Technology PR

Print and broadcast beat net for trust

Link: News and jobs for journalists :: Print and broadcast beat net for trust

Curiously, viewing figures and circulations continue to decline – people may say they trust traditional media more – but they are not translating that trust into loyalty.

Television and newspapers are still more trusted for news than websites and blogs, according to a new survey published by online marketing agency Telecom Express.

Researchers asked participants which information they believed to be accurate, true and unbiased from a variety of media.

Of 1,000 respondents, 66 per cent preferred TV, with the same number trusting their own friends first and foremost. Next on the audience’s list were local newspapers, with 63 per cent naming them as trustworthy.

Websites were the top choice for just 36 per cent, with blogs trailing on 24 per cent.

A BBC/Reuters report published in May found the web was the most trusted news source for only one in ten people, with national television reigning supreme.

Technology PR

Hacks replaced by computers

Link: Hacks replaced by computers

According to this Inquirer story,Thomson Financial has been using computers to generate some stories since March.

Says Nick Farrell: "Apparently the computer can turn around an earnings story within 0.3
seconds of the company making results public. Of course that sounds
fast but since hacks usually get reports a few days in advance, writing
it for an embargoed deadline and pressing "send" is just as fast.

But hacks need not worry too much. The software just goes through press
releases and reports and turns them into newspeak.A computer cannot
ring people up and ask them searching questions.

If applied to the IT press, it will kill off all those who cut and paste press releases and stick their byline on the top."

Judging by the anonymous commenter here, perhaps VNU have also been using computers to write copy too.

More seriously, one does wonder if there is a contradiction at the heart of this approach. Thompson Financial claim it means it gives their real journalists "time to think" – and presumably ask the searching questions alluded to by Nick Farrell – however, most publishers are intent on cutting down editorial resources – which means that the journalists remaining are expected to cover ever wider fields – with presumably an even smaller understanding of what they are expected to write about – what’s the point of having more time to think and ask searching questions if you don’t know what searching questions to ask in the first place?

Technology PR

Markets without Marketing | Linux Journal

Link: Markets without Marketing | Linux Journal.

Provocative stuff from Doc Searls. In particular:

I know a lot of terrific PR people who are doing great work at moving their business from the Age of Spin to the Age of Full Exposure. I wish them luck in their mission. But when it’s complete the result won’t bear any resemblance to PR as we’ve known it.

The fact that PR is/will change out of all recognition seems to be broadly accepted by most people – of course, we are all in the dark at the moment as to exactly what it will look like in the future.

Technology PR

Why does it take 14 days to unsubscribe from an e-mail list?

I’ve been trying to reduce the burden on my email inbox by unsubscribing from as many email lists and newsletters as possible – most of them I signed up for a long time ago and have no relevance any more.
Besides, my Netnewswire newsreader is much more efficient way of keeping on top of things.

What has intrigued me has been the variance in the time it takes to get oneself off some these lists – most are instant – but some (from organisations that should know better), say it may take up to 14 days to be removed.

How does that work?

Technology PR

DWPub Sporadic: A case study in the power of direct-to-consumer PR

Link: DWPub Sporadic: A case study in the power of direct-to-consumer PR.

Seems our Web 2.0 release for MySQL has been getting a lot of attention via SourceWire – the new Digg, and Slashdot submission facilities certainly seem to have a major impact of page views.

Technology PR

The Future Of The Press Interview

Steve Rubel has kicked off a discussion about the re-inventing of the press interview.

Lot of comments from various people about this particular excerpt:

For instance, what if reporters posted their questions out in the
‘sphere and allowed prospective sources to respond either in comments
or by linking to/trackbacking the post. This would give the reporter
potentially infinite sound bites and anecdotes to choose from. Even
better, they could let us vote for the best quotes as they come in.
Some journalists are already using their blogs to find interview
sources, but no one I am aware of is taking it to this next step.

I don’t think the telephone interview is going to go away soon. The argument that doing it via email removes the possibility of mis-quoting doesn’t hold water for me. Besides, if you want a transcript of a phone interview, why not do it via Skype and record it? If you felt you were mis-quoted then you could simply post the sound file on your blog. Assuming you’ve got one.

Technology PR

Living in the attention economy

This post on John Hagel’s Edge Perspectives Blog is as a good a summary of the challenge facing marketeers (and by definition PRs) as I’ve seen anywhere.

The full post is well worth reading, but the following is worth highlighting:

Redefine marketing strategy

These shifts have broad implications in terms of marketing strategy,
branding and marketing performance metrics.  To start with marketing
strategy and again at the risk of over-simplification, conventional
marketing is built upon the three “I’s”:

  • Intercept – target and expose customers to your message wherever you can find them.
  • Inhibit – make it as difficult as possible for the customer to compare your product or service with any other options.
  • Isolate – enter into a direct relationship with the customer and,
    wherever possible, remove all third parties from the relationship.

Nirvana is the walled garden of direct marketing.  It is captured in
the mantra of “one to one marketing” – one vendor dealing individually
with each customer.

A different approach will be required to succeed in a business
landscape defined by the economic shifts described earlier. I describe
this marketing approach “collaboration marketing” and define it in
terms of three “A’s”:

  • Attract – create incentives for people to seek you out.
  • Assist – the most powerful way to attract people is to be as
    helpful and engaging with them as possible – this requires a deep
    understanding of the various contexts in which people might use your
    products and a willingness to “co-create” products with customers.
  • Affiliate – mobilize third parties, including other customers, to become even more helpful to the people you interact with.

In contrast to the “one to one marketing” mindset of conventional
marketing, collaboration marketing requires a “many to one” mindset.
The winners in this new world will be orchestrators who can mobilize
rich networks of resources to serve customer needs.

Brands will become even more important and valuable in this new
marketing world, but they will be based on a very different
customer-centric promise: “Buy from me because I know you as an
individual customer better than anyone else and you can trust me to use
that knowledge to configure the right bundle of products and services
to meet your individual needs.” 

From a media relations perspective, how many agencies can genuinely say of a journalist: "I know you as an
individual customer better than anyone else and you can trust me to use
that knowledge to configure the right bundle of information meet your individual needs."

We will also move to a new form of ROA measure – this time, it means
Return On Attention, both from a customer perspective and from a vendor
perspective. From the customer point of view, the question that
customers will increasingly ask is: “Of the total attention I allocate
to a particular source, what is the productivity of that attention in
terms of  value received for effort and time invested?”

What are the implications for media relations? How can a PR firm demonstrate to the journalist their ROA?

We’ll also see a new form of ROI measure – Return On Information,
again from both a customer and vendor perspective.  From a vendor point
of view, the key question will be: “How much effort and cost did I
invest in acquiring information about individual customers and how much
value have I been able to generate in return, both for the customer and
for me?” In this context, lead-times matter; the more quickly a vendor
can turn around and deliver tangible value in return for information
from a customer, the more quickly and effectively the vendor will be
able to build trust and willingness to provide even more information

PR is in many ways about information delivery – but again, what Return on Information are journalists getting? Not much it would seem – but perhaps this is related to ROA.

Sorry to say, vendors are responding as vendors – old habits and old
instincts die hard. While there is a broad recognition among marketers
that attention scarcity is becoming a big issue, the response has been
increasing desperation to get some of that scarce attention.  Intrusive
ads are appearing in more and more places – projected in lights on the
sides of buildings at night, plastered on the sides of farm animals in
fields and running on video displays above urinals. Rather than just
focusing on how to get attention, vendors might also want to consider
how they can help their customers receive attention that is important
to them and not just from the vendor, but from others that matter to
the customers.

Vendors also tend to commoditize attention, viewing attention as a
fungible good that can be bought and sold.  Successfully attracting
attention requires an understanding that attention is highly context
sensitive – it is both deeply personal and social at the same time.
Attention is deeply embedded in, and shaped by, relationships.  These
relationships are not static, but increasingly dynamic.  The key
challenge and opportunity for vendors is how to participate in, and
enrich, these relationships in order to construct more value for their
customers and to amplify the value of attention.

The parallels are simliar in the world of PR – more and more emailed press releases, intrusive, non-value add phone calls, etc. Perhaps the new agency model is a form of collaborative PR?

Technology PR

Creative uses of E-Bay

This latest post from Nick Carr:  Rough Type: Nicholas Carr’s Blog: Monetize me
outlines just how creative people are getting with E-Bay.

American student Ron Steen, is offering 2% of his total earnings throughout his lifetime for $100K.

It set me thinking that there may be some interesting ways in which E-Bay could be exploited by journalists and PRs.  Imagine a journalist auctioning interview opportunities (*) –  say he/she needs 5 quotes from vendors – he then offers the interviews to the highest bidders. 

You never know – they might make more money from this than actually writing the article.

(*) I’m joking – but then things I’ve suggested in jest before have been taken seriously by others….

Technology PR

That Microsoft Vista Voice “Recognition” Demo video

Is here.

As the cheeky female presenter says at the end of this piece: "Microsoft didn’t want us to show you this. They blamed ambient noise for the problem. But it was quiet – until everyone started laughing. Live television is tough."

Ain’t that the truth.

Technology PR – Most UK youth on social networking sites

Link: / World / UK – Most UK youth on social networking sites.

Most of the papers today have picked up on this story:

"More than half of the UK’s 16-24 year olds are using social networking sites such as MySpace and Bebo at least once a week, as the “networked generation” turns its back on television, radio and newspapers in favour of online communities.

More than 70 per cent of 16-24 year olds polled by Ofcom told the communications regulator they visited such sites, and 54 per cent used them at least weekly."

However, as the FT pointed out last week, this is a fickle demographic – they’ll probably turn into newspaper reading 29 year olds – and tomorrow’s 16 – 24 year olds will probably view MySpace et al as very old hat….