Posts Tagged ‘RSS feeds’

Influencer Marketing: Tips from PRSA St. Louis Tech Day 2012

Monday, November 26th, 2012
Flickr Image: quinn.anya

Flickr Image: quinn.anya

According to Wikipedia, influencer marketing is “a form of marketing that has emerged from a variety of recent practices and studies, in which focus is placed on specific key individuals (or types of individual) rather than the target market as a whole. It identifies the individuals that have influence over potential buyers, and orients marketing activities around these influencers.”

Key decision-makers operate within communities of influencers. Influencers may or may not be actual buyers, they are not always obvious, and typically are a neutral party – which is why they are such an invaluable asset as their potential to affect sales is immense.

We’ve all heard (and probably participated in) conversations about blogger relations, disclosure and transparency.  Bloggers are just one class of influencers, though, so the first step in Influencer Marketing is seeking out and identifying  those and other influencers.

At a recent PRSA St. Louis half-day event, Erin (Eschen) Maloney from Perficient explained that 92 percent of people trust recommendations of friends, family, word-of-mouth, above all forms of advertising, which is why influencers matter. She went on to say that 13.4 percent of U.S. adults create 80 percent of the content that influences people, and that is why we must find them.

An influencer must be credible. That doesn’t necessarily equate to a lot of followers, a high job role, frequent posts, or even being famous in real life. Influence cannot be reflected by a single metric, and influence does not equal popularity.

So how do you find the influencers that matter to your organization? Maloney advised that there is no one tool or score that can do this for you. You must roll-up your sleeves and dig-in. You can use Klout and Kred (she likes Kred better) as a beginning point, but you may also use Google, Twitter, WeFollow, Twellow, Alltop, LinkedIn groups, Facebook pages, Listorious, RSS feeds and more. (We here at BurrellesLuce prefer our Social Media Monitoring Solution, Engage121). This step is the core foundation of your program. It is time consuming and there is no substitute for hard work here. 

Once you’ve identified key influencers who are active, relevant and timely, then what? You listen. Yes, you stop and listen for a while. It takes listening, Amanda Maksymiw says, to gain “a solid understanding on who they are and what they are interested in. Connect with them on the relevant social networks, subscribe to their newsletters or blogs, and absorb everything you can: the main point is to be quiet here and learn.” Only after this step, can you begin to engage with them.

Author and speaker Alexandra Levit was recently quoted as saying, “Uncovering the top influencers in one’s field requires old-fashioned research. Read the trades, go to industry events and, of course, check out Twitter, Facebook, etc.  Then, gradually develop a relationship with the influencers by asking questions and citing their content.” 

Those of us, who have a background in PR and media relations, know that building relationships takes time and effort.  Do you have any tips to add?

All The News That’s Fit To…Tweet? Re-writing the New York Times Motto

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010
Flickr Image: B.K. Dewey

Flickr Image: B.K. Dewey

Valerie Simon

Monday morning, as I sat down on the train headed to the Bulldog Reporter 2010 Media Relations Summit, I had trouble getting past the front page of The New York Times. No, it wasn’t the story about “online bullies” or the “G20 agreement to halve budget deficits,” but a part of its masthead: “All the news that’s fit to print.”  

I am bothered by the fact that the motto remains tied to a particular format, when in fact The New York Times Digital ranked 13th on the newly released comScore report of top 50 web properties. I enjoy reading The New York Times online via my BlackBerry, following @nytimes on Twitter and receiving its RSS feeds in my reader. I listen to podcasts and watch NY Times videos. The various formats and channels each offer a unique purpose and different advantage in storytelling.

When I arrived at the conference I paid particular attention to how other media organizations were evolving. During the first roundtable I moderated, Glenn Coleman, managing director, Crain’s New York Business, discussed the different methods of outreach and subscription types available to readers. Alongside the original print edition, there is a digital edition, several premium specialized newsletters, as well as free email alerts consisting of daily, weekly, industry and company email alerts delivering the day’s breaking business news.

Likewise, at my second roundtable, Joe Ciarallo, editor of PRNewser and manager of PR initiatives for, noted that the MediaBistro community receives content and information from a wide array of platforms. In addition to its original blog, MediaBistro reaches its audience using targeted blogs such as PR Newser, TV Newser, and Agency Spy, premium content, and opportunities for members,  live events and an active social media presence.

So what is the new standard of newsworthiness – the new goal of media organizations striving to be that essential trusted source of news?  During the conference Rand Morrison, executive producer, CBS News Sunday Morning, wisely remarked that, “Long is shorter than it used to be.” Perhaps an updated motto for The New York Times would be “All the news that’s fit to tweet.” But seriously, the motto should no longer focus on one particular format, but rather on consumption, discussion, or sharing. I’ll put it to you, the BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas community. What do you think would be a more appropriate motto for today’s New York Times?

Fair game or “Brandjacking”?

Friday, September 25th, 2009

1548293558_f14cc7020f_mIf you are a big brand name, you’ll want to hurry over to and see if you now have your own “dashboard” or “Unofficial Water Cooler” page on their server. If so, I definitely want to hear your thoughts.

Yesterday Advertising Age reported on Seth Godin’s new “Brands in Public” online aggregation system. It essentially takes Google content and some social media feeds (worth noting that all tweets and feeds do not disclose the screen name of the poster) and puts them into a dashboard. Seems harmless enough, right? Well, if you are one of the “hundreds” of brands now with an unofficial page – and Trader Joe’s is one – you may have a different opinion.

The Trader Joe dashboard was highlighted in the article so I naturally “had to see it.” The best I can tell, the real menace on the Trader Joe’s site is MeganCasey. As editor-in chief of Squidoo, she has commented in two separate areas of the Trader Joe page. Perhaps it’s because she’s an avid shopper and her feedback is sincere; I’m sure she does think: “This is a really cool dashboard of Trader Joe’s info and comments. Nice to see it all at a glance. Thanks for putting it together!” But isn’t that a bit self-serving since it is her company that created this unsolicited “dashboard” using the Trader Joe’s brand? The reality is each time this page is updated with a comment, including those by MeganCasey, the Google rank for this page increases.

I’d like to hear what Andy Sernovitz, founder of Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) thinks about the ethics of these dashboards. It would be interesting to hear from someone at TEKgroup, who could provide counsel to both Squidoo and the hundreds of affected brands about why RSS feeds aren’t always the best way to “showcase” of your coverage. And I’d like some of the great BurrellesLuce clients and PR minds to share how they would advise a client about a “ready made” dashboard. 

It’s also worth noting that if these dashboards are a great service to brands, why isn’t there one for “Squidoo” or “BzzAgent” (the two companies responsible for the concept and content)?

Has Squidoo upset the balance of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as we know it? Or simply found a way to extort $4800.00 a year from public relations practitioners trying to be good stewards of their brand?

UPDATE: This morning Seth Godin sent out an “Adjusting as we go” post about the reaction to his “Brands in Public” idea. He stands behind the concept and positions it as a way to help brands and non-profits “be part of the conversation.” I’ve long been a fan of Seth Godin and respect him, so maybe this is just guerrilla marketing. After all, if he gets one hundred of the brands to send him a check that’s $480,000.00 to stream unfiltered RSS feeds. GENIUS!