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New Media, New Influencers & Implications for the Public Relations Profession

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Research supported by a grant from:

Research supported by a grant from:
Institute for Public Relations & Wieck Media

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  • Forward-thinking marketing organizations are quickly adopting social media. These stats don’t apply to every company or for every industry but they do show how this approach is being accepted.
  • Question 5: When it comes to monitoring the blogosphere and/or conducting blogger/podcaster relations, which criteria to you consider when evaluating the importance of a particular blog or podcast? When it comes to measuring what matters and how to determine influence, the picture isn’t as rosy. The top responses – on a scale from 1-5 – show that visibility is often used in place of influence. It would be great if the best content was also the most influential content – but that isn’t necessarily the case. Some of the things that do demonstrate influence – user engagement for example – are not seen as being as important.
  • Question 6: What criteria have you found valuable in defining the influencers that matter in social networks/online communities? Marketers do seem to get it right – to a degree - when trying who has influence within a community.
  • Question 9: Which metrics do you consider to be the most important when measuring you effectiveness in reaching the new influencers? Again, the results show a relatively immature sense of what demonstrates and effective social media campaign for reaching key influencers.
  • Similarly with consumers – power-users and early adopters – who are the people we sought and reached – are using social media very heavily.
  • I think I will omit this slide
  • Right now influence is largely being measured with a traditional media mindset – eyeballs and circulations, search ranking and page views – rather than by things that demonstrate real influence occurring – community engagement.

New Media, New Influencers &  Implications for the Public Relations Profession New Media, New Influencers & Implications for the Public Relations Profession Presentation Transcript

  • New Media, New Influencers & Implications for the Public Relations Profession Society for New Communications Research www.sncr.org Research supported by a grant from: Institute for Public Relations & Wieck Media
  • Research Study Overview - Assumptions
    • Patterns of Influence are changing
      • Social media, UGC, citizen journalism & new communications tools and technologies are redefining our conceptions of media & influence
      • Media no longer limited to traditional channels
      • Influence no longer only attributed to journalists, analysts, industry experts & pundits
      • Conversation & community is replacing static corporate messaging
      • Effective spokespeople & ambassadors found within & outside of organizations
      • Result: A profound impact on the PR profession
  • Research Study Overview - Goals
    • To conduct an examination of the current PR landscape and social media adoption to discover how organizations:
      • Define new influencers – criteria used
      • Communicate/create relationships with new influencers
      • Use social media and new communications to enhance their own influence
      • Measure the effects of their efforts
        • Do new influencers = new metrics?
      • To use these discoveries to offer a set of recommendations
      • to the profession
  • Research Study Overview - Methodology
    • Online survey of nearly 300 PR and marketing communications professionals
      • Tool used: Qualtrics
    • In-depth case studies collected via interviews by SNCR Fellows
      • Red Cross
      • MARC Research
  • Demographics of Respondents
    • 37% - PR / marketing & communications agencies
    • 35% - In-house PR & corporate communications
      • Non-profit – 13%
      • Large public company – 9%
      • Government – 9%
      • SMB – 3%
    • 22% - PR & marketing communications consultants
    • 4% - Media companies
    • 2% - Advertising / brand marketing agencies
  • Demographics of Respondents Locale Response USA 70% Europe 18% Canada 4% Australia 4% South America 2% Africa 1% Asia 1%
  • Organizations’ Perceptions of Effectiveness of Social Media Channels
    • Most Effective Channels
      • #1 – Blogs
      • #2 – Online Video
      • #3 – Social Networks
      • #4 – Newsgroups/Forums
      • #5 – Podcasting
      • #6 – Wikis
      • #7 – Photosharing
      • #9 – Social Bookmarking / IM
      • #10 – Music sharing
      • #11 – Multiplayer games
  • The Target: Power Users
    • Survey targeted organizations currently using social media. Of those surveyed:
      • 78% are using blogs
      • 63% are using online video
      • 56% are using social networks
      • 49% are using podcasts
      • 38% are using photo sharing
      • 25% are using social bookmarking
      • 16% are using virtual worlds
      • 8% are using music sharing
      • -1% are using Twitter
      • -1% are using SMR
      • Responses based on RQ: “Which of the following online tools has your organization (or clients) used in at least one marketing communications and/or PR campaign during the last 12 months?”
  • Respondents’ Value of Social Media Tools to Organizations’ PR Corporate Communications & MarComm Activities
  • Organizations’ Top 10 Most Important Metrics for Measuring the Effectiveness of Social Media Initiatives
    • #1 - Enhancement of relationships with key audiences
    • #2 – Enhancement of reputation
    • #3 – Customer awareness of program
    • #4 – Comments/posts relevant to organization/products
    • #5 – Click-thrus to organization’s website
    • #6 – Search engine rankings for organization’s website
    • #7 – Search engine rankings for organization’s blog/podcasts
    • #8 – Unique visitors from influencers’ sites
    • #9 – Social media coverage
    • #10 – Traditional media coverage
  • Measurement & Metrics Answer % Yes 51% No 49% Total 100% RQ: Are you measuring the effectiveness of your overall efforts in reaching/communicating with “new influencers?”
  • Criteria for Determining Influence: Bloggers/Podcasters 0.00 1.00 2.00 3.00 4.00 5.00 Distribution mechanism for podcast Longevity Content Syndication # of comments on blog/podcast Business/media affiliation Quoted or interviewed in traditional media Other Page visits / Site Meter metrics Frequency of posting Blog search engine rankings Name recognition Web search engine rankings Relativity of content to your company? Quality of content
  • Criteria for Determining Influence: Online Communities/Social Networks Demographic profile linked members Business/media affiliation Number of connections with others Name recognition Frequency of posting Participation level 0.00 0.50 1.00 1.50 2.00 2.50 3.00 3.50 4.00 4.50 Participation in other communities Quoted in traditional media Demographic profile
  • Criteria for Evaluating Organizations’ Effectiveness in Social Media Initiatives 0.00 0.50 1.00 1.50 2.00 2.50 3.00 3.50 4.00 4.50 # of trackbacks Post/comment ratio # of comments # of RSS subscribers Tenor of posts/comments Bottom line increase Incoming links Blog search engine rankings Target audience awareness # of hits/unique visitors Search engine ranking
  • Respondents’ Perception of Industries Most Influenced by Social Media
    • #1 – Arts, entertainment & recreation
    • #2 – Communications
    • #3 – Computer software
    • #4 – Education
    • #5 – Computer Hardware
    • #6 – Electronics
    • #7 – Financial Services/Banking
    • #8 – Automotive
    • #9 – Consumer Non-durables
    • #10 – Pharmaceuticals
    • #11 – Energy
    • #12 – Aerospace & Defense
  • Media Consumers’ Survey The Sample – Power Users
    • Survey targeted heavy consumers of social media:
      • 92% are using blogs (as readers, authors and/or contributors) ‏
      • 81% are using online video
      • 73% are using IM and photo sharing
      • 71% are using social networks and wikis
      • 68% are using newsgroups and forums
  • How is social media used by the media consumer? What people consume Why they consume How they are influenced Blogs Business/Career (84%) ‏ News (53%) ‏ Hobbies (48%) ‏ Interest-specific information (84%) ‏ Entertainment (51%) ‏ Respect the writer (49%) ‏ Selecting an event (50%) ‏ Selecting a book/mag (48%) ‏ Joining an organization (34%) ‏ No influence (14%) ‏ Online Video Entertainment (77%) ‏ Business/Career (55%) ‏ News (49%) ‏ Fun/Interesting (67%) ‏ Entertainment (65%) ‏ Interest-specific information (65%) ‏ Primary news source (33%) ‏ Selecting entertainment (25%) ‏ Selecting a book/mag (18%) ‏ Selecting tech/electronics (18%) ‏ Selecting travel destination (14%) ‏ No influence (50%) ‏ Podcasts Business/Career (69%) ‏ Science/Technology (40%) ‏ News (38%) ‏ Interest-specific information (74%) ‏ Respect the producer/host (47%) ‏ Fun/Interesting (44%) ‏ Selecting a book/mag (33%) ‏ Selecting an event (26%) ‏ Public policy decision (18%) ‏ No influence (44%) ‏
  • Case Study: American Red Cross
    • Background to Social Media use
      • Social Media not on the radar until Katrina
    • Social Media Adoption Process
      • Hired Wendy Harman to monitor online conversations
      • Started using social media technologies to send info
      • Reports to ARC leadership
      • Connecting with bloggers on their blog
      • Facebook
      • Twitter
      • Flickr
  • Case Study: American Red Cross
    • New Influencers
      • Passionate about the Red Cross
      • Andrew Ferguson example
    • Social Media Success Metrics
      • Daily blog report
      • Tracking using del.icio.us
      • Plans for influence on structure
    • Public Relations Changes
      • New way of communicating
      • Faster reaction time
      • Increased transparency
  • Case Study: Mayo Clinic
    • Background to Social Media use
      • Reputation historically based on patient word-of-mouth
    • Social Media Adoption Process
      • Lee Aase, Manager media relations and new media, understood word-of-mouth as a critical component of new media and a great starting point
      • Mayo Clinic was producing 60 second segments for a daily radio program and their website: average 900 downloads per month, lack of ‘targeted’ marketing.
      • Lee saw a way to repurpose content to self-selectors
      • August 2005, took existing segments and placed them on iTunes: 74,000 downloads first month, increased traffic to website, continuing strong levels of downloads
  • Case Study: Mayo Clinic
    • New Influencers
      • Just beginning to identify health care bloggers and social media participants
      • Mayo non-public affairs staff, but only after Mayo creates guidelines, ala conversational approach
    • Social Media Success Metrics
      • Dramatic increase in visitors to website and podcast downloads resulting in increase of inquiries regarding health questions
      • Increased participation by MDs in more targeted podcasts
  • Case Study: Mayo Clinic
    • Public Relations Changes
      • Requires additional monitoring of Mayo brand
      • Increased concern regarding bad or false online medical information –Mayo staff is responding to blog posts containing wrong information, inserting their own editorial involvement on the web
    • Conclusion to case study: Anecdotal Story:
      • Woman reported after listening to a podcast, went to hospital and was told if she had waited another day, she wouldn’t have celebrated her next anniversary
    • The blogger
      • Merrill Dubrow
    • The company
      • MARC Research
    • Purpose
      • Raise awareness of company and its services;
      • Position CEO as thought leader;
      • Promote community of similar research firms
    Case Study: CEO blog
    • Tactics
      • Post new entries on rigorous schedule;
      • Mix business and personal topics;
      • Invite and promote comments;
      • Use contests, quizzes and games;
      • Keep voice informal and slightly irreverent
    Case Study: CEO blog
    • Results
      • Average of 900 visitors and 47 comments per week;
      • Increase in speaking invitations;
      • Improved search results;
      • Better audience interaction
      • Improved visibility for company within research community
    Case Study: CEO blog
  •  
  • Recommendations for Communications Practitioners: What Matter Most?
    • Social media can’t just be about counting eyeballs – it needs to be about tracking engagement and discerning patterns of influence
    • It’s possible that it isn’t an individual that is influential but an idea – tracking the path of important ideas is also a means to map influencers
  • Next Steps
    • Collection of more case studies
    • Correlating data between the communications practitioners and media consumers
      • JNCR article
      • Report available Q1 ‘08
      • NewComm Forum session – April 2008