May 2013 Issue #1
This week's Media Monitoring News groups the most recent and interesting insights for PR pros, marketers and social media specialists.
In rebuttal to a New York Times article featured last week about a changing PR industry, the feature article highlights the dissenting opinions of Richard Edelman and several other PR pros. Edelman disagrees with the idea of PR firms combining advertising into their strategies, while others claim that many PR firms integrated the techniques years ago.
PR pros should also check out Gini Dietrich's ideas on new strategies and skills in public relations, Brad Phillips' recommended responses to reporter tactics and Julie Joyce's explanation of how writing about other people can work to your advantage.
For marketers and social media pros, there's advice for using social media for non-profits, structuring a clickable Twitter headline, and mirroring your marketing strategies off Ron Howard's Hollywood career.
For all professionals, an inspirational article will help foster innovative ideas.
Rebuttal: Public Relations in the One-Stop Communications Shop
6 a.m. / Flack Me / Everything-PR
A New York Times article
last week examined the ongoing transformation of FleishmanHillard, a premier PR agency, into a fully-integrated marketing communications service. Richard Edelman published a rebuttal in The New Look of Public Relations — A Dissenting View
. He rejected the notion that PR companies should strive to evolve into "a one-stop shop that is as much an ad agency as PR firm." Edelman acknowledges the convergence of media and the need for strategists outside the confines of traditional PR, but disagrees that all corporate communications should emanate from an advertising and marketing mindset. Edelman emphasizes the "inherent advantages of PR, which are credibility, speed, two-way interaction and continuous story creation." Clients, he continues, expect specialist expertise from their PR firms. While FleishmanHillard is busy becoming a full-service provider, Edelman PR intends to focus on expanding its PR prowess.
Some PR pros insist FleishmanHillard's strategy is nothing new. In Hey New York Times, It's the Not-So-New Look of PR
, Shawn Paul Wood calls the Times
reporter out by reporting that many firms have already developed the "one-stop shop" strategy that combines PR and marketing communications. Indeed, public relations has always been based on managing discussion and creating conversations, Ronn Torossian affirms in The New (Old) Look of Public Relations
The juxtaposition of competing visions for PR from two agency heavyweights challenges all PR agencies to consider their own positioning for the future.
For PR Pros:
New Strategies, Skill Demands in Public Relations
The methods to get a journalist's attention have evolved. Successful pitches now require more than an exquisite email. In Get Media Attention: Six Tips to Pitch Journalists on Your Own
, Gini Dietrich outlines "the response campaign," which involves reaching out to journalists by responding in their blogs and articles on a weekly basis. Focus on one newspaper or blog that plays a major role in your industry, and add worthy insights and/or (polite) disagreements in the comment section. After several weeks, the journalists will become familiar with your perspectives and eventually call you for story ideas, she promises. Dietrich also elaborates on new PR methods in the Four New Roles for PR Pros
, where she mentions new skillsets like blogger relations and SEO optimization that PR pros are now taking on. Perhaps the most difficult new demand in public relations: analyzing metrics. PR pros must provide a measurable ROI by providing product links in blog posts, creating white papers, and engaging through social media.
Tips from a Journalist: How to Get the Media's Attention
Former journalist Patrick Garmoe breaks down a complete guide to building relationships, creating the perfect pitch and becoming a favorite source for reporters in 109 Ways to Make Your Business Irresistible to the Media
. He first identifies 16 ways to grow your relationship with the media (which is essential before actually making the pitch, he asserts) and then explains how to transition smoothly into the pitch. Some key points when making your pitch: Highlight an industry trend where your business fits in as an example, provide the journalist with an expert to interview and don't overlook the importance of the email subject line.
Public Relations of the 21st Century
A PR agency of the future is one that centers on big data, accommodates to unlimited channels and comprises professionals who think and act like journalists. In 10 Ways to Design the PR Agency of the Future
, Paul Holmes reports that PR firms will only succeed by adapting to ever-changing media and technology. This even includes integrating science into PR strategies: PR pros who have an understanding of the human mind can better persuade and pitch to their audience, Holmes maintains.
Digital News to Create Obstacles for PR
The Alliance for Audited Media's recent figures
on news readership marks the first sightings of a successful digital newspaper, complete with online advertising and pay walls. The emerging dominance of online news requiring paid subscriptions will make it harder for companies and their agencies to track news subjects and reporters, according to What Print's Transition to Digital Means for PR
by Gil Rudawsky. Pay walls will make tracking news more difficult. Traditional newspaper clipping services will become extinct — thrown "into the time capsule along with fax machines and press conferences," Rudawsky says. The new essential is an online media monitoring service that can pick up the news you can't. A silver lining for PR: Competing online business models (e.g. Patch and BuzzFeed) will likely result in new online news outlets with free access, thus opening more outlets for PR placements.
Working with Celebrities: A Word of Caution
Reese Witherspoon's recent brush with the law has PR pro Dorothy Crenshaw questioning, Are Celebrities Worth the PR Risk?
If your PR agency hires a celebrity for representation, prepare for implications on contract negotiations, morals clauses, and other legal PR and marketing issues, she warns. Bottom line: It can be more cost effective and less risky to create original public relations tactics.
Don't Fall for Reporters' Intimidation Tactics
PR 2.0 Strategies
It's no secret: Reporters want to know what you don't
want to tell them. PR pros shouldn't allow themselves to fall for commonly-used tactics that may result in slips of information, Brad Phillips cautions in 5 Tactics Reporters Use to Intimidate You
. Perhaps the most popular strategy is "Dead air," when a reporter remains silent after you're finished talking. The most natural reaction is to continue to talk to fill the awkward silence, but Phillips's advice is to brave the quiet, or simply ask, "What other questions can I answer for you?" Phillips also implores executives preparing for media interviews to be ready for 6 Types of Questions the Media Always Ask
Expand Social Media Strategy Across the Company
Social media decisions shouldn't just be in the hands of marketers and PR pros, explains Lisa Joy Rosner in 7 Reasons Your Social Strategy Needs a Command Center
. Rosner's "command center" represents an effective hub where key company constituents can gather to make real-time social media and marketing decisions. Within the multi-department hub, the company can develop a unified goal and message and be able to respond to consumers in real-time. Most importantly: Competitor's information will lie right at the fingertips of top decision-makers, so more informed decisions will be made more quickly.
Promoting Others Can Mean Promoting Yourself
Search Engine Land
In How to Get Links by Writing about Other People
, Julie Joyce explains the irony that interviewing and publishing a piece about someone else is, in fact, self-promotion. Example: Barbara Walters. How does it work? Influencers won't awkwardly promote themselves, so they need to rely on others to do the job. But those influencers will go out of their way to promote your piece about them. Joyce also includes advice for pitching the interview, where she recommends heavy research on your candidate so you can pitch specific ideas to your potential interviewee. In making your interview stand out: Ask questions that will reveal unknown information about the person's attitudes or experience.
Don't Underestimate the Power of RSS Feeds
Nate Long / Venture Beat
PR pros often overlook RSS feeds, relying on social media and email to receive and promote their news. Though Google just called it quits with its Reader RSS service, the amount of backlash it received from its customers illuminates the significance of RSS feeds. Nate Long recommends 4 Legitimate Google Reader Alternatives
. Combined with Eric Schwartzman's top two alternatives named in Social Media Monitoring Smack Down: Feedly vs. Netvibes
, Feedly seems to be the top choice. The service has gained 3 million users since Google announced Reader's death. A word of caution: While some PR pros have relied on the paid services of these RSS feed readers for social media monitoring, Twitter has just announced major changes
that restrict access to tweets. In other words, you may need to look for a social media monitoring alternative.
RSS feeds are not just a quick, spam-free way for PR pros to find news and information; they're also an easy way to share and promote your company and industry news to your audience. Use free feed display creators like RSSinclude.com
to share new information about your news site and/or blog. Some media monitoring service suppliers (like CyberAlert
) can also create customizable RSS display feeds so you can share social media mentions and other news clips about your company and industry. Bottom line: RSS feeds are a simple addition on your website to gather information and to promote your products and company.
For Marketers & Social Media Specialists:
Listen Before You Write
Write On Pros
According to The Three Essential Steps to Killer Content
, your audience will respond best to content they trust. Carefully listening to the audience's concerns is the primary way to gain their trust. Social media monitoring is today's most effective way to uncover what your audience is talking about and where they're talking. If you listen enough, the next two essential steps to killer content (empathize and engage) come more easily.
Ron Howard: Actor, Director and Potential Marketer
Content Marketing Institute
7 Brand Storytelling Lessons You Can Learn from Ron Howard
is not just a visual layout of Howard's best works. Many marketing lessons can be learned based on his roles from "The Andy Griffith Show" to "Da Vinci Code." The Howard comparisons aren't that much of a stretch, either — the notable actor and director has mentioned he may soon take a stab at marketing. Our favorite advice: Like Howard's experimental roles of executive producer and narrator in "Arrested Development," marketers should explore and test content on different media.
Marketing and Social Media Pros are Reputation Managers, Too
Kruse Control, Inc.
Online reputation management isn't just for PR pros, Kathi Kruse maintains in The Key Component to Protect Your Reputation — Online and Off
. Professionals in marketing, social media and sales all directly interact with customers, so they should be trained in listening and responding. Referencing an unfavorable customer experience of her own, Kruse asserts that "when employees are oblivious to their performance, your customer's experience turns negative." Bottom line: Monitor and respond.
Commit Only to Metrics that Match Company Goals
The Measurement Standard
How do you establish a social media marketing strategy that actually shows results? Step #1: Measure results and influence rather than activity and popularity, Katie Paine suggests in her Top 10 Social Media Measurement Tips
. Once you've established measureable goals and objectives (see her S.M.a.R.T. acronym for tips), use measurement to connect your social media program with those goals, she continues. Bottom line: You can't spend time measuring everything. Eventually, you'll learn which metrics to omit for their lack of insight.
How to Make Your Tweets Clickable
If Twitter isn't delivering the level of engagement you seek, consider the tips in The 10 Most Clickable Twitter Headlines
. Well-structured tests have shown that content in the form of lists are more "clickable" to readers who want quick, summarized information. Other successful headline formats raise a question, call to action and target specific audiences. As Jeremiah Owyang points out in a recent interview with Andre Bourque of Social Media Today
, headline style should resemble your company's central message. Refer to the "Twitter Triangle"
to determine that tone of voice.
Social Media Advice for Non-Profits
Standing out from most of the Internet's generic social media advice, Tips for Non-Profits Using Social Media
offers solutions for non-profit staff, board members and volunteers. Both staff and board members should provide pictures from recent organization events, client testimonials and articles of interest to the person/agency running the organization's social media accounts. Reminder: It's the board members, not staff, who have more influence in the community. The board should use that to its advantage by liking and sharing content on Facebook and using social groups to promote the organization's next event.
How to Be Innovative
Human Resource Executive / The Wall Street Journal
A recent Corporate Productivity study found that innovation should be at the top of the skillset among industry leaders, according to The Secrets to Fostering Innovation
. The survey reported that a majority of business leaders marked fostering innovation and creativity as the key to remaining competitive. How can PR pros learn to formulate innovative ideas? Flexibility and a propensity to take risks are two necessary traits, the article continues. Great innovations come to life when executed differently than everyone else, according to NewME Accelerator CEO Angela Benton. In The Wall Street Journal's How Entrepreneurs Come Up With Great Ideas
— an article featuring a jackpot of advice from the world's leading entrepreneurs — Benton declares that innovative ideas are built from issues that you are personally invested in. Commit only to things you are passionate about. Then examine the problem as a spectator from outside of your industry to execute it with a different approach.
Factoids of the Week:
Social media has helped the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children recover 98.5% of missing children on AMBER Alerts since 2005. (AmberAlert.gov)
47% of Americans say Facebook has the greatest impact on their purchasing behavior compared to other social networks. (Edison Research)
Quote of the Week:
"You must be the change you want to see in the world." — Mahatma Gandhi
PR Meetings, Seminars, White Papers
— ISSMM Engage Spring Conference
, hosted by The Institute of Social, Search & Mobile Marketing, will be held May 16 in Livermore, Ca. The cost to attend is $99.
— Content Summit for PR
, Social Media and Marketing Professionals, hosted by Ragan Communications and PR Daily, will be held June 24 in Chicago, IL. The cost to attend is $845 for members and $1,095 for non-members.
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
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