August 2013 Issue #4
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!
Writing for Impact: Headlines, Lead Paragraphs and Email Subject Lines
Econsultancy / SteamFeed / Unbounce Marketing Solutions/ Publicity Hound
Content that attracts attention almost always incorporates an eye-catching headline and powerful opening paragraph. Search-optimized keywords and clever puns aside, writers must lure readers with compelling headlines, Chris Lake asserts in 30+ Powerful Adjectives and Verbs for Eye-Catching Headlines
. Lake includes ad legend Leo Burnett's Power Verb Cheat Sheet
as a resource for effective verbs that persuade the audience to click on the headline. Among the list of verbs: "avoid," "boost," "grasp," "leverage," and "maximize." The 14 Most Powerful Words in Marketing and Publicity
, assembled by marketing leaders Jeanne Hopkins and Jamie Turner, greatly strengthen the copy of any press release, social media post, email and blog post. Attention-getting words include: "now," "easy," "money," and "proven."
Writers and bloggers also need to create a strong opening paragraph to hook readers. Sarah Arrow recommends content that starts with a bold statement in 97% of Bloggers Increase their Readership with These Opening Paragraphs
. The 97% statistic is fake, Arrow immediately reveals, but she adds, "How's that for boldness?" Unless you plan to expose your statistic as fictitious like Arrow did, all claims should be backed up with evidence. Writers can also engage their readers by asking a question or painting a detailed scene.
Sometimes, a clever email subject line is needed before recipients can see the creative headline and opening graph. For bloggers with subscribers to their content or a newsletter, Steve Young suggests that they inspire readers with a real number and use a topic that relates to their audience's current state of business. In Eye-Catching Email Subject Lines to Catapult Your Open Rates
, Young shares some email subject lines that caught his attention and explains why they attracted him. Try a subject line that is blunt or completely unexpected, he advises. Subject lines that ask questions are also a great way to get attention, especially when they're personalized with the recipient's name.
Building Brand Awareness: Know Your Customers and Compensate Your Influencers
SmartBlog / Salesforce / Harvard Business Review / ClickZ
Marketers prize influencers for two reasons: their ability to spread insights, and, just as the name suggests, to influence customers on brands, products and services. As Joe Griffin explains in Q-and-a: How Social Influencers Can Boost Your Business
, social influencers amplify the reach of your brand's message, add credibility to your organization with a third-party endorsement, and secure guest posts that improve your brand's voice.
With all these benefits influencers deliver, should marketers compensate them accordingly? Teresa Caro instructs that Yes, Marketers, You Should Pay Your Influencers
— according to an Engauge study
, more than half of influencers expect payment or free products in return for their work. Yet the payment doesn't always have to be in the form of money, Caro elucidates. Just as companies send free products to writers to use and review them, marketers can compensate influencers with a fair value exchange that continues to build the relationship. Send them a prelaunch product sample or offer them sponsorship to attend a conference, Caro suggests.
Before marketers search for power influencers, however, they must examine a critical influencer whose interests are most similar to those of their audience: the customer. In How to Understand, Define and Identify Online Influence
, Danny Brown contends that marketers must put the actual customer at the heart of the circle to truly understand what their audience wants. "Generic" influencers — those chosen based on social scoring platforms like Klout — cannot help marketers understand their customer's peers, finances, or emotions. Brown urges marketers to first understand that customers are their true influence. Discover what your customers look for and who influences their decisions, and then work back from there to the influencers.
How to Fail at PR, Based on Microsoft's Xbox One Crisis
Microsoft recently proved that once you mishandle a brand crisis, it's difficult to repair your reputation. In Five Lessons in How NOT to Handle a PR Crisis: a Microsoft Case Study
, Alex Maunder guides PR pros through each step of Microsoft's failures after it announced new payment/connection policies at the launch of its new gaming console Xbox One — and caused a furor among its customers. Microsoft's biggest missteps: conflicted and confusing responses to the media's and consumers' questions, and canceling its remaining interviews with the media. This left Microsoft vulnerable for its competitor Sony to jump in and promise consumers that the Playstation 4 would be a better purchase. Even after Microsoft rescinded the original policies that angered its customers, Maunder points out that the gaming community has made Microsoft and Xbox One into a communal joke. Lesson: Beta test with customers before changing policies, use social media monitoring to track consumer opinion, and correct the problem as quickly as possible.
The Paine Method to Establish a Media Measurement Program
Just as a GPS is only useful when you input a destination, measurement only produces ROI when it incorporates specific goals that define success. In How to Stop the Cats from Howling
, Katie Paine recommends holding an interactive workshop so that all those involved in the measurement process — including marketing, advertising, finance and executives — can reach a consensus as to which goals are most important to the company. Ask them how they define success, what their benchmarks are, and what they expect from social media and PR, she instructs. Then, brainstorm on what the right metrics should be to achieve those goals and establish a time frame for those goals. Finally, assign responsibility to each staff member or department, and follow up 10 days later to assure those tasks are being done. Bottom line: every department has its own unique definition of value or success. An effective, long-term measurement strategy encompasses all agreed-upon definitions, so the company can determine whether their marketing, social media and PR strategies are moving in the right direction.
Press Releases: The Value of Multimedia
PR News / Press Feed / Media Bistro
The major press release distribution services promote use of multimedia elements and charge more for them - making multimedia press release significantly more expensive. Study results indicate, however, that use of multimedia delivers greater value. The Use of Visual Elements Lags in PR Communications
, even though releases with visual images garner nearly 10 times more visibility than text-only releases. In a more recent survey, PR News
found that two-thirds of survey respondents only use multimedia "sometime" in press releases. Sally Falkow also explains in How to Use Multimedia with News Releases to Increase Views
that releases with multimedia usually get better placement, and releases with images placed above the headline are read by 10% more people than those with headlines above the image. According to Sheldon Levine's 5 Tips for Creating Great Multimedia Press Releases
, multimedia should be easy to share on social media, with links to full-size files for easy reposting. If you're struggling with image and video ideas, Levine suggests bringing quotes to life and filming a short interview of your source.
Pitching Mistakes that Drive Journalists Away
New Hope 360
Journalists are not impressed when you name-drop the news organizations that have already published your story. Reporters don't want to be latecomers to a story. That's one of the most egregious of PR pitching errors, Mikal Belicove declares in 8 Fatal Flaws to Avoid When Pitching to the Media
. Other errors: sending too many inconsequential press releases; not including third-party supporting data for product claims; preempting "scoops" with widespread news release distribution; and not giving the journalist enough lead time to craft a custom article. Belicove explains that the best approach is to research the journalist's niche and ask what he or she is working on. According to Natalie DiBlasio, PR pros should also stay on top of current news before sending a pitch to avoid conflicts. In Journalist to PR: 10 Things that Get Your Emails Deleted Immediately
, DiBlasio explains that when journalists cover a crisis or tragedy, the last thing they want to do is reply to a pitch that promotes a company.
Social Media PR Do's and Don't's
Likeable Media / KISSmetrics
Social media equips PR with the tools to speak directly to their audience and announce new products en masse. Mandi Boyd describes how to bring public relations to a new level in Social Media's Role in Modern Public Relations
. As Southwest Airlines demonstrated when it immediately updated the public about a dangerous landing at LaGuardia airport, brands can use social media to manage the news and achieve transparency. However, social media can also damage a brand's reputation, as exemplified in 50 Ways Social Media Can Destroy Your Business
. Many brands have fallen victim to the "current event fail," in which a current event caused their automated post to be inappropriate — or, the brand tried to use an event or tragedy to promote a product. PR agency pros must keep in mind how social media posts will resonate with clients. Example: a Ketchum representative tweeted that he would "die if he had to live in Memphis," which happens to be the headquarters for FedEx — Ketchum's biggest client.
Preventing an Issue from Becoming a Crisis
Social Media Today
To prevent a crisis, PR pros need to address the problem and admit a mistake was made. In Issues Management: Get to it Before a Crisis Erupts
, Gini Dietrich offers tips on using PR to stay ahead of a crisis situation. PR pros need to be prepared and act quickly to keep their reputation intact. Once the issue comes to light, PR pros should respond on the same day, either through social or traditional media, Deitrich counsels. If the story unfolds on Facebook, use that tool first to tell your side; it it's in the media, release a statement or set up an interview for your spokesperson.
How to Measure the Worth of Your PR Program
How can PR translate data like follower count and traffic growth to determine the payoff of their efforts? One way is to track "soft metrics" with a paid media monitoring program, Gini Dietrich shares in How to Measure Whether Your PR Program is Really Working
. "Soft metrics," such as media impressions, page views, sentiment and subscribers, can project brand awareness, credibility and perceived market shares. More importantly, PR efforts can increase sales, shorten sales cycle, and improve margins by enhancing reputation. To determine financial impact, PR must monitor the success of media relations efforts, including pitches, press releases and events, and compare those efforts with owned and paid media.
Advanced Boolean Search in Social Media Monitoring
A variety of social media monitoring tools exist, many of which offer add-on features. These "bell-and-whistle" tools sometimes obscure the critical quality that media monitoring services must supply: advanced Boolean search queries. As Jannette Pazer explains in Complex Queries: The Most Important Feature in Social Media Monitoring
, without Boolean search capability, social media monitoring results are limited, irrelevant, and require "hours of work pruning out the garbage." Based on Pazer's experiments with different monitoring tools, she found that flexible and robust Boolean query functionality is the key to a media monitoring tool's effectiveness. Her advice: establish a list of requirements before you start shopping. No tool is perfect, she acknowledges, but suppliers that define key words and queries specifically can dramatically reduce missed mentions and irrelevant results. [Brag: CyberAlert includes the power of complex Boolean queries and also enables regular expressions (REX statements)
for greater query precision. REX example: Specifying that all characters must be capitalized in the corporate name SAP, thereby avoiding false positives.]
Lead Generation: Core of Effective Content Marketing Strategy
Heidi Cohen / Marketing Profs
Marketers should abandon content marketing strategies that focus on awareness and engagement, and instead shift toward strategies directed at lead generation. The reason: lead generation allows marketers to better align their strategy with business objectives, Heidi Cohen reports in Are You Winging Content Marketing Strategy?
According to IMN's 2013 Content Marketing Survey Report
, nearly half of its respondents use the number of incoming leads as their content marketing program's primary measure of success. However, engagement and page traffic are still important: search engines rank content based on the time users spend on the site, the amount and age of original content, and the social chatter about content, as illustrated in Brandpoint's infographic, How Do You Measure Content Marketing?
Tactics for Social Media Success
1 to 1 Media
10 Strategies for Social Media Marketing Success
delivers quick but worthy points for a social media marketing strategy that drives results. Arthur Steinert affirms that marketers must be consistent in their social media posts and profiles — their personality should reflect the company, the industry, and the interests of the audience. Don't post just for the sake of posting, Steinert warns. Marketers should maintain an active presence at the top of their followers' minds, but not too active that it risks overwhelming their audience. Rather than spread yourself thin across multiple networks, Steinert recommends identifying the top two social media destinations where your customers and prospects are most active and immerse yourself on those platforms. On whether it's appropriate to resend the same social media post twice: it's acceptable on Facebook and Twitter because of the speed of their feeds, but don't post the same content twice on LinkedIn.
Social Media Measurement: Measuring Impact and ROI
Metrics Man / Marketing Profs
Marketers fixate too heavily on quantitative outputs and "vanity metrics," and not enough on social media measurement's actual business results. The result: Social Media Measurement is at a Crossroads
, and marketers must choose whether to measure metrics that "talk" or metrics that take action. The pressure to demonstrate social media's impact and value has increased, rushing marketers to measure the "easy" metrics like unique visitors per month instead of the metrics that matter — impact and ROI. Now that standards have been proposed for social media metrics
, it's in a company's best interest to adopt those standards for a centralized strategy. The first step to develop a social media measurement plan that demonstrates impact is to create measurable social media objectives, Don Bartholomew recommends. Identify the metrics that measure those objectives, and align those metrics with key performance indicators. Bartholomew suggests that these metrics should span across multiple dimensions, including programmatic, channel-specific and business-level metrics. Bottom line: marketers must do a better job to connect the dots between business KPIs, social media objectives and social media metrics and measurement. Measure social media's impact first, then assess its financial value. The 5 Most Worthless Marketing Metrics
agrees with Bartholomew and suggests metrics to stop measuring. In the era of big data, not all data is worth measuring. Key recommendation: measure only the data that gives a direct line of sight back to your organization's financial statement.
The New Metric for Media Monitoring: Viewable Impressions
After a lengthy review process, the Media Rating Council is expected to endorse a new counting method in online advertising: viewable impressions. The new metric will avoid counting problems caused by iframes and verify the actual viewable impressions of ads in online publications. Viewable Impression Standard Coming
explains the methodology and value of the new ad measurement approach. The method tallies the actual number of views of each page where the ad appears. Verified number of "page views" is also a holy grail for media measurement for public relations and content marketing. The viewable impression guidelines in advertising may foreshadow progress for the measurement of the actual number of readers of content pages. Driven by advertisers, publishers are likely to make page view data available for measurement of PR and content marketing.
The 3 Pillars of SEO: Content, Links and Social Media
CIO / Keyword Country
SEO no longer relies solely on inbound link quality and quantity, according to 8 Things You Need to Know about SEO Now
. Search engines now place a heavier emphasis on three pillars: content, links and social media. James a. Martin shares eight rules to meet the requirements of the new algorithm, including: links should be earned, not bought; use Google+ to improve social status; and make sure your website loads quickly and is error-free. In Matt Cutts Reveals 4 Killer SEO Tips to his Kidnappers
, Cutts discloses that there is an inverse relationship between your website's loading speed and ROI — the longer it takes to load, the lower your ROI due to an unhappy customer experience. Marketers should strive for high-quality content with images and multimedia — and should also optimize that multimedia. This can be accomplished through titles and metatags. If your post consists only of images, such as an infographic, Cutts suggests adding a comment box below so Google can target the page using keywords in the comments.
The Keys to Productivity
The Globe and Mail
The Pareto principle posits that 20 percent of your work day produces 80 percent of the results. In The 96-Minute Rule, and Other Timely Tips
, Harvey Schachter divulges ways to become more productive, including a 96-minute "alone zone" to tackle an important issue or project. Other productivity tips advise workers to know the next task on their schedule, replenish energy with breaks, and know when to say, "No." Sometimes, a task can be completed more quickly and efficiently by someone else — so it's important to learn which projects to undertake and when to delegate the work.
The Trick to Introducing Someone When You…Uh…Forget their Name
The Boggs Blog
If you're at a party and can't remember someone's name, an awkward situation ensues when you attempt to introduce that person to others. In How to Introduce Someone When You Can't Remember their Name
, Eric Boggs shares an effective solution: subtly force the person to state his or her own name as part of the interaction. Simply say, "Let me introduce you to my friend," and wait. The person will almost always fill the void by doing a self-introduction. In that way, everyone involved avoids embarrassment.
Factoids of the Week:
Among the 67% of marketers that use a newsletter to distribute content, 51% distribute the newsletter once per month; 27% distribute it quarterly and 14% distribute it more than once per month. (IMN)
Blog posts with 1,500 words or more receive 68% more tweets and 23% more likes. (QuickSprout)
Using videos on a landing page can increase conversions by 86%. (Eyeview)
Quote of the Week:
"Don't try to invent a tribe. Show up to lead one that already exists." — Seth Godin
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.
SES San Francisco
, hosted by ClickZ, will be held Sept. 10 in San Francisco, Ca. The cost to attend is $2,000.
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.
Recent White Papers and eBooks
Social Marketing Optimization Playbook
. It takes the right discipline, technology and expertise to extract meaning from social data to measurably improve the effectiveness of social campaigns — and it can be done.
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.