It’s easy – and true – to claim that an ever growing number of people are looking to social media as a primary way of getting news. What’s not as easy, however, is predicting just how to make sure the audience you want to attract sees your news when they log on.
New research from the Pew Research Center shows that among adults who use social media to get news, 65% of them get that news from just one site – and most likely that site is Facebook. But the same study showed that, of all Facebook users, only 47% actually visit the site for news. Conversely, sites like Twitter and Reddit have lower overall usage, but much more news-hungry demographics.
If you are a company or organization looking to make waves on social media, it is more important than ever to know the audience of the sites you’re targeting, understand their behavior patterns and demographics and try to tailor your content to fit their interests.
For example, a site like Reddit has moved from a purely geek niche to a major player in driving social media conversations. While it was once merely the home of video game discussions and cat memes, it’s now played host to notable figures ranging from Hollywood actors to the President of the United States who have visited the site to participate in their signature online question and answer sessions – called AMAs, short for “Ask Me Anythings,” in the Reddit vernacular. But even as the site has grown in influence,only 6% of internet users claim to visit the site. And of those who do visit, they are overwhelmingly white males between 18 and 29.
If you can tailor your message to appeal to this demographic, it could easily help it gain traction – while Reddit only attracts a small percentage of online users, it can often be a catalyst for social media success, with content from the site shared on other, more wide-reaching social media networks like Facebook and Twitter. But, with such a news hungry and often-opinionated audience, engagement with the site may not be a perfect fit for every campaign.
When planning a social media strategy, it is incredibly important to prioritize venues for online engagement by looking at who visits these sites and why. While only 20% of YouTube’s visitors claim to get news on the site, it is one of the few large social media sites to report a majority minority user base, with 55% of users coming from non-white backgrounds. A campaign looking to reach minorities might then want to consider investment in YouTube videos over engagement on Facebook, where 63% of users are not minorities.
And, perhaps unsurprisingly, the data shows that it’s not quite time to abandon traditional media outreach in favor of social media. Voracious social media users are usually as likely, if not more likely, than others to look to print and broadcast as another source of news. With this in mind, strategic approaches to traditional media should recognize the connected nature of the media audience – those who find news on social media are also likely to share news on social media.
Engagement on social media should be an exciting and essential part of any public affairs campaign. With the right data in hand and a strategic approach, an organization can take advantage of the large appetite for news on social media sites and use that to expose and grow their message. Not all news is suited to every site and not all social media services are suited to every campaign, but data like the one found in the Pew study, is essential to figuring out just where your message fits best.
Awards season is in full swing, and some great recent successes for our clients have prompted discussion among the team about industry awards and the benefits they can offer. We’ve all been there – frantically attempting to dress in our black tie outfits in the office bathroom while still responding to emails! But awards can offer a great deal of opportunity, provided you approach them with a fresh perspective. Here are some tips for to help you make the most of them.
When you’re thinking about attending or sponsoring an awards evening, consider:
Are the right representatives of your company going? Which journalists will be there? Evenings like these offer fantastic networking opportunities so make sure your team is prepared
Have you invited key customers to join you? Corporate hospitality provides invaluable face time with clients, and investing in a full table for invited guests can offer a great platform for this
If sponsoring, what are your objectives? General brand awareness, or promotion of a specific product? Ensure the branding and logos you have at the event reflect this
Think beyond a ‘logo on a screen’ to the more creative options. You have your industry in one room – find a way to excite and engage them that will leave a more lasting impression. Perhaps sponsor a red carpet to capture photos that can be sent to peoples devices in real time on the night, or sponsor the bar and have a cocktail menu designed around your product names
Winning an award can provide valuable third party endorsement and raise awareness in your industry of a new product or general business capabilities. In an increasingly competitive landscape, your submission is up against some tough competition. Make sure you:
Select awards and categories carefully – make sure the effort put in to a submission is well placed
Read the brief carefully and put together considered, well written copy that covers the required criteria concisely. Be sure to clearly pull out statistical business benefits to differentiate
Select impactful supporting materials that are engaging (consider testimonials, video footage, and infographics)
When reviewing, put yourself in the judges’ shoes (in most cases you will be able to find out who they are, so tailor where possible). When reviewing, consider: does this submission impress? Where is the “wow factor”?
If you are shortlisted, make sure you are prepared for the evening, and the days following it, in order to make the most of the PR opportunities it presents. Creating a buzz in the lead up and directly after the awards is key, so:
Do you have a media alert ready to announce your win in a timely fashion?
Are the awards being filmed and can you access footage for your social media platforms?
Have you alerted customers, partners and employees of your nomination on your social media channels?
Whether entering a new product for a prestigious award, entertaining customers in an industry-relevant environment or raising brand awareness with an engaging sponsorship activity, awards evenings are rich with opportunity. So get your glad rags on and get involved!
But I’ve always been one to rock the boat, so I’m going full-steam ahead anyway – batten down the hatches and man the mizzen mast!
Media relations, specifically pitching the media, is a sensitive topic when you work in public relations. For many people and organizations, media relations and the resulting media coverage is why they get into the PR game. Reputation management, investor relations and crisis communications – these valuable PR practices fall way down the popularity funnel in comparison. Were I a betting man (I’m not) I’d say probably 90% of all public relations work falls into the media relations category.
So when Mashable published new tips on how to pitch journalists, as a responsible, professional PR practitioner, I had to take a look. One item from the article caught my eye: “Don’t follow up more than once. This point is short and sweet, the way your pitches should be. Follow up twice, shame on you. Follow up three, four, five or six times, you’re spam.”
In the PR world, specifically the PR agency world, that’s crazy talk. You…can’t…just follow up ONCE. You have to email, pick up that phone, stalk the reporter on social and do whatever it takes to make that contact and GET THE JOB DONE. Surely the reporter just missed seeing your pitch. Or perhaps they’re very busy and your pitch got buried by a zillion other pitches before they could respond and it slipped their mind. Or perhaps, just perhaps, the reporter didn’t understand just how amazing your pitch was! So call ‘em again, and if you reach their voicemail, DON’T leave a message! Don’t rest until you get them live on the phone. Because only then will you have closure. Sweet, sweet closure. And perhaps the golden egg of all golden eggs: media interest!
Look people, I’ve been in the business of PR for more than 12 years. Before that, I was a journalist – so I’ve been on both sides of the pitch-and-follow up fence. Here’s the dealio: while it might ruffle some feathers, I have to agree with Mashable. Don’t follow up more than once. Because that reporter has likely seen your pitch, and it didn’t cut the mustard. These things happen people… for many reasons.
Don’t believe me? I’ve developed a little chart (resisted the temptation to call in an “infographic”!) to illustrate this phenomenon in the likely event you didn’t get a journalist to respond to your recent pitch:
Note: this chart is not based in any real-world or scientific findings.
The only directive more annoying (and pointless) than being asked to follow up multiple times is this one, often delivered by a well-meaning but hopelessly out-of-the-media-relations-loop manager: “find out why the reporter wasn’t interested in the pitch.” ARGH! While your manager might have good intentions, good luck getting a response to THIS query. If a journalist didn’t respond to your pitch, they’re sure as hell not going to respond to a question regarding why they didn’t respond in the first place! Only the least busy reporters of the bunch (the ones not worth pitching in the first place) will take time out of their day to get back to you with a list of reasons why they didn’t respond to your pitch. Or worse, a great reporter WILL respond – with a scathing email sure to parboil the skin off your eyeballs and send even the most seasoned PR veteran crying to mommy.
So don’t follow-up more than once, kids. Don’t do it!
Instead, focus. Focus on the pitch – is it worthy? Are you offering anything new, valuable, interesting or relevant? No? That’s your problem right there. Go back to the drawing board and don’t bother some poor reporter until you have something worth pitching. Do you have the right publication? Are you reaching out to a journalist who covers the topic you’re pitching? Do your homework.
Like the Girl Scouts taught me, Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance. Al l the follow-up in the world isn’t going to get the media to respond to a craptastic pitch. Sorry chum, that’s #truth right there.
Connect with Racepoint Group Account Director Nate Towne on Twitter at @fancy_lad.
Today, I’m very excited to announce the integration of Racepoint Group and Digital Influence Group, which are coming together to create a global, full services communications agency (please see release for details). The blending of agencies is effective immediately and the integrated agency will operate as Racepoint Group and retain the Digital Influence Group brand as a subsidiary.
The joining of these two agencies is only natural at this stage, as the marketplace has been signaling for this evolution. As an agency with its finger on the digital pulse, Racepoint Group will be introducing a disruptive new model that will redefine how businesses engage with their customers and influencers. The combined agency brings together a powerful blend of deep analytics, full creative services, technology, content development, and earned and paid influencer engagement.
It is also my pleasure to announce the promotion of Peter Prodromou to President of Racepoint Group. Peter has been with the agency since its founding ten years ago and was previously Chief Global Accounts Officer. He will be responsible for global operations for the integrated agency with offices in leading capitals throughout the US, Asia and Europe.
When I founded both of these agencies, digital was planted in our DNA from day one. For Racepoint Group, it meant training each employee, at all levels, to ensure they understood digital and social in order to seamlessly educate our clients. After initial training, they are continuously educated on the latest social and digital tools on a daily basis. For Digital Influence Group, it was an agency of talented individuals with an endless wealth of digital knowledge and passion that drives them to better themselves every day. The combined skillset of these two agencies is extraordinary and bringing them together is going to be a successful formula for us, as well as our clients.
Many years ago, I had a vision about the world of digital and the drastic impact it would make on businesses, as well as individuals. Today, I’m proud to say that this vision has become crystal clear, as the world of marketing continues to evolve, trending towards all things digital and social. We look forward to creating exceptional campaigns for our clients and further increasing their footprint with this combined offering.
Racepoint Group is very excited to present to you another episode of RPG Live, where a group of Racepoint Group employees discuss the latest culturally relevant issues and trends we’re seeing in the news and pop culture, hosted by our own Evan Siff. This week’s “10th anniversary” episode features some of the newest members of the Racepoint family: Mary Alfieri, Mike Nourie and Samantha Toole. We’re very excited to have them on board to help us celebrate such a milestone achievement. Please have a listen as we discuss:
Are they becoming too complicated? Obsolete? Do you use an app to help you with passwords?
2. Kim & Kanye’s Baby
Have you been following the media circus? What do you think of Kanye’s new album?
3. Facebook Hashtags
Have you already been using them on Facebook? Was it only a matter of time? What are they good for?
4. Looking Forward to Summer 2013
What are you looking forward to most this summer?
One of the things we love most is the entrepreneurial spirit that so many small and emerging businesses have. This spirit is crucial to drive innovation and creativity, and in a world where a new product or service can become popular overnight, it’s more important than ever.
With this in mind, Racepoint Group is launching a PR program specifically designed for early stage businesses that meets the unique and specific needs and demands of emerging companies. This offering is called Racepoint 440, named after the legendary sprint which requires the right mix of endurance and speed.
Racepoint 440 is a highly focused, efficient and targeted micro media campaign offering that is customized for each client to work towards specific goals. Additionally, mirroring how startups and emerging businesses are structured, Racepoint 440 eliminates ramp-up time and begins achieving results within 40 days. Just ask 7digital and MokiMobility Racepoint 440 has helped them breakthrough the noise and stake a claim in each respective market.
On Tuesday, June 25 at 5:00pm, Racepoint Group will be hosting a Racepoint 440 launch party in its San Francisco Office (717 Market Street, 6th Floor) and we’d love for you to join us! Please RSVP to email@example.com.
Do you have an emerging business? Are you curious about the evolution of small businesses and entrepreneurism? Come to our open house launch party to learn more!
Racepoint Group is very excited to present to you another episode of RPG Live, where a group of Racepoint Group employees discuss the latest culturally relevant issues and trends we’re seeing in the news and pop culture, hosted by our own Evan Siff. This week’s episode features a very special guest from RPG’s Hong Kong office, Emma Matuschka (coolest Kiwi in the world), Ben Haber, Nick Liberati and Ally Peebles. Please have a listen as we discuss:
1. Social Media During Disasters
Does social media help or hurt more during times of distress and tragedy?
Is social media too powerful in the wrong hands? What (if anything) can be done to prevent occurrences like the AP Twitter hack (and the subsequent stock market dip) from happening?
3. Google Glass
Have you tried anything like it yet? What do you think of the concept, is it inevitable that we’ll all be wearing these in a couple years? Will you be an early adopter?
4. Emma Loves Boston
What has been the best/worst part of Emma’s trip to Boston?
Racepoint Group is very excited to present to you another episode of RPG Live, where a group of Racepoint Group employees discuss the latest culturally relevant issues and trends we’re seeing in the news and pop culture, hosted by our own Evan Siff. This week’s guests include Tyler Kizner, Erin Knapp, Amanda Nadile and Carrie Weiss. Please have a listen as we discuss:
1. Employers asking for Facebook passwords
Do you think certain employers should be allowed to ask potential employees for passwords to access their social media accounts?
Twitter’s video service has already been used to apply for jobs, what are some other possible uses for this platform?
Have you tried this new Chrome application that lets users insert hidden messages into their Facebook photos? Does it seem useful to you, or just another gimmick?
4. Zombie Apocalypse
TV shows like The Walking Dead and upcoming movies like World War Z seem to be quite popular these days – what do you think you would do in the event of a zombie apocalypse?
Please feel free to give us a shout out with questions or comments via Twitter!
Racepoint Group is very excited to present to you another episode of RPG Live, where a group of Racepoint Group employees discuss the latest culturally relevant issues and trends we’re seeing in the news and pop culture, hosted by our own Evan Siff. This week’s guests include Ashley Crutchfield, Colleen McCarthy and Lori Niquette. Please have a listen as we discuss:
1. Netflix, Hulu Plus, Original Content
Do you subscribe? How do you feel about their original content and which devices do you watch on?
2. iPhone vs. Android
Have you recently made a switch? What features would you like to see on the Galaxy S4 or iPhone 5S? Are phones now becoming too big?
3. March Madness
Who do you have winning the NCAA men’s basketball tournament? Have you been following via an app on your smartphone? (Note: this recording is from yesterday, 3/28 – Miami was crushed last night by Marquette 71-61, once again destroying Evan’s bracket hopes and dreams…)
4. Spring has Sprung
What are you looking forward to most about Spring?
Please feel free to give us a shout out with questions or comments via Twitter!
Social media has become the norm on the campaign trail, and is quickly becoming entrenched on Capitol Hill. Members of Congress and their staffers alike have taken to Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and any number of other social media sites to interact with constituents, sway public opinion and counter political opponents.
Social media is even pushing traditional media aside as the venue for politicians and political parties alike to attack their opponents – often harshly. In recent months, both sides of the aisle have been engaged in an ongoing battle for women’s votes. Speaker John Boehner took this fight to Twitter, disputing Vice President Joe Biden’s recent claims of a Republican “war on women.” This month’s disappointing jobs numbers opened the window for yet more attacks by Republicans with Speaker Boehner tweeting to his 300,000 followers that “today’s #jobs report is more evidence President Obama’s policies aren’t working for families & small businesses.”
With new political battles being waged daily on social media, and political parties fighting to gain the upper hand, new opportunities are being created for citizens, companies and non-profits alike to engage legislators and their staffs through these same platforms. Because of security screening and volume, most mail and emails are not opened on Capitol Hill until well after a critical vote is taken. The immediacy of social media gives it an edge, and with so many Members and their staff taking part, this has become one of the best ways for getting your voice heard. It’s also increasingly effective because members of the media are now following Twitter discussions on Capitol Hill and watching discussions taking place.
For local citizens who need immediate assistance with an issue in their community, there has never been a better way to directly interact with their Senator and Member of Congress – and the same is also true for companies and non-profits who are looking for new ways to amplify their voice, or in the case of some small businesses, join the conversation. By interacting with elected representatives and their staffs in social media circles were they walk, companies are influencing media coverage, opinions and votes on legislation, and in some cases – election results.
In person meetings, mail and email will always play an important role in political offices. They remain an important way for constituents to get the services they need and deserve. However, those who adapt to these changing times effectively and adopt social media as a new tool will find new successes – while those who do not may pay the costly price of being left behind.
This article originally appeared in Racepoint Group’s Capital Ideas Newsletter. If you would like to receive subsequent issues, please use the following sign-up form.