Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’

How Journalists Use Social Media – Secrets Revealed

As a PR practitioner, I have a pretty good understanding of how folks in my craft use social media to generate ‘buzz’, to create interest in a new idea, but ever wondered if and exactly how journalists use social media?  Well… allow me to share these insights with you.

Understanding how journalists use social media to research articles can be key to your PR strategy, ensuring your efforts are targeted in the right places.  If you know where journos get their information from, you can make sure that your information is there first, can mean that they pick your story or pitch up before they look at something else.

Some interesting research into just how they do this has shed some useful light on how social media marketers and PR folk can best utilise the various social channels.

On average journalists use three different social media channels for each article they research. They find corporate blogs the most useful, while Wikipedia and Twitter were the second and third preferred channels, according to a new survey from global PR specialist Text100

Twitter and YouTube ranked as being of greater use than LinkedIn and Facebook, highlighting the importance for brands in building compelling content.

The study noted that while journalists welcomed contact from PR professionals through social media, their receptiveness varies from channel to channel. While 85% welcomed contact through their Twitter profiles and 84% are happy to approached via LinkedIn, only  42% of media welcome contact via Facebook.  It seems the use of Facebook is still overwhelmingly for social purposes.  To view the infographic in full, click here

Interestingly, the press release is still seen as more useful information source than any social media channel, so by all means don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater and eliminate press releases altogether.  They are still important.

Generating media coverage for your clients can sometimes feel like a military campaign. If you want to hit your targets, you need an entire arsenal of ammunition at your dispoal – and press releases still have their place in the kit bag, but don’t overlook social media as to deploy with great effect.  It is a light, flexible and powerful weapon to use in order to a way to reach and influence journalists.

Yours in PR

Employers vs Facebook. Privacy Breach or Reputation Protection?

There has been a great deal of media reporting lately about employers using Facebook as a method for monitoring their online reputation, and also for monitoring both the activities and the comments of their employees.

Given that so many of use Facebook every day to update our mood, our movements, our likes and dislikes, and given that this information is highly public, this is a real case of ‘user beware’ in an online environment where there are few guidelines and many potentially serious pitfalls.

Recently I have heard of many people who have indulged in the great Australian national sport of taking a ‘sickie’, only to then access their own Facebook profile to let the world know what they were REALLY doing with their time off.  Many employees have discovered, to their peril, just how seriously employers take any criticism about them personally or about their businesses uploaded by employees onto Facebook.  It also has been used as a tool to monitor just how much of work time employees spend on social media such as Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites, when they should be actually working.  This is assuming,  of course, that using social media is not an actual part of their daily job description, which is becoming more common, and this new development causes additional layers of complexity.

This is a growing problem for employers and managers in Australia, when you consider that, according to research done by Neilsen:

  • Australians spend an average of six hours and 52 minutes per month on social media sites, the largest time allocation of any country in the world;
  • The reach of social media in Australia is also large, with Nielsen estimating a unique reach of 9.9m Australians per month;
  • The use of social media was by far the most popular preoccupation of people’s online time, far ahead of instant messaging and computer gaming; and
  • The rapid global growth of social media, which between 2008 and 2009 had increased at the rate of 82% in just one year.

You can read more of the fascinating findings of this report here

All of this does raise serious questions about where exactly is the fine line drawn between an employer’s right to defend their own personal reputation and that of their company, and the right of employees to freedom of expression and to the preservation of their personal information.  One thing you can be sure of is that most, if not all employers these days will ‘Google’ you as part of their vetting and shortlisting process while drawing up a shortlist of applicants to be interviewed.

Like most tricky questions, there are no easy answers, and as has happened many times throughout history, the development and implementation of the technology has happened far too quickly for our legal and regulatory framework to keep up.

In the meantime, perhaps it is worthwhile following the advice of a friend of mine, who found the best filter for her own use of Facebook was to ‘friend’ older members of her family, like Aunts and Uncles, and if it wasn’t fit for them to read, then it was not appropriate to upload it.  And once you upload something,  try as you might, that is a bell that cannot be ‘unrung’.  Food for thought.

Yours in PR,

Facebook vs LinkedIn – Which Channel is Right for my Business?

OK, I’ve been deliberating this topic for quite some time and having several discussions with uber gurus – but here is my take on the best uses of Facebook and LinkedIn and how we will be advising our clients.

There are differences of opinion about these things, but from what I have seen and observed, it seems that the overwhelming value that Facebook offers is for B2C (business to consumers) and B2b (business to small business – micro operators, start-ups etc), and on the other hand, I believe that LinkedIn offers true value for the B2B (business to business) arena.

David Olsen from Dynamic Business, revealed last month that 18% of Australian businesses use social media to promote their businesses (my guess is that some would be doing it well and others would be investing inordinate amounts of time for very little return).  Disturbingly he also found that only 35% have an online presence at all, but that’s a blog topic for another day.

So in social media terms, for companies involved in direct selling to consumers, Facebook provides a unique and highly-interactive way to communicate with consumers who are looking to make personal purchases.

For other businesses, Facebook would be of lesser value, and here’s where I feel that LinkedIn has the advantage.  Particularly for larger companies keen to preserve their profile, LinkedIn to me, has a higher level of credibility and is seemingly predominantly populated with career and business-focussed members making it ideal for making corporate opportunities and contacts.  You can also use it to connect online with business contacts you’ve made onground as well as making extended connections by being introduced to people that are already ‘pre-endorsed’ by your existing contacts whose judgement you trust and whose business goals you share.  You then have the power, potentially (use carefully, folks) to recruit them as potential clients of your own.

Say you read about someone in BRW or the Financial Review and are impressed by them and want to meet them, you can look them up on LinkedIn, make contact and begin a conversation about how you might collaborate.  Importantly, you can also connect your LinkedIn profile with your blog, tweets, website and CV as well as track what your colleagues are up to.

So, the choice is yours… my advice is to use any and all channels that are potentially useful, just be strategic about how and why you choose each one, and then potentially all social media roads will lead to your front door.

I would love to get your feedback on this…

Publicity Queen

Yours in PR

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