This past week has seen some interesting conversations about press releases/newswires, how to conduct social media campaigns and the relationship with customers. Enjoy this last issue before the President’s Weekend Holiday. You can click on the Weekly Articles tag for previous issues or subscribe to the Weekly Articles Feed.
The Power of News Wires – Read/WriteWeb has an interesting post about how BusinessWire’s influence and ability to be a top Techmeme source. If newswires are able to gain this much influence for a press release, does this mean PR folks will be “lazier” in getting placements for press releases?
When a Release is Not a Release – B.L. Ochman highlights her experience with PR Web’s decision not to post a release because it didn’t satisfy their standard of a press release. The release was a funny announcement for procrastinators on Valentine’s Day. The tone was perfect for this type of announcement, yet PR Web insisted that B.L. make some changes. Frankly, who’s to decide what is and isn’t a release. I could understand profanity but because it wasn’t written in the third person? Puh-lease!
Blogs are the Music to My Ears – Mack Collier writes about how blogs have contributed more to music sales than MySpace. Need I say more?
Valentine’s Day Special: It’s About the Relationship -Toby Bloomberg of Diva Marketing Blog put together a special post for Valentine’s Day. She lists 62 responses to how to create great business relationships. Tons of great tips from all walks of life and industries. I like #4, #7, #12, #27, #34 (this one is tough for me.. ask my husband =), #62. My tip? Be humble and admit that you don’t know everything.
Successful Customer Case Studies - Jeremiah Owyang is on a roll. He’s providing great insight as an analyst that should help every PR person out there. This week’s nugget of wisdom, creating successful customer case studies.
SMRs in the Real World – Brian Solis posts an email from Steve Kayser who has outlined his experience using SMRs in the real world. Very informative regarding what to be aware of as one proceeds down this avenue.
Social Campaigning… Not! – Paul Dunay of Buzz Marketing for Technology highlights a good point about Social Media. Social media can’t be considered a campaign as a campaign eventually ends. It require diligent work and commitment. Only then can you see reap the rewards of entering the social media world.
Measurement Makes Your Executives Care – Dave Fleet reminds us that measurement is key for executive support and understanding. Like Social Media, it can’t be an one-time project. It has to be monitored constantly. I previously wrote about the PR measurements I track. It’s quick, easy and can be maintained weekly. Leave a comment if you’re interested in learning more.
Six Deadly Sins of Social Media
While I was at an agency, I had managed the Mindjet account for a few months. One time, our client had mentioned the precise number of hits that Mindjet received after an article was published.
I had previously mentioned how you can use customized links or URL redirects to track traffic to a particular page. Though this method has its benefits, it can be labor intensive.So I was intrigued by his ability to track clicks. Going in-house provided this enlightenment. It was website analytics.
Whether you use free services like Google Analytics (Disclosure: I use this at work and for other personal sites) or pay for the service, you’re able to see which sites referred traffic to your sites, the number and when. You can even get information about how long a viewer perused your website and the number of pageviews. I believe this information can augment other measurement commonly used.
For example, by reviewing the top 50 sites that referred traffic to our website, I can see which media outlets were contributing traffic. I was surprised to learn that one blog consistently drove clicks to our website on a daily basis while an article on MarketingSherpa or MarketingProfs provided temporary spikes after the coverage.
Let’s be clear I haven’t determined if these are unique or repeat visitors or if these visitors translated into sales leads but it’s interesting nonetheless. If I worked with an agency who gained my trust, I would definitely provide them access to this information.
Now how to tie Google goal conversions into this…
Last week, Robin Good of MasterNewMedia suddenly experienced a drop of incoming traffic. As an indepedent online publisher, Robin relies on organic searches (primarily Google) for his business. Unbenownst to him, his site somehow ran afoul of the Google’s guidelines, and his research via Google’s Webmaster Central yielded some clues to why his site was penalized by Google.
According to ComScore, Google has nearly 50% of the search market share as of May 2007 of this year. If you inadvertently do something that goes against Google’s policies, you could lose a significant portion of your audience. And if traffic to the blog is how you are measuring success to your client, then how do you manage this?
I strongly advise any PR practictioner advising clients on blogs to read the full story – Google Nightmare is Over. Links to the series of articles are located at the bottom of this posting.
Social networking sites are extremely popular, receiving a lot of attention in the press. From my perspective, LinkedIn is different from other social networking sites, such as Facebook, MySpace or Reunion (disclosure: my good friend works at Reunion), in that the purpose is busines related. There are other bloggers who have focused on how to measure social media, most notably KD Paine’s PR Measurement Blog. My goal is to specifically look at how LinkedIn Answers can provide measureable impact, especially from a business-to-business perspective.
In terms of measuring the impact of participating – this is where coordinating with your marketing department will be key.
1. How many people were referred to your site from LinkedIn?
2. Did an incoming sales prospect reference the site?
3. If you included links to a page on your site, how many clicks did it get from LinkedIn?
4. And if you decide to include your contact info, did someone contact you as a result of the contact info?
And of course, it’s a great way to get your “community” to help with research , such as services, resources, and other expertise.
I would love to hear if anyone experienced direct benefit from LinkedIn.
Tom Pick, B2B marketing expert and author of The WebMarketCentral Blog, wrote a great series of posts about social tagging. I’ve included links to his comprehensive look at how social tagging can help drive B2B traffic below. Instead of repeating Tom’s excellent work, my question is who’s responsible for social tagging – PR or Marketing?
I guess it depends on the resources of your client. For a company with a full marketing department, this work may fall to the person responsibel for search engine optimization/search engine marketing (SEO/SEM). This person is responsible for establishing programs that drive the organic traffic to your website.
From my perspective, social tagging should also fall on this person’s plate. If a company doesn’t have someone focusing on SEO/SEM, then this is a possible opportunity for PR. Like all PR, social tagging must be done strategically and methodically. And from Tom’s work, valuated over a period of 2 – 3 months. Couple of things that come to mind:
1. Track what you’re tagging and to map out the timeline. Whether you’re working with your client or have access to analytic information, reviewing traffic patterns to these specific pages will be one way to measure the effectiveness of your program.
2. Without understanding the different social tagging sites (at least for now!), let’s assume that other people can also bookmark your links. If this is possible, then consider getting updates with each new bookmark through something like google reader. For example, I get updates each time our website is bookmarked by someone on del.icio.us.
And me? I guess I’ll start with a couple of pages, see what happens and go from there.
Source – Tom Pick’s The WebMarketCentral Blog, Social Tagging Series:
- Part 1: Alexa Rankings
- Part 2: The Worst
- Part 3: Specal-Purpose Sites
- Part 4: B2B Traffic Building
- Part 5: Tier 3 Sites
- Part 6: Tier 2 Sites
UPDATE: I forgot one more: Part 7: The Best
I was reading an article in PR News on what success looks like based on one’s client and goals. This article got me thinking about the types of measurement that is near and dear to my heart.
I know there is discussion about using formulas to determine the value of PR based on advertising values or other methods to determine share of voice. Granted, I think this is worthwhile for a larger corporation. But as a start-up company, doing more detailed analysis is overkill.
Frankly, CEOs just want the basics and my time – like yours – is valuable. I don’t recommend including articles resulting from news release distribution. I don’t do an analysis of voice or messages as the volume is manageable. And if I were to provide this report on a regular basis, I need a quick and easy way to input and maintain this information (see excel sheet below). Overall, I provide three key statistics: total number of articles, features vs. mentions and circulation numbers.
1) Total Number of Articles: This provides an easy base for measurement. I can compare the volume from a month-to-month basis, and eventually, year-over year.
2) Features vs. Mentions: I do believe it’s important to separate when an article focuses on an announcement versus a mention. This provides a sense of how well you’re placing articles about your news, reports and case studies. As this program develops and more reporters become familiar with your company, I would expect the number of mentions to increase.
3) Circulation Numbers: I recommend using BPA audited circulation numbers where available. Otherwise, I’ll recommend taking the average number of site visitors or subscriber base number listed in the media kit. To me, this is the easiest number to use regarding the possible reach of an article. Again, it’s not about accurately determining the value of PR, it’s providing a baseline for your executive.
4) Tracking PR to Marketing: In a previous post on my friend’s blog, I had mentioned other ways to track PR. Though this may not be a regular component of your reporting, consider providing the number of clicks or conversions resulting from PR placements when available.
In the end of the day, getting positive media coverage is more important to me then spending too much time on measuring and justifying PR. If you have to resort to spending hours creating weekly status reports and complicated measurements to convince me of your value, then you’ve missed the point!
I would love to hear any other quick and easy ways to measure PR.
Cece 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.
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