August 2013 Issue #3
New LinkedIn Group Offers News and Insights on Media Monitoring, Measurement & PR
Bill Comcowich, CEO of CyberAlert media monitoring services, has created a new LinkedIn group entitled "Media Monitoring and Measurement" for PR and marketing professionals. The new group is intended as a purely educational group for the media monitoring and measurement community. Posts are welcome on all aspects of news monitoring, broadcast monitoring, social media monitoring, media measurement, PR measurement and related topics. Bill and his staff will conscientiously moderate discussions submitted to the group in order to omit spam, keep discussions on topic and avoid overt promotion. Visit the group's page on LinkedIn
and join us today!
Reports: As Google Alerts Wilts, Companies Seek More Reliable Media Monitoring Solutions
Forbes / Venture Beat
|Google Alerts has become unreliable to track media mentions, according to recent news articles. In Google Alerts Are Broken, Kashmir Hill warns communications professionals that the news monitoring service has become ineffective. It's not just Hill who has noticed. SEO expert Danny Sullivan reported in February that his results were much less comprehensive, and The Financial Brand discovered its results volume had decreased by at least 80%, dropping from around 30 emails per day to 1 to 3 per day, with news clips "crummier than ever." Almost always, Google Alerts deliver a small fraction of the published news articles for any given key word. Companies should test Google Alerts results for thier key words against the full organic results.
With claims that Google Alerts is wilting, communications professionals may need to seek an alternative media monitoring solution. (Courtesy of Harry Thomas Photography)
Yoav Dembak reports that even before Google Alerts' recent issues, it was never an ideal media monitoring service to find all mentions of a company, its brands, competitors and issues. Since inception, Google Alerts has missed important news articles and has wrestled with other issues including timely delivery of alerts, he asserts. In addition, while subscription-based media monitoring suppliers have search professionals to implement complex syntax and Boolean search terms for greater precision in clip results, not all communications pros have mastered these query functions in Google, resulting in irrelevant results and missing articles. In 7 Apps to Help You Replace Google Alerts
, Dembak identifies several replacement options, varying by their features and cost. All the tools offer more comprehensive results than Google Alerts and include social media monitoring. Dembak's "Mid-level" and "High-end" replacements also provide measurement capabilities and customized reports.
While Dembak's list of tools specialize in one or two media media categories, some suppliers provide the "one-stop shop" of media monitoring and measurement. CyberAlert
, for example, monitors online news, social media and broadcast news, and provides analytics and custom measurement reports. As companies place increasing importance on reputation management and brand awareness, more media monitoring suppliers have adopted a similar style that administers the full scope of media monitoring and measurement. Key takeaway: Using Google Alerts as your primary media monitoring service may deliver inferior results. There may be greater value in upgrading to a media monitoring supplier that offers a professional staff, measurement data and more comprehensive results.
Studies: Digital and Social Growth Have Long Runways
McKinsey / Deloitte University Press
Two recent studies reveal businesses have embraced the advancement of digital technologies, and that the focus on social business strategies has grown across all industries. Both studies also marked involvement of the C-suite as a key factor contributing to digital and social development. McKinsey's global survey of 850 C-level
executives found companies have made significant progress in using digital media to distribute material consistently across channels and make targeted offers available online. Respondents also reported a growth in the company-wide use of big data and advanced analytics, and an increased involvement from senior executives.
The 2013 MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte Social Business Study
confirms that all industry sectors have increased their focus on social business. Companies are finding value in social media, internally developed social networks, social software for enterprise use, and data derived from social media and technologies.
Why should companies invest in these new technologies? For one, analytics improve budgeting and planning processes, automate decisions and identify new market segments, all of which return a measurable profit, companies reported. Benefits of social business also capture significant attention from business leaders. LinkedIn's social sales tools, for example, gives sales professionals access to all second- and third-degree network connections, offering outreach to decision-makers and a detailed portfolio of potential clients. Media monitoring and measurement provides businesses with social analytics so they can connect with dissatisfied customers before
their complaints spread and potentially damage reputation.
Many companies still face challenges in developing these digital and social programs. According to McKinsey, the top three factors that contribute to a digital program's failure include the absence of senior management interest, a lack of internal leadership, and misalignment between organizational structure and the company initiative's goals. In response to this issue, chief digital officers (CDOs) have emerged in the C-suite to provide leadership and attention to key digital initiatives.
The MIT/Deloitte study attributes inadequate strategies, competing priorities and a poorly proven business case as the three culprits that impede social business progress. For a successful transition, companies must integrate digital and social technologies into business objectives across the organization. Use these technologies to address problems that matter, measure the results and change the way work gets done. Bottom line: Companies need these tools to be where their customers are, and where their competitors may already be. Without the support of senior executives, companies cannot develop the social and digital tools required for progress.
The Article Every PR Agency Wants Written About Itself
Nick Summers' Sard Verbinnen, Wall Street's Go-To Crisis PR Firm
is a prime example of how earned media can significantly impact corporate (or agency) reputation. In a narrative and journalistic style, the article acclaims PR firm Sard Verbinnen for its work in "shutting down news as well as shaping it" for its clients. Summers details past cases of Sard's clients and explains how in each situation, Sard was able to influence the media "without leaving fingerprints." The kicker: Sard's representatives didn't participate in the article. Instead, Summers interviewed clients and researched deeply to tell Sard's story. Bottom line: Nothing is better than earned media in an influential publication to produce positive results in corporate reputation, likely leading to new clients.
The Importance of Typography
Smashing Magazine / Practical Typography
An error in your press releases can ruin your credibility. (Courtesy of Nic's events)
Often, an "ugly" font and unappealing colors will scare away readers before they read your content. Typography establishes the atmosphere of your website and sets the tone for its content, Shavaughn Haack maintains in A Journey Through Beautiful Typography in Web Design
. Haack examines the typography of more than 30 websites and explains why their font size, positioning and color were successful. Key message: The layout you choose, whether it's clean and simple or big and bold, will reflect how readers think about your company and its products.
Using a professional font is the easiest and most visible improvement you can make to your online content. According to Matthew Butterick, the list of "bad fonts" includes Bookman, Papyrus, and all Script faces. Additional recommendations in the summary of key rules
: use "curly" or smart quotes, not straight quotes; use centered text sparingly; and don't confuse hyphens and dashes.
Press Release Editing: Errors to Look For
One grammar or spelling mistake in a press release can put to waste the time and resources dedicated to writing and distributing it. Before sending the release, 7 Common Proofreading Mistakes in Press Releases
reminds PR pros to double-check homophones (to, too and two), the spelling of names, and broken or missing URLs. Perhaps most important: fact checks. One small error or wrong number can ruin the credibility of your press release. The best approach is to have someone else proofread and fact-check the release. It's difficult for writers to catch their own mistakes.
Press Release SEO Still Alive and Well Following New Google Link Guidelines
CommPRO.biz / Business Wire
Google's new guidelines for links in press releases already have compelled newswire services like Business Wire to implement "nofollow" links in their distributed press releases. However, the change doesn't affect how press releases will be found, read and shared online, as assured in The Top 10 Reasons to Send a Press Release
. The press release is still an effective anchor to create brand awareness and reach new audiences, especially when used as a landing page and shared through social media. PR pros will only fall foul of the new Google rules if they try to gratuitously "game" the system and stuff press releases with irrelevant or duplicate links, Steve Barrett writes in No Tom, Google Didn't Just Kill PR Agencies
Google restricts linking key terms, but PR pros can still use links and distribute releases for SEO, Fred Godlash of Business Wire asserts in Is SEO Useless for Press Releases?
"We are still distributing to our global network and getting great results as we always have," he confirms. The only difference is you need to earn search engine results with relevant, quality content, not with tons of SEO keywords. Godlash offers the following tips to write a properly optimized press release: identify a strong theme with searchable keywords; write a keyword-rich and compelling headline; craft the first sentence so that it accurately reflects the release's content; and add hyperlinks that are relevant and contain the word or phrase from which it links.
Best Practices for Pitching Local TV Stations and Newspapers
The Abbi Agency
Whether you're pitching to online news, broadcast or print, Amanda Shepherd's Four Things I Learned About Pitching Local TV
offers solid advice for reaching out to editors. Her pitching advice: call before sending an email to provide a brief rundown, and tell them you'll follow up with more information. With a preliminary call, the editor is much more likely to read the email, remember you and push the story along. Important: When the publication carries the story, your work isn't finished. Shepherd urges PR pros to thank editors the next day via email and offer their help with any future coverage. In local publicity, graciousness produces results.
Pitching Paid Media to Bloggers
PR Breakfast Club / Bulldog Reporter
Sending a pitch to a blogger who is "unapproachable" is a waste of time. The easiest way to find bloggers who want to be contacted is to look at their blog for sponsored posts, product reviews, giveaways, and guest posts, Kristen Matthews claims in The Blogger Approachability Conundrum
. Employ the "research and ask" approach: Examine the blog's content to see if it's a good fit for your story, then ask the blogger if he or she is interested. Many bloggers now request that PR pros spell out "the ask" and mention money matters, Brian Pittman explains in PR Pros Bloggers Love: Experiences, Partnerships and Money Push Pitches to the Top
. The best pitches are positioned as a potential partnership and highlight the transactional elements in bullet points. Ask bloggers if they'd be interested in working with your campaign, and detail what the work will include (one blog post, social media promotions, etc.) One thing pitches should never include: "Feel free to post this on your blog!"
How to Get the Most Out of Social Media Monitoring
Most companies monitor social media for mentions of corporate and brand names. But there is much more companies can and should be doing with social media monitoring, as exemplified in 6 Ways for Agencies to Get the Most Out of Social Listening
. From social media monitoring, companies can leverage market research and customer insights as feedback to improve products and services, create better campaigns and produce more effective marketing content. Organizations should also monitor their competitors to understand how they can gain a competitive edge. Compare your social media efforts to your competitors' to identify and improve your position in the market. Bonus: If you see a conversation about a consumer's negative experience with your competitor, that's your chance to jump in and offer your product, but be polite about it.
Marketing with Emotional Measurement
Customer loyalty is built on emotional bonds. If marketers measure what strengthens those bonds, they'll see an increase in sales, Colin Shaw asserts in Which Customer Emotions Drive Business Results?
Shaw breaks the hierarchy of emotional value into four clusters: advocacy, recommendation, attention and destroying — all of which can be determined through sentiment metrics and a Net Promoter Score (NPS). If you want customers to stay, you need to evoke advocacy and recommendation emotions that drive long-term value. The trick is to differentiate between what customers say and what they mean: often, a customer will say something positive, but it doesn't drive the bond. Example: People who say they worry about the environment may not purchase eco-friendly products that are even slightly more expensive. To establish key focus areas of your marketing strategy, Shaw instructs marketers to examine the touch points of their customer experience and determine which emotions drive value, and which don't.
Big Data Abuse and "Divorce" of Customer Relationships
More information gathered about customers translates into greater customer engagement, stronger relationships and increased sales, right? Not so, according to Robert Hall in Is Big Data Shrinking Customer Engagement?
The information companies collect about their customers' demographics, purchases and browsing history has increased exponentially, but the relationships and engagement with their customers has actually leveled or shrunk, Hall reveals. Though more information equals more power for companies, that power has left customers feeling resentful, causing them to retreat. Bottom line: abusing big data intrudes on your customers' privacy and scares them away.
Inbound Marketing ROI: Value of Company-Wide Coordination
Department silos are the reason companies fail to prove the ROI of inbound marketing activities. The solution: marketers must integrate their people, systems and tools company-wide in order to track customers throughout the entire buying cycle. This "closed loop tracking system" enables companies to analyze which channels are producing the most visits, leads and customers, Luke Summerfield explains in How to Show ROI of Content and Inbound Marketing to Your CEO
. With this information, marketers can assess which channels lead to the most customer purchases and determine the ROI of each inbound marketing activity.
The "See-Think-Do" Marketing Strategy
A successful marketing strategy provides content and engagement points for audience members in three separate stages: See, Think, and Do. In See-Think-Do: A Content, Marketing, and Measurement Business Framework
, Avinash Kaushik analyzes how marketers must implement broad, narrowed, and pinpointed tactics throughout their marketing strategy to suit customers at their different consideration stages. If customers are not ready to buy, engagement points like social sharing buttons and newsletter signups provide outlets to build the relationship. The "See" stage involves the largest possible way in which you can frame your potential audience. "Think" consists of the audience marked with intent to purchase. "Do" includes those who are ready to buy.
Social "Marketology": Steps to Success
Social media marketing is fundamentally different from conventional marketing. With ample information available from big data, social media allows you to be "hyper-granular" and pinpoint narrow segments of your constituents, according to Ric Dragon's 7 Steps to Productive Business Use of Social Media
. The next step: Identify communities and influencers for these micro-segments. The groups available on social media networks, especially Google+ and LinkedIn, allow marketers to find communities with their target audience or, even better, create a group of their own. Using these conversations, Dragon suggests that marketers measure the social media activities and metrics that fit their desired business goals to determine ROI. His advice: "Iterate and expect to pivot, based on results, because you can't get it all right the first time."
The 15-Minute Schedule to Strengthen Your LinkedIn Presence
How to Build Authority on LinkedIn in 15 Minutes a Day
presents a step-by-step method to promote your brand on LinkedIn. The agenda is broken down into 5-minute increments: for the first five minutes, take advantage of influencer posts by finding thought-provoking articles to share with your network, and schedule them to post throughout the day. Over the next ten minutes, read "Your News" in LinkedIn Today
to stay up-to-date in your industry, go through your news feed to like and comment with your followers, and share worthwhile articles in your groups. Note: The process probably exceeds 15 minutes by a fair amount, but it's a useful agenda to work into your daily social media routine.
For Effective Web Content, Think Like a Comedian
Three Girls Media / ProBlogger
Comedians don't tell the same joke over and over — just as marketers shouldn't use the same material and writing style in their web content. As with comedy, social media posts and blogs should be "unpredictable." Social media content should also include variety through images, videos, infographics, articles and quotes, Kelli Tokos advises in Social Media Advice from a Stand-Up Comedian
. In addition, content should be as well-honed as a good joke. Don't be afraid to show your personality to distinguish your content and encourage visitors to return to your site, Tokos advises. 20 Quick Tips on Writing Great Blog Posts
adds straight-to-the-point blogging tips, which suggest that writers explain what they want readers to do after reading posts. This will help you stay on-topic and develop a call-to-action. Other advice: mix up the length of your posts (short can be sweet and long can be epic) and publish selectively — don't force content if it isn't relevant.
Website Pet Peeves that Drive Readers Away
With all the time and money marketers invest trying to lure visitors to their websites, it's worthwhile to know what might drive them away. A big pet peeve is when websites create a pop-up message that appears within seconds, Chris Lake gripes in 22 More Reasons Why I'll Leave Your Website in 10 Seconds
. Lake also critiques the "date-dodgers," bloggers who neglect to include the date of their content, forcing readers to ask: Is this content still relevant? Beware of using sketchy contact links: when users click on a "Contact," they should be taken to a new page with various options and a form, not a "mailto:" link that opens a desktop-based email.
Machine Translation Technologies for International Business
Language barriers shouldn't stand in the way of an international business deal. According to Machine Translation Technologies for Global Brands
, machine translation technologies are the most cost effective way to communicate across language borders. The technology solutions are self-serve and allow marketers to quickly select the language, quality and deadline, and upload the content. It's a service multi-national businesses may want to consider and is ideal for gaining a quick cross-language understanding of social media conversations, emails and articles. Adding machine translation to the search process also delivers more relevant results because when keywords are translated, the results will return websites, blog posts and articles with your company's mentions that match those keywords in multiple languages.
Hilarious Product Reviews on Amazon
Reputation managers deal with good reviews, bad reviews, and the occasional comical review. PR pros will especially enjoy Amazon's Funniest Reviews
, which includes creative and smart-aleck product reviews crafted by customers. One review of a T-shirt with wolves pictured on it: "Unfortunately I already had this exact picture tattooed on my chest, but this shirt is very useful in colder weather." Another reviewer critiques a banana slicer and jokingly asks, "What can I say about the 571B Banana Slicer that hasn't already been said about the wheel, penicillin, or the iPhone?" The selected examples are good for many smiles and a few laughs - and deliver the point that humor is often an extraordinarily effective communications tool.
How to Resolve an Argument
Harvard Business Review
The hardest part of an argument is our emotional resistance: we're so focused on our own challenges that it's difficult to acknowledge the challenges of others. According to What to Do When You've Made Someone Angry
, the trick is to imagine that the person you're arguing with is angry at someone else. Listen and let them know you understand how angry they are, Peter Bregman instructs. This is a more effective process than attempting to empathize or explain your intentions, which often leaves both parties feeling unacknowledged, misunderstood and (still) angry.
Replacements for Brainstorming Sessions
If you're spending a lot of time in brainstorming sessions with your team, you're probably wasting that time, according to Why Brainstorming Is a Waste of Time and What You Should Do Instead
by Debra Kaye, an innovation consultant. Kaye suggests doing something "mindless" like taking a drive or a walk. The most exciting solutions and ideas are often formed during these not-so-aimless journeys, Kaye insists. Paradoxically, doing something difficult can be equally effective. Researchers found that new and challenging tasks stimulate the brain and grow cognition.
Factoids of the Week:
Between 2005 and 2012, marketers increased their total spending on content development by 45%. (Content Wise)
49% of executives reported a language barrier has stood in the way of a major international business deal. (Economist Intelligence Unit)
The fastest growing demographic on Twitter is the 55 to 64 age bracket. (Buffer)
70% of B2C marketers have acquired a customer through Facebook. (HubSpot)
Visual platforms, most notably Instagram, register 25 times as much engagement from followers than do community-based platforms. (L2)
Quotes of the Week:
"Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do." — Benjamin Franklin
"Speak to the dog in the language of the dog about what's in the heart of the dog." — Roy H. Williams, Author and marketing consultant
Upcoming Conferences and Webinars
Content Marketing World 2013
, hosted by Content Marketing Institute, will be held Sept. 9 in Cleveland, OH. The cost to attend is $1,295 for the full conference and $2,235 for an all-access pass.
Digital PR Summit
, hosted by PR News, will be held Oct. 16 in New York, NY. The cost to attend is $895.
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.
Word of Mouth Marketing Summit 2013
, hosted by Word of Mouth Marketing Association, will be held Nov. 18 in Nashville, TN. The cost to attend is $1,295 for non-members and $995 for members.
Recent White Papers and eBooks
Building a Marketing Analytics Framework
. Advice on how organizations can improve their marketing effectiveness, including the skills most important for marketing analysts right now; best ways to remove organization obstacles for a customer-centric enterprise; and how to capitalize on predictive analytics.
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 email@example.com
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.
Today's Best Media Monitoring Value
No per clip fees. No annual contract required.
Get Better Results Than Doing It Yourself —
And Rid Yourself of a Tiresome Chore.
No credit card required or requested.