Posts Tagged ‘brands’


Social Media Marketers are all dying to know — Is Facebook dying? Or losing its cool?

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

This post first appeared on Capitol Communicator 10.22.12 and is cross-posted with permission.

Most brands have a presence on Facebook and Twitter, but, are they still relevant and the best place for your efforts? Several presenters at the Mid-Atlantic Marketing Summit in Baltimore on Oct. 18 addressed this question and looked into the alternatives to Facebook.

If you ask author and marketing strategist Geoff Livingston if Facebook is dead, he will say, “It’s loosing it’s cool.” His fellow panelists say it’s still relevant. All did agree, if you want to get your post seen by your fans (or even friends for personal use), you need “pay to play” and promote your post.

During a later panel, Marty Conway, Imre Marketing and Communications, said Facebook isn’t dead, but suggested we should not be thinking about the distribution channel, but about the content. He advocates using more visuals, photos and video.

Although he feels Facebook is still relevant for marketers, Mitch Arnowitz, Tuvel Communications, said many people are tuning-out ads. He feels Facebook will forever suffer a privacy perception problem.

Strategies and Insights

Facebook’s customer targeting is great, said Cary Lawrence, SocialCode. People are self-identifying, allowing for extremely targeted campaigns. She went on to say it is a nurturing platform, so you need to nurture and engage fans to get your EdgeRank score up. (EdgeRank determines whether or not your post will be seen in a news stream on Facebook.) She also noted the community benefits the brand, because fans of a page will convert to customers twice as much as non-fans.

The goal is not to just get followers said Brian Razzaque, SocialToaster. You can concentrate your energy on a different channel, and know you will still get secondary following on Facebook. Although the number of users is smaller, he said Google+ is huge for SEO, and the degree of engagement is quite high.

You need to find your audience, said Katie Roberts, Laureate Education, and she advocates using surveys. She noted her research for serving a new university purchased by Laureate Education, which serves mostly Hispanic students. She learned Hispanics check-in on Foursquare more than any other audience segment.  Roberts advocated for experimenting with different platforms. For one of Laureate Education’s schools they created several topic-related Pinterest boards.

You should pick your content home-base (usually your organization’s website) and direct all traffic there. From the home-base, all content and platforms should complement each other.

In looking at your audience segment, Kari Mitchell, HZDG, commented that the older you get the more likely to click on an ad, versus younger users who are more likely to “like” a brand.

You can read the top tweets from the Summit on Storify.

Do you think Facebook is dead or dying?

Insights from the 2012 Oriella PR Network’s Global Media Study

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

The fifth annual Oriella PR Network’s 12-page Global Digital Journalism Study  was published recently, and while there weren’t many surprises in the results, several items are noteworthy to those of us here in the U.S.

Research 
The press release (as the first go-to source for journalists’ research) declined yet again, but don’t let that fool you. It is still the third highest choice out of 12 options in the survey. Interviews with a corporate spokesperson increased slightly and remain the number one go-to source. Oh, and remember the SMNR (social media news release) that everyone was talking about a few years ago? Not a single mention of them this year! From my experience, PR folks are including links to video, audio and blogs in our releases, but that’s just part of a press (or news) release in 2012 and there’s no need to call it by a different name.

Credibility 
Whether online or offline, credibility is a key consideration for Media. This year’s findings showed a retro shift from crowd-sourcing and pre-packaged stories (via press releases) back to input from trusted sources. “Brands wishing to make their voices (or those of their experts) heard…need to put more effort into developing clear points of view, expressing them plainly across all platforms, and building networks of supports—both online and off.” This would indicate a return to more traditional journalism and thus the return of traditional media relations tactics. That’s not to say journalists aren’t sourcing stories via social media. They are, but there must be a pre-existing relationship or the source must be recognized (in some way) as trustworthy.

Journalists as Publishers
This year, for the first time, the study asked journalists about their personal use of digital media channels in an effort to see whether they are using these channels to build their own personal brand separately from that of their employer media outlet. The results were not surprising in that a large number (in the U.S.) are, in fact, using personal blogs, individual Twitter feed, their own YouTube channel, etc. What I thought was interesting, is what the survey did not find much in the way of outlets restricting journalists’ personal use of social media. They suggest, and I agree, that this is likely indicative of publications realizing they will benefit from the journalist building well-known public personas. 

The study’s writers note in the end that “journalists are working harder and they’re also working smarter. They are not taking canned stories in the form of press releases at face value and instead are using a wider range of assets to convey their narratives.” And, with this new class of digital journalists, their expectations of brand communications are now different than before. Primarily that credibility is crucial, and digital storytelling is key—supporting brand stories (press releases) with video, images, infographs, etc.

Do your recent media relations experiences jive with this study? Or how do they differ?

Mobile Aids Growth of Traditional Media

Friday, June 29th, 2012

Despite what some proponents contend, traditional media is not dead. In truth – it’s not even on life support.  Sure, The Media has changed in scope (with the biggest decline in outlets occurring in 2009), but certainly not in respect to relevancy, and absolutely NOT in how news consumers access content and satiate their growing appetite.

Why do I think so?  “A mounting body of evidence finds that the spread of mobile technNot seeing all of your media coverage is like looking at the grand canyon through a strawology is adding to news consumption, strengthening the appeal of traditional news brands and even boosting reading of long-form journalism,” confirms The PEW Research Center in its State of the News Media 2012.

The PEW study shows, “27 percent of the population now gets news on mobile devices. And these mobile news consumers are even more likely to turn to news organizations directly, through apps and homepages, rather than search or recommendations – strengthening the bond with traditional brands.” 

Our changing media consumption habits are augmenting, not diminishing, the importance of traditional media. Largely in part to how today’s audiences access The Media across multiple platforms and channels rather than simply swapping one media type for the other.

 The study goes on to cite the comScore whitepaper on Digital Omnivores: How Tablets, Smartphones and Connected Devices are Changing U.S. Digital Media Consumption Habits, quoting, “The evidence also suggests mobile is adding to, rather than replacing, people’s news consumption. Data tracking people’s behavior, for instance, find mobile devices increased traffic on major newspaper websites by an average of 9%.”

What’s even more interesting is that mobile users tend to favor traditional media values even when using digital platforms to access the content. For example, “The data also found that the reputation or brand of a news organization, a very traditional idea, is the most important factor in determining where consumers go for news, and that is even truer for mobile devices than on laptops or desktops,” according to Amy Mitchell and Tom Rosenstiel of the Project for Excellence in Journalism, and Leah Christian of the Pew Research Center in Mobile Devices and News Consumption: Some Good Signs for Journalism. 

Despite the growth of social media, the brand reputation of traditional media (which also has a social ecosystem) has more influence on audiences – exceeding shares on social networks, including Facebook and Twitter, and even those made by friends.

So, the next time you read a tweet or hear about the demise of traditional media, try to put it in perspective and remember that unless you are seeing your coverage from ALL types of media, you won’t have an accurate representation of how your messages are playing out and influencing ALL of your audiences. While I recommend stakeholder targeting related to your goals and initiatives, all forms of an outlet should be part of your sample or you are skewing your data and results of a high level of integrity based on sampling. Ironically, in an effort to be trendy, some organizations focus solely on digital. However a digital focus alone, that doesn’t include traditional media, is blindingly misleading and can be equated to looking at the Grand Canyon through a straw. Sure, it’s pretty, but you miss more than you see!

Disappearing Act – Brands That May Not Be Around in 2012 – Part 2

Monday, January 16th, 2012

by Deborah Gilbert-Rogers*

Executive_Crystal_BallAt this time of year, perhaps more than any other, we PR and marketing professionals can all breathe a sigh of relief knowing that there are no shortages of bloggers and writers flexing their “intuitive” muscles to predict the trends and topics in store for the coming year.

Not too long ago I posted on Fresh Ideas about the 10 Brands That May Not Be Around in 2012 as revealed by 24/7 Wall Street, a firm offering insight analysis and commentary for U.S. and global equity investors.

Now CoreBrand, a branding and marketing research firm, is making some predictions of its own. According to an article on Business Insider, These Famous Brands Will Disappear in 2012, “two days before the Wall Street Journal  reported Kodak will fill for bankruptcy, James R. Gregory, CEO of branding and marketing research firm CoreBrand, predicted that Kodak would ‘disappear’ as a brand in 2012.”

The article is quick to address that “bankruptcy doesn’t mean the end of Kodak as a business. The company and its brands could be bought or restructured.”  Still we can’t ignore that many businesses within the tech industry are struggling to find relevancy in a rapidly changing digital landscape – even the ones who have consistently relied on their strong branding efforts to pull them into the new millennium.

The same can be said for companies in the automotive industry, which have struggled to balance their bottom lines even after extensive government and taxpayer bailouts. In fact, Saab, number four on the list, also recently filed bankruptcy.  Yet the company still garners media attention, because, as this Wall Street Journal article explains, “this quirky little car brand with its few, but fiercely loyal enthusiasts, has been a source of great affection, nostalgia, and Swedish nationalism.”

But having a recognizable and timeless brand can’t do much when an organization suffers financially and structurally… or can it?

Lesser known companies may not seem to do well on their own, but might still rely on the success of their products. For example, Yum Brands! (number 7 on the list) is parent company of KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell, all of which seem to do well in their own right. That is, if Yum Brands! avoids taking a page from the playbook of Hostess (whose classic brands include Twinkie, Sno Balls and Wonder Bread brands). Last week, Hostess filed for bankruptcy just two years after emerging from bankruptcy, confirms the Huffington Post.

What are your thoughts? Are these “disappearing acts” just a sign of the times or can something be done from a communications and PR standpoint to help other brands from avoiding a similar fate? What is digital media’s role in all of this, if any? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Bio: After graduating from Rider University, where she received a B.A. in English-writing and minor degrees in Gender Studies and French, Deborah joined the BurrellesLuce Marketing team in 2007.  As a marketing specialist she continues to help develop the company’s thought leadership and social media efforts, including the copywriting and editing of day-to-day marketing initiatives and management of the BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas blog. Facebook: BurrellesLuce Twitter: @BurrellesLuce LinkedIn: dgrogers

Top BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas Posts in 2011 – Numbers 10 to 1

Friday, December 30th, 2011

iStock_000010469879XSmallYesterday, we kicked off our end of the year wrap-up with part one of the 20 Top BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas posts in 2011. Today we will be counting down the top ten.

What do you think of this year’s most popular Fresh Ideas stories? Were you surprised at the range of topics? What would you like to see covered in 2012? Please share your thoughts and leave comments below.

10. Are PR Budgets Back?

9. Don’t Let a Bad Interviewer Spoil the Interview

8. Twitter Chat Transcripts Now Available from BurrellesLuce

7. When It Comes to Brands and Content, Simplicity Matters

6. Measuring Social Media, The Value of Influence

5. The Evolution of Media Measurement: Dr. Jim Grunig, University of Maryland, Interview

4. Public Relations and Marketing With QR Codes

3. Can We Talk? Social Media’s Impact on Human Relations

2. Survey: Journalists Do Not Want to Be Contacted Via Twitter

1. Blogger Relations Misconceptions