Archive for July, 2009
Happy Friday, y’all! What are your weekend plans? If you have some time, stop by to see more of my picks from this week, and send votes for your favorites to be in the Sunday digest (send your picks to my e-mail or Twitter). Let’s get to what I Didn’t Read While Hard At Work today!
DR. WHAW? – July 31, 2009
1. Proof: Headlines Are Crucial by Roger Dooley — Think you shouldn’t focus on your headline? Don’t need to waste time agonizing over a few words that don’t matter? Think again! Roger Dooley discusses a study by OTOInsights which shows pretty convincingly that (at least on Digg) headlines are the most crucial to whether a story is read. I found this article really interesting in part because of my science background (I was a biochemistry major for most of my college career), but also because it’s a cool example of what cross-disciplinary research can teach us! I hope to see more such research from this group in the future. My only wish is that there was more understanding as to why headlines are so crucial to us.
2. How a Little “Friction” Can Change a Competitive Landscape from Knowledge@Wharton — This post is more academic in nature, but it gives some cool theories into competitive strategy. Being someone who doesn’t totally understand “the business side” of the industry, I found this explanation made more sense than I would have expected. Adding friction to a competition is better than having none at all. Make sense? No? Then read it! I promise you’ll understand and be better for it.
3. Top 50 PR Professionals You Should Be Following On Twitter by Genesis Davies — I love PR, and I love Twitter. This post gives a great list of the best of the best to follow on the micro-blogging site. If you’re new and interested in PR, I would highly recommend checking out these Twitter feeds. No need to follow them all, but find the ones most relevant to your own personal and career goals. Find the ones in your city or your area of expertise. Seriously, though, this is one resource you cannot let pass you by!
4. “With” vs. “For” by Sydney Owen — This is a brilliant and insightful post from a young, but rising PR star, Sydney Owen. We probably don’t spend much time considering which words to use in casual conversation, but Sydney makes the case that it is more important than you think. The words we choose reflect the perception and attitude we have. She make a great case for “with” instead of “for.” Please read it, you’ll be inspired!
5. Social Media Hypocrites: How genuine is this platform? by Lauren Fernandez — I enjoyed this post quite a bit. It asked questions, and it really got me thinking. Lauren Fernandez discusses whether social media provides professionals with just enough wiggle room to allow hypocrisy. Is it easy to tell each person something different to establish a connection? After reading this, my initial reaction was that hypocrisy may be easy, but I would guess it’s also quite easy to catch. If I tell you one thing, and someone else in the same industry another, isn’t there a good chance y’all will figure it out? So, of course, there may be hypocrites among us, but they’ll be outed. Or will they? What do you think?
6. Measuring Business Results Will Get You Noticed by Johna Burke — This is why measurement is necessary. This post sums it up perfectly! Read this to better understand my passion for measurement! Johna Burke argues that without measurement, you have no way to show your boss how valuable you are to what matters most to your company: its bottom line. You need to be able to arm yourself with numbers to show your worth and prove that you’re a necessary part of the team and business. This is something that is exceptionally crucial during economic downturns (HINT!).
7. Twitter Hasn’t Jumped the Shark (and probably never will) by JD Rucker — I liked this post in part because it’s validation for me. The next time someone teases me for being obsessed with Twitter, I can show them this. JD Rucker offers an explanation as to why Twitter really isn’t going anywhere. This post is clear and concise and worth a read, even if you’re not Twitter-obsessed (yet). It’s about the conversation, so join it!
Today was just one of those days for me! It was a hectic morning and a long, busy day. I’m starting this one late, but I’ve pushed through the headaches and stress to bring you some great pieces I wish I could have spent my day reading. Have you ever thought about what you Didn’t Read While Hard At Work (but wanted to)?
Disclaimer: I was in a very measurement-y mood tonight. : )
DR. WHAW? – July 30, 2009
1. Stop Paying Lip Service to Research: It’s Time PR People Got Serious About Measurement and Evaluation by David Kistle — This is a must-read, and it had to be first on my list! Katie Paine, among others, has been a staunch advocate for measurement in public relations, and I am happy to see it catching on! Even though it seems to be a big movement within PR, I think that every industry could take a lesson from this. Measurement matters! Have goals. Know where you want to go, and then measure! Did you get where you wanted to go? We could all use a little more measurement in our lives.
2. New Study Shows How Different Generations Use Facebook by Jessica Lee — At first glance this may seem like a silly choice, I promise it’s worth your while. Don’t roll your eyes! Perhaps I read too much into things, but I see great value in this post, more specifically, in the data. There are some expected findings about who is using Facebook and for what purpose, but while reading this I found myself looking for what was missing. Do these findings suprise you? Why do different generations use Facebook the way they do? How does this compare to other social networking sites? Other social media? I find the most value in this post in the questions it left behind.
3. Pay more to be fat? by Liza Peiffer — This post reports rumors of a possible “fatty foods tax.” If you tax fatty foods, people are more likely to buy healthier foods. Make sense? Liza Peiffer points out why this tax wouldn’t be fixing the problem. I love this post mostly for its last line: “Although ignoring these ads will help it won’t solve our problem. Until they learn to make lifestyle changes, the fat is here to stay.” Again, perhaps I’m reading into this (what is up with me today?), but I think this is a valuable point to consider when dealing with any campaign, product, service, you name it! Are we addressing the problem? Really? Plus, a “fatty food tax”? Really?!
4. 20 Predictions of the Future (We’re Still Waiting For) from Manolith — This post was (if nothing else) entertaining! And boy, today was a day I needed entertainment! But seriously, I think this post can offer some good insight into our past. I enjoyed this read because I wondered where these predictions came from. Were they based on data? Were they completely unfounded? Thinking about all of the speculation in today’s world about the economy, the environment and everything else under the sun (pun intended!), how many of our predictions will make this list in 50 years? In 100 years? Even though it wasn’t trying, this post should give you a reason to rethink your predictions and assumptions.
5. Top 10 Social Media Gaffes by Ki Mae Heussner — If you are involved in social media in any way (you must be if you’ve found DR. WHAW?), then you should read these cautionary tales. There are millions of ways to find opportunity with social media, but there are also millions of ways to get yourself into trouble. This article is a good summary of unfortunate situations which could (and should) have been avoided. Be careful, be wise. For better or worse, there is always someone to connect with online.
6. TechCrunch vs. Mashable – 10 Tips For Evaluating Your Competitors by Ross Kimbarovsky — I guess I’m just in a measurement and evaluation mood tonight! This post struck me not only for its subject, but for its depth and wisdom. Ross Kimbarovsky offers some incredible, easy-to-understand analytical steps to evaluate competitors. As I went along with this post, I found myself asking questions which were immediately answered. For that reason, I loved this post!
7. Series Examining Social Media Measurement from Mark Schaefer’s blog — I chose to bookmark the last in this series because it was posted today and because it includes links to the other posts in the series. As I’ve mentioned possibly too many times, measurement is HUGE right now! Particularly for PR. And especially in relation to social media because we’re still working out all the kinks. This series is just plain brilliant. While I cannot assume it smoothes all the wrinkles, I think there are some tremendous steps forward and some fantastic insights to be found.
Have you heard that Tuesday is the busiest day on Twitter? That may be true, but there were no fewer thought-provoking and entertaining reads from which to choose today. I swear, each day my Didn’t Read While Hard At Work list only grows longer. Before I reveal my list for today (I know, you’re just dying with anticipation), I wanted to announce that I will be taking votes for the best picks of the week via e-mail or Twitter (just send me an @ or direct message).
DR. WHAW? – July 29, 2009
1. Are PR Pros Entitled to an Opinion? by Lauren Fernandez — This post makes the top of my list not only because it showed up on my Twitter feed throughout the day, but also because it brings up a fresh discussion about PR in the new media world. Lauren Fernandez explores at what times it is appropriate (and not) to have an opinion as a PR practitioner. The post generated plenty of discussion in the comments as well as on Twitter, and it only goes to show we’re still evolving with technology. Similarly, Beth Harte discussed a lack of self-promotion this weekend and asked whether the trend could be hurting the industry. It’s always interesting to participate in the discussion as the industry adapts, grows and evolves.
2. When Social Media Becomes A Weapon by Lisa Barone — We’ve all heard of Dave Carroll and his viral attack on United Air. It’s become well-known that social media can be a great way for the little guy (the consumer) to have his voice heard by beheamoth companies and industries. While for some this means a great opportunity to finally have a meaningful discussion, to others it can simply be an easy launching pad for a vicious attack. Lisa Barone makes the (perhaps unpopular) point that just because we have a new megaphone through which to hold companies accountable, doesn’t mean we should use it. This is bound to get you thinking!
3. Why You Need an Online Home Base – and How to Get One by Kelly Crane — Yes, I know everyone says you need to have an online presence, but I promise this post is different and worth your time. Kelly Crane offers the first example (that I’ve seen) that goes behind the traditional message: you should have an online brand. This post explains that not only should you be online, but everything you do online should circle (or link) back to one place, and that place is your online home base. Read up to find out how to establish your own home base. And if you need more reasons to create an online presence, I recommend reading what Dan Schawbel has to say. If you’re looking for a more personal endorsement, here it is: I’ve never gotten a job through any means other than networking and all my current leads stem from online interactions. : )
4. Public Relations Measurement 2010: Five Things to Forget & Five Things to Learn by Don Bartholomew — If you have any interest in public relations or PR measurement, you absolutely must read this! This ties to #1, but I believe this post has far more hard answers for the industry (as opposed to philosophical). Don Bartholomew offers the best, most comprehensive explanation of where the industry is headed in the next year. I could go on about this post, but this one can truly speak for itself. Just read it!
5. The case for not instant by Christopher S. Penn — As new gadgets, applications and technologies sprout up daily, it’s hard to find much in the news that doesn’t relate to how we can move faster. Christopher S. Penn argues that what we really need in today’s world is “ever present mindfulness.” Read this brilliant argument as to why we all could use some time to slow it down and take our time. It’s always good to view your world from a new perspective like this, and who knows? Thinking in a different way may help you exceed even your own expectations.
6. Study: Online and Offline Behavior Meshing by Gavin O’Malley — Guess what? Internet use isn’t getting any higher. It’s static. What is changing (as you may have guessed) is how we’re using the Internet. This is a very interesting look into how our online and offline lives are becoming more and more intertwined. Mark Schaefer wrote today about how social media influence in the work place is probably relatively small. Both of these offer a different look at our on and offline lives, and the latter proposes some valuable questions to further this fascinating discussion.
7. How Gen-Y Startups Use Social Media to Shatter the Status Quo by Greg Rollett — OK, I’ll admit it: I liked this one in part because I’m a Gen-Y gal, and I think my generation is exciting and just plain amazing (humble, too, no doubt). But even if you hate us, I think you will find some value in this post. There are some pretty incredible success stories in here, and there may even be inspiration as to how you can use social media to pursue your own goals. As a generation that has grown up alongside these technologies, I think we are in a unique position to understand their value and to apply them in new ways. In some respects, we just don’t know how business “is supposed to be done,” and so we forge our own paths (for better or worse). Rock on, Gen-Y!
I was really excited with the feedback from DR. WHAW? Day 1, and I sincerely hope to receive more helpful comments and questions. : ) Without further ado here’s what I Didn’t Read While Hard At Work today…
DR. WHAW? – July 28, 2009
1. This I Believe by Avinash Kaushik — I thoroughly enjoyed this post for two reasons: (1) the author’s passion and love for Web analytics shows through, and (2) it really left me with a new-found curiosity for its subject. It’s rare to find the perfect combination of these two things, and I think this post is worth a read whether or not you give a hoot about Web analytics (plus, you’ll learn something).
2. Social Media Isn’t About Relationships for Companies by Chuck Hemann — This is a bold statement. Everyone else I follow on Twitter seems to believe that companies should utilize social media to form more meaningful relationships with consumers and other important publics. Chuck Hemann reminds us what companies are really intersted in: their business. He urges SM gurus to find a way to make it meaningful to their business, not relationships. Along the same vein, Dave Fleet wrote about ROI in social media today and why it shouldn’t be part of the SM discussion. If you’re really interested, check out the Twitter feeds of Olivier Blanchard and Katie Paine, too!
3. Brand Experiences are for Employees and Customers by Larry R. Irons — There has been a lot of talk and advice-giving and preaching about how to portray your brand on Twitter. This post is nothing like those others. It’s a great reminder that when your customers won’t be interacting with your brand online but your employees. There is great (new) advice about ensuring that each and every person puts in the effort to earn customer respect and loyalty.
4. Internet Isn’t Killing Paper, We Are by Michael Hickins — This one is close to my heart. My last semester of college (just three short months ago), I took a course about mass media and its evolution through history. I won’t bore you with details, but I learned a great deal about how each medium has adapted as another emerged. In this post, Michael Hickins explains how the emergence of the Internet was not the sole “killer” of newspapers, but it was, in fact, our own thoughtlessness and (in some cases) greed. He asks us to remember that information has always been free, which is a point worth recalling.
5. 3 reasons even “social media types” still need a resume by Amy Mengel & 3 reasons Why Resumes SHOULD be Irrelevent by David Spinks — As is apparent from their titles alone, these posts go hand-in-hand. Amy Mengel argues that even though online presence alone can say a lot about who you are and what you can do, a resume is still a necessary tool. She never defends the ever-present need for a piece of paper listing qualifications, but she simply explains why corporate America still requires it. David Spinks, on the other hand, provides valuable arguments as to why resumes no longer seem, well, relevant. Both post are insightful for different reasons, and you should enjoy each for it’s own merits.
6. Cellphones teach phonics, animation and more in school instead of cheating by Colleen Long — I love this USA Today article because it’s about a school that “gets it.” Instead of fighting the growing presence of technological devices in children’s lives, this school has figured out a way to use them as tools to further its goals: education. Technology isn’t going away, kids aren’t going to leave their cell phones at home anymore, so use them! Run with the technology! I think many businesses (and brands and people, for that matter) could learn from this. Stop trying to find ways to make what used to work feasible in this new world and start making today’s tools work for your goals!
7. Corporate Social Media Policy: Top 10 Guidelines by Todd Defren — I know this one technically shouldn’t qualify because I found it after work, but I would have enjoyed reading it during the day just as much. One thing I think that all companies should do regardless of marketing strategy is to implement a social media policy. Employees are going to use it whether you control it or not, so you might as well make sure they don’t put your company at risk! Todd Defren offers up a free set of guidelines that come with one heck of a bonus: they’ve been vetted by top corporate lawyers. Worth a read if your company is (or isn’t) considering implementing a social media policy of its own.
And with that I bid thee g’night!
So, here it is. My first steps into the world of blogging. I’m excited and eager to learn it all, but I beg for your patience as I stumble through these first few posts. You will learn I’m quite klutzy, which doesn’t exclude my technological forays. : )
While I have some more meaty posts stewing among all the other thoughts in my head, for now I want to start what will become a nightly feature: “DR. WHAW” (Didn’t Read While Hard At Work). I find that most days pass much too quickly. As I’ve become more serious about building a personal brand on Twitter, my Word document filled with blog posts and articles to read grows exponentially while I’m at work (as I’ve typed these first paragraphs, I’ve missed 28 Tweets alone).
It’s become almost a part-time job to try to keep up with all the incredible insight and discussion going on! So! For my own sanity – and hopefully you’re reading pleasure – I have decided to pare my nightly reading down to seven highlighted posts or articles each day that I “DR. WHAW.” At the end of each week, I will choose my top seven from the week, a Sunday digest if you will.
DR. WHAW? – July 27, 2009
1. Anchors in an Unmoored World by Howard Kurtz — This is a brilliant piece about how we, the public, view journalism after Cronkite, Jennings and Russert. It was particularly interested me because of the recent studies I did relating to the evolution of media. A telling quote: “When we are drowning in information, those who deliver the bits and bites become less important.”
2. Deloitte network melds expertise, social affinities by Lindsay Allen — I know this one caught my eye in part due to a conversation I had with a friend who is interning for an ad agency that wants to create an internal social network, but this article delves into the benefits of such a network for a large company like Deloitte. I liked it because it made me think: who else would benefit? Who wouldn’t? Why?
3. Twittering Away Time and Money by Pat LaPointe — I have seen plenty of arguments for effective social media measurement and plenty for “having a plan,” but never have I seen them so seemlessly tied together. It provies a succinct and useful explanation of why you need goals in order to make measurement work for you (complete with four handy steps to create SM plans).
4. Full Disclosure: Sponsored Conversations on Twitter by Brian Solis — When the FTC announced recommendations regarding advertising and public relations in social media, the Twitterverse and blogosphere were instantly bursting with questions and speculations as to how this will affect “us.” This is most comprehensive and thoughtful discussion I have seen; any blogger or Tweeter should read this.
5. Listening, for a Change by Valeria Maltoni — In the past week, there has been some discussion (and bashing) of companies seeking so-called “listening managers” and other such positions. This post offers a well-reasoned argument for listening and a great forum through which discussion has centered on whether the job title is necessary. Read up and put in your two cents, it’s a growing issue!
6. Is This The Type of Advertising that Twitter Wants? posted on DrivingSales.com — As Twitter’s popularity grows, marketers and advertisers are coming up with thousands of ways to use the social media phenomenon to their advantage. This post offers an insightful analysis and case study of the first full-blown advertising campaign created for and launched on Twitter.
7. Do Damagend Brands Have More Opportunities in Social Media? by Dave Fleet — In this post, Dave Fleet makes the argument that those brands which are already damaged have relatively more to gain through social media than brands already in “good standing.” He makes a solid case, and I love his point that it’s during the roughest times that companies truly differentiate themselves. What do you think? What else can already “good” brands gain?
I’m new at this, so be patient, but please give me tips! They’re more than welcome. Happy Monday, y’all!