October 2012: Issue 4
Critics, contrarians and disbelievers are important players in any industry. Their criticism often helps the industry progress. With that thought in mind, Media Monitoring News this week features three skeptics who question the value of social media measurement and what one calls its "narcissistic obsession" with obtuse metrics. They make some valid points that the measurement community should consider.
"Storytelling" in PR and marketing has become a hot topic in recent months. But what constitutes a "good story." Seth Godin offers a concise analysis of the elements of good story telling in the commercial arena.
With social media being among the hottest topics in communications, there's a plethora of articles each week on how best to deploy social attributes in PR and marketing. We've chosen articles this week that offer real insight on use of hashtags, social communities, and handling negative comments.
We've also got the Media Monitoring News equivalent of the Sports Illustrated bathing suit issue. It's not vicarious. The article examines real issues in marketing and publishing involving the retouching of photos.
The Flip Side of Social Media Measurement
Liz Lockard / Web Presence / Rantitude
A hoard of cheerleaders proclaims the value of social media measurement — not the least of which are vendors promoting solutions. Now surfacing are skeptics and contrarians who question the return on resources invested in measuring social media. After previously highlighting many articles on the benefits and methodologies of social media evaluation, we feature three of the disbelievers this week. Are Social Metrics Killing Off Social Media?
by Lee Jackson questions the value of social media measurement when there is no way to identify the same individual in each social platform — or to determine how any given individual is relating to the company or brand on any given social network. Biting quote: "Too many metrics spoil the broth and can lead to a narcissistic obsession." Please use caution in applying that label to any specific media measurement guru. Why Measuring Your Social Media Success Is a Waste of Your Time
by Liz Lockard contends that for smaller businesses "pouring over metrics that measure how influential you are, how active you've been and your style of communication is interesting….but your business does not depend on it." She argues managerial time can be spent more profitably than measuring social media. Commenting on social media monitoring tools, she says "mostly these tools are just another route down the 'social media time suck'." Social Media Measurement — We Are Chasing Our Tails!
posted by Sam Fiorella asks "Am I the only one sick of people reporting anything and everything but profit from social marketing efforts?!" CEO's ask one key question: "How much money did that make us?" and most social media measurement ignores that crucial question. He concludes that "size of community, depth of reach, frequency of connections, context and sentiment of those conversations are important metrics but only when — individually or as a whole — they can be attributed to driving a customer from the customer acquisition funnel to a paying customer and from a paying customer to a loyal advocate." So…there you have it: equal time for three contrarian viewpoints worth considering as you assess your media measurement approaches.
The 6 Times You Should Call a News Conference
Ragan's PR Daily
The first of The 6 Times You Should Call a News Conference
is "when there is high news interest." The question is how do you judge "high news interest." Here's a rule of thumb: if you're certain that more than eight reporters will attend the conference, ask questions to flesh out the story, and actually write a story, then you can probably justify a news conference. Otherwise it may be best to disseminate the story using other methods.
Can Twitter Displace the News Release?
News often appears first on Twitter — reported by eye witnesses and then re-tweeted to reach an audience of significant size. So, if Twitter is the place where news often appears first, Peter Himler asks Can Twitter Displace the News Release?
The answer: maybe so, at least in some instances. It requires some experimenting on what types of commercial news work best on Twitter. Gini Dietrich offers another perspective on the question in Using Twitter to Disseminate News without a News Release
. Initially skeptical, she believes that using influencers on Twitter can be a more effective news dissemination channel than news releases. (At this point, it's still not necessary for the folks at Business Wire, PR Newswire, and Market Wire to start fretting — but maybe it's time to start thinking about a news dissemination service that centers on Twitter and other social platforms.)
How to Tell a Great Story
Storytelling is the communications technique du jour — and a vital skill of PR and marketing professionals. How to Tell a Great Story
examines key story elements that capture the imagination of audiences. Some are obvious. A great story is true and authentic. Great stories make a promise that excites. Great stories build trust. Maybe most importantly, great stories appeal to emotions. There's more. It's a worthwhile read for anyone who makes a living in communications.
How to Reinvent the PR Profession
How can PR practitioners be taken more seriously and included in more strategic decisions with those we serve? How to Reinvent the PR Profession
answers with a clarion call for PR professionals to "be social." With the exception of a few grey eminences of PR and recalcitrant clients, isn't that preaching to the choir?
The Journalistic Deficit Disorder
Journalism and print publishers have taken their lumps lately. The Journalistic Deficit Disorder
examines the lack of rigor and follow-up in reporting on science and medicine. The press loses interest in medical stories and seldom reports on follow-on studies that disprove the original reports, thus leaving the public with misinformation. A follow-on issue is unasked in the article: should commercial organizations such as pharmaceutical manufacturers be required to disseminate the results of negative studies for the public good?
What the #? An Introduction to Hashtags
Twitter hashtags are like some fraternity's secret handshake — you better learn it if you expect to belong. What the #? An Introduction to Hashtags
supplies thorough instruction on how to use hashtags intelligently. At the very least, you'll avoid looking foolish on a worldwide scale.
21 Rules for Effective Social Media Marketing Strategies [Infographic]
The copy in the infographic from Social Metrics Pro contains at least one grammatical error, but otherwise 21 Rules for Effective Social Media Marketing
pretty much nails the multiple strategies and tactics you must employ to succeed in social media. Key point: Social media ain't easy. There are no shortcuts. That's Rule #1.
Brand Caught Handling Social Media Well
It's unusual when a company handles a social media situation well. The Brand Caught Handling Social Media Well is Papa Murphy's Pizza
(no jokes please about Irishmen making pizza). The company sponsored a mini-monsters photo contest for little pizza lovers. Some not-so-little scoundrel uploaded a photo of a naked woman. The pizza chain immediately deleted it upon learning of the inappropriate image. The next day, it acknowledged the problem, wrote a masterful post about it, and moved on. Read the company's post and the subsequent viewer comments — all but one of which are positive.
5 Companies with Profitable Online Customer Communities
The Daily Egg
Many businesses quake at the idea of opening their corporate website to customer comments. However, some companies have capitalized on the knowledge and feedback by customers participating in a company-supported online community, often referred to as crowd-sourcing. 5 Companies with Profitable Online Customer Communities
offers brief case studies of companies that have successfully allowed customers to comment without prior review on the corporate website. The profiled companies are not well-known but the case studies are instructive, demonstrating how customer communities can add value to corporate communications in many different ways. One successful use has been technical support delivered by other customers.
Tips for Handling Negative Comments and Trolls on Social Media
Business 2 Community
The word "trolls" should catch your attention as a new issue in social media. Hunting for attention, trolls post incendiary messages in social media with the sole purpose of provoking a response. Tips for Handling Negative Comments and Trolls on Social Media
suggests that you "take away their oxygen" by ignoring their comments — and removing their posts from your site, a step that is not ordinarily recommended by social media consultants.
Look Back Article
Plain-Speaking: Glossary of Media Measurement & Evaluation
The jargon of specialized professions can be confusing and misleading. Glossaries are the solution. The International Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communication has assembled a comprehensive Glossary of Media Measurement & Evaluation
. It's an outstanding reference for anyone involved in evaluation of media results.
An 18-Point Checklist to Boost Online Checkouts
Search Engine Watch
The big season for retailers is almost here. Online sales are increasingly important for even small retailers — and B2B companies as well. What are the qualities of a checkout page that promote increased sales? An 18-Point Checklist to Boost Online Checkouts
has most all the answers — and many of them aren't at all intuitive or obvious, but make a noticeable difference in checkout rates.
5 Things to Do If Your Competition Is Making Your Life a Living Hell
Victoria's Secret Revealed: Unretouched vs. Retouched Photos
The New FStoppers
OK, no wisecracks about inclusion of this article being an excuse to feature models in bikinis. In reality, this is a technical assessment of a misunderstood communications technique. Victoria's Secret Revealed: Unretouched vs. Retouched Photos
compares raw-from-the-camera photos to the Photoshop retouched versions. The differences are quite amazing, including changing the color of the bathing suit, removing shoulder straps (as well as blemishes) and changing lighting. The result: amazingly beautiful women become absolutely gorgeous. Question: didn't you always know that models weren't so beautiful in real life? On the flip side, In High Fashion, No Airbrushing
The New York Times focuses on the movement toward using "real women" in fashion photos with no airbrushing.
PR Meetings, Seminars, White Papers
— WOMMA Summit 2012
, will be held November 12-14 in Las Vegas, NV. The cost to attend is $1,395 for WOMMA members and $1,695 for non-members.
— Power to the People
, sponsored by PR Week, will be held November 14 in New York, NY. The cost to attend is $845.
— PR Measurement Summit
, sponsored by Ragan Communications, will be held March 19-20 in Washington, DC. The cost to attend is $495 for members and $645 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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