Book review: “The Real Truth About Social Media” by Eric Harr

I recently finished reading Eric Harr’s energetic new book, “The Real Truth About Social Media: Confessions of a Social Media CEO.” The book details how the social media revolution has permanently changed the dynamic of modern communications and the theories behind why businesses should embrace the shift to help modernize their strategies and tactics to match the shifting tide of customer culture.

I found it to be an excellent summary of the core social media ideals that businesses should understand and adopt to help their transition into a communications era that is widely considered essential to thrive in for business. The book is mainly geared towards skeptics, naysayers and those reluctant to try social media, help them understand just how important the platform is to leverage and how it simply can’t be classified as a “passing phase.” Continue reading

Why I’d Rather Hire a Liberal Arts Student than a PR Student

Over the last few months I’ve had the pleasure to recruit and interview a number of potential employees – and see and speak to a number of amazingly unsuitable candidates. I went back afterwards to see if there was a trend among the candidates (and other students / young pros I didn’t think would be a good fit (I always keep an eye out for possible recruitment)).

And in-fact there did seem to be a trend (at least for me). Continue reading

Klout Tries to Adjust your Influence…Again

Klout sent the social media world into a bit of an uproar on Oct. 26, when it tweaked how they measure influence. According to Klout, influence is the ability to drive action and is based on quality, not quantity.

When someone engages with your content, they assess the action in the context of the person’s own activity. Klout is using three metrics in its “PeopleRank” algorithm: how many people you influence, how much you influence them, and how influential those people are. Continue reading

The NBA’s Desperate Need for PR Damage Control

Ah yes, pro sports. So deeply embedded in the fabric of our culture, pro sports in America have an immeasurable impact on so many things in our society. Sports can lift a nation with tales of tragic youth turned pro athlete superstar or cast depression on our psyche like how we all felt after watching the U.S. women’s soccer team lost to Japan in the World Cup Finals.

Relationships are forged and destroyed by sports. National and regional collective moods often rise and fall with the results of teams and individual efforts. Cities, towns and states can reap billions of dollars in revenue from pro teams in local markets.   Continue reading

CrackedBerry… RIM’s Fall from Grace

If you mentioned that you had a BlackBerry to a friend or colleague a few years ago, you may have heard some envy. Research in Motion’s (RIM) product was solid and perfect for the on-the-go business person. Lately, though, RIM has seen it’s reputation tarnished. It has left many wondering if the company will ever really recover.

Just this year, BlackBerry has seen the PlayBook launched to lukewarm reviews and disappointing sales. Earlier in October, Best Buy announced that it was cutting the PlayBook price by $200. In September, RIM’s said it shipped only 200,000 PlayBooks. On top of all this, revenues fell sharply after a disappointing second quarter of 2011. Continue reading

Seeing Through the Expected Results Weeds

Think about the last report you wrote or read. What was it about? What was the biggest takeaway?

Now think about the data behind the report. Ideally that report told the same story as the data. It sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s surprising how many times I read reports that seem to totally miss the point.

I finally got to dig through Nielsen’s Social Media Report, and I was surprised to find that some of the biggest insights were not called out or highlighted in the report. Continue reading

Searchmetrics: A Tale of Two Visibilities

Last month I wrote about a demo of Searchmetrics Essentials, and this weekend I had the chance to get a first-hand look at the dashboard.

Essentials looks at the connection between social and search data, particularly SEO. Take the chart below, for example. This shows Social Visibility for individual blog posts from Social Visibility is defined as follows:

With a Facebook share or a Google plus-one users can vote on the quality of a site. Therefore, the aim is to motivate users to perform as many of these actions as possible. Social Visibility presents these results and prioritizes them according to the network and type of action. Continue reading

If You Build it, Keep it Up

Monday, of The Black Eyed Peas wrote a blog post for AdAge entitled “What Does ‘Communiting’ Mean???” In the post, he challenges marketers to make conversations, not ads. I couldn’t agree more.

As he notes, and all PR pros know, we have been and are in the midst of a major shift in the way businesses communicate with their target audiences, and vice versa.

He analogizes the similarities to the 1600s race to discover the new world, placing the major US-founded global technology companies in the roles of world-conquering European countries; “the ocean is the internet and computers and software are the ships…” Continue reading

The Economics Behind Hiring a Public Relations Firm

Many companies know that public relations are an important part of business and that a good reputation is key if they are going to continue to grow and sell products or services. Many go so far as hiring a public relations (PR) firm to help them manage their reputation. Not only will a good PR firm help prospective customers see the positive side of your company, but they can produce definite economic benefits as well.

Here are three key ways that hiring a public relations firm can directly impact your bottom line.  Continue reading