July 2013 Issue #1
Most Important Metrics in Social Media Measurement
Institute for PR / Metrics Man
With social media measurement standards finally established
, how can PR professionals adopt the new developments? In Social Media Measurement: A Step-by-Step Approach
, Angela Jeffrey offers an 8-step process for implementing the standards to create a meaningful social media measurement program. Step 5 reveals a solution for the most-sought questions in social media measurement: which metrics should be measured, and how are they actionable?
The solution: The AMEC Valid Metrics Framework, which outlines a framework of the most appropriate metrics for a company's KPIs. Don Bartholomew, vice-chair of the AMEC Social Media Measurement Group, explains the template was designed to be flexible enough to address multiple aspects of PR in a consistent measurement approach. In A New Framework for Social Media Metrics and Measurement
, Bartholomew highlights two benefits of the framework: (1) it takes communications pros through the familiar marketing funnel and (2) it helps create a focus on outcomes. The framework cuts the traditional five-point marketing funnel into three PR measurement phases: PR Activity, Intermediary Effects and Target Audience Effects.
According to the framework, each stage of the marketing funnel represents different marketing goals and, thus, should employ different metrics. The matrix presents which metrics to use during each of the three PR measurement phases:
- PR Activity: metrics that reflect efforts of sharing the PR message, including content creation, social media engagement and influencer engagement.
- Intermediary Effects: metrics that reflect how the media responded to those messages. Track the growth on all your social media channels and overlay the data with PR activities to identify what's working best.
- Target Audience Effects: metrics that show whether the target audience has received the message and how they respond to it.
The Four Pillars of Social Media Monitoring Solutions
Social Media Explorer
In his three-part series titled The Social Media Tortoise and the Hare
, Malcolm de Leo addresses how the race to acquire return on investment from social listening often shadows the importance of doing it right. As the volume of published content accelerates, so does our need to understand it. He begins Part I
by developing a framework for social media monitoring solutions. The framework includes four pillars — features, content, accuracy and infrastructure — that communications professionals should consider when evaluating their own or researching new monitoring solutions.
integrates the pillars into a timeline over the course of the market's maturity, representing a cultural shift of the customer buying cycle. Emphasis on "Features" and "Content" has faded, and organizations are now striving for accuracy in their services. "Can I see it?" and "How much can I see?" has been replaced by the sensibility of "Is the data trustworthy and actionable?" As de Leo phrases it, "if your data is crap, how can you make any decisions?"
De Leo predicts that by 2014, companies will start to enter into the "infrastructure era," which will integrate social intelligence and actionable data into the loop. Relying on the first three pillars can produce a strong monitoring program, he acknowledges, but organizations that implement an infrastructure capable of managing big data will be able to continuously innovate with the changing media channels. De Leo uses Part III
to display the questions to ask media monitoring vendors to determine where they live within the four pillars. Bottom line: Don't be fooled by pretty interfaces with tons of content that is inaccurate. Look for a media monitoring solution that weighs the pillars' importance from the right to the left— strong in infrastructure and accuracy, with the ability to integrate all that content and express data in a way that makes sense.
Journalism Even When It's Tilted
New York Times
Journalists are "independent" and articles they write are "objective." That's the way it pretty much used to be. But, today, if you read an article on the same story in the New York Times
and the Wall Street Journal
, you're likely to see a major difference in the story "slant" based on each publication's liberal/conservative tilt. In the midst of a news story, you're also likely to see "opinion" sentences. With this tilting within news articles and the reduction of journalists at major news sources, it's not a stretch that activists with overt agendas are emerging as the new journalists and influencers. Lloyd Carr examines the implications of this phenomena in Journalism Even When It's Tilted
. Carr delves into the question of who is a journalist and who is an activist and whether they can be one and the same. Whether activists are "journalists" or simply trying to "win the argument," they are important influencers of the "conversation" and therefore key targets for public relations communications.
Integrating Sales Tactics into PR
Sword and the Script
Anyone in PR is also a salesperson, selling ideas instead of products. One of the major mantras of sales is: Don't Sell Past the Close
. Once you've made the sale, it's time to stop selling and start implementing, according to Frank Strong. It's an important lesson: When you've got a "yes," it's time to shut up — even if you've come armed with more data and proof points. Nothing else you offer will add value, and worse, might even change the client's mind, Strong adds. The rule applies to project pitches to clients as well as story pitches to journalists. When the sale is made, say thank you and move ahead to implementation.
Marketing Skills and Trends for PR Pros
Everything PR / Business 2 Community
Is Content Marketing the Future for Public Relations Professionals?
It just might be, as more businesses adopt content marketing strategies and the demand for PR pros with marketing skillsets expands. The most important talents required for PR professionals doing content marketing are: (1) Learning how to talk directly to your audience through blogs and social media, (2) SEO (3) digital and graphic design, and (4) social media marketing techniques. According to Lee Odden, PR pros are best equipped to tell brand stories
that consumers and the media will care about. Milly Youngs asserts in The Art of Storytelling in Business
that storytelling techniques invoke emotion from readers and create an opportunity to get your brand to resonate with consumers. Youngs employs a five-step method to developing an effective story, beginning with methods to uncover a story and ending with ways to get readers to return. A good story draws on real-life examples through characters to whom the specific audience will relate, while getting across company values. At the end of stories, consider teasers like "See the sneak preview" or "Like this page to find out more." Consistent content across multiple channels gives people a reason to return, Youngs contends.
Journalists Rely on Social Media for PR Sources
Social Media Today
CBS News Anchor Sean McLaughlin explains how social media has strengthened the relationship between reporters and PR pros during his interview with Carrie Morgan in The Impact of Social Media on Newsrooms & Journalists
. Pitches through Twitter are OK, but unless it's breaking news, it's best if the PR pro uses the message as a heads-up and follows with a succinct email, McLaughlin says. Interaction and article research should take place weeks before the first pitch attempt, McLaughlin recommends. McLaughlin reveals that journalists rely heavily on their relationships with PR pros to designate experts for a story — relationships built primarily through social media. His two most important recommendations to PR pros: (1) Embed some sort of web element with every pitch so reporters can share the information on social media, websites and TV (2) Pay attention to the news throughout the day to tie relevant experts and information to stories where possible.
How to Build Trust during Client Consultations
In her presentation at the World Conference of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), Caroline Kealey explained that success for any client consultation is dependent on the key factors of trust, credibility and alignment. In Top 10 Questions in Strategic Communications
, Kealey presents questions and strategies to build a solid relationship between yourself and clients during consultations. Like any pitch or campaign, offers should be framed in the language of the audience, Kealey maintains. Consider your client's key areas of focus, and use that framing to position your communications efforts. Media monitoring and measurement play a major role in the representative-client relationship, as both provide the data to display a project's progress. Ultimately, your client wants to look good and avoid risk exposure. The data can demonstrate how you have succeeded.
How to Protect Personal and Professional Online Reputation
In 6 Tips for Protecting Your Online Reputation
, Randi Zuckerberg highlights easy but useful approaches for avoiding blemishes on your online reputation. Zuckerberg recommends discovering your "digital doppelgangers" — those who share your name on social media — and distinguish yours with a nickname or middle initial. The last thing you need is someone sharing inappropriate content with your name behind it. She also emphasizes that people judge you by the company you keep and what friends post on line can affect your reputation. Finally, media monitoring is as important to personal reputation as corporate reputation. PR pros may overlook adding their own names to their key word selections, but as spokespersons of the company or brand, their reputations are just as important as the products and services they promote.
PR Buzzwords to Leave Out of Your Pitch
If you're still using some of the 100 PR Buzzwords That Need to Go Six Feet Under
, it's time to spruce up your vocabulary. The 2010 list is based off Ronnie Manning's survey to PR and media professionals, asking them to identify the most overused words in pitches and campaigns. The big winners (or losers, if you will): "cutting edge" and "game changing." Other top buzzwords included "leading," "state-of-the-art," and "paradigm." One more tip: Unnecessary adverbs can weigh down your pitch. Instead, construct sentences with strong verbs to get to the point.
How to Write Subject Lines that Attract Readers (Including Journalists)
Direct Marketing IQ
All the hard work put into a PR pitch or marketing campaign goes to waste with a weak subject line. Pat Friesen recommends starting subject lines with active verbs to create momentum and a call-to-action. In 11 Tips for Creating Subject Lines
, Friesen also relates that personalizing and localizing emails tends to produce higher open rates (example: "Pat, visit our new Country Club store near you.") Her suggestion: Experiment with each method through different campaigns to see which ones work best.
When your recipients are busy, however, creative subject lines fade in importance and the emails that get read are the ones with practical subject lines, Adam Grant asserts in 6 Ways to Get Me to Email You Back
. When you want to grab the attention of someone important, "scrap the entertaining subject lines and focus on utility," he instructs. Another tip on getting your recipients to write back: start by telling them why they were chosen for the message, and the distinctive value they can add. That's a particularly salient recommendation for pitches to journalists.
Social Media Monitoring as a Sales Tool
Benefits from social media monitoring extend beyond the communications department. 3 Ways to Win Sales Using Social Media Monitoring
explains how to identify qualified buyers by monitoring targeted key words. In Glen Kosaka's example, a kitchenware manufacturer might want to monitor "dull knives" and respond to those conversations with coupons for your product or an article on knife-sharpening from your company's blog. Keywords for media monitoring should also include the names of competitors. Learning what your competition is doing wrong can be used in future sales pitches to potential customers. Key takeaway: Marketers should collaborate with sales teams, feeding them appropriate information from social media monitoring results to generate new sales.
Oversights in Social Media Monitoring
Inbound Marketing Blog
Communications professionals should check their social media monitoring practices against the oversights listed in Are You Mishandling the Power of Social Media?
to assess if there's room for improvement in their program. One of the most common mistakes made by companies is failing to monitor their competitors or general industry topics. Your competition could be offering content you're not, and you may get your next great idea by observing their actions, Angela Suico reasons. Monitoring companies that have high social media engagement can offer valuable lessons in effective social media practices, as well.
Don't Measure It Just Because You Can
Globe and Mail (Canada)
First formulated by management guru Peter Drucker, the canard that you can't manage what you don't measure underlies much of the recent advocacy for metrics, measurement and big data in marketing and public relations. Don't Measure It Just Because You Can
calls into question the validity of many metrics and measurement efforts - and lays out key principles in determining what measurements are most useful. Operational effectiveness consultant Connie Siu cites seven issues for companies to address when developing performance metrics for most any corporate function. Key point: Focus on the corporate results you want to achieve.
Fan Engagement Tactics: Use Social Media to Give Fans What They Want
Fans long for a strong relationship with their favorite brands to show their support. Enter, social media. Brands should provide their fans with content that's valuable to them, Jon Thomas explains in 5 Types of Social Media Content Your Audience Really Wants
. Sharing a fan's post is effective because it provides a positive message from the people who matter the most (the customers) and because it lets fans know their brand is listening and appreciates their voices. Another type of content fans crave: behind-the-scenes material. Product sneak-peaks, photos of actors while filming commercials, outtakes from commercials, etc. are viral-worthy and give the fans what they want.
The Latest Emerging Trends in the Marketing Industry
For updates on the newest marketing trends, 9 Marketing Trends for 2013's Second Half
explores emerging trends in the marketing industry. Thanks to media monitoring, big data and targeting tools, marketers are embracing "personalized branding" experiences that reflect the consumer's image — including customized offers based on the recipient's transaction history and other data. Another trend to prepare for: the convergence of mobile, web-based and other media channels. Twitter's new TV ad targeting tool is already connecting marketers to Twitter users who have seen their ads on TV. Translation: Make sure your content is compatible on as many platforms as possible and use analytics to assess which devices produce the best results for your content.
Effective Video Storytelling Techniques for Marketers
Business 2 Community / Digiday
With the popularity of Vine and Instagram video, Brands Must Master Short-Form Storytelling
, according to David Armano. The focus for brands shouldn't be choosing a platform to invest in; it should be mastering short-form videos in general, Armano contends. Lowes is already ahead of the game with their popular Vines that offer do-it-yourself tips for consumers. For more examples, 13 Ways to Use Vine for Ecommerce
demonstrates how other brands are telling stories and helping consumers with short-form video.
Google's SEO Algorithm Will Demand Longer, More Diverse Content
Search Engine Journal
Diverse content will become especially important in determining search engine ranking over the next year, Jayson DeMers predicts in 10 SEO Industry Trends: A Look at What's Ahead for SEO in 2013 & 2014
. DeMers advises marketers to think beyond blog posts and start creating videos, infographics and interactive quizzes to boost their website's SEO. Written content will continue to be important, he acknowledges, but will require more depth and detail. The result: Google's valuing of "super articles" between 1,000 to 2,000 words that grab people's interest and are evergreen. The key approach is to set your content apart from others by integrating expert interviews, detailed tutorials, and high quality videos and images. Linking to third-party content will remain critical in Google's SEO algorithm, but marketers should set the bar higher for the quality of outside sites.
5 Things You Should Know Before Outsourcing an SEO
Search Engine Journal
If you're outsourcing your SEO strategies, Pratik Dholakiya proposes learning 5 Things Your SEO Consultant Won't Tell You
to avoid getting taken advantage of and/or hiring someone who doesn't know what they're doing. Don't fall for SEO experts who claim they can boost your rankings without you — the best SEO campaigns surround your published works, Dholakiya explains. SEOs should complement your works and advise you how to create content to maximize links. SEOs don't really know how to go viral. Thus, any marketing strategy built entirely around the concept of going viral is doomed. Instead, work on content that tends to get picked up by influencers in a particular niche.
Share Social Media Content Where It's Most Pertinent
There's a distinct difference between personal networking and professional networking. Determining which content works best in each venue will help you reach your social media goals, Daniel Burrus declares in Social Media ROI for Business: Facebook versus LinkedIn
. Consider the language of your brand's blog — does it maintain a professional and instructional presence, or is it creative and light-hearted? In the latter case, the content will likely receive the most engagement on Facebook, while the former should be shared on LinkedIn. Bottom line: Figure out what content gives you the best ROI, and craft your social media campaign around that information.
What Is the Most Famous Brand from Your State?
You may be surprised to learn what the most popular brand is from your home state — and where popular brands came from. What the Most Famous Brands Are from Each State
provides a map of the United States with each state's most popular brand. Some brands like Apple are no surprise (California) but who knew Coca-Cola got its start in Georgia, or that Nike's headquarters are in Oregon? It's also interesting to discover popular brands you may not have heard of from the opposite side of the country. The alternate brand suggestions in the comments are quite interesting. Our suggestion for change: New York Yankees, instead of Verizon.
Innovation Begins with Identifying Core Values
Core innovation values are crucial to guide communications decisions and help reach business objectives. In 7 Core Values to Bolster Innovation
, Don Mroz provides a list of core values that are the most effective for an innovative work culture. The values help define your organization's priorities, how employees should solve problems and performance expectations, Mroz notes. Additionally, your work environment, social media personality and overall online presence all reflect the values with which your company most strongly identifies. Among the most important innovation values: quality, creativity, trust and measurement.
Factoids of the Week:
Companies that blog 15x or more per month get 5x more traffic than companies that don't blog. (Hubspot)
Articles with images get 94% more views than those without. (Content+)
46% of people say a website's design is the number one criterion for discerning the company's credibility. (Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab)
Quote of the Week:
"The best way to predict your future is to create it." — Abraham Lincoln
Upcoming Conferences and Webinars
, hosted by Marketing Cloud, will be held July 18. The virtual conference is free to attend.
Recent White Papers and eBooks
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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