Here are all of the posts tagged ‘PR Week’.

We Are Social’s Monday Mashup #17

by Jordan Stone in News Google+ founder calls for rethink of blogger relations

PR Week’s video podcast sparked some debate last week on the state of blogger relations in the UK, when Cate Sevilla, founding editor of, told the publication that she wanted PR professionals and bloggers to hold a serious discussion, rather than simply ranting about one another all the time.

It seems that (some) PR practitioners continue to miss the mark when outreaching to bloggers, and have been accused of bad pitches, not doing their research, not reading the target blog, or generally not ‘getting’ bloggers in some cases.

The call for honest and professional feedback by Sevilla is an important one, in order for the industry and this debate to move forward. “Professional bloggers and PROs need each other, so instead of ranting about one another on Twitter, we need to have a serious discussion.”

Bing’s Facebook Page Gets 400,000 New Fans in a Day Through Ad Offer in Farmville
Microsoft ran an advertising offer for Bing within Zynga’s hit game FarmVille, which according to Inside Facebook, netted Bing over 400,000 new fans to their Fan Page in a single day.

Gamers who became a fan of Bing on Facebook earned 3 Farm Cash (the virtual currency used in the game) and caused the page’s popularity to skyrocket from 100,000 to more than 500,000 fans in 24 hours. For those unfamiliar with FarmVille, the Facebook game has over 83.1 million monthly active users, and 28.7 million daily active users according to AppData.

To be sure, the tactic was wildly successful but has attracted criticism from some. Griffin Farley points out:

[the success of the incentive was] very impressive but what is the value of the fan that was bought? Sure the cash was only virtual money but don’t you want true advocates in a Facebook community? I don’t want to have to pay my loyal fans every time I want to engage the community. I want fans that want to be fans of a brand or a branded movement for the sure pleasure of being involved with a bigger community of people.

The Bing Fan Page now has over 592,000 fans. It will be interesting to see what they do with them.

UK ad industry to extend self-regulatory remit to social media
Today it was announced that the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) are extending their self-regulatory rules for non-broadcast media (known as the ‘CAP Code’) to ensure that: “marketing communications on advertisers’ own websites and other non paid-for space online, such as in social media, comes within the scope of the code.”

As Mark Sweeney from the Guardian puts it: “the extension to the ad code will ensure that all online marketing will have to be responsible, legal, honest and truthful under the same regulations as, say, press and poster ads.

The new rules are expected to come into force during the third quarter of this year and have the backing of the whole advertising ecosystem (including us!).

Facebook and Twitter mobile users soar according to comScore
Access to social networks via mobile phone has increased rapidly in the last year, according to new research from comScore:

The study found that 30.8 percent of smartphone users accessed social networking sites via their mobile browser in January 2010, up 8.3 points from 22.5 percent one year ago. Access to Facebook via mobile browser grew 112 percent in the past year, while Twitter experienced a 347-percent jump.

Much of the growth of mobile social networking has been driven by smartphone users, as better functionality enables millions to access social networking sites via a mobile browser or dedicated apps.

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We Are Social’s Monday Mashup #10

by Jordan Stone in News Google+

Recruitment consultants find digital skills in short supply within PR industry
PR recruitment agency Major Players last week told PRWeek that there is a shortfall in candidates with a general understanding of social media. After analyzing a sample of 4,500 CVs from the past two years, only:

  • 6% referenced social media
  • 9% mentioned Twitter
  • 2% talked about blogging
  • 13% included ‘Facebook’ – although in some this was merely highlighted in the ‘interests’ section

This stands in fairly stark contrast to the current need for digital skills in the industry “with around 33 per cent of recruitment searches by employers being for digital and social media expertise, while a further 28 per cent require a general understanding of social media, generally in consumer roles.”

Privacy no longer a social norm, says Facebook founder
The rise of social networking online means that people no longer have an expectation of privacy, according to Facebook founder and billionaire Mark Zuckerberg.

Speaking at the Crunchie awards in San Francisco recently, he suggested that the rise of social media reflected the changing attitudes of ordinary people online. Though a great number of people are choosing to share more information online, the degree to which ‘privacy is no longer a social norm’ is debatable.  Check out the full article in the Guardian, which sums up Facebook’s moves in recent to bring more information into the public domain, and the adverse reactions that followed.

Social Media and the Haiti crisis
Following last week’s tragic earthquake in Haiti, social media played a significant role in raising awareness and getting aid donations from individuals across the world. Below are a few impressive ways in which web and mobile technology have been deployed in the past week to bring the tragedy to light.

If you haven’t already done so, you can donate to relief efforts via UNICEF or the International Committee of the Red Cross.

PostRank Top Blogs of 2009
PostRank last week announced their list of the most engaged, most influential and ‘biggest mover and shaker’ blogs of the last year.

To create the list, they gathered and analyzed over 2 billion individual engagement activities on 20 social hubs, (e.g. Twitter, Digg, Delicious) and ranked 15,725 blogs in 491 topics. Check out the Top Blogs of 2009 here. Each topic contains a ranked list of blogs, along with each blog’s engagement profile and top posts for all of 2009.

Yelp takes on Foursquare with new iPhone check-ins
In the latest version of its iPhone App, Yelp has added the ability for users to “check-in” and share their location with friends, similar to what you can do on services like Foursquare. Unlike Foursquare though, users don’t compete to become the only mayor of a single location, but can become ‘regulars.’ We wonder whether removing the ‘game’ element will affect user uptake and the incentive to check in. That said, Yelp have an existing userbase of about 1.25 million people per month. Some key features include:

  • Friends can see a list of all of your check-ins
  • You can bring up a map of nearby check-ins
  • Post your check-ins on Twitter
  • Businesses can offer promotions and discounts to their regulars

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We Are Social’s Monday Mashup

by Jordan Stone in News Google+

This week we’re kicking off what we plan to make a semi-regular feature for your Monday afternoons on the We Are Social blog. A quick round up of research, news and case studies that caught our eye over the last week and we thought were worth sharing.

Social Media: The Next Great Gateway for Content Discovery?
New research released from Nielsen suggests that social media is starting to become the primary vehicle for content discovery:

We continue to see that social media has not only changed the way consumers communicate and gather on the Web, but also impacted content discovery and navigation in a big way. But how? …In a nutshell, there is a segment of the online population that uses social media as a core navigation and information discovery tool — roughly 18 percent of users see it as core to finding new information. While still a smaller percentage than those who use search engines or portals like Yahoo! or MSN, it is a significant figure.

Nielsen - content_start - blog

Socializers’ (i.e. those who spend 10 percent or more of their online time on social media) cite too much information on the web as one of the main reasons why they turn social media in order to hunt for information.

The study found that these socializers actually use social media as a filtration tool, trusting recommendations and content from their friends and family to wade through the sheer volume of information out there.

Marta Strickland asks some interesting questions about the research which are well worth reading.

How should Neal’s Yard Remedies have responded to comments?
PR Week revisited the Neil’s Yard debacle from May, where an explosion of critical comments for the company on the Guardian’s ‘You Ask They Answer’ series were left unanswered when critics began to grill the company on its homeopathic remedy, and not ‘organic skincare’ as they believed.

Is it realistic to expect to be able to put boundaries around online discussion? Should Neal’s Yard have never taken part in the first place?

As Facebook Ages, Gen Y Turns to Twitter
Recent findings from the latest report from the Pew Internet and Internet Life Project demonstrated that the median age of users across several social networks has been changing over the last year:

Today, Twitter is now the second-youngest of the top four social networking sites. Its median age is 31. MySpace’s is 26, LinkedIn is 39, and… Facebook is 33.

Despite past reports to the contrary, Generation Y now also appears to be moving to Twitter in great number. In fact they’ve more than double their numbers: “37% of those 18-24 now use Twitter when only 19% did back in December 2008.”

PEW - youth on twitter chart

Twitter – Retweet Limited Rollout
Last week, Twitter announced that they have activated the retweet button on a small number of accounts. Though its long been possible to retweet posts using third party applications such as Tweetdeck, it hasn’t been possible to forward particularly interesting tweets to your followers through the web interface. According to Twitter:

The plan is to see how it goes first with this small release. If it needs more work, then we’ll know right away. If things look good, we’ll proceed with releasing the feature in stages eventually arriving at 100%.

This move is another step by Twitter, who a just over a weeks ago released their ‘Lists’ feature, to improving the web interface in order to make things easier and more efficient for users.

FEED: The 2009 Razorfish Digital Brand Experience Report
Razorfish published their Digital Brand Experience Report today, which surveyed 1,000 ‘connected consumers’ about how the web affected the way they engage with brands and make buying decisions. As you might expect, the research revealed that digital technology is indeed altering consumer attitudes. Some key findings:

  • Consumers are largely engaging with brands to receive exclusive promotions or discounts and of those who follow a brand on Twitter, 44% say that access to good deals is the main reason.
  • 65% of consumers say a digital experience, either positive or negative, changed their opinion of a brand. And in that group, almost all (97%) indicated their experience influenced whether or not they eventually purchased that brand.
  • People who actively engage with a brand digitally–from participating in a contest to downloading a mobile application–are substantially more inclined to purchase and recommend that brand to others.

The full PDF is available for download, along with a pack of charts.

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The great game

by Robin Grant in News Google+

"What happens to Online PR?" debate by Phil Sheard
Photo: Phil Sheard

Last Tuesday NMK ran a debate entitled “What Happens to Online PR” – it was packed full of the great and good of ‘Online PR’ and, aside from the debate, it was a great to have a chance to catch-up with everyone.

The evening has already been covered in depth by Roger Warner, Jed Hallam, Jo-Rosie Haffenden, Drew Benvie, Sarah Beavis, Lloyd Gofton and the organiser Ian Delaney, but the point I made in my intervention on the night seems to have been lost.

Much to my delight, the PR industry seems to be taking a very myopic view of the current state of play (as evidenced by PR Week’s coverage of the event). It fails to realise that there is a great game afoot, one that involves all of the advertising and marketing industry, that will be merciless on those that fail to adapt.

Above the line, digital, PR, direct marketing and even media agencies are converging towards the same place, and due to the rise of digital, the battle has been raging for a few years now. Up until recently, the PR industry has been relatively immune from its effects. This will not continue. Agencies of all colours are realising what the future will bring, and are making plans to adapt.

However, just as over the last ten years digital agencies stole a march on above the line agencies by building bigger, better and more motivated specialist teams, thereby innovating faster and developing a critical mass of best practise that accelerated the gap between them and their offline competitors, so conversation agencies will do the same to PR agencies (and, I have to say, to the digital and other agencies also trying to catch-up).

To use ourselves as an example, who else has a team of twelve entirely focused on innovative, creative and effective social media marketing and communications? Each day and each new hire widens the gap between us and those in pursuit.

To quote from Roger Warner’s write-up of the evening:

The people who will write the book are those who make the first convincing moves and are happy to invest and invent. We’ll be delivering best practises in beta mode whilst Big PR is watching on the sidelines.

Update: PR Week finally wakes up:

PR agencies are facing up to a growing threat from the adv­ertising sector after the car giant this week picked MindShare to handle […] digital PR and social media strategy.

‘The advertising industry is focusing its guns on PR bud­get, so our industry is def-in­itely at a crossroads,’ said Katy Howell, MD at Immediate Future. ‘We must step up, educate our clients and widen our reach to include marketing and digital departments.

‘If we do not, there is every likelihood that the PR industry will not exist in five years. We will become a commodity within the bigger, more powerful, media and advertising organisations.’

Update 2: Brian Solis has some further thoughts:

By now, many organizations realize that the success of their brands will be determined online. Yet other than this almost universal consensus, little else about digital has been decided. Its scope is constantly expanding and its growth potential has every marketing discipline jumping to adopt some part of digital as its own turf. “There is all kinds of competition popping up [for digital] and it’s putting a squeeze on communications professionals,” says Brian Solis, founder and president of FutureWorks, a digital PR agency. PR, ad, and direct marketing agencies are all looking to carve a niche in digital as their conventional channels become increasingly irrelevant. With traditional ad revenues decreasing in value and news outlets shuttering, the most viable avenue for future revenue is digital. But the race to capitalize on digital has pitted many of these agencies against each other, especially as the boundaries between marketing, advertising, and PR blur online.

Update 3: Campaign, the advertising industry’s bible, chimes in:

Digital advertising and social media are quickly converging and, while PR is reaping the rewards inside this new space, how long will it be before others muscle in? Already, Beattie McGuinness Bungay, DDB and VCCP are among UK agencies fine-tuning PR and social media offerings and others will quickly follow.

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