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Cision Survey Shows How Journalists Are Using Social Media

March 21, 2017 by Kay Paumier
  • social_mediaAbout half of U.S. journalists feel they could not do their work without social media.
  • Most journalists have good relationships with their PR contacts, although fewer than half of the journalists consider those contacts reliable.
  • Email is the preferred form of contact between journalists and PR professionals, with social media a close second.

These are some of the results of the 2016 Global Social Media Study, conducted by Cision and Canterbury Christ Church University (U.K.). The survey focuses on how journalists and media professionals use social media for their work.

Here are some of its findings from the U.S. respondents.

Journalists believe social media is most important for publishing and promoting content, and for interacting with audiences.

Most respondents see social media as “important” or “very important” for most of their work. More than half (58 percent) rate social media as “very important” for interaction, and nearly two-thirds (62 percent) feel it is “very important” for publishing and promoting content.

Facebook and Twitter are the top platforms, but most journalists use a variety of social media platforms in their work.

More than half (51 percent) use three or more different types of social media to get ideas and information. Most (68 percent) U.S. respondents use at least three types of social media to publish and promote their work. Nearly half (47 percent) use four or more.

Professional and demographic characteristics affect the choice of platforms. For example, younger journalists are more apt to use audio-visual sharing platforms like YouTube. Older journalists use professional networks like LinkedIn more.

About half of U.S. journalists feel they could not carry out their work without social media.

Most (66 percent) of U.S. journalists think that social media has fundamentally changed their roles. At the same time, 54 percent feel that social media is undermining traditional journalistic values. That is an increase of 5 percent from the previous year. The more time journalists spend on social media, the better they feel about it.

Most journalists feel they are more engaged with their audience because of social media, but few regularly make use of user-generated content.

More than three quarters of U.S. respondents (78 percent) feel social media enables them to better connect with their audience. However, few use audience-generated content.

Most journalists have good relationships with their PR contacts, though less than half consider them to be reliable sources.

The majority (79 percent) of respondents report positive relationships with their PR contacts, and 42 percent consider PR professionals and news releases to be main sources of information. However, respondents consider industry and professional contacts (51 percent) and experts (47 percent) more important sources.

About the Survey

This is the fifth year that Cision and Canterbury Christ Church University have done this survey. More than 2,000 respondents participated, 300 from the U.S.

I’ve only touched on a few highlights regarding U.S. journalists. The report also includes findings from international media. I encourage you to read it in its entirety.

How to Develop an Editorial Calendar for Your Blog

February 24, 2017 by Kay Paumier

Editorial calendars are the cornerstone of blogs and of all content marketing.

29672619 - calendarThis planning tool has been around for years. The traditional calendar is a schedule to keep track of articles from concept and development to publishing. An editorial calendar can increase traffic to your blog by helping you plan, organize and produce valuable content on a regular basis.

But how do you develop an effective editorial calendar? The best approach is to keep it simple. Here is a sample calendar, followed by a few comments.

Calendar_1

Let’s take a look at each element.

Target, Website & LinkedIn Dates

It’s good to set target dates for completion, as well as track the actual publication date (or dates) for different platforms.

Categories

By indicating the categories (e.g., writing, content marketing, social media) in the editorial calendar, you’ll get a clear idea of whether you are covering one subject area too much (or too little).

Keywords

Identifying keywords can help you stay focused and may help with SEO.

Curation

Webinars, reports and the like can provide valuable material for blog posts. It’s good to track how many of your material comes from such content. You want to include enough to be of value and show that you’re up-to-date with developments in your industry. At the same time, you don’t want to curate all your material because that reduces your opportunities to showcase your expertise. Curating content about 25 percent of the time is a good rule of thumb.

Another approach is what Brian Dean calls the Skyscraper Technique, where you take something good and make it better. With this approach, you don’t have to start from scratch. You do, however, have to improve something that is already good.

Annual Calendar

Another good practice is to do a general calendar indicating annual events or activities that might give you “fodder” for a post. For example, Lake Superior announces a list of banner words at the beginning of the year. National Grammar Day is March 4, and the winners of the Bulwer-Lytton writing contest are generally announced in August.

Note that, since I work with B2B clients, my calendar is rather sparse. A B2C company would probably have more entries as it could easily have tie-ins to more holidays, events and anniversaries.

Finally, it’s good to keep lists of topic ideas and source material, including your existing content. By periodically reviewing your previous posts, you may find topics that can be updated with new content. This approach may save you the time of drafting a new post from scratch, while still providing valuable material.

Logistical Pointers

These comments apply to blogs with single authors. If you are managing a blog for a company or organization, it’s good to identify the writer of each post in your calendar, as well as the visuals.

Also, if you’re managing a blog for an enterprise organization, consider using a dedicated editorial calendar platform such as Kapost or Trello. Otherwise, keep the platform simple. An Excel spreadsheet, a Word document or a Google Doc work fine for most small organizations.

Finally, the Content Marketing Institute has a lot of great information on editorial calendars, including articles on Editorial Calendar Tips, Tools and Templates and How to Put Together an Editorial Calendar for Content Marketing.

Six Tips from a Newsletter Marketer

January 24, 2017 by Kay Paumier

57627144 - newsletter concept with newsletter sign and email icon on a blue computer keyboard button 3d illustration.Did you know that:

  • We encounter more than 5,000 media messages a day.
  • We’re aware of only about 150 of them.
  • And only four to 12 of them make any impact on us.

That’s bad news if you’re trying to break through the clutter and get your message to your prospects and clients.

Fortunately, consistent, informative email newsletters can help you get heard above the noise. According to the Annuitis Group, “businesses that send lead-nurture emails generate 451% more qualified prospects than their competitors who don’t.”

But how do you keep your newsletter from ending up in the delete file with nary a glance? I asked Kathie Sherman of TenFour Marketing that question. Kathie is a newsletter guru, known for producing newsletters that get results.

These are some of her tips:

Keep your goal in mind.

This may seem too obvious to mention, but everything comes down to your objective.  Are you trying to generate leads? Nurture prospects? Increase brand awareness? Your goal will guide all your activities.

Develop a good list.

Collect contact information from people at networking events, on your website, through email and through social media.

One way to expand your list is by offering a good “lead magnet.” This is valuable information you offer people in exchange for their email addresses. You can offer it on your website, through social media, and in your email newsletter itself.

Good lead magnets are laser focused on your prospects and customers. They address a single issue, and appeal to our natural desire for information.  Samples include reports, quizzes, software and training tools.

Get permission to send your prospects material.

It’s essential you comply with the Can-Spam Act.  This requires, among other things, that your subject line be accurate, your header information correct, and your unsubscribe information clear.

Deliver short, valuable content.

We’re talking here about non-sales content targeted for the top of the sales funnel. That’s where your prospects are just learning about the subject; it‘s the “awareness” part of the “awareness,” “interest,” “desire” and “action” buying sequence.

The goal of your content is to attract people to your site, whether you’re using original content or curating content developed by others.  One approach, suggested by Margaret Magnarelli at Monster, is to concentrate on:

  • How – Straightforward, utility content
  • Now – Thought-leadership content that is focused on news–driven stories
  • Wow – Fun content

Stumped for ideas? Brainstorm with a “content buddy.”Or check out resources such as What To Write, HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator or Content Forest.

Be “regular.”

Send your newsletter out regularly. Monthly is fine, more often if you can keep it up.

Prepare a content calendar to help you organize your ideas and stick with your schedule.

Develop strong subject lines.

People spend only fractions of a second evaluating email subject lines. So your best shot at connecting with them is a short, one-line description of your content. Emphasize the fact that the content is useful, ultra-specific, unique or urgent. Possible formats for subject lines include a testimonial, a benefit statement, a question, some news or a how-to.

Get Started

Here’s the important part. It’s essential to get started.

A great way to get started is by attending the Newsletter Ninja Workshop, which will be taught by Kathie Sherman (the source of most of the information in this blog post) and yours truly. This is a hands-on event where you will practice these skills. You won’t leave with a “to-do” list; you’ll leave with a “have-done” list. Specifically, you’ll leave with a content calendar and the draft of one to three articles.

There are two workshops, one in the East Bay (Wednesday, February 15, 10:30 a.m. -2 p.m., 1815 Harbor Place, Alameda) and one in the South Bay (Thursday, February 23, 10:30 a.m. -2 p.m, Intersection Space. 3165 Olin Avenue, San Jose).

For more information and to register, go to http://tenfourmarketing.com/ninja. We hope to see you there.

Survey Finds Social Media Increasingly Used as a News Source

September 30, 2016 by Kay Paumier

survey_checklist_2

 

In a result that probably doesn’t surprise anyone, a recent survey found that social media has become a major news channel.

The TEKGroup’s 2016 Social Media News Survey found that people are increasingly discovering, sharing, reading and posting news online.

Here are some of their key findings:

  • More than three of every four people surveyed say they use social media at least one hour a day. And—here’s the kicker—about a third of the respondents use social media at least three hours a day.
  • Most of the respondents (83%) access social media on their phones. That makes concise content and appealing visuals all the more important.
  • More than half the respondents start looking for news using a search engine. Almost all of them start with Google.
  • Almost two out of three (64%) respondents share content on social media, so it is important to have social-sharing buttons on any posts.
  • And, in an example of how significant social media has become, 32% of the respondents learned that Trump was running for president on social media.

I encourage you to read TEKGroup’s survey in its entirety. There are some interesting findings.

How Twitter Helped Me Get a New Fridge

July 6, 2016 by Kay Paumier

frig

There’s a lot of discussion about the relative value of social media. Is it worth the time and trouble?

Based on a recent experience, I can definitely say “yes.”

You see, Twitter helped me get a new refrigerator.

Here’s my condensed version of the worst customer service experience in my life.

My almost new fridge stopped working. It was under warranty, and I had service scheduled twice (only to have the technician not show up). Then I was told I had to wait another 10 days just to be on the technician’s schedule. (No guarantees he would actually show up, however.)

I had already been without a fridge for almost three weeks. I was tired of shopping almost daily and living out of a compact refrigerator. Fortunately I found the manufacturer’s customer service reps on Twitter and sent this message: “Pls. help. Fridge not working. Under warranty. Service no-shows 2x. Need to wait for another 10 days for technician.”

Took a few days, but things changed big time.

The Twitter-based customer service person asked me to choose a replacement refrigerator, which was delivered in a few days. Problem solved. No more rotting food.

So let’s hear for those powerful 140 characters.

The New Rules of Media Pitching

June 21, 2016 by Kay Paumier

baseball_pitcher_2Knowing how difficult it is to get the attention of mainstream reporters, I watched Cision’s webinar, “The New Rules of Media Pitching,” with Michael Smart of Michael Smart PR.

Here are some points that struck me.

Page views are the new prime factor that reporters use to determine whether they will use your content, according to Cision’s 2016 State of the Media Report. Facebook “shares” are a distant second factor.

What does that mean for you? It means you should tout the online performance of your web content. Pitch content that’s doing well online or predict it will do well. This approach works best with groups such as “digital natives” (e.g., online sites like Mashable) and young influencers.

To create a newsworthy angle, connect your content to some ”new” content. One PR person connected an old book, Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking when the Stakes Are High, with the Thanksgiving holiday and the challenge of friendly conversations with relatives.

Plug any holes in your media list. Search for new outlets and refresh your media list at least quarterly.

Use social media to develop a relationship even when you don’t have anything to pitch. According to the Cision survey, most reporters want to get pitches via email, not via social media. However, 73% of the respondents want to build relationships through social media. So follow the reporters on Twitter and Facebook. Retweet their tweets, adding a thoughtful comment (something more significant than “a great read”). Eventually the reporters will recognize your name, which definitely increases the chance they will read your next email.

Make a well-researched, personal reference. Again, in the survey, 79% of the respondents wanted public relations pros to “tailor pitches to suit my beat” and 77% wanted them to “better understand my outlet.” So refer to their earlier work. Mention something that makes it clear that you read the article and have something to add to the discussion.

Cision’s “New Rules”webinar contains other great techniques and examples of how those techniques can be applied. I encourage you to watch it.

Journalists and Social Media

September 15, 2015 by Kay Paumier

social_mediaThe 2015 Global Social Journalism Study, conducted by Cision and Canterbury Christ Church University (U.K.), produced some interesting findings and predictions about how journalists and media professionals use social media for their work.

I found these five conclusions the most interesting.

Journalists fit into five distinctive groups and are becoming more social media savvy.

The five groups are skeptics, observers, hunters, promoters and architects. Last year, skeptics outnumbered the observers (31 percent to 26 percent). This year, the opposite is true (29 percent are observers, 23 percent are skeptics). “This small shift suggests journalists’ use and attitudes towards social media are gradually moving towards acceptance as social media becomes an integral feature within the industry and their working life.”

The report describes each of the five groups in detail. The important point is that the various groups use social media differently, and media professionals need to take those differences into account when contacting journalists.

Social media is a routine tool for most journalists, but their use of it is stagnating.

Almost all the respondents (94 percent) use social media on a daily basis. However, after an initial rapid adoption of social media, the percentage of journalists using social media for more than two hours a day is declining. “This suggests that after the initial excitement of the introductory phase of social media, the journalists found an optimum amount of time to spend on social media. For most journalists, constant use presents no additional gains, and most are settling for up to two hours per day of use.”

About half the respondents believe they need social media to do their work.

Most of the respondents felt that social media made them more productive, and journalists in all six countries felt that social media had become more valuable the last few years. However, apparently social media doesn’t make their jobs any easier. Fully 85 percent of respondents thought social media had not decreased their workload.

Experts and PR professionals are key information sources for journalists.

U.S. respondents thought experts and PR professionals were the two most valuable sources of information. Only about one-third of the respondents felt they were less reliant on PR professionals because of social media, “suggesting that social media supplements journalists’ information (sources), but does not replace existing PR networks.”

Journalists prefer to be contacted by email, but social media is gathering pace.

Overwhelmingly, journalists want PR people to contact them by email. U.S. journalists rank social media as their second-favorite contact method, followed by phone calls.

Predictions

Based on these results, the survey developers made the following predictions:

  • Time spent using social media is not going to increase significantly. Journalists will focus on a few preferred tools and some specialist apps to make social media work for them.
  • Although social media is increasing journalists’ productivity, it is not reducing their workload. Journalists will make strategic decisions about their principal use of social media and their preferred tools for achieving their work goals.
  • Email will continue to dominate the PR-journalist relationship. For journalists, the preference for telephone contact will continue to drop and be replaced by social media.
  • Journalists will continue to rely on experts so they do not compromise their values and views of their profession by sourcing from sources that are perceived to be unreliable.

About the Survey

This is the fourth year that Cision and Canterbury Christ Church University have done this survey. Journalists from 11 countries participated—the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Finland, Sweden, Australia, the Netherlands, Canada, Italy, Spain and France. However, the results only include responses from the first six countries listed, as they are the only ones that have participated all four years of the survey. Most of the findings are based on more than 3,000 respondents. Half were women and slightly less than half (48 percent) fell into the 28-45 age group.

I’ve only touched on a few highlights. I encourage you to read the report in its entirety. You’ll be glad you did.

 

How to Use Video for PR

May 19, 2015 by Kay Paumier

video_iconI recently watched Cision’s webinar on “Film School: How to Use Video for PR.” Matthew Schwartz (PR News) and Heidi Sullivan (Cision) did a good overview of some basics. Here are some points that impressed me.

Video is more and more important.

I knew this, but the stats are impressive.

For example, mobile Internet usage surpassed desktop usage last year. By 2018, mobile video will represent 69 percent of the traffic (Cisco Systems and comSource). And 64 percent of viewers are more likely to buy a product after seeing an online video ad than the ones who haven’t watched it (Quicksprout).

Why? Here’s a nerdy factoid: 90 percent of the information transmitted to the brain is visual, and the brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than it processes text (3M Corporation and Zabisco).

Impressive indeed.

Put another way, good video “works” because it:

  • Is easy to understand
  • Grabs and keeps the viewer’s attention
  • Appeals to the heart and the brain
  • Creates better brand recall
  • Is budget-friendly

But getting the advantages of video requires creating good video. And here, planning is essential.

Pre-planning is essential.

Before shooting a video, it’s essential to define its objective (e.g., brand building, lead generation), and decide on the budget, the process (in house or outsourced), timeframe and the like.

Then develop the storyboard, which is like a blueprint that outlines the beginning, middle and end (the story “arc” if you will) that will guide your work. This leaves little to chance when actually shooting.

Plan for videos of different lengths. That way you can maximize your investment in the shooting time.

Remember to film B-roll, footage that is not part of the primary shoot. More and more organizations will need video libraries available.

Maximize the shoot time.

Do several takes at different angles. This is where you’ll get the footage for the different segments and for B-roll.

Then distribute the video through multiple channels. The goal is to “shoot once, and distribute many,” so make the videos available on your website; post them on YouTube, Facebook and other social media channels; tweet about them; and the like.

Obviously I have not covered all the material presented in the video, which is a good review of the basics. See the webinar for yourself here.

Engagement Marketing for Non-Profit Organizations

February 16, 2015 by Kay Paumier

We hear a lot about engaging with our customers and other “constitutents.” The trick is to know how to engage in an effective and sustainable manner.

A recent webinar “Beyond the Campaign: Engagement Marketing for Non-Profit Organizations” gave some practical tips for such engagement. The webinar was presented by Outmarket and featured Lori Wizdo, principal analyst of Forrester Research. I encourage you to view the recording.

In the meantime, here are some of the webinar’s highlights for me.

First of all, engagement marketing is different from campaigns (e.g., fundraisers). By definition, campaigns are about an organization’s goals (not necessarily about its constituent’s interests). Campaigns are episodic and time bound.

Engagement marketing is about relationships. It’s continuous. It’s marketing around themes, rather than around events or requests.

Both campaigns and engagement marketing have their place, but campaigns don’t help you “be found.” And the fine art of being found is key in today’s marketing environment.

Four tools that can help you “be found” and engage with your constituents are:
• Public relations
• Social media
• Engagement content, and
• “Mobile moments.”

For me, the most significant tool was using content to engage, which was defined as “a marketing strategy where brands create interest, relevance and relationships with customers by producing, curating and sharing content that addresses specific customer needs and delivers visible value.”

Engagement content has several advantages because it:
• Pulls people to the brand or organization.
• Lets you influence customers early in the journey.
• Helps drives traffic and leads.
• Lets you learn more about your constituents (because your audience selects the content that interests them and you learn by their selections).

There is a lot of content out there, but it is possible to break through. A short video entitled First World Problems is a good example. The video shows third-world people stating first-world problems. (For example, a man standing in front of a hovel says that “I hate it when my house is too big I need two wireless routers.”)

In the process, the video makes the point that “first world problems are not real problems.” The campaign has been amazingly effective in generating donations for Charity: Water, which is bringing clean drinking water to people in developing nations.

And (more good news) you don’t need to actually create the content. You can curate existing content. But this is not just aggregating content and it’s not a matter where quantity beats quality. Curation adds value; it requires making judgment calls to select the best content on a given topic.

For example, you could put together a list of “the top 10 things you need to know about xx.” Several good content-curation software tools are available to help with this process.

Again, these are elements of the webinar I found interesting, not an attempt to summarize the entire webinar. Watch it yourself and see what impresses you.

10 Things I Do on LinkedIn Each Week

January 20, 2015 by Sandy Jones- Kaminski

This article was written by a colleague, Sandy Jones-Kaminski, and first appeared in the Women In Consulting (WIC) blog. It is used here with permission.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn

During a keynote presentation at an annual BlogHer Conference in Chicago, I was surprised to learn that about 80% of the 1200+ bloggers in the room were hardly utilizing LinkedIn at all. After that presentation, and delivering 20+ other corporate and one-on-one LinkedIn learning sessions, I knew it was about time that I shared publicly the 10 things I do on LinkedIn each and every week.

By sharing this secret sauce…oops, I mean blog post, my goal is to inspire others to do more on this powerful professional networking platform so we all can leverage this modern marketing and social selling channel.

And since, like so many things, what you put into your time on LinkedIn is directly correlated with what you’ll get out of it, I recommend spending at least 30-60 minutes on LinkedIn each week.

For me, some amazing things have happened, including:

  • Being invited to be a paid speaker at an annual global user group conference and as the Marketing speaker by LinkedIn at a Silicon Valley LinkedIn Live event
  • Securing numerous press interviews when my book was published
  • Being asked to participate in interviews about networking best practices and my Pay It Forward Party networking events
  • Receiving an invitation to contribute to an online women in business summit as the expert on Leveraging LinkedIn for Business
  • Acquiring loads of new Mastering LinkedIn for Business or Career clients
  • Receiving invitations to be a guest blogger/columnist for numerous online publications
  • Expanding my network to include some talented and generous new collaborators, excellent vendors and even a few high-quality referral partners

If you start doing even just a few of the tactics below, I’m certain you’ll soon see some new (and welcome!) outreach, activity and more. I also suggest you make note of how many profile views you’re averaging before you start implementing this tactics so you can compare the number of views in 30 days or so.

10 Things I Do On LinkedIn Each Week:

  1. Update my status on my profilewith either news about a connection’s new book or an upcoming speaking engagement I have.
  2. Share something worthy that a connection has posted.
  3. Review my Home page and Like or Comment on things my network has shared.
  4. Review who’s looking at my profile and see if there is anyone I want to connect with on the list.
  5. Share an industry-relevant article, freebie, blog post or maybe a new service offering on my Bella Domain Media company page.
  6. Endorse the skills or expertise I’m comfortable endorsing for direct connections. (Why do some folks endorse people they probably couldn’t vouch for during a reference request?!)
  7. Research people or companies I’m interested in or are targeting for future work or collaborations.
  8. Read posts from and/or follow some new thought leaders or Company pages.
  9. Check out what’s happening within some of the groups where I’m most active. (Comment, Share and Like where appropriate.)
  10. Grow my network by sending personalized Invitations to Connect to the new people I meet (and like) each week.

What things do you do on LinkedIn on a regular basis? Please feel free to add your weekly LinkedIn To Dos in the Comments section so others can learn from you as well. Thank you!

About the Author:
sandy_jones_kaminskySandy Jones-Kaminski is the Chief Connecting Officer at Bella Domain Media. As a business mentor with 20+ yrs of marketing and business development experience from working at both startups as well as a corporate executive, she helps solo entrepreneurs and small business owners market their brands and generate opportunities through a proprietary process that maximizes LinkedIn, online and offline networking tactics, social selling and content strategies. BellaDomainMedia.com for more.

 

 

 

 

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