Posts filed under ‘public relations’

DR. WHAW? – February 8, 2010

Hey everyone!  Hope you had a great weekend and enjoyed the Super Bowl Holiday.  I was stuck in meetings all day today, so it was a relief to sit down tonight and catch up on some reading.  Here’s what I enjoyed when I got a break tonight, what I Didn’t Read While Hard At Work:

DR. WHAW? – February 8, 2010

  1. Beware of Vanity Metrics — This excerpt from Eric Ries’ new post on Harvard Business Review is an important read for anyone who ever touches metrics.  It’s so easy to get caught up in positive numbers and not pay attention to the fact if these numbers, even though they’re positive, are really the ones you should be watching.  A classic case that I always see is when people brag about great Click Through Rates (CTRs).  While in some campaigns, this can be a valuable metric, the much more important number is the Conversion Rate.  How many of those clicks actually turned into a conversion, whatever that conversion may be.  If you’re not turning your Clicks into Conversions, then a high CTR just means your spending much more than you need to be.  Love Eric’s three A’s of metrics: actionable, accessible, and auditable.
  2. Google Set to Make Gmail Social — I know that this one is one from of the “big guys” (Mashable), however, it’s too important to not include.  Gmail is about to roll in social updates.  As the Mashable title says, this is HUGE.  It makes Gmail infinitely more sticky and turns the Google product into an even more complete hub for online activity.  The article raises some good questions about whether Facebook and Twitter will be initially included?  Also, I know that the majority of the folks in my Gmail chat list are clients that I email with, I don’t necessarily want them to see pictures from Friday night that my friends’ tag — what kind of privacy settings will be enabled?  If Google takes it too far, they may actually lose users. Look forward to seeing this rolled out and how it will really function.
  3. For the life between buildings – some notes on the iPad — I was unfamiliar with this blog, City of Sound, but I’m definitely going to subscribe.  Before you click over to this post, let me say that it’s very long…unnecessarily long.  However, the first quarter is really great and that’s what I recommend you read.  I know it seems silly to include a post that only has 25% of solid stuff, but that’s just how *solid* that 25% actually is.  The post is relating the iPad to architecture and urban planning, two favorite topics of mine, and making the argument that it’s the perfect device for “in-between places”: cafes, meeting rooms, bars, planes, cabs, etc.  In other words, it’s the ideal device for cities.  The argument is a cool one and I’ve never seen one made for software in this manner, so I definitely recommend you check it out!
  4. Telling Stories With Interfaces — I eschewed the urge to put a typical “Super Bowl Sunday Ad Recap” post in this list, however, this post is inspired by one of the ads.  Perhaps my favorite from the night — Google’s Parisian Love.  It was such a great, simple, and touching ad.  Anyway, Robin writes about how this ad is typical of an entire genre, Telling Stories With Interfaces.  She shares some of her favorite other “ads” that do the same.  It’s a really cool genre and got me thinking about how we could maybe employ this technique at my business.  If for nothing else, visit this one to watch some other really cool stories.
  5. PR Ethical Dilemmas of Ghost Commenting — For as many opportunities bore by social media, there are just as many “traps.”  Many companies out there think they can game the system or pay someone to worry about the “problem” for them.  Todd Defren runs an impressive agency, SHIFT, and has had a series of interesting posts talking through different social media/pr ethical dilemmas.  This one gets into ghost commenting and whether an agency should comment on behalf of their clients.  Todd takes two stances in the post and I agree 100% with him on both.  Check it out and see what you think.
  6. Big Think Interview with Jason Fried — OK, I know that the “R” in DR WHAW stands for “Read,” but I had to throw this video in here.  Maybe listen to it in the background while you read one of the other posts.  This is a good 30 minute interview with Jason Fried, founder of 37signals.  Jason’s signature “thing” is to be blunt and very opinionated.  He rarely disappoints, and that holds true in this interview.  However, there’s no denying that he has been uber successful and is an extremely smart designer, entrepreneur, and person.  Check out this interview and try to gleam some good advice for your business or your clients’.
Well, those are my DR WHAW.  I know I’m one short, but I’ve been swamped all day, and it’s the day after the Super Bowl, so can I just claim I’m hungover?  Hope you enjoy them, let me know what you think!
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February 8, 2010 at 8:37 PM Leave a comment

In a measurement state of mind

Last week marked the first #measurepr Twitter chat, hosted by Shonali Burke and Katie Paine, two measurement gurus. I highly recommend looking out for the next chat because there were a lot of good ideas and thoughts, and you should read the chat transcript here.

During the chat, Shonali made a comment that really struck me. We were talking about measurement in public relations and how to improve our efforts. And Shonali had this to say:

“I think you have to get into a “measurement state of mind.” Always questioning.”

I could never have said this better myself. When you’re trying to start measuring in PR or otherwise, it’s important to fully immerse yourself and get into a measurement state of mind.

While I don’t want to be extreme and insist that you measure absolutely everything you do, I think it’s important to view everything you do with an analytical eye. As you begin each new campaign or program, one big focus should be not only what your goals are, but how you will measure those goals.

Measurement along the way and at the end are both equally important, and that’s why you should always be questioning. It should never been something you do at one stage in the process, measurement should be on your mind all the time.

This is something I find myself doing, almost to a fault. I know I must sound like a broken record when every time a new technology or tool emerges, my first thought is: and how will we measure that?

Whether or not it’s something that falls under your particular job description, I encourage you all to think about how you can incorporate measurement into your work every single day. As public relations continues to evolve, there will be a constant struggle to prove its worth, and not just to our own bosses anymore.

How will you show your value to your company, to your department? In what ways could you integrate measurement into your current daily routine?

February 8, 2010 at 8:47 AM Leave a comment

DR. WHAW? – Week-ending February 7, 2010

Hello y’all! I am so thrilled with the first week of DR. WHAW? contributors! I hope that y’all appreciate having this daily feature as an actual daily feature (I know, I was falling down on the job before), and I’m so excited to keep bringing you what we Didn’t Read While Hard At Work (but wanted to!). Without further ado, here’s this week’s digest.

DR. WHAW? – Week-ending February 7, 2010

1. Notes From a Conversation With Y Combinator’s Paul Graham by Om Malik — Paul Graham is an accomplished entrepreneur, essayist, and venture capitalist (through his Y Combinator program).  I always enjoy reading things he writes and watching interviews with him.  I thought these notes were kind of the Paul Graham CliffsNotes, as it gives a nice, quick 30,000 view of his overall philosophies on entrepreneurship.  If you enjoy this, I definitely recommend you delve into some of his writing on his site.

2. Is Real-Time Search Good for Businesses? by Michael Brito – This article discusses the impact real-time search results will have on your business – timeliness. You/your clients have to be ready to respond! Also see the post from ZDNet’s Jennifer Leggio: Google real-time search + Twitter = a wake-up call for brands.

3. The Taboo (But Critical) Community Skill by Amber Naslund – While social media is about community and building relationships, we need to keep in mind that it’s also about sales. I’ve been asked before about providing ROI for the activities we suggest to our clients. They want to know that they’ll be getting something ($$) out of the time they’re investing. Be sure to read the comments as well for additional nuggets of info!

4. How Is PR Changing? by Jeremy Porter – Everything changes, we know that. Porter makes a good point: PR itself isn’t really changing; however, our audience now has a voice. We also need to think about technology and its impact, new skills we need to possess to stay marketable in the workforce and different ways to effectively measure results.

5. Facebook Develops Conversation Tracking Tool: What’s A Fan Worth? by Laurie Sullivan — Facebook has developed a tool that will allow users and companies to track conversations on the social network. I was excited to hear about this because other tracking tools do not always track Facebook posts quite well. I wonder if it’s useful or how it compares, has anyone had a chance to try it?

6. Google Analytics Releases Mobile Search Tracking by Paul Teitelman — I am so pumped to see this! I was just wondering a few weeks ago how to measure the new mobile craze. Can someone please try this out? Tell me how it is? While this doesn’t measure all aspects of mobile that I would like to explore, it is definitely a start.

7. Do the Old Timing Rules Still Apply for Media Relations? by Dave Fleet — I read MarketingProf’s Daily Fix quite often. I love its practical, straight-forward advice for how to do communications well. In this post Dave Fleet asserts that the old rules for when you should pitch to journalists are outdated.

What a great first week, y’all! I can’t wait to bring you more, and I can’t wait for you to better get to know the three new DR. WHAW rockstars!

February 7, 2010 at 8:51 PM Leave a comment

DR. WHAW? – February 4, 2010

Hello, there. I’m grateful to Rebecca for letting me participate in this great DR. WHAW tradition. And I must say that I feel an awful lot of pressure coming off of three great DR. WHAW posts by Clay, Melissa and Rebecca so far this week.

I do a variety of things, from consulting on social media and marketing for businesses and nonprofits to managing the Save the Cups community, so likewise you’ll probably see me point you to a variety of things in this space. But in general the things I read tend to focus on entrepreneurship, marketing, public relations, tech and social media.

Oh, and I’m also a new dad, so maybe I’ll spice things up every once in a while with parenting advice.

So without further ado, here are the things I Didn’t Read While Hard At Work (but wanted to!):

  1. Paying the Price for Truth (Jamie Notter) Fascinating read about the power of truth, and where it should come from. Should it come from the top down? Or should employees at the bottom demand it? Whose responsibility is it?
  2. Do the Old Timing Rules Still Apply for Media Relations? (Dave Fleet) I read MarketingProf’s Daily Fix quite often. I love its practical, straight-forward advice for how to do communications well. In this post Dave Fleet asserts that the old rules for when you should pitch to journalists are outdated.
  3. Mastering the Art of Client Relations (Freelance Folder) I love client relations being portrayed as an art form. Because those who treat it as such are better at it. In this article those who approach client relations as a chore are contrasted with those who really go the extra mile for their clients.
  4. Facebook Could Eat the Web (Steve Rubel) Leave it to Steve Rubel to portray Facebook as a monster that should have starred in Where the Wild Things Are. There’s no denying the reach of Facebook these days, and here Steve makes it clear just how pervasive that reach is becoming.
  5. The PR Schism: Divided We Fail (Katie Paine) Katie names all the arguments we’ve heard over the past few years (trust me, you’ve heard them), and then asserts that it’s time to move past division for the sake of the industry. (Hear, hear!)
  6. How to Write a Blog That Matters (Justin Kownacki) Justin, whose snark and insight I am constantly a fan of, goes through great lengths to tell you why your blog probably sucks, and what you should do about it.
  7. Sometimes It’s Better to Brainstorm Alone (Andrew O’Connell) Since Rebecca recently raised the question of brainstorming versus crowdsourcing, it seems timely that this post from the Harvard Business Review blog should assert that sometimes its better to go it alone completely. What do you think?

There’s great stuff here. As I would say over on my blog, time to go forth and learn!

February 4, 2010 at 8:07 PM Leave a comment

DR. WHAW? – February 2, 2010

This post was written by new and awesome DR. WHAW? Contributor Melissa Cafiero!

Can you believe it’s already February? Where did January go?! I can tell you where mine went, and it was pretty hectic, so here’s to a fabulous February!

Before we get started, I’ll tell you a little about me and what my Didn’t Read While Hard At Work posts will cover. I work with GolinHarris in Dallas, where for nearly four years, I’ve been learning all about public relations while working with technology clients. Given my background, my DR. WHAW posts will focus on PR and social media, but because I am still learning the ropes in life and my professional life, I’ll also try to throw in a dash of professional/personal development material.

I’m so excited to join the DR. WHAW family and hope you enjoy my first installment!

DR. WHAW? – February 2, 2010

  1. Godfather Colin Gunn used Facebook to run empire from jail by Daniel Foggo and Carl Fellstrom – Colin Gunn, one of the most dangerous gangsters in the UK, was able to setup and maintain a Facebook account while behind bars in a maximum security prison. He even taunted enemies in his status updates. According to an official, social networking sites are prohibited and Gunn’s profile has since been shutdown. Although the article doesn’t dive into a discussion on free speech and/or public relations issues, it’s still food for thought.
  2. How Is PR Changing? by Jeremy Porter – Everything changes, we know that. Porter makes a good point: PR itself isn’t really changing; however, our audience now has a voice. We also need to think about technology and its impact, new skills we need to possess to stay marketable in the workforce and different ways to effectively measure results.
  3. Resource: 2010 Edelman Trust Barometer – There’s a ton of content here, and clearly I didn’t have time to thoroughly consume every piece of it. Trust in businesses in the US increased to 54 percent, though “…the rise is tenuous, however, with nearly 70 percent saying business and financial companies will revert to old habits when the financial crisis is over.” According to the news release, “For the first time, this year’s survey shows that trust and transparency are as important to corporate reputation as the quality of products and services.” Wow. I do have to give some kudos to my company, GolinHarris, which started a Get Real campaign late last year which emphasizes authenticity. Don’t forget to check out the Edelman videos, too!
  4. Revealed: Which social networks pose the biggest risk? by Graham Cluley – Sophos recently published its Security Threat Report 2010 and it shows that 60% of people think Facebook poses the biggest security threat. Facebook has been taking a hit recently, particularly with its changes to privacy settings. Not too much new info here, but still worth noting.
  5. The Taboo (But Critical) Community Skill by Amber Naslund – While social media is about community and building relationships, we need to keep in mind that it’s also about sales. I’ve been asked before about providing ROI for the activities we suggest to our clients. They want to know that they’ll be getting something ($$) out of the time they’re investing. Be sure to read the comments as well for additional nuggets of info!
  6. Is Real-Time Search Good for Businesses? by Michael Brito – This article discusses the impact real-time search results will have on your business – timeliness. You/your clients have to be ready to respond! Also see the post from ZDNet’s Jennifer Leggio: Google real-time search + Twitter = a wake-up call for brands.
  7. Fourteen Tips for Getting More Sleep — and Why It Matters by Gretchen Rubin – I love The Happiness Project blog. As we continue to work harder, push ourselves and take on more responsibilities, we also have to remember to get enough sleep. Sleep improves your mood, energy level and has positive impacts on your health. Put away the laptop, let go of the iPhone, turn off the light and close your eyes.

See you tomorrow!

February 2, 2010 at 10:33 PM 5 comments

Brainstorming vs. crowdsourcing – where do you see the most value?

In the past, I have been a proponent of crowdsourcing as a good tool for just about anything, and I even would consider it a replacement for good ol’ fashioned brainstorming.

But lately, I’ve realized that each method definitely has a time and a place. Crowdsourcing can be a great tool when you’re just starting out on a project or you have a brand-new interest. When there’s something you need to work on but honestly have no idea where to start, I think crowdsourcing with the right people is absolutely you’re best bet.

For a project for which you have research or background information, though, brainstorming with others who have this information seems to make far more sense. Sometimes you need people with diverse backgrounds to help kick something off or give you a new view on something. But there are also times when you need a more specialized and trained view.

When do crowdsource and when do you brainstorm? Do you make the distinction?

I know that I am making a pretty hasty generalization here, but I’ve found that sometimes it just doesn’t make sense to look to a crowd. Even though they may have varied and wide expertise, without all of the information, their wisdom would almost be wasted. At the same time, brainstorming can be dangerous when you know too much because you may struggle to see outside your own narrow mindset.

It’s a tricky question, but I’m pretty confident that there must be a clear distinction between when these two different methods should be used. What do you think? Where do you stand?

January 25, 2010 at 8:37 AM 11 comments

DR. WHAW? – January 19, 2010

Very much delayed, and I wish I could explain the reason why! You’ll just have to trust me on this. I was held up by a HUGE monitoring project this week, and I’m thrilled to be so busy. But still, I wanted to share what I Didn’t Read While Hard At Work on Tuesday.

DR. WHAW? – January 19, 2010

1. How Relationships Improve Sales by Chris Brogan — OK. I try not to include posts from the “big guys” too often because their content already gets plenty of exposure without my help. But in this case I wanted to make an exception. It’s a couple weeks old, but I love that this gives a good reason why relationships actually do affect the bottom line, which is what most executives these days are worried about. This is the reason we measure social media and engagement. It really does matter!

2. ROI Measurement: The 4th Stage of Social Media Maturity by Matt Carter — Recently a report was released which, among other things, outline what it called the Social Media Maturity Road Map. I loved this blog post because it highlighted where this report was completely (and disappointingly) lacking: measurement. I am so impressed to see others who share my passion for measurement and insist that it belongs in the discussion.

3. 100 Ways To Measure Social Media by Rodger Johnson — 100?! Can you believe it? This is a pretty good list of 100 ways to measure social media, and I would say it is by no means a comprehensive list. My goodness. You should definitely consult this list the next time you’re stumped as to how you can effectively measure a social media campaign, but also let’s all take a moment to appreciate how far measurement has come in so little time.

4. Simple Social Media Measurement Matrix by Sandra Fathi — This is kind of a cool concept! Sandra has created a matrix for social media that explains what metrics to look for based on what network you’re focusing on. I like this mostly because I think it’s a good way to organize all the different social networks out there, but I don’t think this has to be your absolute guide. Metrics change as projects do, but this structure is a good tool to use.

5. What ROI measurement system do you use by Henry Alzamora — This one I thought was just darn cool because measurement, particularly related to social media, is cropping up everywhere for me these days. Even on LinkedIn! Maybe I’ve missed it before, but I thought it was really neat that someone had started a discussion about measurement (ROI!) on a group on LinkedIn. Awesome!

6. Concrete Social Media Measurement Will Come by Scott Gulbransen — I love this. We’re not quite there yet. As much as I’d love to believe that measurement is ready to take on the world, it’s definitely not true. Not just yet. And this is a great post because it calls that out, but it also gives hope that there will be concrete measures for social media one day.

7. The Great Social Media  Measurement & Analytics Fallacy by Matt Carter — I know, I know! Two posts from the same author. This doesn’t happen! But I think that Matt Carter earned two spots today. I get in the habit of forgetting that measurement (and measurers) can be flawed, too. I love this analytical look at measuring engagement because it calls into questions some assumptions that we make. What do you think about this? Where do you stand?

Better late than never, eh?

January 21, 2010 at 2:06 PM 2 comments

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