New research has been released from Sysomos, a maker of social media analysis tools, that suggests Twitter users aren’t engaging in conversations. After studying 1.2 billion tweets over a two-month period, Sysomos found that 71 percent of them generated no response – both in terms of replies and retweets. To break it down, only 23 percent got a reply, and six percent were retweeted.
These numbers are pretty shocking – I feel like I see conversations happening all over Twitter. But then again, I’m only monitoring a very small pool of users. With that said, I still don’t think the numbers are alarming. To some, they might suggest that people aren’t paying attention or interested in the content that’s out there. But to me, I can’t be convinced of that. I, for one, don’t respond to every person I follow and tell them how much I enjoy (or disagree) with the content they share. Should I? Probably – I could/should encourage myself to engage more often. But I don’t, and yet I’m just as interested in the content out there as anyone else.
But the point is, this study shouldn’t force us to believe that information shared over social media is being ignored. Who knows – maybe one person reads a Tweet in-between meetings, sends it around in a staff email, a colleague posts it on Facebook later that night at home, and a friend blogs about it while waiting at the airport. As long as you get even one message in front of the right person, who knows what could happen or how it’s shared. Just because you aren’t seeing it shared on Twitter, doesn’t mean your message is going unnoticed. Often times, it just often comes down to a posting in the right place at the right time.
If youve been on Twitter
today you may have seen the new version of the site (#newtwitter)
. Twitter previewed changes earlier this month and now we get to see the new interface in what they say is a staggered roll out. The big news is that Twitter now sports a wider interface and an expanded right side panel. A great new feature is that Twitter can now handle multimedia assets and you will be able to preview pictures and videos
The most helpful change, in my opinion, is the search bar is now at the top of the page where it has more prominent real estate than its previous location buried below trending topics on the right side panel. Some other key changes include:
- Navigation controls: Your profile and messages are now at the top of the page. The timeline of tweets is still on the left side of the page, but now there a sub-sections for @replies or retweets, others tweets, your lists and your saved searches.
- Revamped right side panel: Now you dont have to scroll so far down the page to view trending topics (you can still select your preferred city) and recommended people to follow. I dont see it on my screen yet, but youll also be able to view threaded conversations and other users profiles.
- Direct messages: Your DM box is now at the top of the page and the overall layout of messages looks much different. Messages are displayed on the left side and look like threaded conversations with a tally of replies.
- Multimedia: You can now click on the arrow button in a tweet to view pictures, videos and replies to your tweets. It remains to be seen if Twitter will partner with any multimedia companies, but I think its a sure bet that Twitpic will be integrated into the pane.
But change can be hard. Maybe the old Twitter felt very comfortable. However, after a brief preview I think Ill warm up to the new interface. Its already starting to feel like a portal with better navigation and aggregation. On the other hand, the right side panel looks very crowded and the timeline of tweets on the left requires a lot
of scrolling down the screen. Have you seen the new Twitter and what are your thoughts? --Pheniece
The panel of journalists at yesterday mornings BusinessWire Meet the Technology Media event brought up some interesting discussion topics, including, how they like to be pitched, what they read and what is of major interest to them right now.
The panel was only asked three questions before they opened it up to audience questions. Heres some tidbits on what these reporters had to say about pitches, phone calls, social media, whats hot right now and more
As youll see, a lot of ideas and preferences overlap.
Bill does cover tech, but only for the average business reader, so anything he writes wont get too in the weeds technically.
- No product launch pitches numbers are always compelling
- Hell need an exclusive to get into the print edition. Only publishing once a week makes it hard to keep news fresh, so if he can have an exclusive hell hold it for print
Gautham is interested in policy / legislation focused pitches and if they dont have that angle they should be about something thats making an economic impact.
- Needs an explicit political link in the pitch to keep reading
- Posts 10-12 stories a day so hes looking for interesting content but doesnt have time for multiple sources
- Looking for tech issues of interest to a non-tech audience
- His Twitter account is for personal use, dont pitch him there
- Uses 4Square see where he is and start a conversation
- He uses company Twitter pages to get statements
Rob is hoping that PR pros can remember that he covers anything you would use at home and pay for with your own money computers, gadgets and other things that beep, except for video games hes not very good at them.
- Pitchs subject line and first 50 characters are where you have to hook him
- Make sure the subject can easily be found later hes a big filter-er
- When following up, make sure to give more info instead of just checking in; he doesnt respond the first time for a reason
- Doesnt like Twitter for pitches he uses it to ask questions about topics hes covering - @ replys can work as a pitch in this instance but not often
Paul is looking for top local stories and transactional news anything with numbers.
- Subject lines are key because hes usually checking email on his iPhone
- Dont call to follow up he doesnt like to chat, he even asked his mom to start texting!
- Follow up email is fine but dont be offended if youre story still doesnt run
- Needs story ideas on Fridays and in the summer when news is slower
- Pitch him early in the day
Nick needs the government angle in a pitch for it to even be considered. Washington Technology is focused solely on B to G news.
- Pitch subject lines are very important put $ amounts, company names
- Likes the follow up call its usually a good way to get him
- Tie pitches to market trends
- Doesnt like Twitter pitches but sees it as a powerful tool to get company news out
- Email is the best way to pitch a reporter most do not have time to chat on the phone
- The reporters all agreed that they dont follow corporate blogs in general they find them to be too marketing heavy
- Theyve found the dynamic of integrating social media into their business models and daily lives to be challenging especially in terms of advertising, drawing leads and time
Ali Smith and Mary Evans
Over at Forrester analyst and Groundswell and Empowered co-author Josh Bernoff's blog, I caught word that the analyst firm has released the 2010 update to their ladder of social participation
in the United States. It's a graphic I've put to use on a number of occasions since it was first introduced
to help me think about the adoption of social technologies and how consumers engage at the various rungs of the ladder, so I'm glad to see the update.
Of note in the 2010 Global Social Technographics
report, "Joiners" (those people who maintain a profile on a social networking site or visit those sites) showed the most growth, jumping up 8%. Growth of "Creators" (people who are responsible for the creating and publishing content like blogs, websites, videos, music, etc.) plateaued this year, though Forrester notes that those people still account for almost 41 million U.S. online adults.
Forrester's big takeaway on the Social Technographics report?
The story behind the data is pretty clear. The initial wave of consumers using social technologies in the US has halted. Companies will now need to devise strategies to extend social applications past the early adopters. This means that you need to understand how your consumers use social media.
So what do you think? Where do your customers fall on Forrester's Social Technographics Ladder?
It's no secret that I love infographics
, so you can only imagine how geeked out I was the other night when I stumbled upon Geoff McGhee's video documentary, "Journalism in the Age of Data,"
the other night thanks to the folks over at GOOD
. McGhee is a former New York Times
and ABCNews.com staffer, who conducted the interviews that the video is comprised of during his Knight Journalism Fellowship at Stanford University. It's a long video (54 minutes) focused on data visualization as a storytelling medium, and well worth watching, so I highly recommend carving out the time. Here's the video's synopsis:
Journalists are coping with the rising information flood by borrowing data visualization techniques from computer scientists, researchers and artists. Some newsrooms are already beginning to retool their staffs and systems to prepare for a future in which data becomes a medium. But how do we communicate with data, how can traditional narratives be fused with sophisticated, interactive information displays?
You'll learn how our wired world has resulted in an explosion of data, the emerging tools being used to analyze this data, and how data and its presentation are forever changing the face of journalism. And through its interviews, the documentary also introduces us to some of the thought leaders in data visualization, including former IBMers (now Googlers) Martin Wattenberg
and Fernanda Viègas
; Ben Fry
from Fathom Information Design
; Stanford's Jeffrey Heer
; Steve Duenes
, Matt Ericson
and Amanda Cox
of The New York Times
; Nicholas Felton
and the famed Feltron Report; and Stamen Design
founder and creative director Eric Rodenbeck
It's a great video on a topic I think we'll all be talking more about in the months and years ahead, so take the time to watch it when you have an opportunity.
-StephanieJournalism in the Age of Data
from geoff mcghee
Ive recently had some conversations (inside and outside of work) with people from all walks of businesses who are considering crossing into the world of social media. The overlapping reason for their hesitation in participating? Too much pressure. According to recent research from Forrester, this might be a growing trend. The results show that while the number of social media users who have signed up this year has increased since 2009, the percentage of content creators has slipped. Granted the United States is down by just one percent, the stat is worrisome and suggests that were missing the overall point of social media: to allow anyone and everyone to share ideas and content. According to Harvard research, 90 percent of Twitter content, for example, is only generated by 10 percent of users. Thats a lot of one-sided information. (Zzz
) So what gives why arent people rolling up their sleeves and engaging in social media? Personally, Im assuming its because people are overwhelmed and arent confident in what social engagement can do from a business perspective and/or dont know how to go about engaging. Instead, many of them are probably listening and taking time to digest whats going on around them in the viral world. To be honest, thats not a bad idea. Listening can give you a sense of the trends, audience and logistics of each platform. Its a great way to educate yourself and build a content marketing plan. The last thing youd want to do is jump into something unwillingly without being prepared. Theres nothing more frustrating than seeing an out of date blog, or a Facebook group page that hasnt been updated since its last holiday party. Before doing anything, take time to develop a content calendar plan and assign responsibilities to those willing to participate. (Not confident that you have enough collateral or ideas to share? Maybe thats an issue that should be addressed first.) But dont get me wrong Im not suggesting that you dont participate. Listening is only half of what makes social media work you also have to give in order to get anything out of it. With only 10 percent of users feeding information to the masses on Twitter, for example, I encourage you to imagine what your company could contribute to the conversations. Theres a need for unique, fresh ideas and readers are dying to get their hands on them. Whether its Twitter, FourSquare, Facebook, YouTube or Blogger, its time to step up to the plate and embrace all that social media has to offer be the new kid in town, make some noise and get yourself noticed. Are you at a dead-end and unsure how to begin being social? Share your questions/concerns with us here. Well be happy to brainstorm with you.
This week, TechCrunch
is hosting TechCrunch Disrupt
in San Francisco. Day one included a fire-side chat format with HP Executive Vice President for the Personal Systems Group, Todd Bradley
. I cant determine if hot chocolate and marshmallows were part of this cozy interview, but tablets were definitely part of the discussion
. Bradley says that he estimates that in the next few years, tablets will be a $40 billion market. HP has an iPad competitor coming out thats generating a good deal of buzz
. The tablet, currently unnamed, has a competitive edge in the fact its bundled with an HP eStation printer.
Part of the larger strategy, Bradley points out, is to broadly use the WebOS, the mobile operating system for Palm phones (he also said that smartphones are a $100 billion market). This will allow a consistent interface from phones to tablets. He added that the main reason HP acquired Palm was for the WebOS, but Palm will not license WebOS, as Google has with the Android platform. And HP isnt stopping there. Today they closed on a $2.35 billion acquisition
, expanding HPs offerings in the cloud.
So HP is poised to take over the world, one tablet and bundled printer at a time, all while building up a virtualization empire. Bradleys predictions of course seem self-serving and designed to drum up consumer sales. I can see it now: Grandmothers across the country will be able to print pictures of little Johnny while simultaneously watching CSI, all from their tablet.
It does appear that tablet growth is not just a one-off observation. Earlier this year, TechCrunch covered predictions by Forrester
that tablet growth would continue and potentially surpass netbooks. Forrester predicts that unit sales of tablets in the U.S. will overtake netbook sales by 2012, and desktop sales by 2015. As a percentage of overall PC sales, tablets will grow from six percent this year to 18 percent in 2012. By 2015, tablets will make up 23 percent of PC sales in the U.S., while desktops will be 18 percent and netbooks will be 17 percent.
What this could mean for marketers is a growing number of companies offering tablets on different platforms. It could mean different landscapes to consider for website design and promotional opportunities to provide premium and exclusive tablet content through a company like HP.
With over 3 million iPads sold this year, competing models in the works and a growing number of user-friendly apps, tablets indeed seem ripe for a mass-market explosion. I think its nice to have options, but Im not sure if I want to ride the tablet wave just yet. But if it came bundled with a virtual assistant, I might be persuaded to consider buying one. --Pheniece
After a long hiatus, Friday marked the return of the SpeakerBox Cook-Off Competition- tailgate style. With some new faces in the office and football season in full swing, it seemed like the perfect time to battle it out in the kitchen, concocting our favorite tailgating treats.
Adding to the excitement, everyone dressed in gear to support their favorite college team or alma mater. Anticipation grew throughout the morning as mouths watered smelling the crock-pots brewing from the kitchen.
I have heard stories of competitions past, and was definitely not letdown with the spread that was put out. Everything was delicious and the thrill of competition in the air only added to the experience. With both Mary and Pheniece making buffalo-style chicken dips, we not only had a competition but a head-to-head battle of the hot sauce.
While I could have licked every dish clean, at the end of the day there had to be a voting and winners announced. Coming in third place was Laura (pictured above) with her sausage, pepper and onion sandwiches. Second place went to Mary for her buffalo-style chicken dip. And first place went to myself (!) for pulled-pork sandwiches. Thats right, after my first official SpeakerBox cooking competition I remain the undefeated champion well, until next month at least.
Great job to everyone who participated and I think I speak for everyone when I say I definitely was not hungry for dinner that night.
Calm down…there isn’t a typo on the headline. The post you’re about to read is about wine, yes, but I selfishly also wanted to take the opportunity to put my maiden name up there. (Come on! When will I ever get the chance to do that again?) Yes, my last name was once Drinkwine. (I’ll pause for you to make some jokes. Speakerbox swag will be awarded to the first person that comes up with a comment I’ve never heard before. Good luck with that.)
But really, wine is the topic, as is Twitter. Last year, the social media giant announced that it was making its own wine label to benefit Room to Read, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting literacy and education amongst children around the world. To be honest, I was skeptical that the idea would ever come to fruition, but was recently proved wrong. Twitter announced that The Fledgling Initiative has come full circle and that its 2009 Pinot Noir and 2009 Chardonnay are available for $25/bottle and $300/case, with $5/bottle going to Room to Read, specifically serving children in Uttarakhand, India. Many followers of @fledgling have already pre-ordered bottles, so it’s hard to tell just how long the wait list is, if there’s one at all.
Is this initiative just a way for Twitter to create some buzz and get some publicity for its philanthropy work? Maybe. But who cares? They’re raising some much-needed funds for kids in India, and making some great wine while they’re at it. And to be honest, the bottle labels look pretty cool and the taste of California vineyards make it hard for me to ignore. (Let’s just hope the Twitter crew washed their hands – or feet – before crushing the grapes.)
Not interested in Twitter’s latest stunt? Suit yourself. I’ll toast a glass to you anyway.
- Mary Evans
Once upon a time, I used to work in McLean. This was about three years ago, before full-bore construction began on the Tysons rail expansion. Traffic was bad back then, maybe not like today, but in the same ballpark. And the buses were about as reliable as a North Korean nuclear non-proliferation treaty.
Considering that public transportation assists just about every aspect of municipal functionality, you might expect the government to open its purse strings every once in a while. Instead, they upped the rider fees. And then they used the added revenue not on service improvements, but on marketing and PR.
Here's the thing, though: Can we really blame Metro for simply conforming to the oldest rule in the successful tycoon's handbook -- in times of trouble, change the easiest thing possible. Sure, it'd be nice if Metrorail trains stopped killing people
, but do you have any idea what that would cost? Most of the machinery in those passenger cars came from old Soviet tanks.
No, a nice, jaunty communications campaign was a much more palatable solution. And they did a pretty nice job with it too. "See how far we've come" was the clever headline. And they ran sharp profiles of individual Metro drivers, mechanics, and technicians -- all looking cheerful, industrious, and 68% more customer-focused.
Now I know the marketing game, and I certainly can't begrudge anyone the use of tactics I myself employ. But this isn't a company we're talking about; it's a public-run monopoly. There are serious social implications of Metro's mismanagement, and virtually no comparable service alternatives.
Marketing and PR work best when they're extensions of an improved internal operation, not substitutes for it.
So when I see a cloud of black exhaust being partially concealed by a FastSigns
banner that reads "We Now Run on Clean Natural Gas," I can't help but feel the slightest bit aggrieved.
Maybe I just expect a little less hubris for my dollar fifty five. And I'm not only saying that because my bus is late.
No matter how many times we hear about companies who learned the hard way, many organizations still need to be reminded about the importance of transparency when it comes to PR. The latest mishap was courtesy of Netflix, who on Wednesday hosted a press conference
to announce their foray into Canada. The company closed down a street in Toronto, had dozens of onlookers and attracted local media to the event. What is the problem with this, you ask? Well, the onlookers were not in fact the Toronto public showing up to voice their excitement about Netflix in Canada, but rather they were paid extras.
The extras, or actors if you will, were paid by Netflix to come to the event and act like they were merely passersby attracted to the flashy launch. The information sheet that was handed out instructed extras to
behave as members of the public, out and about enjoying their day-to-day life, who happen upon a street event for Netflix and stop by to check it out.
What really may have crossed the ethical line were the instructions for extras to
look really excited, particularly if asked by media to do any interviews about the prospect of Netflix in Canada. Now Netflix is pretty well liked by many and there is a good chance Canadians would have given pretty positive feedback to media on their own. Due to this stunt though, many people feel duped by Netflix and they have lost credibility in the market they are expanding to.
Netflix took to their blog
Thursday, saying that it was a mistake and not something they planned and apologized for misleading the public or media. While at least they did not try to cover it up, they would have saved themselves a lot of time and embarrassment had they been upfront to begin with.
Just another reminder as to why honesty is the best policy especially when it comes to PR.
After being gone for most of last week and finally sifting through the last of my RSS feed, I came across the cold-hearted smackdown
that Steve Jobs administered to a Long Island University student
. While Jobs isn’t known for being overly “pleasant
,” this was honestly overkill – the CEO of a multi-billion dollar technology powerhouse deeming it necessary to browbeat a college senior for no apparent reason.
So what does this have to do with PR? Besides the obvious spin that Apple may-or-may not deem appropriate to rectify this issue, it has to do with how your clients communicate with their audiences, whether directly to their consumers or through intermediaries like bloggers, journalists or analysts. Acting like, well, a jackass doesn’t exactly endear you to your audiences.
For Jobs, it doesn’t matter – both of his brands (personal and Apple) are unbelievably powerful and he will stay relevant no matter what he says or whom he says it to. My clients (and yours’ too, probably) don’t exist at the level of Steve Jobs – what they say (and how they say it) dramatically influences how their audiences perceive them. So my advice in this regard? Be nice.
Don’t encourage your client CEOs to be simpering fops – far from it. They need to act knowledgeable and in command of an interview, without acting like overbearing know-it-alls. There’s never room for profanity, unless the occasion calls for it (believe me, you’ll know), but never directed at your audience. And even if the interview takes a turn for the worse, don’t let your client lose his or her cool – stay cordial, stay on message and get off the line as soon as possible.
Oh, and if a college kid emails you at a bad time? Try this – DON’T RESPOND.
Also on the CAPCON 2010 agenda was Ardath Albee
, B2B Marketing Strategist and author of eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale
. Her session, entitled, Capturing and Keeping Buyers with Creative Content, provided some best practices on creating contagious content that is so valuable that its readers cant wait to read more and share it with their friends and colleagues.
Most marketers know how difficult it is to create a steady stream of engaging content, and Ardath offered the following tips to lighten the load:
1. Evaluate existing content first. Create a schedule outlining which pieces can be refreshed and which pieces need to be created from scratch. Tip: Make small updates to old white papers and update the copyright date so resources stay fresh.
2. Plan on five uses for each topic or theme. Use a white paper as a starting point, then create two articles, a how-to-guide and a checklist on the same topic. Or turn Webinars and blog posts into ebooks and bundle the ebooks into a pocket guide. Tip: If you struggle to come up with great content ideas, participate in competitors webinars and see what kinds of questions they get. Any topics they they left out of their presentation might make a good blog post.
3. Content should map to buying cycle and answer questions that prospects ask as they go through process. Start with a response to the question Why should I care? Dont forget to address What if? questions later in the buying cycle.
4. Write with best practices in mind.
- Introduce your hook immediately, no long introductions
- Speak to one buyer persona in each piece.
- Create short-form content with just three supporting points
- Write jargon-free. As Ardath says, I dont want to see the words robust or performance improvement anywhere.
- Use keywords. Your content is only useful if the right people can find it
- Include a strong takeaway, the one idea that the reader will focus on
- And finally, dont forget a strong call to action. Tell your prospects what you want them to do next.
Consider that MarketingSherpa's Business Technology Benchmark Guide
in 2008 found that 80% of B2B technology customers believe they found the vendor, rather than the vendor finding them. Assuming thats true, contagious content is as important as ever.
-- Katie Hanusik
I had the pleasure of attending Capterras
Software Marketing Conference, CAPCON 2010
. Cari Baldwin, Founder of BlueBird Strategies
, led a session on How to Design and Build a Nurture Flow.
She started the discussion by addressing why its important to nurture your leads. A typical software companys database is filled with rotting long-term leads (70% according to Cari). As a result, 70-90% of leads generated by marketing are never followed-up on by sales. Cari suggests that its important for marketing to go dumpster-diving in its CRM system to look for leads that need longer-term nurturing.
So what are the other benefits of a lead nurturing program?
Educate without being annoying.
Provide opportunities for prospects to reach out to you.
Let prospects move at their own pace.
And potentially increase your sales-ready leads by 3x!
So how do you get started?
1. Before you begin, Sales and Marketing need to agree on what constitutes a lead. In fact, Cari recommends that both groups sign an SLA agreement. Marketing needs to provide sales with more valuable leads and sales needs to commit to lead follow-up.
2. Select a Marketing Automation (MA) Platform. Its tough to do lead nurturing without a MA platform like Marketo
. Costs start at $1,200 - $2,500 per month for a low or mid-range solution. Interestingly, only a few in the audience were using this kind of platform; Cari got several questions about the difference between MA as compared to Salesforce
or email packages like Constant Contact
3. Identify the goal of your lead nurturing program. Do you want your prospects to schedule a sales meeting, request a demo or download a white paper?
4. Identify the targets. Understand segmentation, and build a buyer persona to understand the specific needs of your exact target.
5. Understand information requirements. What information does the prospect need to reach the goal?
6. Determine Nurture. How many times should you touch your prospects? To reinforce key messages, Cari suggests conducting 1-2 touches per simple message and 2-3 touches per complicated message. Institute a friendly sales call in the middle of the process. Offer prospects a chance to Accelerate Me if they want to hear from you every week. If unsubscribes increase to 1%, consider decreasing the frequency of your touches.
7. Map Content to Buying Stage. Research the primary questions that your prospects might have at each stage of the buying process and create content that addresses those issues. For example, use educational pieces in the early stage, then case studies then product-specific information.
Make your content bite sized blogs, podcasts and summaries. Note: you may need different content than that used in your demand generation programs.
8. Align messages and content. Write all content before starting the program.
Note: Lead scoring is critical to success. Combine qualification criteria (BANT (budget, authority, need and timeline)) with demographic information and interest criteria (web visits, email opens and clicks, webcasts attended).
9. Build and Execute. About 65-75 percent of nurturing work is done outside of the application. Use progressive profiling dont ask for too much personal information up front and dont require registration for every piece of content. Test your MA platform internally to ensure the process works as planned.
Next on the agenda, Content Marketing.
- Katie Hanusik
About two weeks ago now, SBXers spent about an hour on a Ragans PR Daily webinar, The basics: how to produce a social media news release. While we here have been integrating elements of social media into our releases where appropriate for a while, we wanted to see what Shel Holtz had to say on the subject
Not to burst anyones bubble but we didnt hear much new info. But the idea that a company should put out two releases (one normal and one social) seemed to us like a waste of time and money. It is absolutely feasible to put out one release including elements of both social and traditional media. I think the key that most folks are missing is how journalists and bloggers are getting to the releases. I really cant picture a blogger sitting down and scrolling through list and list of news releases even if they are social to find their news
its all in the outreach. Read what they write and send them a note that gets them interested in your news I know it sounds easier than it is sometimes, but thats what it takes to turn someones head. To be honest, Im surprised the conversation about traditional releases vs. social media releases is still going on
especially with all the rumors flying around again lately. Havent you heard? It appears the press release has gone the way of Paul McCartney, John Basedow, Scot Baio and Steve Jobs its rumored to be dead. AdAge is saying that real-time conversations via Twitter are taking the place of the news release, which seems fine for celebrity news but I just cant believe it in a corporate environment. While they are both important to a companys media strategy, there is a time and a place for everything and different ways to reach different audiences. Companies have to do what makes sense for them in each situation and followers need to be aware that Twitter isnt always 100 percent accurate just look at what happened with Mike Wise this month. Could press releases as they are use an update? Yes. Do we need to use less jargon and buzzwords? Yes. Is it losing ground as the only acceptable way to announce news? Yes. But are they dead and completely useless? No. Its just changing and we need to keep up
We could name reasons all day why Twitter didnt kill the press release but Im sure this debate will still be going on next year and the year after. And still, the fact remains that public companies will be tied to them until they can release their earnings another way (yes, I know that Google found a way around it but most companies are still worried about the SECs response). Obviously, we still write releases and were not forcing them on our clients, they want them too they just need to be used correctly and not as a substitute for conversing with reporters. The medium will always change and the debate will wage on, but instead of calling for the death of the release, as PR pros we need to find the right balance of traditional and social outreach to get each message out to a relevant audience.
It is an interesting concept John, nice post. The key is going to be whether or not you or me as a PR pro are willing to share our updates crowd source fashion. Vocus already allows you to make changes to your contacts as a user record. I do this all the time, adding social sites, links, photos and interesting articles the contact has written. I also track every engagement I have with a contact in my system. This is the path towards considering Vocus a CRM for PR pros, rather than thinking of it as a big database with a list of contacts.
Despite its use by millions and mass popularity among the media industry, many people still seem skeptical of Twitters ability to provide factual and accurate information and continue to view it merely as a social tool for gossip and amateur news reporting. But Mike Wise, a sports reporter with the Washington Post, found out the hard way just how many people rely on Twitter for real, breaking news.Wise
, who talked on his WJFK radio show early last week about being fed up with people using and re-tweeting his information without fact checking or bothering to find the information on their own, decided to do an experiment to see how many people would take a tweet he published for fact. Wanting to prove a point about how unverified information is often picked up and spread on Twitter, Wise purposely tweeted misinformation about the suspension of Steelers quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger. Knowing full well that Roethlisberger would be out for 6 games, he published a tweet implying it would be 5 games.
What Wise believed would happen, did. Numerous outlets including the Miami Herald and the blog ProFootballTalk took his tweet for fact and republished the information. It backfired, however, when Wises second tweet acknowledging that the first had been fabricated, did not get sent out. The damage was already done; a known Washington Post journalist, with a Twitter account labeled as such, had knowingly released fake news. While it may not have been published by the Post, Wises editors were not happy, and he received a month-long suspension for fabricating information and ultimately received the worst punishment a journalist can receive: lost credibility.
While something the average Joe tweets may not be relied upon by the general twitter public for accuracy, as a Washington Post journalist, whether Wise likes it or not, people believe that when he tweets, the information is credible. People are beginning to look first to Twitter for breaking news from reporters and media organizations, and the power of amateur reporting on Twitter cannot be discredited, as was evidenced last week during the hostage situation
at the Discovery Communications building. Discovery employees tweeting about the situation, and even posting photos of the gunman, were the ones who initially broke the story.
So what do you think? Was Wises punishment for tweeting false information too harsh, or as a journalist, did he get what he deserved?
While most publications, both online and print, make it relatively easy to contact their editorial teams by putting their email addresses (if not their phone numbers) online, its normally up to us PR folks to figure out whos working on what beat. This can be especially frustrating if the reporter that has been covering DVD players all of sudden switches gears and focuses solely on cell phones
or worse, mainframes. What makes this even more of a problem is that the number one journalist pet peeve, always and forever is Why are you sending me an off-topic pitch?
A new service from mBlast
, however, is looking to make it easier on PR pros to figure out the tangled web of journalist beats. Called MediaSync
, its essentially open sourcing the notion of the media database, a service that Vocus
have effectively locked down. MediaSyncs differentiator is that we, the users, can easily add/edit/remove content, ensuring that it stays up to date as far as contacts go, and also provide notes along the lines of beats, articles and other items that may not normally show up on a larger database like Vocus.
While I dont think that MediaSync will replace my use of Vocus, its certainly a nice complementary service and allows my peers and me to easily share our information on specific outlets or contacts.
So what do you think? Will you be turning to MediaSync as a supplement to the existing services or are you quitting paid-for databases cold turkey?
Hi there...mine is 22. Check out @StrategicGuy.
If youre like me, you rarely find yourself pausing during the day, raising your arms in the air, and shouting: Ive been influenced.
You dont do this for a number of reasons. First, because its socially off-putting; second, because influence can be a private and conflicting experience; and third, because you dont always know when its happening.
But what about all your retweets, your diggs, and your delicious bookmarks? Arent those just the digital versions of your Ive been influenced primal scream?Klout
would like to think so. But Im not so sure.
First, about Klout: if you havent already encountered the product, its a Twitter-based application-programming interface attempting to measure influence among Twitterers.
If it worked, it would be a godsend for the PR industry, right? How long have we been searching for a reliable influence metricwe, the professional influencers?
And rest assured, Klout has a sophisticated scoring system that purportedly considers list inclusions, follower/follow ratios, followed back percentages, unique senders, unique retweeters, influence scores of followers, influence scores of retweeters and mentioners, and other various and sundry data points.
Sidebar: should we be concerned that to calculate an influence score, Klout uses the influence scores of your followers and mentioners? Isnt this begging the question?
Regardless, its all very logical and scientific. But ultimately, its trying to place quantitative value on something thats decidedly unquantitative.
Remember, we dont always know when (or how) were being influenced, and on those few occasions we do know, we dont always tweet it to the masses.
So in any mechanized influence formula, what youre really measuring is assertion of influence, not real influence. And youre doing it in a way that can be easily manipulated by that bastion of integritythe PR industry.
The best we can really say for Klout is that its measuring engagement, which is something weve been measuring for quite a while. So I dont think its a game changer by any stretch of the imagination.
Then again, Klout has 1.5 million dollars in Angel funding
, and I cant seem to raise a dime towards my antisocial networking project, Stalkbook.
In any event, I Klouted myself just now and scored a 5.
A little less influence than a sack of soiled rags, and a little more than the Democratic Party.
UPDATE: Leave a comment with your Klout score, and the highest wins a "prize."