Last night NVTC
held its annual Hot Ticket Awards,
which in my opinion, is one of the hottest events to attend, literally and figuratively! This year the weather cooled off so it wasn't a sweat shop, and the event was hotter than ever. I say this from the sidelines, since I couldn't attend, but I heard from friends and clients alike.
Our friend David Stegon
was there and immortalized our VP Katie Hanusik
and [friend and client] Craig Chambers
from Cernium in his tech newsletter. Check it out
|Photo Taken By David Stegon and published in TechBisnow, June 30, 2010: Craig Chambers and Katie Hanusik|
Congratulations go to the winners this year--denoted in bold--a few of them are good friends of SpeakerBox. NVTC's press release
has a bit more information.
Hottest Bootstrap (sponsored by PNC Bank)
* CFN Services, Inc.* CustomInk.com
* ODIN Technologies
Hottest Emerging Government Contractor (sponsored by Verizon Wireless)* Agilex Technologies, Inc
* Attain, LLC
* Berico Technologies
* Invertix Corporation
* Platinum Solutions
Hottest Exit (sponsored by Clifton Gunderson LLP)
* Agent Logic, Inc.
* Cyveillance, Inc.* NISC
Hottest International Company (sponsored by GlobalLogic)
* Blackboard Inc.* BroadSoft
* High Street Partners
* NII Holdings, Inc.
Hottest Management Team (AH&T Insurance)
* Liquidity Services, Inc.* Zenoss
Hottest Social Buzz (sponsored by Deltek)
* NetWitness Corporation
* PointAbout* ZoomSafer
Hottest Venture Capital Deal (sponsored by Axiom)* LivingSocial
* Millennial Media
* ScienceLogic, Inc.
* Virtustream-Elizabeth Shea / @eliz2shea
Last week, WWPR
hosted its annual Media Roundtable at the National Press Club. PR professionals and media from the D.C. area convened to talk about the state of local media and news reporting. The panelists included:
n - Emmy Award-winning journalist and anchor, ABC 7/WJLA-TV
- managing editor of the Washington Business Journal
- social networking manager for The Washington Post
local news desk and contributing writer to the Post Now news blog
-Sheila Stewart - director of news programming for Radio One-DC Stations (93.9) WKYS-FM; (102.3) WMMJ-FM; (104.1) WPRS-FM; (1450) WOL-AM; WYCB-AM and the Syndicated Russ Parr Morning Show
Some key takeaways from the session:
|From left: Lori Aratani, Sheila Stewart, Elizabeth Drachman|
- Newsrooms are seeing smaller staff and reporters have to wear multiple "hats"
- Before you tweet, re-read what you've written to avoid mistakes
- Do your homework by understanding why you are pitching an outlet and by following the reporter's blog, Facebook or Twitter
- Broadcast journalists are always looking for ways to enhance a story beyond the traditional two-minute package with video, photo, RSS feeds and links
- When contacting local media, PR professionals should always explain how the topic is connected to the community even if it seems like an obvious
- Mobile applications and sites allow for more metrics, like the most read stories, that reporters pay more attention to now more than ever
- Reporters dont mind phone calls as long as it is BEFORE noon
- With more and more breaking news distributed through Twitter and Facebook, reporters increasingly look towards these social networking sites for sources
- Don't contact the media to pitch a story you don't have cleared
- Citizen journalists are good resources for media because they often are the first ones to capture video and photos from the scene of breaking news
The event is always a great opportunity to interact with media and find out what really makes them tick (like PR reps not including a cell phone number to reach them after hours).
Thank you to WWPR and Im looking forward to next year's roundtable!
Last year, I posted about “technology apocrypha
” and how using esoteric tech terminology and industry buzzwords would not only fail to differentiate your press release but ultimately confuse your intended audience. Well, guess what? It’s time for buzzword bingo, 2010 edition
Much like David Meerman Scott
in 2009, Adam Sherk
analyzed PRWeb’s archives for the top buzzwords
we unthinkingly use in press releases. The most overused word? No surprise, it’s “leader,” followed closely by “leading.” With over 200,000 different press releases using those words, can every one of those companies actually be a leader? Someone has to be second, right?
“Leader” should be reserved for instances when it can be actually proven with something like analyst report, such as Forrester Wave
or Gartner Magic Quadrant
, or an actual market figure. If you think your product is awesome, good for you. It doesn’t make you a leader.
What surprised me about the list? That the word “cloud” was missing. Using Adam’s method, I did a quick and dirty (and completely unscientific) search
. The result: 163,000 releases using “cloud.” Looks like “leader” has some competition to be the leading buzzword of 2010!
...I can’t believe I even wrote that.
My turn at a report from the McLean Hilton, and the Digital Media Conference hosted by DigitalMediaWire and Potomac Techwire. Sitting by @stephstad in the frozen tundra of Ballroom C, we are hearing from a panel on Twitter and its impact specifically in the interaction with media properties.The program description: The power and reach of Twitter is now recognized as a vital (and an almost obligatory) offering by most major media outlets. Meanwhile, Twitter, which is now distributing 50 million tweets every day, is working on an advertising platform of its own. How are media outlets, brands, companies and individuals using Twitter to create buzz, promote and sell products and services? What are some success stories of recent Twitter campaigns and strategies?
Panelists: Shonali Burke, Principal, Shonali Burke Consulting: @shonaliJodi Gersh, Social Media Manager, Gannett ContentOne: @jodionthewebChris McGill, Founder, Mixx and TweetMixx: @chrismcgillKevin Dando, Director of Online Communication, PBS: @kdandoModerator: Rohit Bhargava. SVP, Strategy & Mktg, Ogilvy 360 Digital: @rohitbhargava- Elizabeth Shea / @eliz2sheaNote: these are some of my personal takeaways and highlights, not an actual transcript....in addition, I opted to leave out speaker attribution in some cases as this panel was very interactive and points were not always attributed to just one speaker.
|Panelists from left: Rohit Bhargava, Jodi Gersh, Shonali Burke, Kevin Dando (not pictured, Chris McGill) |
Question: Talk about communicating the value of Twitter internally. How are you seeing it used?
|Panelists in their "space chairs": Kevin Dando, Jodi Gersh, Chris McGill, Shonali Burke, Rohit Bhargava|
- The biggest challenge is in communicating Twitter's value and how it can be used for reasons beyond marketing. Unfortunately, when reporters or producers become intrigued with being on Twitter, it becomes kind of like getting a puppy: it's cute for a while, but then it gets ignored. We try to get people to incorporate it into their daily activities.
- In trying to drive internal adoption beyond marketing, we find people get stuck in the old cliches about Twitter. We see reactions like "I don't want to hear what people had for breakfast," and unfortunately, not realize that it's become so much more of a tool for producers, marketers, publicists, etc. Question: How do you help advise a company on whether Twitter is an appropriate platform for them?
- Always start with asking the most basic question: "What is it you want to achieve?" Where is your audience and will they respond? Make sure your target audience is on Twitter, or you may spend a lot of time on a channel that won't reach your target.
- It also helps to communicate that there is a price to Twitter - people have a misconception that Twitter is free, but the reality is it requires staff time and resources, if not more.
- Some people say they are "on Twitter," but the reality is that they aren't using it for engagement, so does that mean they are "on Twitter?" Perhaps they are "on Twitter" but not using it for anything other than a listening vehicle.
- A counterpoint emerged around the concept that Twitter should be for everyone
, as opposed to people being "on Twitter" or "not on Twitter." Twitter is always available as a listening tool to anyone who visits, anytime.Question on personal versus company Twitter handles?
- Jodi reported that Gannett encourages reporters to have their own personal handles, in addition to being active on behalf of the company's Twitter account. Personal handles encourage more 1:1 engagement, which is so valuable. Twitter fits perfectly for journalists because they love the two-way, instant conversations.
- Kevin reported that at PBS, there is a directive to maintain separate Twitter handles, and separate social media personas. Question: talk about the significance of the 140 character limit to Twitter?
- The beauty of Twitter, and what makes it so unique and powerful, is that it IS so open and the limit really forces smart communications.
- We need to pay attention, however, to the new "annotation" feature, whereby within a tweet, a person can include a "comment" that includes metadata that enables them to expand their communication. Like an unlimited tweet within a tweet. Question: Consider the DM (direct message) in Twitter. How important is the DM?
- Shonali said DM adds to her experience, but it's not critical to Twitter, in her opinion. She sees it as a great aide, however, to reaching someone quickly.
- Rohit said he uses his DM in place of emails - its the ultimate urgent direct mail, alongside a text message. He always read them first.
- Chris said he sees his DMs as "side mail."
- Kevin said that at PBS, because of their policy to "turn off" the auto follow in Twitter, they aren't always directly connected to those who would DM. For him, the DM is useless.
- Jodi added that the DM is critical for reporters at Gannett: if a reporter doesn't want to give out their email address, they will send out a Tweet asking sources to respond via DM. Question to Kevin and Jodi: to what extent is Twitter critical to investigative reporting?
- Both responded that Twitter is a terrific source for following trending topics; many reporters follow what emerges and then ask for sources depending on their angle on a story. Twitter has made a significant difference when it comes to finding sources for stories, as it is so
fast.Question from the audience: Can you tell us what tools you use to manage your Twitter accounts and which one is the best to use?
- Everyone nodded on a comment by Rohit stating that there was no "silver bullet" tool yet, and there were pros and cons to each third-party tool.
- Rohit: uses the Twitter app on his Blackberry, and HootSuit
e because he likes the ability to "time" tweets (set them up to be sent out later).
- Shonali: HootSuite on her laptop, UberTwitter
on her Blackberry
- Chris: HootSuite, but he claims to be a Twitter consumer rather than a Twitter "user." But likes how it can sort groups and buckets.
- Jodi: TweetDeck
, and then Tweetie
, specifically for her iPhone.
- Other tools that came up to consider: CoTweet
; and ManageFlitter
(reincarnated from ManageTwitter) if you follow a lot of people and have to manage multiple accounts. Other comments I noted:
- Twitter really came into its own because of the adoption of two primary industries: Hollywood and sports marketing. While Hollywood agents typically hate Twitter because its opens up the celebrity to the public, Ashton Kuchter really put Twitter on the mainstream map. Similarly, sports teams were able to give a peek into the players lives for the devout fans by using the Twitter as a channel of communication (Duke University was named specifically on this). With that, of course, now comes guidelines as to what is appropriate to tweet and a standard of conduct befitting the organization they represent.
- Point on HootSuite and its timed tweets: don't schedule a bunch of tweets without incorporating time to listen to reactions to your tweets. Don't make it overlay obvious that you are "shouting" rather than "engaging."
- In general, we can currently consider social media to be a giant "mosh pit." But as more tools are deployed, it will get better and more definable, and future benefits will become more apparent.- @eliz2shea
Coming to you live from the McLean Hilton at Digital Media Conference East, a one-day conference focused on the digital media industry co-produced by Digital Media Wire (DMW) and Potomac Tech Wire (PTW)...I've moved on to the "Social Media Marketing" session. Here's the description:
Social media marketing is growing as brands and marketers embrace the social web as one of the most effective ways to create buzz, attention and loyal followers. What are some examples of successful social media marketing campaigns? What are some of the pitfalls and practices to avoid? What is the future for social media marketing?
|Panelists from left: Hooman Radfar, Matt Goddard, Neal Sinno, (moderator) Elizabeth Shea, Mitch Arnowitz|
Here are my notes from the session...
- Mitch Arnowitz, Managing Director, Tuvel Communications LLC
- Hooman Radfar, CEO & Co-founder, Clearspring
- Matt Goddard, CEO, R2integrated
- Neal Sinno, VP Business Dev., Arkadium
- Moderator: Elizabeth Shea, President and CEO, SpeakerBox Communications
-Stephanie WonderlickQuestion: Describe the most successful campaign you've been involved in recently.Neal:
"I can't sell it to a business if I can't do it myself." Everybody's still figuring this out, but nobody's a full-fledged expert. Recently put up one of their games on Facebook with minimal financial investment and got 1.5 million users in just over 2 months.Matt:
Precision Tune campaign: realized this client had two audiences - proactive "dad" types, who were 100% on top of their auto repairs, oil changes, that kind of thing. The other audience included "reactive" people, who are only getting these things done when they have a problem and absolutely need to. "The question was, "how do we get the proactive people to influence the reactive people? Campaign identified proactive dads with children ages 16-25 who were drivers (knowing that those 16-25 year old drivers would most likely fall in the "reactive" category) and alerted them to the fact that their kids might be driving a potentially unsafe car, offered them a coupon and enabled sharing. "It was a huge success."Mitch:
Working with the National Association of Broadcasters, we were "charged with driving excitement once people get to Vegas for the conference." "One of the groups we struck gold with was the Technologies for Worship
community - they are very passionate about broadband." "Our NAB social media effort drove more attendees than any of the other marketing activities."Hooman:
"All media is social." When you look at success, the question you have to answer is, "Did you achieve your KPIs?" One recent success was promotion around Toy Story 3. "We were able to take all the different data and build this complete audience profile." The campaign achieved interaction of over 11% (standard click through rate is .02%).Question: Lets talk measurement - what do you look at?Hooman:
"Forget that it is social. Measurement is measurement, across properties." "Metrics have become easier, but if you don't have a measurement strategy, you can't play." "Know what your KPIs are, then back the things you are measuring out from there."Matt:
There are three easy metrics to look at:
- What is the access point at which engagement is taking place?
- What type of engagement is taking place? Are people clicking through links, downloading assets, etc.?
- Amplification - are they sharing things?
If we can measure these things, you can move. You can then tie transactions to this, whether those transactions are actual buys, or movement into your CRM as leads.Question: What shouldn't you do in social media marketing?Mitch:
"Don't astroturf. Don't focus on tactics. Don't fall into trap of thinking that social media is LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Don't rush things. Don't assign social media to interns. What you should do is add value."Neal:
"Don't over promise. Keep it real, keep it honest. A lot of people want to sell the idea of "you're going to be attracting everybody!" with your social media campaigns. Keep it real." Hooman:
"Separate tactics from strategies. Widgets, Facebook apps, Twitter accounts - those are all tactics." "Look at your overall marketing strategy - social is another channel in that strategy." "Email marketers are excellent at social - they get the aspect of customer acquisition."Question: To what extent do you have to give deference to privacy in campaigns?Matt: "
Privacy issues will either be legislated, or the markets will determine what the privacy policies will be." That said, they look at it in every single campaign, make sure that they aren't using data inappropriately. "You always have to look at the downside risk," recommends putting every campaign through a risk assessment.Hooman:
"Being in DC, being exposed to what is going on here - particularly with regard to the Boucher privacy bill
- we are acutely aware of the issues here." "If that gets passed, the free web as we know it will go away. Imagine if you had to opt-in to all of this. Companies like Google will be forced to make a major shift." "It's our responsibility to not do anything crazy with your data, but people also want to see targeted stuff. I don't want to get another ad for women's leg shaving products - that's not targeted to me." Question: Pick a trend marketers should pay attention to...Matt:
"The mega-trend driving this is the change of brands into publishers, into relationship builders." Brands are starting to usurp publishers - "We weren't able to do this without social access points in the past. Brands and publishers are on a collision point - doing the same thing, at the same points.Mitch:
"Marketers are becoming more sophisticated. Social marketing will become ubiquitous and we'll drop the word social and just call it marketing." Marketing will also become more targeted. Hooman:
An important trend is the "shift from messaging to relationships. All of these platforms enable you to have relationships." All media is social - we'll see more connections on the web. A final trend is the "separation of audience from inventory - now you can purchase the audience wherever they are."Question from the crowd on measurement tools: Are they reliable?Mitch:
"We look at Vocus and some other tools, but social mention tools like Yahoo! Pipes and Google alerts are great tools. There are lots and lots of tools out there to quantify measurement."Matt:
"Radian6 is a great tool to use to measure the taxonomy that brands are using to talk to their audiences. Are you talking in the same way your users are?"Other points from the panel that resonated:Mitch:
"The problem is that we live a broadcast lifestyle." Brands can't always sit back and want to only control the message. Have to listen more than you are talking. Matt:
We're moving from a time where the message was about your company and product to a time where the conversation is about the industry, and the challenges your company happens to solve. "The big change is also that people can talk back now - it has to be a two way conversation." "Brands are starting to learn to coexist with customers in these social spaces." Points to Proctor & Gamble as one brand that is "killing it" in this regard.Matt (on the differences between B2B and B2C marketing): "
B2B decisions tend to be higher risk, more expensive. B2B decisions are made on technical networks. B2C tend to be about trust and admiration networks. These decisions are motivated by ego, entertainment and transaction value." "There are gray areas, however" - example, personal computer network. "You may look to your friends for their recommendations, but you'll also likely look for technical expertise."
Coming to you live from the McLean Hilton at Digital Media Conference East, a one-day conference focused on the digital media industry co-produced by Digital Media Wire (DMW) and Potomac Tech Wire (PTW)...I'm live blogging the "State of Social Media" session. Here's the description from the agenda:
The social web now sits at the very heart the Internet itself. How should content creators and media firms view -- and shift their business models -- to respond to the social media landscape? Facebooks reach has exploded over the last three years, and along with its growth has come growing criticism of its privacy policies, relations with developers and forays into new business areas. How are media firms reponding to the growing reach and power of Facebook. This past year, Twitter has kept its footing, Google failed to gain major traction with Buzz, FriendFeed was acquired, and mobile social has begun to reach a critical mass. What is the state of the social web at present? What is working for media and content firms in the social space and what isnt working? Panelists include:
Here are my notes from this session... -StephanieBig Picture Question: What's one trend in social that is defining the way the social web is moving?Aaron:
- Aaron Batalion, CTO and Co-Founder, LivingSocial
- Anna Robertson, Director, Multimedia/Social Media, Yahoo! News
- Micah Nyatsambo, Director of Social Media, Havas Digital
- Phil Bronner, General Partner, Novak Biddle Venture Partners
- Justin Thorp, Community Manager, AddThis (Clearspring Tech.)
- Moderator: Paul Sherman, Editor, Tech Wire Media
Online social tools are driving real offline commerce. There is an incredible real world business impact for things we are driving via social.Anna:
News is completely changing; its becoming a social experience for everybody. Yahoo! is seeing a huge spike in how people are getting their news via social networks (Yahoo! alone has seen 215% growth in traffic from Facebook). As a result of this shift, the whole content model is changing. Micah:
The growth of mobile is driving social growth. As this grows, there is a significant amount of excitement around opportunities for interactions. Phil:
"Real money" is being made from the social web, and it's broad. This market went from zero to hundreds of millions of dollars in only a few years. What we're figuring out now is that you can monetize and market to these social connections at a very low cost.Justin:
We've moved from a web of documents to a web of people. "Social is here to stay." Moving forward, the dialogue is not going to be around one site on the web being social, but how do we make the rest of the web more social?Question: What is your biggest concern with regard to the social web?Aaron:
Privacy. There is certainly a lot of concern about what Facebook has done. The way we treat privacy moving forward is essential to make people feel comfortable with sharing. "There is very real fear around privacy."Anna:
Echoes the concerns around privacy. Another concern comes back to the true value of journalism. "With news and media, when consumption becomes just about what you are interested in, what your social graph is interested in, you might be missing important points of view. As a journalist, that is concerning."Phil:
The economy is still broadly a big issue. From the Venture perspective, the biggest issue is the IPO market - "In the technology market, IPOs are the lifeblood of what we do. I would love to see that market come back." Micah:
Location - Apple recently changed its terms of service with regard to location. Lots of furor over how Facebook has evolved their terms of service, but very little focused on what Apple is doing with regard to location and tracking users.Question: "There are 2.5 platforms out there - Twitter, Facebook, and maybe LinkedIn. Others have tried, including MySpace and Ning. But is the platform war over? Or, with Foursquare and others, are we just beginning?"Aaron:
The war isn't over. Facebook is one of the few that have created a network across the web. Sites now feel "required" to integrate with Facebook because of the wave they've created, but the war certainly isn't over.Phil:
"Things always go in waves." The wave is certainly in Facebook's direction today, but "there are lots of other things to graph outside of personal relationships," so he sees change happening very rapidly. "It's hard to know what the world will look like in even two years in this space."Justin:
People forget that the world is bigger than Facebook and Twitter. Points out that 60% of sharing occurs outside of these two sites. "And it gets even more interesting when you move around the world. Globally, there are some very
significant other significant sites - in the U.S. we're just so focused on these two dominant players. Shares a very cool resource his team has developed to show where sharing is occurring on the web - www.addthis.com/servicesAnna:
Points out that in the U.S., nobody is nipping at Facebook's heels yet - there are other players emerging - Foursquare, Formspring.me, etc. - but nobody is at Facebook's level today.Question: Anna brings up a good point - who are the other players who will ultimately be nipping at Facebook's heels?Justin:
Sees significant traffic still coming from Digg and Delicious. Microblogging platforms like Posterous and Tumblr present a unique opportunity. "There are lots of different places people want to spend their time online."Aaron:
Points out that while those sites are interesting, their footprint "doesn't come close to Facebook." Micah:
Waiting to see a war over virtual currencies. He notes that "there is a really interesting battle brewing between companies like Zynga and the platforms," and predicts that we'll "start seeing more deals out there, sooner rather than later."Question: Jason Calacanis recently wrote a widely-discussed piece on Facebook "overplaying their hand" and posed the following question:
The Web and HTML grew into the juggernaut they are today because theyre based on open standards that everyone can buy into. No one player has control or dominance over anyone else. Facebooks very obvious goal is to use the their social graph dominance to control the future of advertising and attention on the Web. Why on Earth are we supporting this? How does Yahoo! see Facebook? Anna:
At one point, Yahoo! tried to acquire Facebook
. "Today, we've embraced them as a partner." "It's a great content distribution method for us." People see Facebook as their online identity - if they can take that to Yahoo! or anywhere else, that's seen as a benefit. "There are ways to work together and partner together, and that's the approach we've taken."Question: Other responses from the panel on Calacanis' points on Facebook?Micah:
I wouldn't consider Facebook open - I agree with Jason.Phil:
Also agrees with Calacanis - it's not open. Points out that "mapping the social graph is more valuable than people think."Justin:
Facebook's biggest asset is social graph. "Mapping people and the relationships they have to other people and things is the hardest part."Anna:
From a media point of view, "Facebook needs us as much as we need them." It's important to leverage what they've built without building it over again.Question: What about Google Buzz?
Literal crickets on stage. Is anyone in the audience using it?
Maybe 10 hands raised (out of ~200 people in room) Question: "Where's Twitter going? Is Google's social strategy going to be to acquire Twitter? I can't believe they won't respond. Or, since Buzz hasn't panned out, where is Google's social strategy going?" Aaron:
Twitter is a phenomenal platform, but points out that "Google is a very innovative company. They will continue to build products, and one of them will hit. They'll figure something out - the war isn't over."Anna:
"Twitter has become my morning newspaper." Points out that Twitter has left it up to the publishers to figure out how to funnel the stream into something useful.Phil:
LinkedIn and Twitter are just other examples of relationships we have with people that have been graphed. "There will be a way to make money off of Twitter."Justin:
Enjoys the open nature of Twitter. "To be able to see and identify - and then use it as a way to establish deeper relationships with - our community online, is incredible." "I can give them extraordinary customer experience - a "wow!" experience - in a way I can't on Facebook or LinkedIn." Thinks one thing Twitter has done well is to keep the user experience very simple.Question: Give an example of something that amazed you with regards to social this year.Micah:
Names Domino's YouTube scandal
, and the company's subsequent response
as a great example.Anna:
Not one experience so much as the connection with users that has impressed her. "To be able to crowdsource news, to get contributed tips from users on things like stopping smoking or how they found a new job is really cool for us."Crowd question (from me) on the rise of location-based social networks, things like Twitter Places, and Facebook's soon-to-come location-based additions.Phil:
"We're in the first inning of that market. It's going to be a big, big deal."Micah:
Thinks there's real promise in the idea - for advertisers - that consumers will be able to scan their phones for things like coupons, deals, payments, etc.Aaron:
Points out that LivingSocial acquired POS technology last year, but "in the deals model, old school technology just wins." People are printing coupons, taking them to stores. "This could easily change in the future," but "today, nothing is perfect."
Coming to you live from the McLean Hilton at Digital Media Conference East, a one-day conference focused on the digital media industry co-produced by Digital Media Wire (DMW) and Potomac Tech Wire (PTW)...I'm live blogging the first session of the day, featuring research presentations on the current state of digital media and the direction the industry is heading. The presenters include: Here are my notes from their presentation... -Stephanie WonderlickCEA's Shawn Dubravac
kicked things off, highlighting two trends he's watching closely. The first trend is something he calls "Internet+,"
noting that today when we think about devices like the iPhone, we think about an "app-driven Internet," but he reminded the audience that when it first launched, pushing the Internet to mobile devices was about the browser. But today, "Internet+ is not enough." "We have to make it a meaningful, robust experience," Dubravac noted.
His second trend is the idea that "Discovery is King."
Consumers have more choice today than they know what to do with, specifically with regard to how much content is available today. "We're drowning in choice; we're drowning in bits." Time is the new scarcity; content producers have a responsibility to make sure the experience is meaningful.comScore's Brian Jurutka
used his time on stage to go over research and trends related to the mobile media landscape
. He kicked things off showing a chart from Morgan Stanley analyst Mary Meeker's must read presentation on the state of the Internet
, pointing out the growth of mobile, which is on track to eclipse the desktop by 2014. According to comScore's own data, 38% of mobile phone owners browse the mobile Internet, use applications or download content. What's enabling this trend? Smartphones! With the rapid adoption of smartphones (and competition among device manufacturers) and the growth of unlimited data plan subscribers, this consumption is more easily digestible than ever.
A couple other interesting trends from comScore's research:
- While we hear a lot of buzz around mobile video, this is still a niche space (less than 5%).
- Some of the early personalization successes we used to associate with the mobile space (ringtones, ringbacks, etc.) are now on the decline.
- Paid mobile gaming is also on the decline. comScore's research shows this space specifically moving towards a free model. (Jurutka wisely noted that it will be important to watch what impact the iPad will have on this trend in the next 6 to 12 months.)
- Mobile Advertising is still growing, and the ads are increasingly more main stream / consumer goods ads
- A possibly obvious, but important trend reminder: "Communication and sharing" are driving the growth in mobile - "the mobile internet is as much about connecting with friends and family as it is about viewing news and info."
Last up, IAB's Mike Zaneis
boiled his biggest trends down to growth
and innovation in consumer engagement
. Last year, Zaneis noted that advertising was in a decline, but today, we can project solid year-over-year growth. Zaneis notes that the innovation we've seen in mobile devices, and the fact that this experience is becoming "more universal," reveals a "huge opportunity for advertisers and publishers to engage consumers" and that we're moving toward bringing a "TV-like experience to consumers wherever they are."
Zaneis appropriately pointed out that another area of significant innovation in digital media is in the area of privacy. In advertising, "privacy is being built into web pages, into products." He slides pointed out Yahoo!'s AdChoices
as an example of this trend toward building consumer-friendly privacy policies and notifications.
The Associated Press recently released its 2010 version of the AP Stylebook, and social media terms have made the cut for this years edition. One of the most significant changes that has excited journalist everywhere is the change to website, from the previously used Web site. In creating this years Stylebook, the AP asked for reader input and received an overwhelming amount of responses asking for the change to website.
Other key updates include the words fan, follow and friend being recognized as both nouns and verbs. The AP also acknowledges new abbreviations, such as BRB, ROFL, and POS (parent over shoulder). Grammar changes include separating smart phone into two words, as well as hyphenating e-reader. New terms that were added include: unfriend, trending, app, blog, search-engine optimization, retweet, mashup, hashtag, YouTube, wiki, liveblog and emoticon.
The 2010 AP Stylebook also offers up some advice to journalists for how to use social media, including confirming facts they get from blogs and Twitter the same way they would with any other source.
To check out all of the APs 42 new social media guidelines, the 2010 Stylebook is on sale now. And for some tips that may not exactly be AP sanctioned, try following @FakeAPStylebook on twitter. While the tips need to be taken with a grain of salt- they are amusing!
For the past couple of months, the Washington Post
has been delivering Capital Business
, a weekly edition of the Metro-areas hottest business news. The publication has earned the respect of all of us here at SpeakerBox, with its strong lobbying, financial and, of course, technology coverage. Just today, managing editor Dion Haynes published a story about our own client, Cernium
, and its move from the government high-end technology industry into the consumer security world. Its a great win for Cernium, as they have an important and impressive success story to share and offer the worlds first thinking cameras
. If you havent gotten your hands on todays edition, take a look at the story online
and see for yourself where the company is headed.
- Mary Evans
|Katie Hanusik, SpeakerBox; Giovanni Calabro, Siteworx; |
Julia Lim, ScienceLogic; Christine Schaefer, DLT Solutions; Holger Schulze, SafeNet
Last Friday, I had the opportunity to moderate Women in Technology
s event on the Intersection of Marketing and Technology. This was a follow-up program to a sold-out event
held last year on a similar topic. The speakers were:
, Vice President of User Experience, Siteworx
, VP of Marketing, ScienceLogic
, Vice President of Marketing, DLT Solutions
, Director of Marketing, SafeNet
I was interested to hear that one of the common themes among all the presentations was the value of content and using technology to disseminate the right content to the right people at the right stage in the buying process.
Holger started us off with a discussion of how the marketing industry has changed. Interrupt marketing tactics like email and telemarketing are not as effective as they once were. Buyers rely on their own research and are more educated than ever. So whats the best way to use content as a tool for customer engagement? Give it away for free. Both Holger and Christine counseled the attendees to provide most content without requiring registration. They recommend holding back only premium content since prospects will be more likely to opt in once they have had a chance to educate themselves and are ready to engage in the sales process.
According to Giovanni, content management is the single best source for engaging with new customers. To illustrate this point, he shared a case study for the American Diabetes Association
(ADA). The ADA had 19K pieces of content on their original Web site, and Siteworx spent countless hours creating personas and mapping out the site architecture to best use the content. As a result, customer engagement, according to several key metrics, is at an all time high.
Julia shared some insights from her work with ScienceLogic. ScienceLogic competes with HP, IBM and CA in an $18B market. Whats her secret to successful competition with much larger companies? Its all about content, she says. Julia has created an array of messages and materials that offer relevant information to her prospects at various times in the buying cycle, and she relies heavily on marketing automation tools to nurture leads using content marketing strategies.
Lastly, Christine commented on the value of social media as a tool for customer engagement. Social media is supposed to be a many-to-many dialogue, reminding us all that conversations with our customers and between our customers are just as valuable (if not more so) than the content we push out.
For more insights on the session, check out the other blog posts from Lee Atchison
at Pivotal Information Technology or Christine Schaefer
- Katie Hanusik
Everyone already knows what a major disaster the oil spill is and how horribly it’s being handled so I won’t bore you all with my thoughts on that... There are just 3 things I’d like to point out...
1. If you ever find yourself handling crisis PR, on any level, please coach your CEO to not say anything like this. In any situation where responsibility and an apology are needed, the CEO should be the fall guy/hero and Tony Hayward was doing a pretty good job of communicating with the public in a tough situation. But by saying “I want my life back” he managed to make this situation worse for himself by coming off like he has no heart – it may be time to pass the mic.
2. If you haven’t checked out @BPGlobalPR – go there now. Sometimes the best way to get through something tough is with a sense of humor and the sarcastic humor found here hits the nail on the head. The handle has 12 times more followers than BP’s official handle.
Helen Thomas was making headlines for all the wrong reasons this week, ultimately prompting her retirement. Whats unfortunate is that her retirement is now focused on one incident (for which she has since apologized), instead of a celebration of a fantastic career. Quickly approaching 90, Thomas was a White House briefing room fixture. She has covered 11 presidents from Dwight Eisenhower to Barack Obama and gained notoriety during John F. Kennedys term. Her reputation preceded her, she asked the hard questions and could be forceful and demanding when she needed to be. Im not sure if President Obama and future presidents will actually miss Thomas to-the-point questions but I hope that she will be revered for her decades of professionalism and ground-breaking stories rather than her recent mistake.
In preparation for tomorrow's countdown of the Washington Business Journal's Best Places to Work
, we had a chance to sit down with Dave Ramos
of The Dashboard Group
, a consulting firm that helps leaders build high-performance organizations. The Dashboard Group is a partner of Quantum Workplace
; Quantum's TeamPulse
assessment tool is used by the Washington Business Journal to select the Best Places to Work award winners.
Dave is a big believer in measuring employee engagement and spent much of last year interviewing winners of the WBJ's Best Places to Work Award. He was kind enough to share his insights and tips
-- Katie HanusikQ. What makes the WBJ Best Places to Work award different from other award programs?
There are many other BPTW awards, including Fortune Magazine, Washingtonian Magazine, Working Mother Magazine, Accounting Today Magazine,
The Washington Business Journal's
BPTW award is unique because it is focused on local companies and is based solely on statistical metrics, unlike other awards which include subjective criteria and are therefore open to manipulation.Q. What is the evaluation process?
The Washington Business Journal
awards are based the results of a 37 question survey, which is summarized to one number the overall employee engagement score.Q. Can you share any insight into the judging? What criteria are used?
The surveys 37 questions have been grouped into the 10 factors which are statistically validated measures of employee engagement. The ten factors are: Team Effectiveness, Retention Risk, Alignment with Goals, Trust with Coworkers, Individual Contribution, Manager Effectiveness, Trust in Senior Leaders, Feeling Valued, Satisfaction with Current Role, and People Practices.Q. What advice would you give to future applicants? How can they best position themselves for success?
It is like the lottery
you have to play to win. Every organization should measure employee engagement at least once per year. The Washington Business Journal
award process is a way for them to do this
and it is free!Q. Are there any common denominators of the honorees?
High-performance organizations do hundreds of things really well, but one common theme is the trustworthiness of the senior leaders. In BPTW organizations, the senior leaders really care about making their organization a great place to work. Many leaders give this lip service. Winners actually mean it.
Q. How many people applied, and how easy is it to win?
Hundreds of companies completed the survey. It is really hard to win, and even harder to be a repeat winner. The competition is stiff.
Q. Of last years honorees, which companies impressed you the most and why?
I spent several weeks interviewing some of last years winners. I especially enjoyed my visit to Miriams Kitchen
the only non-profit organization to win and a repeat winner in 2010. It is an amazing place doing amazing work for people with nowhere else to turn.
held their annual Apollo Awards
on June 3rd at the Fairview Park Marriott. The awards recognize excellence in professional development programs, performance management processes and the measurable results of employee development initiatives for companies based in the Washington, DC region.
SpeakerBox was a finalist in the Emerging Business category. We didn't leave with the prize, but were proud to be a finalist again this year and are motivated to continue to push ourselves when it comes to professional development initiatives.
|Lisa Throckmorton, Cathy Cromley of Market Connections, |
Katie Hanusik and Mary Evans
Congratulations to this year's award winners:
Emerging Company: JustinBradley
Small Company: VISTAtsi
Mid-size Company: Apple Federal Credit Union
Large Company: Dewberry
Zeus Award: Métier, Ltd.
Thanks again to Helios for another great event and look out, because we're sure next year will be our year!
- Lisa Throckmorton
Thank you very much for this interview. Looking forward to reading more. Always interested in feedback from all your readers.
I had the opportunity to turn the tables around on Shashi Bellamkonda, a local celebrity but also a national force in the social media community. He's so great at engaging folks in the community, and he also makes for an interesting interview!He is the Social Media Swami for Network Solutions--tune in below to learn what that means, exactly. He received a great shout out as one of the Top 100 Tech Titans by Washingtonian Magazine last year, among other accolades, and is considered a great friend of SpeakerBox.
|Photo by @jimstorer on @shashib Twitter page!|
Q. Shashi, what exactly does a Social Media Swami do?
A. Our definition of the Social Media Swami encompasses an ombudsman, social listener and the customer advocate within a company. I equate this to a priest in a royal court who would tell the king what he should hear (the truth) versus what he wants to hear (perception).
We had a contest in the company to come up with a title and got 34 entries. You can see the other titles that were possibilities
, including Buzzmaster General and Minister of Misinformation. Jennifer Conner of the Washington Business Journal called me the Social Listener
In today's back-to-the-basics business environment, the age of the consumer is coming back and I predict more and more companies will woo customers and connect with them on a more personal level.Q. How have you seen social media change the way Network Solutions interacts with its customers? What benefits have you experienced?
A. We are on Twitter as @netsolcares giving customers an easy way to reach us. We have been honored with awards from such notable organizations as IABC
for our engagement with customers. When we first benchmarked the conversations taking place in social channels, we were surprised to find 60% negative mentions about our company. This contrasted with traditional surveys that showed very satisfied customers.
So we followed a strategy of establishing a listening post to engage with our customers in social media channels with the objective of:
1. Connecting with customers
2. Community outreach
3. Reputation management
If we did these 3 things right, we believed we would not only retain and wow our customers but extend the word of mouse and get new customers.Q. How can companies work with you to help build the community?
A. We have used agencies to work with us to execute campaigns and help us with our outreach. It always helps to have your strategy analyzed and validated by outside experts.
Q. How has your role changed in the past 12-18 months?
A. I have been happy to see more folks from Network Solutions get involved in social media. We have a wonderful team of folks who are excited to help customers on Twitter as @netsolcares. Our great team of bloggers and editors take care of our community blogs as well, such as: Small Business Success IndexWomenGrowBusinessWhats Next Gen Y
We are expanding our channels and have a very active Facebook page
. We will be doing a lot of internal social media awareness and training. We are showcasing more customers and their success stories which helps provide value.Q. You always have a camera around your neck. Any other passions in your life?
A. Photography is a recent passion. Not surprisingly, if my pictures are improving it's because of crowdsourced education. People look at my pictures and give me tips on making them better. Of course I have a disclaimer that says people look better in real life than my pictures."
One thing few people know about me is that I used to be a Executive Chef and my passion for food has stayed with me. I have a blog carryoncurry.com
. I also love reading and wish I had more time to do it. Traveling is another passion.Q. What is one of the biggest mistakes you see folks making in social media?
A. Some the early mistakes I think are:
1. Concentrating on just the tools rather than the conversations too: Communications has changed, and it's the people and the story-telling that make it interesting, not just the tools.
2. Making social media a silo within the organization: Going into social media, companies should think about it as a extension of their current outreach efforts and integrate it as a part of their marketing and communication activities.
Q. What companies do you think are doing a particularly good job of engaging with customers?Zappos
: Excellence in employee involvement and integration. Dell
: Pioneering use and sharing their knowledge and also creating a marketing channelSodexo
: Best use of these channels for HRUnitedLinen
: Small Business using tools to establish human connectionsSouthwestAir
: Combating humor with humorBestBuy
: for their Twelpforce model
Of course Network Solutions ☺
Q. What advice can you give the smaller B2B tech company who may not have many resources to devote to social media?
A. Start with a basic listening program with Google Alerts
. Focus on the top 20 search results and see if you can add to those results. Always have a crisis plan, especially if you think you dont need it. Concentrate on learning 3 tactics and spend your efforts there first. It is important to spend time to learn the tools.Q. Any fun anecdotes to share?
A. This is from a presentation that Jason Falls
gave at Social Media Plus
The original tweet is: qingywingy: to eat the @quiznos sandwich or not to eat the @quiznos sandwich? that is the question.
And Quiznos responds:@qingywingy eat me
I bet they didnt teach that at any educational institution!- Elizabeth Shea / @eliz2shea
We're always excited when we see companies trying new things with social media, and even more so when those companies are our clients, which is why we're so excited about what the OutSystems
team has been up to in recent weeks. OutSystems is sponsoring an open Q&A with Forrester Research
analyst John Rymer
on the topic of "The Future of Enterprise Applications."
This social consulting experiment, AKA #AskRymer
, invites anyone who has a question related to this topic to ask it
via this site before May 25, then Rymer will select 10 questions to answer, and the OutSystems team will be posting his video responses to these questions in the coming weeks. What OutSystems is doing is a wonderful, much more interactive alternative to the traditional vendor-analyst webinar. For the team at Forrester, who have long been regarded as leaders in terms of analyst social media adoption, it's yet another sign that they "get it" and are working to break the mold. By all indications, the "experiment" was an analyst relations success and, according to my count, more than 60 questions were submitted for John.
OutSystems has more background
on the #AskRymer social consulting experiment on their blog, About Agility
, and in this FAQ
. Rymer himself weighed in
on his own blog. We'll point you to the videos once they are live so you can see how they turned out!