature article last week
on the value of sponsored editorial content. This week, disgruntled journalists rail that sponsored content violates "the separation of church and state."
PR pros should read the explanations on how to measure PR campaign success, how to embrace numbers and metrics and why your PR planning process needs an updated approach.
For marketers and social media specialists, included are a range of topics regarding content marketing agencies; common misconceptions about social media monitoring; small businesses' struggle with social media and advice for blog and content up-keeping.
Online Reputation Management: The Not-So-Obvious Challenges
Forbes / Outspoken Media / Huffington Post
Negative articles and social media comments stand out as an immediate problem for brands or corporate reputations, but indifferent results or no results at all are also a problem. As The Online Reputation Management Guide
observes, "The results of a negative online reputation may be as subtle as a user clicking on a competitor's search result instead of yours." Online reputation and SEO management can together help resolve online issues, as explained in Susan Adams' guide, 6 Steps to Managing Your Online Reputation
. According to Adams, the mandatory first step is to monitor your brand and other key words so you know who is saying what about your company or brand. To optimize your Internet and social media presence, it's best to use your brand name as your domain name and to customize the permalinks
of Facebook, LinkedIn and/or WordPress pages.
There is no "magic formula" to removing the blatantly negative content about your company in search results, so Andy Beal advises finding solutions to crises before they can occur. In The Unwritten Laws of Reputation Management
, Beal advocates utilizing the power of "crowd voicing" and recognizing that your reputation is going to be shaped by a crowd of opinions, not just one bad review. Earning a strong reputation, then, requires constant monitoring and responding on social media so that your customers feel nurtured and satisfied. Treat your social media reputation as you would your personal reputation and respond immediately, be "on the offense, not the defense," and know your limitations, author Grant Cardone recommends in Social Media Reputation Management Tips
The Future of Journalism
InfoWorld / The Wall Street Journal
In last week's Media Monitoring News
, our feature article studied how sponsored content may solve the shortfall of advertising and circulation revenues for publishers. Here's the other side of the argument. Robert Cringely (pen name of journalist Mark Stephens and a string of other InfoWorld columnists) calls out such sponsored content as a murderer of journalism. In Here Lies Web Journalism, Dead at the Hand of the Almighty Advertiser
, Cringely reminisces of the old days when there was a "separation of church and state," or editorial and business. Now, the separation is disappearing, resulting in publications like BuzzFeed and the demise of independent journalism.
Also nostalgic is journalist and editor Edward Kosner, who says he misses the deadline-ridden, credibility-seeking newsroom. Counting the Costs of the New-News Chaos
recounts how the new era of tweeting and blogging steals a sense of coherence that once kept journalists sane. Real-time reporting via Twitter may be a truer expression of reality, he admits, but it comes at the cost of unrefined, unreliable and contradictory information.
As Eliza Kern puts it, "it's fair to say that the future of news consumption and media won't look like a bunch of traditional newspapers copied onto the desktop web." 5 Startups Changing the Way the News Business Delivers Content
lists the themes that emerged from a recent PaidContent Live 2013 conference. Panelists agreed that even with the success of sponsored content, we're far from reaching a consensus to solve the problems of publishers. One thing is certain: traditional advertising is unlikely to sustain the future of online content.
For PR Pros:
Common Misconceptions about Social Media Monitoring
Business2Community / Sythesio
What you may be afraid to ask about social media monitoring is answered in the guide, What IS Social Media Monitoring? Answers to Common Questions and Misconceptions
. One common mistake: The impression that SMM covers only social networks. But, as the report corrects, social media monitoring crawls forums, blogs, news sites, review sites and the major social networks. Another misconception: Free tools like Google Alerts are just as effective as paid services. Rather, paid suppliers offer quality data, while Google doesn't take into account spam, duplicates and irrelevant information, and delivers little in the way of metrics or statistical analysis. There is widespread opinion that Google Alerts results have deteriorated. Not only is the tool facing issues, but it also requires a significant time commitment as staff must sift through what's relevant and what's not. According to 6 Steps to Effective Social Listening for Financial Services
an effective social program requires understanding your social media landscape, who your community is, where they are and how best to engage with them.
Owner of Marketing Business Praises Media Monitoring
A strong believer in brand monitoring, Inkling Media's Ken Mueller shares his personal experiences with media monitoring, suggestions on tools to use and what media you should be monitoring in The Importance of Monitoring Your Brand (and Yourself) Online
. He begins with a recent humorous encounter where he discovered via Google Alerts that he (someone else with the name Ken Mueller) was in the obituaries. He speculates that Google Alerts has been facing issues lately and may soon join Google Reader in the new media graveyard. His recommendation: Find a subscription service that meets your crucial media needs. You should be monitoring not just news, but also customer review sites, blogs, message boards and forums, Twitter and other relevant social media platforms.
How to Measure PR Campaign Success and Failure
Shift Communications / Huffington Post
How do you know when your PR campaign is successful? While most campaigns center on the correlation between public relations activity and lead generation, many often leave out an important metric: lead scoring. Lead scoring, or assigning point values to leads based on PR or marketing activities, will show how successful your public relations program is when measured with your current audience, according to How to Measure PR: Marketing Metrics
. How do you ascertain why your campaign is failing? First, make sure you're measuring the right outcomes, Rebekah Epstein stresses in Six Reasons Why Your PR Campaign Isn't Working
. PR's true purpose is to gain awareness and credential, not to see an immediate increase in sales. It's a marathon, not a sprint, Epstein adds, so put time and effort into your website's appearance, social media engagement and authenticating your brand with a central voice and message.
Who Owns Social Media in an Organization? The Company
The status quo of marketing and public relations departments controlling social media is likely to change, Jesse Stanchak declares in Who Should Control Social Media within an Organization?
Instead, social media responsibilities are best dispersed throughout the organization. In the early steps of such a distribution, companies who cannot agree on alignment may try to reinforce the centrally-controlled social media strategy — ultimately resulting in an internal social media culture clash. Shared responsibility avoids such issues and makes it easier to democratize social media and keep it consistent across brands.
PR Planning Process Must Be Flexible, Built for Change
The traditional annual planning process in public relations is no longer realistic, argues Kevin Dugan in PR Rewired: The Plan is Dead…Long Live the Plan
. With technology, media and consumer habits changing constantly, PR pros must implement planning as an ongoing process. For example, traditional PR plans involved developing publishable content for distribution in print media and their online analogues on a fairly random schedule when writing and design were approved. Now, PR pros should publish once a day at the same time — Dugan's research shows 10 a.m. is best — and focus on tools like Twitter, Inbound.org and Outbrain to drive targeted traffic and engagement. Both the planning process and the plans should be built to accommodate change to optimize results.
Don't Fear the Numbers
Beth's Blog / Social Marketing Forum
Expensive Typos: Avoid at All Costs
10 Very Costly Typos
serves as a reminder for PR pros (and programmers) to check and double-check the final drafts of press releases, publications and programming code. The most expensive typo of all time: NASA's omission of a hyphen in the coding used to set trajectory and speed for the Mariner 1 in 1962. The result: Explosion just minutes after takeoff, making it "the most expensive hyphen in history," as novelist Arthur C. Clarke deemed it. The other examples are nearly as cringe-worthy.
Challenges and Cautions of Pay-for-Performance PR
Though some companies embrace pay-for-performance PR as an answer to their constricting budgets, Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Pay-for-Performance PR
debates why the "incentive-based compensation" model for media placements suffers from negative generalizations within the PR industry. According to author Dick Grove of Ink Inc., a pay-for-results fee structure can be successful. One rule of caution: Make sure the compensation is based on the agency's releases landing in appropriate media outlets, with pay based on both placement quantity and quality.
For Marketers & Social Media Specialists:
What Brands Should Know About Content Marketing Agencies
Content Marketing Institute
The emergence of content marketing has created confusion about its purpose and what it means for both agencies and brands, according to 4 Truths about Content Marketing Agencies
. How do brands choose the right marketing service to outsource their content? Lesson 1: Many agencies are less concerned about strategy and focus only on its execution, providing quantity but lacking purpose. Choose an agency that is capable of developing both a sound content strategy and effective implementation. Review previous content marketing plans that the agency developed.
The Different Types of Social Media Users and Why They're Important
First Direct's categorization of the 12 Types of Social Media Users
can help social media specialists engage with customers on different levels on different channels. Whether users are "the Informers" who strive to share the latest news or "the Peacocks" who use social media as a popularity contest to gain the most followers and likes, the message behind the humorous infographic is that most users display a combination of those personality types, so they may behave differently on Facebook than they do on Twitter. This is critical when dealing with customers through different social media channels, adds Rebecca Dye, social media manager of First Direct.
Social Media a Challenge for Small Businesses
Are social media efforts a waste of time for small business? More than 60% of small businesses think so. They don't see any ROI on their social activities, according to a survey reported in Study: Social Media a Bust for Small Businesses
. But that doesn't stop them from staying on social media: Almost 50% of respondents said they still have increased their efforts so followers will not drift away as a result of lack of interaction. Pam Springer, CEO of Manta, insists that most businesses actually do get an ROI — they just don't know what they are when they see them — and many organizations that can't show positive results give up too fast. Bottom line: There's room in social media for every business, but success comes only to those who design social media efforts to produce ROI, monitor and measure, engage and persist.
Teens Leaving Facebook as Older Generation Intrudes?
BuzzFeed / SocialTimes
Teenagers have become less interested in Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Tumblr, Piper Jaffray found in its survey of over 5,000 teenagers as reported in Teens Abandoning Social Networks, Study Says
. In A Teen Speaks: Are Parents Driving Teens to Facebook Alternatives?
, a teenager writes that her peers are discouraged from using a network that their parents also share. "I mean, I even have my grandma as a friend on Facebook!" the young writer grumbles. Key message: Brands may have to adjust their promotions and social media strategies to align with the interests of each social network's user demographics.
A Guide to Content: From Creation to Publishing
Jeff Bullas / Business2Community
Finding new ideas and inspiration is one of the most difficult challenges to content creation, opines Jeff Bullas in How to Unleash the Power of Content
. Bullas delivers tactics to help bloggers and content creators publish interesting and fresh information. Another important reminder: Produce content that educates and informs, not promotes. Once you have an idea for a story, 10 Ways to Fill Your Business Blog
offers techniques to keep your blog active.
Factoids of the Week:
63% of B2C companies and 43% of B2B companies will respond to a negative social media post within 24 hours. (Zeno Group)
47% of all social media users actively seek customer service through social media. (NM Incite)
Compared to a year ago, 10% fewer teenagers view Facebook as their most important social media site. (PiperJaffray)
Quote of the Week:
"If you have no critics, you'll likely have no success." — Malcom X
PR Meetings, Seminars, White Papers
— 2013 Intranet Summit
, hosted by Expedia, will be held June 19 in Bellevue, Wa. The cost to attend is $845 for members and $1,095 for non-members.
— 2013 Crisis Communications Conference
, hosted by PR Week, will be held June 20 in London, England. The cost to attend is £599 for in-house and £699 for agencies and suppliers.
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
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ONLINE SOCIAL MEDIA MONITORING
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