Browsing articles in "Social media"
Dec 3, 2007
csalomonlee

PR's role in new media podcast

Paul DunayPaul Dunay of Buzz Marketing for Technology interviewed me a few weeks ago on how new media is impacting PR. Check out the podcast here. Even in these short few weeks, I’ve learned so much more from everyone, such as Jeremiah Owyang, Todd Defren, CK, Mack Collier and others. Update: Bad me, I forgot Tom Pick!

 Let me know what you think of the podcast.

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Dec 3, 2007
csalomonlee

PR Pitch Review: Advanta’s Ideablob Part 2

Ideablob Home PageI previously posted about the PR pitch and program around Advanta’s Ideablob.com site. As part of the email I received, Advanta representative Erick also asked for my opinion about the site.

Ideablob is a site where entrepreneurs can submit business ideas for review. The unique aspect is that $10,000 is awarded to the idea that receives the most number of votes by registered users. Each user is allowed only one vote per month and once during the final monthly showdown.

I think this is a good concept to help entrepreneurs, small businesses or desk jockeys kick start their ideas.

User Profiles

Ideablob User Profile

Like most social networks now, Ideablob has user profiles. In just a quick spot check of some users; however, most don’t seem to have added much personal info. The info is spotty at best and may improve as more people participate.

This will be key as another aspect of the site is for seasoned business professionals to provide mentoring.

Explore

Ideablob Explore

This section lets you “explore” submitted ideas. I like the tag cloud on the side to demonstrate the popularity of industries. Not sure if I understand the use of the pop-up thumbnails as your scroll over.  I thought they were descriptions of the industry and realized it brings up a submitted idea. And that helps me because??

Overall, you get a quick look at an idea, how it ranks overall and any comments on the idea. If you’re interested, you just click on the idea to get more info.

Besides changing the pop-up thumbnails over the tag clouds, I think this is fine.

Advise

Ideablob Mentor

Aspiring entrepreneurs or small business owners can get advice from seasoned professionals by clicking on “advise” in the nav bar. The questions are filtered by different categories. From what I can tell, this section is very sparse – plenty of questions but few responses.

At first, I thought it was because I couldn’t find the responses. I finally realized that the answers were to be listed below the question. The problem is that the “see all answers” and “add an answer” were clickable. I would make these buttons to differentiate this.

There is also a right-hand section to highlight other questions, a question of the day and top advisors. I’m not sure how this helps me.

My recommendations:

1.       Most popular questions: Questions that have received most number of responses

2.       Take a page from LinkedIn: Have the asker rate the responses, which reflect back on the mentors. This way, I would know the value of a mentor’s response as valued by other users.

3.       Tag Cloud Categories: The tag cloud would help me to visually see which categories have more questions or are more active.

4.       Search for Questions: There is only one search function for the whole site. I would’ve preferred a way to just search the questions.

5.       Order of questions: Right now, you see one main question on the category with other category (?) questions on the right hand side. Then you have to click on additional questions across. I think it would have been easier to list 5 or 10 questions down and then I can browse a list and click in to view the answer.

6.       Question of the day: I don’t know how a question becomes a question of the day. Problem – no answers to question of the day.

7.       Mimic Explore section: I don’t know why the format for Advise is different from Explore, but having the same organization structure across the site would minimize confusion.

Final Analysis

I like the concept beyond Ideablob. It fits nicely with Advanta’s business model.

As I mentioned previously I would like to see something that will pull me in deeper on a personal level. A blog, videos of winners, a page of thanks from winners – something that is easily seen or spotlighted on the home page is needed.

Will this site succeed? Probably

Will this site attract people? Probably

The question is, can the site sustain itself and fulfill the promise of promoting entrepreneurship and mentorship? Maybe.

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Nov 30, 2007
csalomonlee

Astroturf Burns!

AstroturfI felt that Todd Defren of PR Squared raised an interesting question about marketing tactics by the Commotion Group that I decided to post my thoughts here instead of lumping into my weekly articles. Briefly, the Commotion Group posts “fake comments” to videos to create a sense of controversy, while deleting any negative comments.

 

Todd was asked how were the Blair Witch Project’s tactics any different than the Astroturf techniques of the Commotion Group or other groups, people, etc. Check out the posts here and here 

Frankly, there’s no argument here. Today’s social media values authenticity highly. The Blair Witch Project was a game. Because it was the first to leverage the Internet in an unique marketing campaign (ploy?), people took it as truth. According to Todd’s post, one of the original producers commented: 

Open QuoteWhile we were building out the (Blair Witch) website and the community, we always knew we were walking a line, but we decided we were not going to try and hoax people outright. The regular members of the Blair Witch community … knew it was a work of fiction … We were not trying to fool anyone …

What the Commotion Group is doing is creating a false impression to dupe viewers into believing that the content is something worthwhile viewing. It isn’t. 

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Nov 21, 2007
csalomonlee

PRMeetsMarketing Weekly Articles: November 21, 2007

Turkey

Here is this week’s of interesting articles. Have a great Thanksgiving. Yum Yum, I can taste them giblets now! =) You can click on the Weekly Articles tag for previous issues or subscribe to the Weekly Articles Feed:

The Power of 150… or Not? – Mack Collier of Viral Garden brings up a good point of how AdAge is leveraging the Power of 150 list. Maybe it’s a case of another company not understanding the full power of social media? 
<What do Tulip History and Web 2.0 Have in Common? – Check out this humorous history lesson from mrontemp blog. Thankfully, I don’t like flowers – my lucky husband!

Going Deep into the Blogosphere – David Meerman Scott highlights an interesting site – DeepBlog.com – for finding popular blogs in certain niches 

Astroturf Can Burn Baby –  John Blossom of Shore Communications writes about PR agencies still working their way around social media. He highlights the issue of “astroturfing” – pretending to be a satisfied customer when posting online. My perspective – learning about social media is no longer an excuse for doing one’s homework and understanding the rules of the road. 

Lessons on Customer Service – Jeremiah of Web Strategy put up an amusing post about his experience with Real, Delta Airlines and PeopleSoft. Sometimes, it’s good to pay attention to what is being said about your brand online. Kudos to Real for responding so quickly.  Now only if Jeremiah can help me with Citibank’s stupid emails – read my rants here, here and here. Jeremiah also retells a story about his Uncle Ted’s experience working with prospects. You never know who will become your best customers.  

And When Negative is a Positive – Marketing Pilgrim provides an interesting perspective on the power of negative reviews. They demonstrate that your customers care enough to write a negative review and can even provide good competitive intelligence on competitors. 

PR’s New Tools – This article comes courtesy of the Marketing Profs Daily Fix. Looks at how multimedia can enhance your PR program. All good advice – so who’s going to do all of this work! =) 

SMRs for New PR? – Lena West of InfoWorld highlights the pros and cons of the social media release. And in her wise words, “And remember, no amount of ‘social media-ization’ can make a news release exciting. A crappy news release is still a crappy news release.”  

Technorati Tags: Astroturfing  Weekly Articles

Nov 17, 2007
csalomonlee

TechCrunch Boston Event

Mike ArringtonTechCrunch Boston Checked out the TechCrunch Boston event while in town for a family gathering. Was a little bit difficult to find because there was Boylston Place and Boylston Street. 

Thankfully, we found someone who mentioned it was the old Alley Cat Bar, a place that my husband knew. With my husband’s help, we found the event and helped another attendee get there too. 

Was a little jetlagged so didn’t do a lot of networking. IDG Ventures

Met Dave from mZinga, which launched at the event. Interesting company because they took a very successful LMS company and combined with a knowledge management company. They are bringing in an interesting business model and expertise for developing, monitoring and valuing social networking within companies. Their advantage is experience in services and methodology from the LMS space. Will be interesting to see how they leverage this experience with mZinga. 

Checked out an online poker tournament company (don’t remember name) – wasn’t sure if the model will work. Little wary of making money on advertisement. 

With over 700 people in attendance, open bar, and an after party at a nearby Irish Bar (yeah, in Boston?), I wonder if there will be more written about the Web 2.0 Exuberance.  

(Photos: Mike Arrington (top), IDG Ventures (bottom)

Technorati Tags: IDG Ventures

Nov 15, 2007
csalomonlee

PRMeetsMarketing Weekly Articles: November 15, 2007

My apologies – I am having the damndest time getting the links to work. You can click on the Weekly Articles tag for previous issues:

Share and Share Alike – Todd Defren of PR-Squared brings up a good point that sharing information is integral part of social media.

Best Buy and Customer Service in the Same Sentence? – MarketingPilgrim writes about a good customer experience. The tons of comments seems to indicate that the typical experience is less than stellar. But who knows, maybe Best Buy will start with business customers, which may slowly invade the in-store experience… Nahhh – I was just kidding!

Where’s the Short Cut to Timbuktu – inmedia Public Relations Blog has an interesting post about media list building. As I’ve said before, don’t rely solely on the media databases. Augment the research by reading the publications online or in print. 

LinkedIn for the Unconnected? – CenterNetworks posted this article by Drama 2.0 regarding the value of social networks, specifically LinkedIn. Interesting piece about the value of social networks and who’s truly participating.

You’re Invited But… – Robert Scoble has an interesting point about attending the Google announcement of Android. When looking at early adopters and tech geeks, I think blogs like Scobleizer and TechCrunch should be given equal weight with the “big guys.” It’s about knowing your influencers…

Google’s PR comes across as “only caring about big bangs.” Last week I was in the Open Social press conference. Everyone else in the room worked for a big-name media outlet. Business Week. Wall Street Journal. Los Angeles Times. CNET. Barrons. etc. etc. Even TechCrunch was relegated to a phone-based seat and wasn’t in the room. That tells me that Google’s PR doesn’t get the value of small people. In fact, if you were tracking the mentions of that press call you’d have seen my use of Twitter during it got mentioned many times on blogs. Google’s PR didn’t seem to even understand why Twitter was important. They also kept me from using my video camera during the press call (the only reason I got video is cause I carried a cell phone with me — they asked me to leave my professional camera out in the car). Compare that to presidential candidate John Edwards who let me film, even on his plane during “off times.” And he has a Twitter account too. 

Listen to Me Now! – Paul Dunay posted an interesting podcast between Jim Nail, chief strategy and marketing officer at Cymfony, and Pete Blackshaw, executive vice president at Nielsen Online Strategic Services. Jim and Pete discuss what conversational marketing truly is – it’s more than just surveying people or putting up a blog. It’s about how to “engage” and “sustain” conversation beyond just the dollars and cents. 

Being Social Does Help – I’ve gotten to know Tom Pick through his blog and he consistently provides actionable counsel for B2B marketing. In this most recent post, he outlines his experience with social tagging. I’ve used some of his tips for my personal blog and I’ve seen some modest results as well. And if you’ve wondered about the effectiveness of social media, check out this post from Mack Collier of The Viral Garden.

To Be Ethical Or Not is the Question – Shel Horowitz authored a guest post on the IAOCblog about a Blogger Code of Ethics. Hmmm, what disclosures should I be making now?? =P

Technorati Tags: Best Buy, blog ethics, conversational marketing, Customer Service, inmedia, media lists, LinkedIn, Paul Dunay, press conference, Scoble, social media, social networks, tagging, Todd Defren 

Nov 14, 2007
csalomonlee

What do B2B Reporters Read?

Arketi GroupThe Center for Media Research recently ran an article about how B2B journalists use Web 2.0 technology. More accurately, it looks at where these journalists get their information and use the Internet. The basis of the article was from a recent survey conducted by the Arketi Group.

I think this survey is interesting for understanding the trends that impact how reporters get their information and develop story ideas. However, I was disappointed in how little information there was about the methodology when I downloaded the two-page (yes – 2 pages)report.

After submitting my contact information (and I’m waiting for the sales call), I expected at least some insight as to what this meant and how many reporters were contacted. A title breakdown would have been helpful, as well as separating by the different industries represented in the survey. I would suspect that technology reporters would use some tools more than say automotive reporters.  Though I have tons of questions, here is a summary of results. 

  1. The top five places that B2B journalists tend to get their story ideas from industry sources (90%), news releases (90%), PR contacts (89%), newswires (79%) and websites (74%).  I was surprised that “traditional” PR distribution channels ranked higher than new PR methods. However, I anticipate blogs (54%) and RSS feeds (51%) to increase.
  2. In terms of how they use the Internet, 98% read the news, 97% read publications online, 97% emailing, 93% finding news sources. From my day job perspective, it was interesting that 67% watched webinars and webcasts, while blogs (72%), RSS feeds (59%) and wikis (52%) also ranked well.
  3. I found this point interesting – 92% of reporters write for both print and online. To date myself, I remember a time when a Chinese wall existed between print and online reporters.
  4. There are differing degrees of how reporters will use stories started in blogs. Some have reported from blogs directly (20%) or from “reliable professional news organization’s blog” (16%). Interestingly, reporters are still wary about blogs – 18% would cite it as a rumor and 18% only if the information is confirmed by an independent source.
  5. And for pitching stories to B2B reporters, the primary method is email, while the phone is the second preferred method.

Technorati Tags: Arketi Group

About

Cece Salomon-LeeCece Salomon-Lee is director of marketing for ACTIVE Network, Business Solutions division, and author of PR Meets Marketing, which explores the intersection of public relations, marketing, and social media.

This blog contains Cece's personal opinions and are not representative of her company's.

Learn more about Cece.

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