Lazy Marketers and Faux Measurers Make Us All Better

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Hear me out. The other day, Jay Baer wrote a blog post that made my blood boil. Absolutely boil. I’m sure my eyes bugged out at my desk, and I think I may have cursed a few times while reading it.

But you know what? It made me think. Hard.  As did the comments, so read the conversation when you can.

While I get frustrated with tools like Klout claiming to be standard measure or metrics, what really frustrates me about these tools is they help lazy marketers be lazy. These tools builders know that busy marketers and other professionals using social media are looking for one-stop solutions, so they attempt to provide one. And once that tool is out there, there’s no stopping anyone from using it as they want, even if it seems ridiculous to most of us. Continue reading

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The Celebrity Plug Goes the Way of the Dodo

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Could the celebrity plug — that beloved loathed centerpiece of many celebrity PR campaigns — be going the way of the Dodo? If the UK’s Guardian newspaper is any indication, it may be. And this could have profound effects on public relations.

To get the background on this movement, you have to go back to a somewhat obscure point in The Guardian’s updated editorial code. According to PRWeek, the revised code includes a new clause addressing the inclusion of promotional material in editorial. By its updated code, The Guardian — one of the world’s most influential newspapers — no longer allows its reporters to “promote products” in order to secure interviews with a PR pro’s client. Continue reading

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An Important Basic for the PR Professional—Remembering National Tragedies in Public Relations

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In the coming and recently passed days we’ve seen a lot of different PR firms sending out stories and reports about remembering 9/11. While this type of report is fortunately a rarity, there will always be those few days where everyone stops to think about a devastation that happened to our nation. Along with 9/11 we remember Hurricane Katrina, Columbine, and the shootings at Virginia Tech among others. It is the job of the press to be sure that not only are these historic days not forgotten, but that they are remembered with the right amount of respect and nationalism. With that said, this is virtually the only thing the press needs to be doing during these tough times.

Although it may seem obvious, PR agencies still continue to make rookie mistakes when it comes to expressing their sorrow for the lives lost because of these tragedies. Whether you need a refresher on the basics or you are, in fact, a PR rookie, consider some of these necessities. Continue reading

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Could ConAgra Happen to You?

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By now everyone has heard about the ConAgra-Ketchum crisis and forwarded it along to their consumer clients as a cautionary tale.But if you’ve been living under a rock for the past week and missed the public smearing (NYT, HuffPo, Gawker, PRWeek, Business Insider, to name a few) here’s the nutshell version:Ketchum planned a bait and switch stunt with celebrity chef George Duran being the bait and Marie Callender’s frozen food line being the switch. Taking note from other major food brands like Pizza Hut and Domino’s and hoping for similar success, ConAgra thought the invited bloggers would be pleasantly surprised by the quality of their meals and the company hoped they would be able to use the footage for promotional videos on YouTube and its Web site.

They weren’t pleasantly surprised but they did spread buzz – the bad kind. Continue reading

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Attribution: Measurement’s Only Unsolvable Problem

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Education. Time. Budget. Resources. Foresight. Successful measurement and analysis is prone to numerous roadblocks. (What did I miss?)

The big upside to the four problems I named: in an ideal situation these problems can be solved: Continue reading

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Simon Mainwaring asks: Is This The World You Want?

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“The needs of the many, outweigh the needs of the few… or the one.” Mr. Spock, The Wrath of Khan

If you understand that phrase, then Simon Mainwaring’s new book “We First,” is especially for you. How can you affect change into today’s digital world? Mainwaring stresses social media for social change.I emailed Simon recently to ask him a few questions about the book and its inspiration.

Jason Mollica:  Obviously, when you wrote the book, many things aligned to show that we need social media to affect change.  Are things that are happening in 2011 hammering that point home?

Simon Mainwaring: Absolutely. Perhaps the best snapshot of this is the most recent riots that erupted throughout the United Kingdom.  What emerged to both positive and negative effect Continue reading

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PR and Social Media – Don’t Press the Ignorance Button when you Know it Doesn’t Work

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The other day I stepped on to the elevator with several other people at the office building where I work.  We stood there for about 5 seconds waiting for the doors to close and when they didn’t, a man reached over and hit the “close door” button.  The doors remained open.  As everyone else waited patiently, this guy hit the button again and again and again for what seemed like 10 seconds until finally the doors closed.  As I watched him initially frustrated by beating the button repeatedly to no avail, I began to think, “This has applications to PR via social media.”

(FYI — There are many theories about whether the close door buttons on elevators actually work or they are merely there for psychological reasons to assuage our lickety split mentality that comes with a world built on speed and the value of time).

So what exactly does this have to do with PR and social media you say?  Continue reading

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Writing and PR: Like Peas and Carrots

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Public relations, like many things in life, is 90 percent perspiration and 10 percent inspiration. Many people have a misconception of what we do (even our family). Writing is something that is a part of a PR pro’s daily hourly duty. PR isn’t about rubbing elbows with celebrities and throwing extravagant parties for clients. But, I’m speaking to the choir on this.

Any PR pro knows the importance of honing their writing skills. It’s a must. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t be anywhere in the PR world. Not only do we have to craft the perfect pitch for media, we have to write compelling press releases and blog posts people find interesting.  Continue reading

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Measurement Granularity Depends on your Goals

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Sometimes I find myself thinking (and talking) in circles about measurement. Often when I get going on a new project or concept, I find myself lost in the weeds and forgetting the big picture. This, of course, is a deadly measurement sin.

Where I most often get stuck is the nitty, gritty granular details of measurement. Do I want to look at tweets and retweets separately? Do I need to break sentiment out by channel or roll it up?

What I’m forgetting is that all metrics and measurements should tie back to a goal. If I need to slice and dice the data 100 different ways to show success, so be it. But if I’m just doing it because I can (and because it’s fun), it’s most often a waste of time. Continue reading

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Measurement and Data Analysis Should be Built into Culture

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We keep hearing about “big data” lately. At least I do. Data is suddenly everywhere we turn, and more companies are popping up to help us collect and make sense of it.

A few years ago, big data was for IT or analysts or nerds. Marketers and PR folks are slowly jumping on the big data train, too, and companies that are learning to integrate and mine data for insights are getting ahead.

On a smaller scale, more and more we all need to understand how to find value in all of the data our consumers are producing each day (and data which results from our own work). It may not reach the scale of big data, but there are still hidden treasures hidden among news, tweets, check-ins, blog posts and Facebook pages. Continue reading

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