Archive for May, 2009
Over the last few weeks I have noticed an interesting trend. Or maybe it’s been around and I just didn’t notice it until I was confronted by it.
So, what’s the trend you may be wondering? Well it goes something like this…
You aren’t talking about anything new…
PR isn’t simple…
It’s easy for anyone to be a marketer…
Why do we describe the areas of our profession and each other in this manner? I am as guilty (really guilty sometimes!) as the next marketer for throwing around a few of these words/phrases and I’ve decided to stop. Why? Because I think it’s a missed opportunity to learn and gain a new or different perspective. [And you know, hindsight is always 20/20!]
NEW: The act of being social isn’t new (on- or off-line), but for some people it is. As social media practitioners, we should provide everyone the space and, more importantly, opportunity to figure social media out for themselves whether it’s through blogging or Tweeting, etc. We tell people/companies that the best way to “learn” social media and the online culture is to engage. It’s not quite fair then to tell people (or over analyze what they have implemented), based on their new and unique experiences, that what they are doing/saying is nothing new. Perhaps if we listen to these first time experiences something new just might be learned.
OLD: Integrated marketing communications is coming back to the forefront and I made a comment that it was, well, old school. That’s a limiting perspective because as social media (the tools and the concept) disintegrates marketing silos, there’s an opportunity to learn or implement something new…even all these years later.
SIMPLE: We all work at different speeds and levels of understanding. We are at a point where early adopters are looking for more advanced conversations and information and those lagging a bit behind are scrambling to find all the information they can. We need to be aware of the different levels within our social networks and respect them.
EASY: There is a notion in marketing that “anyone can be a marketer.” I think that’s a disservice to our profession. Just like with any other profession, years of experience leads to knowledge, instinct, intuition and confidence…and sometimes those traits often lead others to a false sense of marketing being easy. Great marketers know that they need to continually learn, listen, test, ask questions, build relationships and push limits. [And when I say marketers, I mean all aspects of marketing from research to product to communications (PR, advertising, direct marketing, etc.).]
We are in a tremendously exciting & turbulent time in marketing…can we just put these words (well, adjectives) aside and focus more on the experience? What do you think? Am I looking at this the right way?
Even More Goodness! Related Posts:
Tonight was the first PR 2.0 chat on Twitter. Thanks to everyone who participated and shared their thoughts, experiences, expertise.
What I love best about chats is that they bring people together who may not know each other and the sub-chats that take place, both really show the value of the community and the encouragement to explore other topics as part of a whole conversation.
A few questions were asked during the 1.5 hour long chat. I know Twitter is a bear to follow conversations (threads would be ideal, but you know how that goes), so I have tried to capture the highlights here. You can also take a look at #pr20chat (start at the beginning) or within Twitter, search on #pr20chat.
I hope I captured the comments properly in response to the questions asked… If not, let me know.
To you, what is Public Relations 2.0 and do you need to be in PR to utilize PR 2.0?
- rockstarjen: the beauty of pr 2.0 is anyone can speak to their audience. you don’t need to be in PR
- rockstarjen: you have the tools right there, but you will need to learn fundamental comm skills, of course.
- wvpmc: PR 2.0 is just one component of the broader SM 2.0, as trad PR is part of broader marketing communications – need to sync
- smrus: Don’t think you need to be in PR 2 enjoy the more open, accessible form of PR; however, do think that a baseline understand is key
- JMaultasch: No, you do not need to work in PR to utilize PR 2.0 Advertising, marketing and PR are all blending together in this opt-in world
- lindsaymallen: Don’t have 2 B PR 2 engage in PR 2.0. Customers can B biggest PR assets or nightmares. Every1 is a “brand rep.”
- tamera: PR 2.0 shld be abt adapting what wrks in 1.0 to new digi realities. Redefine PR if u must after uv figured out how 1st integrates
- jonnew: PR 2.0 is also about content creation and sharing that content across all PR and SM platforms.
- CMM_PR: I think the PR industry is among the leaders in the new SM ecosystem. Biz clients are looking to PR for expertise.
- davidweiner: PR 2.0 = giving EVERYONE everything they could possibly want from an announcement THEN having a conversation with them about it
- julielandry: Don’t hv 2b in PR to engage in PR 2.0. Customers can be your biggest PR assets … Everyone is a “brand rep.”
So, then…how do we get all other areas of marketing or business to feel comfortable with PR 2.0?
- rockstarjen: i think it’s also important the SM discussion is held with all groups together. all should be involved
- lindsaymallen: Social media policies and strategies are key … and their creation must involve people who understand the technologies/services.
- wvpmc: Establish goals, measurable objectives, understand how each piece of the marketing mix fits into the whole – 2.0= new dimension
- rockstarjen: good way to break down the silos is to create an SM “task force” w/reps from all groups
- wvpmc: That “it depends” uncertainty is what is making so many companies, and PR people, hesitant to jump in the water
I find that companies are comfortable standing behind a PR agency rather than engaging 1:1 with customers, media, etc.
- rockstarjen: you’re probably right. comfort is one, but time commitment is another factor in my experience.
- smrus: Many companies still count on the “PR person” to handle interactions for them for reasons of comfort or time as @rockstarjen said.
- nrohrbach: @lindsaymallen I agree, PR isn’t always the ball in your court, PR can just as easily be “Word of Mouth”
- lindsaymallen: @DaphneLeigh “I don’t understand” or “I don’t want to change” or “I don’t want to do this w/o a 10-part plan”
How do we sync/integrate PR 2.0 with marcom? What are some guidelines?
- Tbeffs: might be worth adding sycn/integrate w MarCom/Adv agencies also (battle of the agencies also)
- lindsaymallen: C-suite also needs to understand that not everything is going to be measurable in the traditional sense.
- smrus: It’s about integrated marketing communications… with new rules and new engagement from PR to advertising and Web.
- lindsaymallen: And sometimes mktg people are writing comm plans that incl media rel w/o understanding what media rel does & what is possible!
Has anyone successfully integrated the marcom functions with social media to achieve PR 2.0? Any case studies?
- Stuartcfoster: An integrated communications strategy outlined for each employee. Focus on engagement, transparency and humanity.
- lindsaymallen: And it’s even harder in an environment where there are legal concerns, resistance to experimenting w/new methods, etc.
- lindsaymallen: Orgs are having a hard time getting on board b/c “no one has time” to learn/strategize, & no one wants to leap w/o strategy
Okay, back to the original question…what is PR 2.0? How would you explain it to clients/management?
- wvpmc: Exciting opportunity of 2.0 is ongoing dialogue with publics- builds on foundation of trad market research
- lindsaymallen: Using tech strategies to reach out to customers (or prospects), media, etc. & also monitoring what’s being said about your brand.
- CMM_PR: An entire new look at the business or enterprise is needed, from the inside out. Transparency & authenticity r the new values.
- DavidSpinks: PR 2.0 is less about talking at people, and more about talking with people.
- smrus: PR 2.0 is a more “engaged” PR, leveraging new emerging marketing technologies & social media vehicles to talk w/ targets
- lindsaymallen: Sometimes you just have to test the waters — wisely — on your own time & take a strategy to the C-suite based on what you learn.
- CMM_PR: In the new PR 2.0 model there is a shift from talking “through” media to our audience, instead “to” media and our audience.
- DaphneLeigh: @CMM_PR Don’t you think it’s more talking “with” and not “to” (or should be). Talking “to” is one-sided.
Where do you think we are, as professionals, when it comes to PR 2.0? Skill & implementation wise? Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced?
- smrus: Unfortunately, I hink that many PR pros haven’t even begun. Too much focus on getting that traditional release out the door…
- DavidSpinks: Intermed. Profs are finally starting to get it, but it takes time to relearn how to be human and prof at same time.
- rockstarjen: re: skill/implementation. i feel like we’re still beginners, for sure. so much to learn.
- JMaultasch: Beginner! We are all looking for case studies and best practices. We are trying diff techniques and technologies.
- gbender26: I think we’re beginners again every time we start working with a new client or biz. It takes time to get it right.
Talking to “publics” is nothing new, but I think we’ve been focusing on too much media relations (impressions). How do we redirect?
- jonnew: Need to “retrain” clients and C-level folks on the eventual value. This comes through consistency and time.
- KatrinaHollmann: Impressions are measurable results, sometimes the only things clients get. Otherwise they maybe feel they can’t justify
- KatrinaHollmann: Think maybe a lack of understanding on how to be relevant to audience and how to set time boundaries/manage SM “spend”.
- lindsaymallen: Mgrs are not allowing staff time to learn, so it’s DIY for many. I took time to learn it myself, then made suggestions.
- wvpmc: I think that “I don’t have time” and concern with ghosting set up conflict- clients want PR people to take the reins
The biggest fallacy in PR is that impressions are accurate numbers. They aren’t and never were. We need to stop selling that lie.
- KatrinaHollmann: Don’t think most clients believe the # of impressions are valid, but they aren’t given anything else to use as measure.
- gbender26: Agreed on impression #s not telling the story; clients want metrics and we need to identify more meaningful ones
- davidweiner: @KatrinaHollmann Trouble with measurement = PR competing against all the other Comms disciplines who are not using the same metrx
- wvpmc: A lot of what is measured is useless – great post Vanity Metrics vs. Actionable Metrics by @EricRies http://bit.ly/KlQMq
- smrus: Worry it will Bcome not impressions, but #s followers on TW, fans on FB. Can we truly measure SM ROI? Not certain we can.
- DavidSpinks: The best way I’ve heard to show value/ROI of SM is to tie to corp goals.
- dustinrowley: @MackCollier its about coming to the realization that ROI is immeasurable. 2 many intangibles. evolotion of SM wont change that
- thebrandbuilder: @MackCollier @dustinrowley Start with your objectives, then determine what metrics make sense. What are you trying to impact?
- MackCollier: @davidweiner And that’s a measureable outcome of SM. Ex: Track how online mentions change after you start blogging
So if we step back and were to reposition away from impressions to engagement, how would you explain it to mgmt provide assurance?
- lindsaymallen: If msgs include call to action (esp. 1 that req. investment/purchase), success is extremely measurable.
- gbender26: Show what’s going on w/o your participation. Getting involved is better than not when ppl are talking about your brand
- davidweiner: If you step back and try to explain it, they’ll step back and lower the budget again…
- andrewmueller: PR is known as being extremely risk adverse can they shed that image and enbrace authenticity and transparency? I’m not sure
- davidweiner: PR has the impressions, eyeballs and engagement. Problem is we don’t have the guts to use the same #s Ad and Marketing peeps do
- CMM_PR: Focus is still on the tone of coverage, targeted media channels, prominence of key messages and buzz about your brand or client.
- davidweiner: Show a difference in the bottom line. Increase in sales, in traffic, in positive coverage/conversations
- JMaultasch: @BethHarte You undersell mgmt. Demonstrate the value you are building, even if it’s brand equity and you will find support.
- smrus: @CMM_PR – Agreed, but how do we hold off mgmt’s request 4 the dreaded “proof” until then?
Last question to ponder. If PR 2.0 is about engagement/ relationships, how does it turn the Pareto Principle on it’s head (80/20 rule)?
- DavidSpinks: I don’t see how it effects the 80/20 rule. I guess the 20 will equate to even more loyal customers.
- lindsaymallen: I think PR 2.0 creates a wider audience to draw that 20 percent from, which mathematically should mean better btm line!
- jeremymeyers: @BethHarte it may not and may just be that its 80/20 of a whole lot more people
- smrus: The 80% will not allow themselves 2 B ignored. Must account 4 the fact that they may seek U out if you do. Dontcha think?
- alextanPR: @BethHarte it gives the 80% a voice but resources will still be a challenge when attempting to make the impact as a super brand
- wvpmc: Not sure how 2.0 impacts 80/20 rule, but interesting to see how it plays in the long tail vs. trad big brands
- kamichat: I personally think the 80/20 rule still applies, it speaks to human nature. Now there is just another set of groupings
- lalunablanca: thinking the longtail will reshape Pareto and classic market consolidation.
- MaikelvandeMort: @BethHarte It’s a challenge for brands to put small budgets against 100% of their market. This will pose a challenge as SM grows
- MackCollier: @BethHarte The 80% is still creating content/conversations that affect behavior of the 20%. Smart cos know this & engage.
- ginakay: will jump in..I think choosing to listen for specifics applies no matter how many are in mix. 80/20 rule now abitrary?
- ginakay: If 80% =vocal, they must be responded to, particularly if negative (per #ibms) However if a troll, can ignore based on patterns
- mktgdouchebag: Good advertisers are all about the 20%. PR has a harder time w/ forgetting 80% b/c industry preached reputation mgmt. so long.
- w2scott: 80 % can get mighty squeaky RT @BethHarte: @amandachapel So what happens when the 80% start kvetching online & are ignored?
- katrinamsage: Found interesting article concerning the 80/20 rule and PR, thought I would share it. http://tinyurl.com/q2euxg
- amandachapel: @BethHarte “So what happens when the 80% start kvetching online & are ignored?” Crisis communications. Manage it!
- rachelakay: @BethHarte I think it’s reasonable to assume that if they’re kvetching they’re more likely part of that 20 % Do the rest bother?
- davidweiner: @ginakay Eventually, will 100% of the audience be vocal and online? Isn’t that a central eventuality?
- kamichat: @BethHarte Here is the thing, usually the kvetchers are also just a small fraction, it’s the 80/20 rule in motion
- kamichat: RT: I think the whole point of 80/20 is that you work with the 20 to reach the 80
- davidweiner: @BethHarte If 1% of the audience was online, we should be too
- BethHarte: @kamichat Get the 20% to speak to the 80%…thereby keeping an ongoing revenue stream with less marketing/PR effort, yes?
- artrox: @MackCollier 80/20 has been debunked, it has been taken out of context and run with, will try find interview
- wvpmc: Trouble brews when the noisy 1% get the rest of the crowd riled up – SM makes them harder/riskier to ignore
- dustinrowley: @BethHarte yes but by definition you need to spend 80% of your time working on that 20% you want to be actionable.
- BethHarte: @dustinrowley But the 20% is already actionable…they are buying & prob. being upsold/cross-sold. It’s the 80% that rotates
- jonnew: @BethHarte Maybe you only need the 20 percent as the rest are communicated to through other channels?
- BethHarte: @wvpmc Here’s the prob. w/cultivating influencers-they tend to ignore. The weakest links provide the greatest strength (the 80%).
- lindsaymallen: Oddly, I’ve found that writing (my strongest skill, IMO) has become an undervalued skill. Why is it a lost art, yet so vital?
- DavidSpinks: @lindsaymallen Writing is far from a lost art. It’s changing, but becoming more important with the growth of this social mindset.
- lindsaymallen: The best thing I did was allow personal and professional to merge — in a professional way — on Twitter. Has been helpful.
- lindsaymallen: The smartest companies/orgs are the ones that are out there inviting customers to engage & making it right when there’s an issue.
- lindsaymallen: Good customer service should improve the bottom line. And in PR 2.0, good CS can lead to good word-of-mouth (& help contain bad).
- MackCollier: Attempting to manipulate interactions in a social space is a recipe for disaster.
- andrewmueller: Perhaps it is an opportune time for PR as an industry to rebrand itself to emphasize interaction
- MackCollier: @BethHarte This is the prob of ppl that dont understand SM, they say any interaction that doesnt end in sale is meaningless
- MaikelvandeMort: Although growing fast, the social media community still dwarfs in comparison to the real world. The C suite just starts to notice
- MackCollier: @BethHarte It extends even further. I have never bought a Masi or Graco product, but evangelize the SM efforts of both cos
- mktgdouchebag: @rachelakay Yes! PR needs to stop thinking about tactics & instead think where’s my audience & what comm. channel will reach them.
- SashaHalima: @rachelakay I had a talk w/ someone today about Twitter being a fad, he thinks it is & didn’t want to hear otherwise.
- wvpmc: @BethHarte @kamichat SM provides opportunity to identify rising influencers early-on
- mktgdouchebag: @rachelakay The best PR pros *personally* evaluate lots of comm. channels & then deploy according to client’s audience/culture.
- BethHarte: @wvpmc What I mean by broken is that the metrics used were never valid. So, now SM seems unreliable or unmeasurable, not the case.
- davidweiner: RT @MackCollier @lbbinc Biggest mistake most cos make is get upset about neg comments, HUGE opportunity if handled correctly
Suggested Topics for next week:
- mktgdouchebag: How about how to convince clients to try social media–*when* it’s appropriate–as a topic?
- w2scott: Topic idea: Talking clients OUT OF social media (unless they’ll commit to rigorous planning)
- kamichat: Topic Idea for next #pr20chat Bad pitching and need for speed – invite @prblog and @sgetgood to the party
- Rumford: #pr20chat can you put together a best practices list or 7 deadly sins for the new PR? repository for content is where?
- katcalbes: @Rumford Wow, I was just thinking ’7 deadly sins’ would be a great topic for #pr20chat. @BethHarte I second that request!
Even More Goodness! Related Posts:
As I mentioned yesterday in my dirty little secret about social media post (by the way, which was neither dirty nor a secret…just a catchy headline), I spoke to the Greater Fort Worth Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) about implementing and measuring social media.
I wanted to share my slides with everyone and hopefully share the love that social media can indeed be measured by those who so choose to do so.
Now to be perfectly clear, I am not the magician behind measuring social media. That, my friends, would be Katie Delahaye Paine. If you are in business and shooting from the hip (which your executives might not appreciate or you may be wondering how to quantify all that time on Twitter) when it comes to your social media engagement (or with your publics in general), I strongly suggest that you get Katie’s book Measuring Public Relationships because it makes the scary task rolling up your sleeves to benchmark, analyze and measure seem like an easy thing to do…and at the end of the journey, there is proof for your management team (or yourself) that you are indeed heading in the right direction and making a difference with your efforts (and perhaps either saving money or increasing sales!).
Katie’s book covers:
- An Introduction to Measurement
- Measuring Tools
- Measuring Relationships with the Media
- Measuring Relationships with Analysts & Influencers
- Comparing Media Relations to Other Marketing Disciplines
- Measuring Trust and Mistrust
- Measuring the Impact of Events and Sponsorships
- Measuring Internal Communications
- Measuring Blogs and Online Relationships
- Measuring Relationships in a Crisis
- Measuring Relationships developed through Speaking Engagements
- Measuring Relationships with Members of your Organization
- Measuring Relationships with Sales People, Channel Partners, and Franchises
- Measuring Relationships with the Investment Community
- Putting it all Together
Now, I know what you might be thinking. “I am not in PR.” Well, guess what? If you are engaged in social media, you are in PR now. As you can see from the list of chapters above, public relations aren’t just about the media…. It’s about all your publics, no matter who they are or where they may be.
In my presentation, I focused on measuring blogs, but you can use Katie’s guidance to measure all aspects of social media. [NOTE: All content used from Katie's book was done so with permission from KD Paine & Partners.]
Here are some other great books to help you get started in using social media to work with your publics:
- PR 2.0: New Media, New Tools, New Audiences by Deirdre Breakenridge
- Putting the Public Back in Public Relations: How Social Media Is Reinventing the Aging Business of PR by Brian Solis and Deirdre Breakenridge
I’d also suggest checking out your local PRSA chapters. The PRSA is just another great way to learn about all types of public relations.
A side note for non-profits: If you are considering engaging in social media…contact Katie Paine. She has a wonderful non-profit benchmark report & starter measurement kit available that shares important stats like: what’s “normal” in non-profit social media; what percentage positive/negative comments are standard; what people are doing on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter etc.; and who the influencers are in the non-profit space.
I would be interested in your feeback on my presentation…is it helpful for your social media planning and measurement?
Even More Goodness! Related Posts:
Yesterday I had the honor to speak at the Ft. Worth PRSA about planning, implementing and measuring social media (BTW, it is measurable, just ask Katie Payne). For PR professionals, planning is nothing new but the addition of social media to those plans just might be. The reason I preface this post with a little bit of background is because after I spoke, Dan Keeney of DPK Public Relations asked if he could video tape me for his blog.
That video shows up in Dan’s post, “Are We Missing the Next Big Thing Because of Our Twitter Obsession?” A post that states something so basic and true, it’s almost like a cup of ice water in the face:
“…everything I just heard Beth say is fine, but I worry that it’s not pushing us forward. And it’s not just Beth — it seems to be everyone who is out there speaking to PR groups about social media. I don’t hear anyone showing those of us who have a cursory level of involvement in the space anything particularly new. It isn’t new to suggest that we need to plan and have objectives and measure results on the back end. It isn’t new to suggest we need to know who we are engaging and be authentic. Anyone who has been involved in a grassroots effort knows the importance of connecting with influencers in a genuine way.”
I agree with Dan’s assessment (although, I think there are levels of social media understanding & implementation that still need to be addressed be it beginner, intermediate and advanced). The dirty little secret: social media is NOTHING new. If you want to look at social media plain and simple, it’s a bunch of tools that help us to network, share information and build relationships in a different way. The concept of social media from a human relationship aspect is nothing new either. It’s business development, which comes with engagement, professional etiquette, trust and respect.
Perhaps the only other new thing is that we are telling people other than executives, sales and business development people to get with the program and start building relationships with customers. Now that could be a new concept for some.
Today, Twitter and Facebook are being hyped by the media. But what about all the forums and Yahoo! Groups that have been around much, much longer and have healthy, vibrant communities? Oh, that’s right…they aren’t cool.
Kami Huyse suggested on Dan’s post that “We have to think more like journalists and less like messengers.”
I wonder if we approach social media like journalists…will we find that there isn’t anything to uncover that’s newsworthy? Unless, of course, you consider good old-fashion business sense newsworthy.
So, to re-ask Dan’s question, if Twitter goes away tomorrow what’s the next big thing?
I think the next big thing will be stories as simple as businesses actually implementing social media and re-gaining customer respect, trust and increasing profits as a result. Your thoughts?
Even More Goodness! Related Posts:
I guess there was an assumption on my part that after all these years that most marketers were already integrating their efforts…until I saw this comment on David Mullen’s blog post:
“I’ve heard many people in our industry scoff at the idea of integrated marketing communications. It was always great in theory, but hard and messy in practice.”
Scoff? Hard? Messy?
The definition of IMC on Wikipedia:
“a planning process designed to assure that all brand contacts received by a customer or prospect for a product, service, or organization are relevant to that person and consistent over time.”
Sounds easy to me…
In their book “Integrated Marketing Communications: Putting it all Together and Making it Work” (1993), Don Schultz and Stanley Tannebaum state that IMC is also about “talking to people who buy or don’t buy based on what they see, hear, feel, and so on, not just about your product or service.”
What’s the problem? Why is IMC such a struggle? My first thought was to wonder how many agencies and corporations still exist with information silos. Perhaps a lot and maybe that’s the problem?
According to “Developing a Creative and Innovative Integrated Marketing Communications Plan“ by James R. Ogden, one insight might be:
“The problem with the integration of the marketing concept into today’s businesses and organizations is that many top executives learned different methods of management. The old adage ‘You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,’ may be one of the stumbling blocks to the adoption of a customer orientation.”
The book then goes on to state:
“Many businesses are organized around departments, which are set up to specialize in given tasks. With this system, companies and organizations build fences around their duties. They become territorial in nature and want no part of corporate overlapping. Each territory needs to be protected by departmental managers, who may fear for their jobs. Because of these organizational structures, it has been hard to sell the marketing concept to many businesses and organizations, but without it there are decreased sales and profits.”
James Ogden wrote his book in 1998. Here is it 16 years since both books were written and it seems that businesses are still struggling with moving towards customer-oriented communications.
Back in the day, IMC referred to all the traditional marketing goodies: direct mail, PR, advertising, e-mail marketing, sales promotions, Internet marketing, etc.
But today, simply put, communication silos don’t work because marketers cannot silo how audiences & communities string together & respond to all the communications they receive. ( “Dear Customer: This message is from PR. That message is from Advertising. And the other message is from E-Marketing. Please don’t confuse the three as they serve different purposes, contain different messages and you must react to each separately so we can tell our VP of Marketing that our individual campaigns worked.”)
Like I said, I’ve been fortunate to have always been doing IMC, so I can’t comment on what the challenges are today. But I’d really like to gain some insights in to the mindset that David describes. If you are working in an agency or corporation that has not embraced IMC, would you be willing to share with us your insights, challenges and experiences?
And one final thought… what happens when we add social media to the mix? Will social media finally force companies out of their communication silos?
NOTE: Integrated Marketing Communications was pioneered at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism. However, other than a Digital Marketing course that covers social networking, it doesn’t appear that social media has been added to the curriculum.