To prevent identity confusion, Twitter is experimenting (beta testing) with a ‘Verified Account’ feature. We’re working to establish authenticity with people who deal with impersonation or identity confusion on a regular basis. Accounts with a are the real thing!
A Vogue cover girl has won a precedent-setting court battle to unmask an anonymous blogger who called her a “skank” on the internet.
In a case with potentially far-reaching repercussions, Liskula Cohen sought the identity of the blogger who maligned her on the Skanks in NYC blog so that she could sue him or her for defamation.
A Manhattan supreme court judge ruled that she was entitled to the information and ordered Google, which ran the offending blog, to turn it over.
The focus of traditional PR still seems to be heavily on print and broadcast media, which are, as pointed out in the Social Media Today article, still the mediums with the biggest numbers. The article claimed that some 88% of newspaper reading time is in print and I’ve got no reason to doubt that figure.
How much do numbers matter though? Surely effective marketing is all about who’s in the audience, not how big it is?
The power of online is in the level of engagement. Done well, a brand’s online presence will have personality that’s much easier to convey on screen than in print. It’s much quicker (and cheaper) to build valuable relationships online; there are no print deadlines, no word limits, no editorial guidelines, no boundaries.
Where will this leave traditional PR? Nowhere fabulous, I suspect. PR probably is still partying like it’s 1999 right now, but it’s very nearly time for the music to stop. For many small and switched on businesses, the return they’ll get from engaging with the world through the web will be much higher than sticking with old-school PR.
Digital Agencies are already elbowing PR aside, and within a couple of years, a traditional PR agency will be fairly niche. Times change, and in 2010 people will want to feel increasingly engaged with the brands and people they choose to do business with.
In a world where your relationship with your customers and prospects is the single most important thing in your business, the arm’s length approach of using traditional PR will seem as outdated and as engaging as sending a fax.
Read the article that got me thinking here: http://bit.ly/2UVV8A
The owner of pr2go, the online PR business has criticised practitioners for failing to communicate what the discipline entailed after discovering that 76 per cent of businesses didn’t understand what public relations was.
James Hobday, CEO of pr2go, said that the statistics had come to light as part of ongoing marketing activity for the business. The online service stripped back the PR discipline to its most basic form, offering businesses and agencies the opportunity to access affordable PR.
The service, which sees a team of journalists with experience across a broad range of sectors prepare press information and distribute it on behalf of our clients for a flat fee, has proved a big success, both with businesses wanting localised PR but also with marketing agencies wanting to add value and offer the service to their clients.
“We’ve implemented a fairly aggressive marketing campaign to raise awareness and generate business, and the thing that has appalled me is the lack of understanding of what PR really is,” said James.
“To date, 76 per cent of people we’ve spoken to have not understood what PR is. We’re not talking your average man in the street here, we’re talking marketing managers and directors of large businesses with multiple regional sites needing localised PR.
“We spoke to more than 500 business people seeking to raise the profile of their company across the UK, and their definition of PR varied from telesales to mail-shots. Very few of them understood that it involved the use of online, broadcast and print media to get their key messages and stories across,” he said.
“It concerns me as it is such a massive industry and for those incorporating PR into their communications strategies to have such a weak understanding of what it means suggests that PR practitioners are missing the mark significantly when it comes to actually demonstrating and justifying their product,” he added.
Excellent comments from Justin Kistner at Webtrends: “Having started by building social media programs with systems that I rolled myself to building out a global social media program for Webtrends; I can say that a big realization has emerged from what Jeremiah and Tony have been talking about. Businesses need to think about social media as a communication channel. They should be planning for it and evaluating it using similar KPIs as they do their phones. It’s not a question of if they should talk to customers, prospects, partners, etc. The question is how efficiently they’re doing it.
However, that’s not what businesses are currently thinking or doing. Most businesses are still sticking their toe in the water of social media and as a result have seriously under invested in the space. Large Fortune 1000 companies are gripping about spending $30K on software and handing it over to super small teams–sometimes a single person. Can you imagine if they tried to answer their phone lines with a 3 person team? Or a single intern?!! How can they expect to evaluate performance when the team is so under water that they can’t even think?
The reality is that if businesses want to be successful in participating in social media, they’ll need to allocate resources in proportion to the volume that exists for their brand. Small companies can get away with small teams. Large corporations will need large departments. They will be structured like call centers with IVRs, scripts, answer trees, etc. It will take a substantial investment in staff training, infrastructure, and rolling out business processes. Everyone in the company will have to know how to use the tools and different departments will be responsible for different pieces of the conversation.
There is wide spread confusion about how much to invest and how to measure value. To help, Forrester or someone should do a study comparing the amount of conversation hours large brands have on phones, email, and social media. That would help businesses understand the relative investment to make. It would also help them determine which channels are most efficient so they can push conversations to their most efficient channels. We’re deploying a cross-departmental, multi-channel, global social media program here and we plan to share the details for our customers’ reference.”
As we speak, or blog, or Twitter, the Information Age is spawning its evil progeny, The Golden Age of PR. It will be an era defined by its irresponsible use of words to generate commercially driven versions of Reality. Brands are ditching advertising, which is really pretty transparent in its intentions, in favor of spin and PR, which really is not. This shift is partly because advertising is failing and partly because PR is right for the times.