Expanding Scope of Influence


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This lecture highlights elements of a recent report issued by PR firm Waggener Edstrom.

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Expanding Scope of Influence

  1. 1. Expanding Scope of Influence Some lecture content courtesy of
  2. 2. Influence is changing <ul><li>Rise of user-generated content </li></ul><ul><ul><li>YouTube </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Flickr </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>MySpace </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Facebook </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Media Power Shift <ul><li>“Circle of influence” is bigger and more diverse </li></ul><ul><ul><li>OLD: Discrete and formal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“Media gatekeepers” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>NEW: Open and casual </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“Citizen-created media” </li></ul></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Example: Ravi Jain <ul><li>Boston-based artist </li></ul><ul><li>Maintains a “video blog” at http://drivetime.ravijain.org </li></ul><ul><li>His following has caught the attention of companies wanting “placement” on his vlog </li></ul><ul><li>His “authenticity” has high PR value </li></ul><ul><li>He is an “influencer” </li></ul>
  5. 5. OLD vs. NEW “Influencers” <ul><li>OLD: “Gatekeepers” were fairly predictable in how they would treat a news development </li></ul><ul><li>NEW: Unpredictability of the blogosphere </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This is both an opportunity and a burden for those in PR </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Example: Don Imus Blog Backlash! <ul><li>Don Imus racial remarks on his radio talk show are discussed and attacked in the blogosphere </li></ul><ul><li>Mainstream media stays on the story in part due to the heavy pressure from outraged bloggers </li></ul>
  7. 7. Example: “Impossible is Nothing” <ul><li>Small events that might normally be overlooked by mainstream media are getting massive attention via the Web </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Example: “Impossible is Nothing” video resume </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Classic Influence Model
  9. 9. New Influence Model
  10. 10. Today’s Reality <ul><li>Today a blend of both traditional and new influencers rule </li></ul><ul><li>OLD: Mainstream media, government officials, industry or financial analysts </li></ul><ul><li>OLD AND NEW: Friends and family (now via online sources) </li></ul><ul><li>NEW: Like-minded bloggers and media outlets </li></ul>
  11. 11. Less Control <ul><li>PR messengers now have less control as a result of the “new influencers” </li></ul>
  12. 12. Media Consumption Changes <ul><li>Traditional news consumption is declining </li></ul><ul><li>Blogs and online media increasing </li></ul>
  13. 13. Recent data <ul><li>54% of U.S. adults read a newspaper this week (62% read the Sunday edition) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>For 18-24 year-olds, the number drops to 42% </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Three major U.S. TV nightly newscasts have declined by 59& since 1969. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Many are scaling back their operations. </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Rise of Blogs <ul><li>The number of blogs doubled this year </li></ul><ul><li>Technorati periodically issues a list of the most influential bloggers as part of its “State of the Blogosphere” report </li></ul>
  15. 15. State of the Blogosphere <ul><li>Technorati is now tracking over 70 million weblogs, and we're seeing about 120,000 new weblogs being created worldwide each day. </li></ul><ul><li>That's about 1.4 blogs created every second of every day. </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Image/data courtesy of Technorati </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Image/data courtesy of Technorati </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Top 100 Site Growth <ul><li>In April 2007, the number of blogs in the top 100 most popular sites has risen substantially. During Q3 2006 there were only 12 blogs in the Top 100 most popular sites. </li></ul><ul><li>In Q4, however, there were 22 blogs on the list -- further evidence of the continuing maturation of the Blogosphere. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>SOURCE: Technorati </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  19. 21. Blogging in Multiple Languages <ul><li>Japanese is the top language used in blogs at 37% (up from 33%), followed closely by English at 36% (down from 39%). </li></ul><ul><li>Further, there is a wider diversity of languages represented here, specifically Farsi with TodayLink.ir, Persian Blog Fans Club, and Giliran.com making the Top 100. </li></ul>
  20. 23. “ The Millennials” <ul><li>“ Millennials” are those born between 1980 and 2000 </li></ul><ul><li>Many are creating their own news or leading “news free” lives </li></ul><ul><li>They select the influence “bits” they want and eliminate/filter out those they don’t want </li></ul>
  21. 24. Time-Shifting <ul><li>Unlike previous generations, the “millennials” are used to “time-shifting” technologies that allow them to consume media in either “real-time” or on-demand </li></ul>
  22. 25. The New “Influencers” <ul><li>Anyone with an online presence can “break” the news </li></ul><ul><li>Examples: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Spyware on Sony-distributed CDs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How to pick a lock </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dan Rather’s reporting under attack </li></ul></ul>
  23. 26. Faster Pace <ul><li>The pace of news is speeding up </li></ul><ul><li>News outlets post news immediately, rather than waiting for the print edition or telecast </li></ul><ul><li>Consumer demand for immediacy </li></ul>
  24. 27. “Real-time PR” <ul><li>PR communicators are now spending more time in execution and less time in planning </li></ul><ul><li>PR industry must join the “virtual campfire” to exchange discussion and ideas </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Some positive, some critical </li></ul></ul>
  25. 31. Where to Start? <ul><li>Companies can take advantage of real-time technologies to communicate to media, customers, employees, partners, consumers and other publics </li></ul>
  26. 32. Audience-Centricity <ul><li>Learn about your audience </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If you want to influence “me,” then learn about “me.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t assume a third-party gatekeeper can serve as a proxy for me </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Example: Think beyond relaying your message through the mainstream media </li></ul></ul></ul>
  27. 33. Hyperintegrated Communications <ul><li>Mix up your strategy among multiple media outlets </li></ul><ul><li>Example: Web site promoted on TV spot </li></ul>
  28. 34. Converse with the Consumer <ul><li>Two-way communication rules </li></ul><ul><li>Examples: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Microsoft’s Channel 9 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Audioworld.com </li></ul></ul>
  29. 35. Tell your own story <ul><li>How your company chooses to tell its story can be a powerful form of influence </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Example: Microsoft XBOX 360 crisis response </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Facilitate the conversation, but involve the consumers in the communication </li></ul>
  30. 36. Transparency and Trust