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Feature Article:

Ad Company Automates Content Marketing Process; What Does It Mean for PR and Marketing?

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The role to lead in content marketing has resulted in a tug-of-war between advertising, marketing and PR. (Courtesy of Fort Meade)
Advertising, marketing and PR have long engaged in a three-way tug-of-war over the ownership of content marketing. In a move that may further complicate the internal corporate battles, IPG Mediabrands has launched a publishing group to automate the content creation process, Tanzina Vega announced in New Unit to Turn Brands into Publishers. A publishing division eliminates the need for advertising companies to outsource the "creative" duties of content and establishes a new one-stop agency model. The message for PR and marketing: If agencies are restructuring themselves to improve content for their audience, it means all communications departments must give special focus to their inbound marketing efforts.
      How do you narrow your focus on content marketing? The likely first step is to allot more room in the budget. Bulldog Reporter summarizes a recent survey by IMN that reveals a gap between the importance marketers place on content marketing and the resources they allocate for it. According to the survey, 90% of respondents listed content marketing as medium- to high-priority, but it represents less than 10% of the marketing budget for nearly half of the respondents.
      Another key to content marketing excellence is staying in tune with the latest industry trends. Industry blogs and publications remain the most-read sources among brand marketers and agencies. In The Insider's Guide to Keeping Up with Marketing Trends, Josh Dreller dissects the different types of resources available, including white papers, conferences, and webinars, and offers his advice on what to expect and take away from each. His caveat for blogs and trade publications: no matter how much the author tries to keep content objective, there will always be a slant or selling attempt. Read the author's bio first to better understand his or her background, knowledge and objectives before trying to make a placement.
      The final quality of effective content: strong writing. Adam de Jong advises that content creators think like publishers in 10 Journalism Rules That Can Teach You Everything You Need to Know about Content Marketing. Though usually at opposite ends of the spectrum, journalism and content marketing are related in their writing approach, de Jong explains. As journalists adopt the inverted pyramid to style their articles, content creators should use a similar perspective and present their readers with a big picture idea that follows with explanations, sources and examples. Always include references or expert sources for credibility, he adds. Additionally, effective articles have a strong lede, a nut graf, and avoid unnecessary "fluff" — "So cut the fat and keep it focused."
For PR Pros

New Radio Monitoring Service Provides PR and Marketing Opportunities

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Though radio news and talk broadcasts heavily impact public opinion, radio is often the missing component in media monitoring services. An effective radio monitoring service can help companies generate new leads, increase brand awareness, and create content such as interviews to publish on social media and company websites. This week, CyberAlert announced the launch of CyberAlert Radio, a national radio news monitoring service that will allow PR and marketing clients to aggregate what's being said and reported about their company in local and national radio news. The service uses advanced speech-to-text technology to capture the text of radio broadcasts and delivers the radio clips to clients. CyberAlert's radio monitoring capabilities allow PR pros to close the loop with 360° media monitoring that includes print and online news, TV and radio news, and a full spectrum of social media.

Social Media Monitoring Made Simple: Focus on KPIs

The Holmes Report
PR pros should approach social media monitoring in the simplest way: focus only on the most important Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). One of the most valuable KPIs is Net Promoter Score, Loic Moisand explains in How to Cut the Social Media Monitoring Fat. NPS measures consumers' attachment to a brand via one survey question: How likely is it that you would recommend (X) company to a friend or colleague? The NPS score illuminates the "big picture" of the brand's place among clients or customers. To stay ahead of a crisis, Moisand advises monitoring for KPIs. PR pros should keep an eye out for an unusual influx of negative online conversations about their brand and its most sensitive topics.

Joining Forces: How PR and Social Media Can Collaborate

Search Engine Watch
Public relations and social media departments must work together to strengthen the other's efforts, Lisa Barone maintains in Bridging the Gap Between Social Media and PR. This collaboration can be implemented to improve media relations, influencer and consumer outreach and pitchable assets, says Barone. If PR pros tap into social measurement, they can use the data to their advantage. From social data, PR pros can interpret how customers have reacted to a recent promotion or press release, which news outlets generate the most social conversation, or which reporters have the most influence on readers.

Google's New Guidelines Restrict Linking Key Words in Press Releases

Search Engine Land / Sword and the Script
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Google is cracking down on guest posts, advertorials and press releases, Search Engine Land reports in Google Warns Against Large-Scale Guest Posting, Advertorials & "Optimized Anchor Text" in Press Releases. The quiet updates added to Google's link schemes guidelines should alert PR and marketing pros to use caution when writing online content with anchor text (the clickable text that acts as the title for a hyperlink). In Google to Clamp Down on Press Release Anchor Text, Frank Strong concludes that content creators shouldn't worry about guest posts if the content is high-quality and uses relevant links. However, be wary about linking key words in press releases: links with optimized anchor text now violate Google's guidelines. If you publish a press release or article on your site using optimized anchor text and distribute it through a wire, you should "no follow" the links. Strong's assessment: Use links sparingly, anchor text for products is acceptable, and (bottom line) do not use irrelevant links for key words in anchor text.

How to Write Executive Quotes that Sing

Publication Coach
News publications often delete executive quotes from news releases. Why? Because the quotes don't add value to the story. Executive quotes that sound natural and communicate core messages will usually get published. In 9 Ways to Lift Your Quotes, Daphne Gray-Grant offers guidance to improve copywriting on executive quotes. Before inserting a quote, PR pros should introduce the source behind the quote. It's more engaging to read a summary of the source's perspective rather than jump right into what he or she said. Quotes should sound natural, not written, and should add interesting material to the press release. If a quote repeats a sentence in the press release or is just a stated fact, delete it.

Think Like a Journalist

Tilson PR
If you want your pitch to resonate with journalists, you have to think like one. How to Start Thinking Like a Reporter offers six tips to get into a journalist's state of mind, including "be a clock watcher." The best times to send a pitch is between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when most journalists are at their desks, Tracy Tilson shares. Journalists also respect sources with opinions — Tilson encourages PR pros to offer viewpoints to help your pitch stand out.

Sales Techniques for PR Staff: Preparing for a Client Pitch

Salesforce Marketing Cloud
Sometimes, PR pros need to be salespersons. How 10 Winning Salespeople Spend 15 Minutes Before a Sales Call aggregates advice from successful salespersons to prepare for your next sales call (or placement pitch). Sales trainer John Barrows advocates doing as much research on the prospect as possible: visit the "About Us" section on their company's website, observe recent company news or upcoming events, and look through the prospect's LinkedIn profile to understand his or her responsibilities, previous employment and any potential connections you may have. Mark Hunter, a leading sales expert and speaker, recommends developing a list of questions to ask the client/journalist so that the call is a discussion anchored on questions, not a one-way speech.

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For Marketers & Social Media Specialists

How Marketers Can Use "Newsjacking" the Right Way

Salesforce Marketing Cloud
In last week's issue, Media Monitoring News highlighted articles that warned marketers to avoid "newsjacking" in their social media strategies. While real-time marketing tied to news events can result in social media failure, Jason Boies shares David Meerman Scott's advice on how to do it successfully in Newsjacking: How to Leverage the News for Brand Marketing. The key to inject your ideas into a breaking news story is to "be the second paragraph of the story," Scott explains. Instead of repeating the news, brands can add quotes and reactions to create a unique perspective to the story's discussion. Another idea: don't insert your reaction to a Page 1 news story, as competition for attracting readers will be fierce. Instead, "think beyond the front page" and follow international, local, and industry-specific stories, as well as notable bloggers and reporters.

Social Media Marketing Tips from NASA

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NASA has nearly 500 social media accounts across its multiple social networks. (Courtesy of NASA)
NASA excels in more than space exploration, Rick Mulready demonstrates in What NASA Can Teach You about Social Media Marketing. The agency's social media marketing success shows how marketers can benefit from adapting its social media strategies. The government agency has nearly 500 social media accounts across multiple social networks, enabling NASA to achieve greater reach and impact. Brands may consider giving their products and employees different accounts to create a diverse set of company voices. For example, NASA used the Mars Curiosity Rover to document its voyage to Mars through Facebook and Twitter. Its fun and witty tone collected millions of fans in the process. Mulready also advises marketers to take advantage of Google+'s Hangouts, a channel for group video chats. NASA uses Hangouts to demonstrate products, provide customer support, and hold Q&A sessions to present fans with a behind-the-scenes look.

Social Media Engagement Tactics to Develop an Interested Audience

Bloom Worldwide / Business2Community
Efforts to increase followers may build brand awareness, but they do not establish an interested, invested audience. Engagement-focused social media tactics develop an audience that truly listens to your messages, John Murphy explains in Listening vs. Hearing: How to Increase your Twitter Engagement Rate. Murphy lists tools to create an invested audience, including, which indicates who and what is being spoken about in different regions around the world, and, which analyzes the best times to tweet based on your message and followers. 52 Methods: How to Get Your Tweets Retweeted offers tips for Twitter beginners and distinctive ideas for veterans to try. Among them: use long words in tweets (which tend to get shared more), create contest and coupon campaigns, and ask what your audience thinks about a current event.

Customers Want Solutions, Not Online Conversations

Open Forum
In just one minute, Internet users send 278,000 tweets, 41,000 Facebook posts and create 347 new blog posts. Qmee's infographic "Online in 60 Seconds" illustrates a snapshot of the Internet that demonstrates just how much noise is created online. How do you make an impact with all the social chatter? Rohit Bhargava argues brands need to stop focusing on empty online conversations and instead provide utility in interactions. In Why Online Conversations Don't Matter Anymore (and Never Did), Bhargava contends that conversation alone isn't enough for brands if it lacks substance and value. Marketers should answer online questions proactively and assume friendship among their fans. Bottom line: It's easy to focus too much on idle conversation in social media. Consumers have a need, and it's a brand's job to fulfill it with solutions.

Personas Supply Essential Donor Data for Non-Profits

The Guardian
All organizations need to identify their target customers. Just as companies create profile templates of customers, non-profit organizations need to develop "personas" of their donors and other supporters. Marketing Personas for Non-Profits: Design and Implementation constructs a step-by-step method to introduce non-profit organizations to personas. Non-profits should utilize existing data, social networks, and website data to gather intelligence on their supporters. Customer feedback about social issues related to the non-profit provides insight into the decision-making process of donors, Andrew Isidoro reveals. After compiling the data, the organization can establish a demographical representation of its most important supporters. This "persona" will help non-profits understand how supporters and donors will react to campaigns and events, and thereby establish marketing budgets and evaluate opportunity costs.

Measurement from the Customer's Perspective

Most businesses don't have the time or resources to measure all the data available. Instead, companies should choose metrics based on their customers' perspectives, Jim Sterne proposes in What to Measure? Start at the Top. These perspectives will engender simple marketing goals: raise awareness, improve attitude, influence influencers, inspire interaction, generate sales and drive endorsements. Each goal contains its own set of metrics: measure sentiment to determine customer attitude, use social media monitoring to assess brand awareness from a random sample of your target audience. If any of the goals fail, marketers can backtrack through each touch point to see where the problems might lie.

Facts, Fun & Inspiration

The Compact Guidebook on Social Media, PR and Marketing

Fast Company
The 36 Rules of Social Media condenses the most valuable marketing and PR insights into a square infographic. The rules are brief, but each derives from an influential source and sends a strong message. Number 9, for example: "Have an ROI. Have an ROI. Have an ROI." The best rules for marketers: "Think past vanity metrics like followers," and "People would rather talk to 'Comcast Melissa' than 'Comcast'." Guidance for PR pros: "Solve problems for people who talk about you, even if they don't address you."

Basic Skills Everyone Should Learn

Even Cool
50 Things Everyone Should Know How to Do compiles a list of essential everyday skills, many of which will help you avoid or solve difficult situations. Each skill comes with a list of helpful articles to learn the trade. Basic "must-knows" include learning to parallel park, sew a button, remove a stain and jumpstart a car. The more challenging skills: build a fire, perform CPR, and speak at least two common languages.

The Most Important Emergency Items to Stash in Your Car
A lot can happen when you're on the road, so it's nice to know your car contains the things you may need, including duct tape, a gas can, and a first aid kid. 15 Things You Should Always Have in Your Car lists necessary items you may overlook, like a flashlight for when you have to change a flat tire at night, or extra clothes after a surprise downpour. There's also the obvious: a spare tire, car jack, and jumper cables.

Factoids of the Week:

50% of U.S. consumers are more likely to use a local business after reading positive online reviews. (BrightLocal)
The average spend of a repeat customer is 67% more than a new one. (Inc. Magazine)
Emails that include social sharing buttons have a 158% higher click-through rate. (GetResponse)
During the day, Facebook reaches more people than network television. (Nielsen)

Quote of the Week:

"It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it." — Warren Buffett

Upcoming Conferences and Webinars

The Future of Sponsored Content for Communications Professionals, hosted by PR Newswire, will be held Aug. 22. The webinar is free to attend.
Social Media for Crisis Communications, hosted by the Public Relations Society of America, will be held Sept. 24 in Arlington, Va. The cost to attend is $695 for non-members and $595 for members.
PR Best Practices Summit, hosted by Ragan Communications, will be held Sept. 25 in Washington, DC. The cost to attend is $1,095 for non-members and $845 for members.
5th Annual Social Media Success Summit 2013, hosted by Social Media Examiner, will begin sessions Oct. 1. The cost to register is $267.
PR Measurement Summit, hosted by Ragan Communications, will be held Oct. 4 in Chicago, IL. The cost to attend is $795 for non-members and $645 for members.
5th Annual Health Care Social Media Summit, hosted by Ragan Communications, will be held Oct. 22 in Rochester, MN. The cost to attend is $995 for non-members and $745 for members.
PRSA 2013 International Conference, hosted by the Public Relations Society of America, will be held Oct. 26 in Philadelphia, Pa. The cost to attend is $1,375 for non-members and $1,075 for members.

Recent White Papers and eBooks

Global & Local Marketing Guide for CMOs. A dive into the marketing and PR landscape of different countries, regions, cities and industries around the globe, based on survey results from 40 companies in more than 15 different countries.
The Business-to-Business Marketing Handbook. Increasing landing page conversion rates, components of effective B2B offers, email and content marketing techniques, and more.

Two Best Values in Media Monitoring

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
Public Relations Positions
Public Relations Associate - Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation
Public & Media Relations Specialist - Prevea Health Services
Senior PR Manager - Yummly
Public Relations Associate - Burson-Marsteller
Public Relations Specialist - Vulcan, Inc.
Communications Manager - American Red Cross
Public Relations Director - AugustineIdeas
PR Specialist - Blue Corona
Public Relations Specialist - Boone County National Bank
Media Relations Associate - Sageworks, Inc.
Marketing Positions
SEO & Social Media Marketing Strategist - Tristar Products, Inc.
Marketing/Communications Coordinator - Fountainhead Mobile Solutions, LLC.
Gatorade Market Development Associate - PepsiCo
Marketing & Communications Coordinator - Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada
Email Marketing Manager - Gaiam, Inc.
Marketing Coordinator - Jacobs Engineering Group
Marketing Team Leader - Whole Foods
Marketing Coordinator - Mitchell Consulting Group
Marketing Associate, Messaging and Correspondence - TXU Energy
Email Marketing Specialist - eBay, Inc.

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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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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