With the royal wedding only four days away, the buzz surrounding the event is hard to avoid. At every turn there is another countdown special speculating what Kates dress might look like or how the cake will taste, and like it or not, through Facebook, Twitter, the news or even promotions at your favorite restaurant- you are bound to hear about it.
In the age of social media and connectivity, there is no shortage of ways to get your wedding fix, and one recent study found that the wedding is mentioned online every ten seconds
. Every aspect of the event will be watched and analyzed by an estimated audience of two billion viewers worldwide and with the amount of coverage and live streaming, there are even rumors that the big event could cause the internet to crash
If you are hoping to follow Wills and Kates every move this week or just want to celebrate along with the happy couple, here are a few of the hundreds (probably thousands) of ways to engage with the wedding -
There are endless Twitter handles that will keep you up to date including- @clarencehouse
the official Twitter account for news on the prince and the nuptials, which has more than 43,000 followers. Another one to keep in mind is @royalwedding
, which is a roundup of the latest details from the Today Show. If you are hoping to follow the action on Friday, the official hashtag for the event is #rw2011.
Apps leading up to the event have flooded the market and range from weather forecasts at Westminster Abbey to a virtual guestbook allowing users to share marriage advice with the couple. The New York Times
recommends the app The Royal Wedding by Hello! The free app includes sections on the history of past royal weddings, sketches of what designers would have created for Kate to wear and even a slide show of Wills childhood.
Along with the traditional news coverage of the wedding, cable channels like TLC have launched Royal Wedding Week featuring numerous specials on the royal family. The Huffington Post
is reporting that the US coverage of the wedding has actually surpassed the UKs by a large margin.
While you are engaging with the royal buzz, you can also celebrate with food as Papa Johns commissioned the making of a Prince William and Kate Middleton pizza
, and Dunkin Donuts has created a royal wedding donut
I for one have been sucked into many of the TV specials already and plan on setting my DVR to record the coverage starting at 4 a.m. on Friday. Will you be one of the two billion tuning in? And if not through traditional media coverage, how will you be keeping track of the event?
In doing some reading this week (mostly on the topic of PR) I came across a theme: Brevity. Every article or blog post I read touched on what reporters like in pitches and all of them highlighted that they should be short actually very short like two-four sentences. Here is a smattering of what I found: · Erica Swallow, Mashable If all pitches could be less than four sentences, the world would be a better (more productive) place. · Gordon Deal, Wall Street Journal Use the subject line to open [the] door, and the first two or three sentences to kick the door open and get invited in. · From a blog recap of the most recent How to Pitch a HARO Reporter ConCall As always, keep it short and sweeta brief pitch in an email is easier to digest. · Mark McLeod Hendrickson, was with TechCrunch Describe it in one paragraph (no more, no less), suggest the time youd like them to write about it, and ask them if theyre interested and want to hear more. · Alex Wilhelm, The Next Web You are not the only person in my inbox, so 300 words is about my limit. More than that I and begin to fear the email, possibly starring it for later reading (the inbox deadpool.) · Clara Byrne, Venture Beat There are a few basic things we need to know. Make your subject line clear and try to cover these points in a paragraph or two. [Urgency, significance and numbers.] *Some of these articles are from a while back but were referenced in recent posts. Sidebar: Here is a great video on identifying your target message and reporter, its geared towards startups but can apply to everyone. (Also, its long but worth it.) While we know that everyone is busy and we tend to keep it short here, sometimes it can be tough. Seeing these was a good reminder to get to the point and keep it short. Reporters dont need all of the background up front they just need the hook.
Yesterday I sat in on a HubSpot
seminar that looked at the boogeyman of almost every social media strategy – measurement
. While the discussion didn’t necessarily break any new ground for me (or anyone who has been working with social media for some time), it did provide clarity and connected some dots around the idea of measuring a social media strategy.
Social Fresh’s Jason Keath
, HubSpot’s Maggie Georgieva
and the authors of The Now Revolution
, Amber Naslund
and Jay Baer
all participated in the discussion, and all said the same thing about social media measurement: The silver bullet is a myth.
Many companies seem to have an underlying thought that there exists the One True Social Media Metric, some esoteric statistic that, when deciphered, will validate their social media strategy to all of detractors. If anyone listening to the webinar held this notion, it was certainly stomped out of them (or it should’ve been).
The discussion proved that social media is just like any other business metric in that you measure what is important to you.
Do you care about sales? Raw leads? Loyalty? Then you need to track those numbers against what you do in social media to see if there’s any impact.
Amber Naslund went one step further, saying that you need to “marinate” these numbers – while this immediately brings to mind the idea of “cooking the books,” in reality, Amber is saying that you should watch your social media statistics for a few months, then make a decision. Validation doesn’t occur over night for any other business function, so why should social media be any different?
Jay Baer also had a great bit of advice, which I will be using frequently moving forward – don’t hug social media measurement to death.
While you can track nearly every number around social presence, from Twitter followers and Facebook fans to unfollows and likes, it doesn’t mean you should. Clinging to these numbers like a drowning man clings to a piece of driftwood won’t save your strategy if it just doesn’t align with the business – followers/likes don’t mean anyone is buying your product, for example.
So what was the overall takeaway?
Measuring for the sake of measuring is pointless, unless you can tie it back to the business – social media isn’t any different than any other business strategy, so start tracking it like one.
Just last week it was announced that the Associated Press fell for a fake press release
announcing that General Electric was going to pay a $3.2 billion tax refund to the U.S. Treasury. It turns out that the press release was actually issued by a grassroots group, US Uncut.
The AP is not the first media outlet to fall for a fake press release. In October 2009 CNBC and Reuters fell for a fake release
that was supposedly from the US Chamber of Commerce and in March 2010 ABC and NPR fell for a fake release
purporting to be from pro-Israel group AIPAC calling for a full settlement freeze.
What captured my attention when reading a few different articles about these incidents was one comment
asking if these fakes are going to devalue the concept of a press release?
Certainly, if anyone can write a press release and have it accepted, even temporarily, as fact then that certainly is a problem. Reporters shouldnt have to wonder if every release they read is fact or fiction.
However, isnt it in the best interest of the news media to check their facts and verify sources? I have no idea how these reporters are coming across these releases to begin with but I would guess they arent being sent out via a wire service. I would like to think there are safeguards in place to prevent that from happening.
In fact, if you look closely, the fake GE release was posted at GENewscenters.com
and not the real GE online newsroom GEnewscenter.com
. Adding an s on the end of the URL may be a small difference but its a difference that the fine folks at the AP should have noticed.
I understand that budgets have been cut and reporters are busier than ever but are they really so busy they cant do the proper fact checking we expect from them? In the race to report the news first, and compete with social media outlets like Twitter, it seems our traditional, respected media outlets are getting sloppy.
So what do you think do fake press releases devalue the concept of a press release or do they make you question the sources you trust to deliver the news?
In the past few months weve seem some major companies suffer Twitter slip-ups. The most recent tweets in question were very different in tone and word choice but they were both intended to go across personal accounts and errantly got posted on corporate feeds instead. Red Cross tweets Slizzerd: Gloria Huang (@riaglo) is the social media manager for the American Red Cross. In mid-February, she meant to tweet her plans for the evening from her personal account but a HootSuite mix up made this go live:
As soon as she realized what happened, Huang humorously apologized for the rogue tweet on her own and the Red Cross Twitter feeds and removed the tweet. In a great turn of events for the Red Cross, Dogfish Head and its fans embraced #gettingslizzerd and got involved and helped getting the word out to donate.
Chryslers firm that handled social media promptly fired the employee who was responsible for the companys Twitter feed, but the automaker eventually ended its relationship with the firm altogether. Both were handled correctly for the company, and obviously, one was much less damaging. But, the winner here in my mind is the Red Cross. They were able to apologize for the errant tweet and turn situation into a way to encourage beer lovers to donate money or blood through their own portal while expressing their love of beer, turning lemons into lemonade. Who wouldnt get on board with that?
wrote a great piece in Computerworld today about Obamas slip during last nights Chicago fundraiser
, calling government IT purchasing "horrible"
and complaining that the White House is 30 years behind when it comes to technology. Now
is anyone actually surprised by this?
As Thibodeau points out, Vivek Kundra, Obamas CIO, is normally the person to lay the lumber on federal IT
and has bashed the snarl of overpriced contracts and underperforming projects as a serious impediment to functional agency IT. This has lead to pushes like Cloud First
and OMBs Data Center Consolidation Mandate
, which are on track to be successful, but given Obamas comment, its obvious that more initiatives like these are needed.
Again, this isnt to say that government IT is failing badly, and I dont think that was Obamas point. Enacting change in the government, especially within IT, is about as speedy as the Dulles Metrorail
project although the grind is slow, the payoff is huge. Just look at initiatives like Data.gov
, which has helped provide constituents with far more data than they ever thought possible about the inner workings of the feds.
From a PR perspective, however, this is bad news for the higher ups in federal IT, although Obama did have good things to say about federal employees in general. But when the President starts talking smack about his crappy phone, it is definitely time to rethink your agencys strategy and start thinking about (and mean it this time) about how to leverage new tech to cut costs and be more efficient.
A few weeks ago, I ran into an old frienda Web browser plug-in named GoodSearch.
As you might (but probably dont) recall, GoodSearch entered the world back in 2005 with a novel approach to what might best be deemed passive philanthropy.
GoodSearch is a search engine which donates 50 percent of its sponsored search revenue to the charities and schools designated by its users. You use GoodSearch exactly as you would any other search engine. Because it's powered by Yahoo!, you get proven search results.That last sentence wasnt quite so hilarious back in 2005. But well get to that presently.The website continues:[Its founders] wanted to create a means to support charities so that people would say, "Why wouldn't you do it?" That's what GoodSearch does. Since it doesn't cost anything, and you get proven search results, there's no reason not to use it!
That's certainly sound logic. If only it were accurate.
Unfortunately, to save the world and contribute to the betterment of mankind as described, users are forced to pay an enormous pricegiving up the mega-monopoly called Google.
Now here's the thing: Giving up mega-monopolies isn't easy. If it were, they wouldn't be mega-monopolies. In general, these Goliaths come into existence in three basic ways:
1. Natural monopolies form when capital costs and barriers to entry are too high for anyone but the incumbent supplier to the market (think, for instance, public utilities).
2. Other monopolies happen when a company takes pains to lock-in users to a proprietary system, thereby inducing high switching costs (think, for example, Microsoft).
3. And yet other monopolies happen when a companys product or service is just simply better (or simply marketed better) than its competitors. Sometimes those competitive differentiators are protected by patents (Technological Monopolies), and sometimes the companies themselves are just better run (think, for example, Apple).
Google is a mix of all three, actuallywhich is probably what makes it so immensely powerful and so difficult to abandon. Even when its top competitors (Yahoo! and Microsoft) pool their resources, theyre still basically non-competitive.
So the bottom-line for GoodSearch is this: Will users accept a bribe of 1 cent per search (which is essentially the pay-out to charities) as fair compensation for a switch from Google to Yahoo!?
I would have thought so. But personal experience tells a different story:
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I tried. I really did. But Yahoo! search isnt just bad. Its so, so, so bad! Words fail me. They
should have sent
I was talking to my dad about this, and he had an interesting hypothetical: Would people make the switch if that 1 cent were going to their bank accounts instead of to their charities.
My instinct: yes. But then (as my dad pointed out), GoodSearch would have to actually pay out, instead of just pretending to pay out, like they probably do with the charities.
(Just kidding... I think
In any case, its another win for Googlewhich might actually be the more philanthropic choice anyway, in the sense that when Im spared the aggravation of using Yahoo! search, I tend to be a lot nicer to orphans.
Anyone up for the challenge? Pledge to use GoodSearch for 30 days in the comments section, and Ill donate 5 dollars per pledge to the Washington Area Fuel Fund (heating subsidies for the poor just got hammered by the budget compromise).
SpeakerBox is actively seeking senior PR and communications professionals who would like to share our passion for technology, are armed with experience in public relations and social media, and would like to be a part of a fun, growing firm. We provide an entertaining, warm, and smart and happy workplace, and we regard our team in the highest light. If you or someone you know is interested in talking to us further, let us know.
We are looking for Account Director candidates with the following credentials:
10+ years of business experience, preferably in marketing/PR and in the technology industry
Ability to drive strategy on accounts and direct accounts with minimal oversight
Manage client relations and lead on-site meetings
Experience managing and mentoring account staff
Strong knowledge of B2B and B2G technology sectors
Strong knowledge of and experience with social media, community building, inbound marketing
Excellent writing skills
Ability to manage accounts of all sizes
Demonstrate mastery of media relations efforts on accounts/top placements and lead by example
Accountability for the delivery of value and results (metrics) on accounts and ability to proactively address barriers to success
Produce monthly and quarterly reports and assist in the invoicing process and retainer management for accounts
Participate in leading internal training programs for staff and interns
Participate in the business development process (research, preparation and new business pitches)
Participate in larger company initiatives and projects, such as strategic planning
Bachelors degree preferred in the field of communications, public relations, journalism and/or marketing
Salaries are commensurate with experience. Please send resumes to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Katie Hanusik
Ive seen things you wouldnt believe. Posts on fire off of the SomethingAwful forums. Flamewars burning in the pits of GameFAQs. All of these moments will be remembered forever on the Internet, just like any other train wreck.
The ubiquitous quote
from Blade Runner
is easily turned into a statement of the Internet and its communities, something which every tech-savvy person should know by heart: nothing online is ever lost and nothing is ever truly forgiven. In a world of constantly shuffling social media properties, forums and content, however, clients can easily forget this rule, meaning that we, the public relations professionals, must conduct its enforcement.
But how should we enforce this rule among our clients? Its simple, really. All of these items are common sense, but can easily be glossed over as No one is going to see this or Its impossible to connect this with our company. The response should always be: Someone will and No, its not.
- No Flamewars. Ever. It doesnt matter how viciously a disgruntled employee, upset client or uncaring blogger lays into a client dont respond in the heat of the moment. By all means, address the issue, but keep the response emotionally neutral. Provide a measured message, and then step back. Also, dont feed the trolls.
- Leave the bodies buried. Evidenced somewhat in the recent face-off between Michael Arrington and Jason Calacanis, dont dig up evidence to use online against detractors or competitors. Internet detective work is useful, as long as its not spread around once a low blow is dished out, every dog in the fight will adopt the same tactic.
- Internet anonymity is hard to achieve
unless youre actually Anonymous. That anonymous comment a sales engineer left on CNET bashing a competitor? Yeah, everyone knows who said it they cant prove it, but they know. Eventually, smart Internet detectives will pick up a pattern and boom, no more anonymous commenting for the client ever again.
Finally, if a client does pull off some damning social media stunt (slurs a competitor, maligns a customer, releases information that should never see the light of day, etc.), DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT Delete ****ing Everything. This only proves that there is something (or a lot of something) to hide plus, once Googles friendly little crawlers sniff out the offending information, it will live on forever at Archive.org
. Address whatever happened head on, take the lumps and promise to do better next time.
Putting something online is like writing on a stone tablet
except you cant smash the Internet.