Eric Bryant's blog listings. Feed Zend_Feed_Writer 1.10.8 (http://framework.zend.com) http://www.profnetconnect.com/gnosisarts Hulksmash + Media = Not Good PR!

Commentary by Angelica Garcia-Hennings, Communications Intern of Gnosis Media Group. gnosisarts.com/home/Services

The video is a clip from the off-the-air television show "West-Wing", Season 1, Episode 1, 1999-2000, written and produced by Aaron Sorkin, directed by Thomas Schlamme and John Wells.

It identifies the importance of choosing your words wisely when addressing the public. Josh made an offensive statement about religious conservatives. He wanted a "cheap laugh" but his words ironically cost him a lot.

As PR professionals you must keep in mind that your words do not just represent you, but your company and people connected to you. William Shakespeare said "Words once spoken have wings." You cannot take back what you said - especially if the media gets a hold of your statements. Take every effort to be educated in the realms of the culture, demographic, class, and characteristics of the publics you are addressing. If unwise words slip from your mouth, the best you can do is manage the situation and steer away from the negativity.

The media tend to uphold themselves as a guardian of public interest. If words or body language are misinterpreted, your client's reputation is at risk. The media is democratic in terms of they allow the public to discuss and participate in deciding what your reputation will be. They will ultimately provoke the discussions and control the public's opinion. If you issue any kind of offensive statement, joke or gesture that is unclear the media may "fan the flames" of discord by taking sides, emphasizing prejudices, muddling the facts and peddling half-truths.

Josh's words potentially cost him his job—look for the next episode. His apology also has no value to Mary. She is a lobbyist whose job has now been made harder due to his statement. Josh now has a label on him and every word from that point on will always be compared or related to his offensive statement, if the media decides to do so.

Some tips for reputation management:

1. Pre-plan to deal with crisis and opportunity before it happens
2. Do not avoid public criticism (openly acknowledge and proactively respond, do not let the media and public snowball assumptions and spread the fire)
3. Publish positive online articles and social media profiles that outperform negative results in search engines
4. Keep your cool (no Hulksmash nonsense)
5. Never forget ( learn from your mistakes, we are human)

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Sun, 07 Oct 2012 11:30:11 -0500 http://www.profnetconnect.com/gnosisarts/blog/2012/10/07/hulksmash__media_=_not_good_pr! http://www.profnetconnect.com/gnosisarts/blog/2012/10/07/hulksmash__media_=_not_good_pr!

Commentary by Angelica Garcia-Hennings, Communications Intern of Gnosis Media Group. gnosisarts.com/home/Services

The video is a clip from the off-the-air television show "West-Wing", Season 1, Episode 1, 1999-2000, written and produced by Aaron Sorkin, directed by Thomas Schlamme and John Wells.

It identifies the importance of choosing your words wisely when addressing the public. Josh made an offensive statement about religious conservatives. He wanted a "cheap laugh" but his words ironically cost him a lot.

As PR professionals you must keep in mind that your words do not just represent you, but your company and people connected to you. William Shakespeare said "Words once spoken have wings." You cannot take back what you said - especially if the media gets a hold of your statements. Take every effort to be educated in the realms of the culture, demographic, class, and characteristics of the publics you are addressing. If unwise words slip from your mouth, the best you can do is manage the situation and steer away from the negativity.

The media tend to uphold themselves as a guardian of public interest. If words or body language are misinterpreted, your client's reputation is at risk. The media is democratic in terms of they allow the public to discuss and participate in deciding what your reputation will be. They will ultimately provoke the discussions and control the public's opinion. If you issue any kind of offensive statement, joke or gesture that is unclear the media may "fan the flames" of discord by taking sides, emphasizing prejudices, muddling the facts and peddling half-truths.

Josh's words potentially cost him his job—look for the next episode. His apology also has no value to Mary. She is a lobbyist whose job has now been made harder due to his statement. Josh now has a label on him and every word from that point on will always be compared or related to his offensive statement, if the media decides to do so.

Some tips for reputation management:

1. Pre-plan to deal with crisis and opportunity before it happens
2. Do not avoid public criticism (openly acknowledge and proactively respond, do not let the media and public snowball assumptions and spread the fire)
3. Publish positive online articles and social media profiles that outperform negative results in search engines
4. Keep your cool (no Hulksmash nonsense)
5. Never forget ( learn from your mistakes, we are human)

0 Comments - Leave a Comment
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Are Free Press Release Submission Sites Worth It? By

Many small businesses utilize free press release sites to publicize their news, products and services. But how effective are these services? The answer is: It depends.

The effectiveness of a free press release depends primarily on what you are trying to accomplish. You need to first ask yourself: What is my main objective for submitting this press release. In our experience, free press release submission can be beneficial for achieving certain objectives, but not so effective for accomplishing others.

Some common publicity objectives are:

1. To obtain media coverage in a publication (whether digital or print)

2. To get a lot of traffic to the main business website

3. To be seen by relevant searchers

4. To rank highly for target keyword phrases in the search engines

5. To produce a conversion action of some sort (e.g.,  a signup, subscription, contacting the business, making a purchase)

6. To generate backlinks

7. To "fill your clips portfolio" for a client who has a relatively small budget

These aren't the only reasons why you might submit a press release, but these are a few of the more common ones. To understand the value of a free press release, you need to understand how well a particular submission service achieves one or more of the above objectives. In order to determine that, you need to know what you're getting in a particular free press release distribution service.

For example, some free press release sites are not Approved Google News Sites. This means that the press releases published to the site's newsroom do not get fed into the Google News Search Engine. As a result, your press release may not get very much visibility. Many journalists and bloggers utilize Google Alerts and receive press releases from Google News based on the keywords they are monitoring. So, if your press release doesn't get into Google News, your chances of being seen by a journalist are lower than those that do get into Google News. Therefore, if your goal is to get earned media coverage (see gnosisarts.com/home/PR_Dictionary), at the very least you will want to ensure that the site's pressroom is Google News Approved. You can do this by visiting Google News and typing in,

site:domain.name into the search bar (replace "domain.name" with the newsroom's actual domain name. It is also important not to put a space between the ":" and the "d" to get the most exhaustive results).

Our newsroom - Press Releases Online - is an Approved Google News Site, and all of our press releases get picked up by the Google News engine. (see s.gnoss.us/nshtn). Generally speaking, press release that make it into Google News will receive greater traffic than those which don't, another reason to verify Google News inclusion.

Moreover, if traffic is your goal, you'll want to find out whether the press release site offers any social media sharing. With most free press release services, they don't share your press release to Twitter, Facebook, or other social media sites. Social sharing can increase traffic to your press release, and by extension, to your website. It also increases the likelihood that other sites will link to your press release, according to recent studies. Our press release submission site, while not free, is very low-cost, and social media sharing is included in our options (see gnosisarts.com/home/Submit_Press_Release...).

If your goal is to be seen by people searching for your particular products or services, generally speaking free press release services won't get you there. This is because they don't usually come with an SEO option, and you need SEO in order to get your press release in front of people searching by keyword phrases. We offer a very inexpensive SEO press release service, that targets searchers by keyword you select. Currently we are offering a 50% discount on this service, if you purchase through our SaveLocal deal. Interestingly, in terms of media coverage, some of our SEO press releases do get the attention of niche bloggers and forum moderators. These bloggers and moderators often do their own independent write up of our clients, thus increasing their visibility.

Sometimes what you're looking for in a press release is a conversion. You may be publicizing a new product launch, for instance, and you want people to sign up to try it or contact you for more information. Free press release can work well for this, but not always. It depends on three factors: 1. how appealing the content is written and 2. whether the audience most likely to try the product sees the press release and 3. whether there is a compelling enough call to action within the press release.

Again, because free press release sites don't generally allow you the ability to target granularly enough, they often will fail to produce significant results. We offer a press release service where embed a QR Code into your press release. This helps facilitate conversions. This type of press release, combined with the SEO press release, both gets your news in front of interested searchers, and then motivates them to convert with the QR code once they arrive.

In sum, the effectiveness of a free press release submission service depends a good deal on what you want to get out of the service. As the familiar saying goes, "You get what you pay for." Free press releases are okay if you are just trying to generate a few backlinks to your website, or if you are working for a client who just needs to see a large volume of clippings on a shoestring budget. However, free press release sites generally won't take care of the heavy lifting of marcomm.

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Sat, 14 Jul 2012 13:20:04 -0500 http://www.profnetconnect.com/gnosisarts/blog/2012/07/14/are_free_press_release_submission_sites_worth_it http://www.profnetconnect.com/gnosisarts/blog/2012/07/14/are_free_press_release_submission_sites_worth_it By

Many small businesses utilize free press release sites to publicize their news, products and services. But how effective are these services? The answer is: It depends.

The effectiveness of a free press release depends primarily on what you are trying to accomplish. You need to first ask yourself: What is my main objective for submitting this press release. In our experience, free press release submission can be beneficial for achieving certain objectives, but not so effective for accomplishing others.

Some common publicity objectives are:

1. To obtain media coverage in a publication (whether digital or print)

2. To get a lot of traffic to the main business website

3. To be seen by relevant searchers

4. To rank highly for target keyword phrases in the search engines

5. To produce a conversion action of some sort (e.g.,  a signup, subscription, contacting the business, making a purchase)

6. To generate backlinks

7. To "fill your clips portfolio" for a client who has a relatively small budget

These aren't the only reasons why you might submit a press release, but these are a few of the more common ones. To understand the value of a free press release, you need to understand how well a particular submission service achieves one or more of the above objectives. In order to determine that, you need to know what you're getting in a particular free press release distribution service.

For example, some free press release sites are not Approved Google News Sites. This means that the press releases published to the site's newsroom do not get fed into the Google News Search Engine. As a result, your press release may not get very much visibility. Many journalists and bloggers utilize Google Alerts and receive press releases from Google News based on the keywords they are monitoring. So, if your press release doesn't get into Google News, your chances of being seen by a journalist are lower than those that do get into Google News. Therefore, if your goal is to get earned media coverage (see gnosisarts.com/home/PR_Dictionary), at the very least you will want to ensure that the site's pressroom is Google News Approved. You can do this by visiting Google News and typing in,

site:domain.name into the search bar (replace "domain.name" with the newsroom's actual domain name. It is also important not to put a space between the ":" and the "d" to get the most exhaustive results).

Our newsroom - Press Releases Online - is an Approved Google News Site, and all of our press releases get picked up by the Google News engine. (see s.gnoss.us/nshtn). Generally speaking, press release that make it into Google News will receive greater traffic than those which don't, another reason to verify Google News inclusion.

Moreover, if traffic is your goal, you'll want to find out whether the press release site offers any social media sharing. With most free press release services, they don't share your press release to Twitter, Facebook, or other social media sites. Social sharing can increase traffic to your press release, and by extension, to your website. It also increases the likelihood that other sites will link to your press release, according to recent studies. Our press release submission site, while not free, is very low-cost, and social media sharing is included in our options (see gnosisarts.com/home/Submit_Press_Release...).

If your goal is to be seen by people searching for your particular products or services, generally speaking free press release services won't get you there. This is because they don't usually come with an SEO option, and you need SEO in order to get your press release in front of people searching by keyword phrases. We offer a very inexpensive SEO press release service, that targets searchers by keyword you select. Currently we are offering a 50% discount on this service, if you purchase through our SaveLocal deal. Interestingly, in terms of media coverage, some of our SEO press releases do get the attention of niche bloggers and forum moderators. These bloggers and moderators often do their own independent write up of our clients, thus increasing their visibility.

Sometimes what you're looking for in a press release is a conversion. You may be publicizing a new product launch, for instance, and you want people to sign up to try it or contact you for more information. Free press release can work well for this, but not always. It depends on three factors: 1. how appealing the content is written and 2. whether the audience most likely to try the product sees the press release and 3. whether there is a compelling enough call to action within the press release.

Again, because free press release sites don't generally allow you the ability to target granularly enough, they often will fail to produce significant results. We offer a press release service where embed a QR Code into your press release. This helps facilitate conversions. This type of press release, combined with the SEO press release, both gets your news in front of interested searchers, and then motivates them to convert with the QR code once they arrive.

In sum, the effectiveness of a free press release submission service depends a good deal on what you want to get out of the service. As the familiar saying goes, "You get what you pay for." Free press releases are okay if you are just trying to generate a few backlinks to your website, or if you are working for a client who just needs to see a large volume of clippings on a shoestring budget. However, free press release sites generally won't take care of the heavy lifting of marcomm.

0 Comments - Leave a Comment
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Carving Out A Niche in Nonprofit Public Relations, Gnosis Media Group Continues to Grow Its Text-to-Donate Services Gnosis Media Group establishes new partnerships with Friends of the Bronx Charter School for Excellence, Ayden Rae Foundation, and Khadarlis of Sierra Leone to offer these nonprofits affordable Text-to-Pledge Services

By
– Gnosis Media Group, an Internet PR firm in the Greater NYC area, has been developing a text message donation service that has gained significant interest from nonprofits around the nation. The firm offers an effective alternative to conventional short code or SMS fundraising technology. Its service, said firm officials, fills a much-needed gap in the market.

 

"Startup, small and medium-sized nonprofits are just simply not being served by text to donate providers," said Barbara Bryant, chief of operations for Gnosis Media Group. "Our market research has found that most of the text donation providers are over-priced, have too much red tape, and impose too many rules and restrictions." 

 

With the news spreading that there is a text-to-pledge service available to small colleges and nonprofit organizations at a lower cost, partnerships with Gnosis Media Group for the service are rapidly increasing.

 

"Nonprofits need a mobile texting service that makes getting started easy on them," Bryant said. "Our developers have worked for the past year to provide development directors with a solution to these problems. And I'm confident we've built it. With one short one-page contract and two small payments, we can have you fully operational in less than 20 minutes."

 

The Friends of the Bronx Charter School for Excellence (FBCSE) (www.nycharities.org/donate/c_donate.asp?...), and Khadarlis of Sierra Leone (khadarlis.org) have recently started using the service. In fact, FBCSE utilized the service for the first time last night during a fundraiser. They garnered nearly $7200 in pledges in just three hours, according to a firm official.

 

The Ayden Rae Foundation (www.AydenRaeFoundation.org) is also utilizing the text to pledge service. The foundation provides support for life-saving efforts in advocating and improving patient care for HG patients, education, research, and reaching populations at risk from Hyperemesis Gravidarum. 

 

Vanessa Pack, chief executive officer, says that she researched for months trying to find affordable text donation solutions.

 

“We started looking into our options and mobile text-to-donate was something that really caught our attention. Sadly, we only considered this option for about 2 minutes because once we saw the cost to actually have such a campaign we knew we were out of our league. This was until we were introduced to Gnosis Media Group, they make it possible for smaller non-profits to benefit from this amazing mobile fundraising opportunity, they believe in truly helping others and aiding in seeing the non-profits they support, accomplish their mission and goals,” she explained.

 

“Gnosis Media Group has opened doors for the Ayden Rae Foundation that we once thought were not feasible,” said Pack. “The majority of Text-to-Give campaigns are limited by phone carriers to nonprofits with fundraising revenues over $500K.”

 

Blue Sky Bridge (blueskybridge.org) is one of the most influential family advocacy nonprofits in Colorado. The center provides support services to child victims of physical and sexual abuse and non-offending family members.

 

“For an organization our size, finding a cost-effective way to offer texting services for donations was incredibly important,” said Nia Wassink, development director for Blue Sky Bridge. “Working with Gnosis Media Group, we’ve been able to launch a text-to-pledge campaign that meets our organization’s needs, raises funds, and shows our tech-forwardness to supporters. They have been wonderful to work with and so supportive of our efforts!” 

 

For more details or to sign up for the service, visit the firm's website at gnosisarts.com/home/SMS_Fundraising or call 908.443.1665.

 

 

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Wed, 23 May 2012 18:17:49 -0500 http://www.profnetconnect.com/gnosisarts/blog/2012/05/23/carving_out_a_niche_in_nonprofit_public_relations,_gnosis_media_group_continues_to_grow_its_text-to-donate_services http://www.profnetconnect.com/gnosisarts/blog/2012/05/23/carving_out_a_niche_in_nonprofit_public_relations,_gnosis_media_group_continues_to_grow_its_text-to-donate_services Gnosis Media Group establishes new partnerships with Friends of the Bronx Charter School for Excellence, Ayden Rae Foundation, and Khadarlis of Sierra Leone to offer these nonprofits affordable Text-to-Pledge Services

By
– Gnosis Media Group, an Internet PR firm in the Greater NYC area, has been developing a text message donation service that has gained significant interest from nonprofits around the nation. The firm offers an effective alternative to conventional short code or SMS fundraising technology. Its service, said firm officials, fills a much-needed gap in the market.

 

"Startup, small and medium-sized nonprofits are just simply not being served by text to donate providers," said Barbara Bryant, chief of operations for Gnosis Media Group. "Our market research has found that most of the text donation providers are over-priced, have too much red tape, and impose too many rules and restrictions." 

 

With the news spreading that there is a text-to-pledge service available to small colleges and nonprofit organizations at a lower cost, partnerships with Gnosis Media Group for the service are rapidly increasing.

 

"Nonprofits need a mobile texting service that makes getting started easy on them," Bryant said. "Our developers have worked for the past year to provide development directors with a solution to these problems. And I'm confident we've built it. With one short one-page contract and two small payments, we can have you fully operational in less than 20 minutes."

 

The Friends of the Bronx Charter School for Excellence (FBCSE) (www.nycharities.org/donate/c_donate.asp?...), and Khadarlis of Sierra Leone (khadarlis.org) have recently started using the service. In fact, FBCSE utilized the service for the first time last night during a fundraiser. They garnered nearly $7200 in pledges in just three hours, according to a firm official.

 

The Ayden Rae Foundation (www.AydenRaeFoundation.org) is also utilizing the text to pledge service. The foundation provides support for life-saving efforts in advocating and improving patient care for HG patients, education, research, and reaching populations at risk from Hyperemesis Gravidarum. 

 

Vanessa Pack, chief executive officer, says that she researched for months trying to find affordable text donation solutions.

 

“We started looking into our options and mobile text-to-donate was something that really caught our attention. Sadly, we only considered this option for about 2 minutes because once we saw the cost to actually have such a campaign we knew we were out of our league. This was until we were introduced to Gnosis Media Group, they make it possible for smaller non-profits to benefit from this amazing mobile fundraising opportunity, they believe in truly helping others and aiding in seeing the non-profits they support, accomplish their mission and goals,” she explained.

 

“Gnosis Media Group has opened doors for the Ayden Rae Foundation that we once thought were not feasible,” said Pack. “The majority of Text-to-Give campaigns are limited by phone carriers to nonprofits with fundraising revenues over $500K.”

 

Blue Sky Bridge (blueskybridge.org) is one of the most influential family advocacy nonprofits in Colorado. The center provides support services to child victims of physical and sexual abuse and non-offending family members.

 

“For an organization our size, finding a cost-effective way to offer texting services for donations was incredibly important,” said Nia Wassink, development director for Blue Sky Bridge. “Working with Gnosis Media Group, we’ve been able to launch a text-to-pledge campaign that meets our organization’s needs, raises funds, and shows our tech-forwardness to supporters. They have been wonderful to work with and so supportive of our efforts!” 

 

For more details or to sign up for the service, visit the firm's website at gnosisarts.com/home/SMS_Fundraising or call 908.443.1665.

 

 

0 Comments - Leave a Comment
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Wikipedia's Tenuous Relationship With Public Relations Pros I chose this clip, quite honestly, because of our rocky history as a PR firm with Wikipedia ( see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Sunflowergal3... for starters). My wife said to me one day, while I was embroiled in heated debate with some Wikipedia editor, that Wikipedians remind her of the folks on the LemonLyman.com website. Ha! Ha! And this clip expresses the sentiment that I have felt towards the Wikipedia community, for some time. And not just me, but a lot of other people as well.

However, mainly I chose this clip because it is instructive on how to deal (or not to deal) with online social media communities as a public official.

The clip is instructive really for anyone who acts as a spokesperson or representative of a corporation, organization or institution that influences and interacts with the public online.

Oh, I could offer pages worth, tomes worth, of commentary comparing aspects of the dictatorial moderators of LemonLyman.com to the legalistic and hypocritical editors of Wikipedia. But ... I don't have enough space for a dissertation! Suffice it to say that every single emotion that Josh Lyman (played by Bradley Whitford) felt about the LemonLyman folks, I've felt about Wikipedians at one time or another.

Where did Josh go wrong? In short, where Josh Lyman went wrong was when he said to Donna Moss (played by Janel Maloney), "I think I need to clarify my previous post." Why? Because you can't reason with hypocrites, and you can't clarify arguments to irrationals.

But one public relations organization is determined to take a whack at it anyway. As you may or may not know, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) - one of the leading public relations trade associations in the UK - is currently engaged in an advocacy initiative with Wikipedia ( see conversation.cipr.co.uk/posts/jane.wilso...). CIPR's leadership is drafting best practice guidelines for PR professionals to work with Wikipedia editors. (More details on this can be found at uk.wikimedia.org/wiki/Draft_best_practic...). In the best traditions of our profession, CIPR is trying to forge a mutually beneficial relationship between PR consultants and Wikipedians. To do that, CIPR's engaging in public dialogue, rhetoric and debate in the hopes that such will win over the hearts and minds of the Wikipedia community and the leadership of the Wikimedia Foundation, Wikipedia's oversight organization.

To know why this initiative is so monumental requires one to understand just how much Wikipedians loathe any monied interest or ideological whitewashing influencing their encyclopedia. What progress they will make, of course, remains to be seen. Despite my own misgivings about the success potential of this initiative, I do admire the work CIPR is doing on this front. I also think that, on some level, the success or failure of this initiative will say just as much about PR's shortcomings, as it will about Wikipedia's.

My personal feeling is that, as C. J. Cregg (Alison Janney) said and our firm experienced, CIPR is going to run into "the cast from one flew over the cuckoo's nest" when they attempt "to clarify their previous posts."

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Tue, 22 May 2012 10:36:51 -0500 http://www.profnetconnect.com/gnosisarts/blog/2012/05/22/wikipedias_tenuous_relationship_with_public_relations_pros http://www.profnetconnect.com/gnosisarts/blog/2012/05/22/wikipedias_tenuous_relationship_with_public_relations_pros I chose this clip, quite honestly, because of our rocky history as a PR firm with Wikipedia ( see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Sunflowergal3... for starters). My wife said to me one day, while I was embroiled in heated debate with some Wikipedia editor, that Wikipedians remind her of the folks on the LemonLyman.com website. Ha! Ha! And this clip expresses the sentiment that I have felt towards the Wikipedia community, for some time. And not just me, but a lot of other people as well.

However, mainly I chose this clip because it is instructive on how to deal (or not to deal) with online social media communities as a public official.

The clip is instructive really for anyone who acts as a spokesperson or representative of a corporation, organization or institution that influences and interacts with the public online.

Oh, I could offer pages worth, tomes worth, of commentary comparing aspects of the dictatorial moderators of LemonLyman.com to the legalistic and hypocritical editors of Wikipedia. But ... I don't have enough space for a dissertation! Suffice it to say that every single emotion that Josh Lyman (played by Bradley Whitford) felt about the LemonLyman folks, I've felt about Wikipedians at one time or another.

Where did Josh go wrong? In short, where Josh Lyman went wrong was when he said to Donna Moss (played by Janel Maloney), "I think I need to clarify my previous post." Why? Because you can't reason with hypocrites, and you can't clarify arguments to irrationals.

But one public relations organization is determined to take a whack at it anyway. As you may or may not know, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) - one of the leading public relations trade associations in the UK - is currently engaged in an advocacy initiative with Wikipedia ( see conversation.cipr.co.uk/posts/jane.wilso...). CIPR's leadership is drafting best practice guidelines for PR professionals to work with Wikipedia editors. (More details on this can be found at uk.wikimedia.org/wiki/Draft_best_practic...). In the best traditions of our profession, CIPR is trying to forge a mutually beneficial relationship between PR consultants and Wikipedians. To do that, CIPR's engaging in public dialogue, rhetoric and debate in the hopes that such will win over the hearts and minds of the Wikipedia community and the leadership of the Wikimedia Foundation, Wikipedia's oversight organization.

To know why this initiative is so monumental requires one to understand just how much Wikipedians loathe any monied interest or ideological whitewashing influencing their encyclopedia. What progress they will make, of course, remains to be seen. Despite my own misgivings about the success potential of this initiative, I do admire the work CIPR is doing on this front. I also think that, on some level, the success or failure of this initiative will say just as much about PR's shortcomings, as it will about Wikipedia's.

My personal feeling is that, as C. J. Cregg (Alison Janney) said and our firm experienced, CIPR is going to run into "the cast from one flew over the cuckoo's nest" when they attempt "to clarify their previous posts."

0 Comments - Leave a Comment
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How to Determine Exactly Which Google Display Network Site Delivered a Conversion

Or How to Track the Original (or First) Referrer of a Conversion using Google Analytics

(NOTE: In case you can't read the images below, the original post can be found here)

The purpose of this post is to answer one specific question: How to find out exactly which Google Adwords Display Network site was responsible for a conversion recorded in the Goal Funnel Visualization section in Google Analytics.

Now, I am sure there is more than one way to do this. I am sure there are cleaner, easier, simpler methods of doing this than my way. But as my Indian coding brothers like to say, "I didn't found one" - not one that worked consistently and under all cases, at least. Admittedly, this way is a bit complicated, consists of a lot of steps, and isn't all that intuitive. But it works. Our team spent two days researching, testing, tweaking, over many different test cases. So, we're confident it works and are excited to share it with you.

Can't You do This With Adwords Conversion Tracking?

Supposedly, you can do this with Adwords Conversion Tracking, as Brad Geddes explains here. However, we needed to do this for a client account, which complicates things. In order for Conversion Tracking to work, you have to be able to link your Adwords and Analytics accounts (I think). But you can only do this if the Adwords and Analytics account are under the same Google Account credentials .. or something. At any rate, we couldn't figure out how to do it this way. We are managing the client's Adwords campaign inside our own Adwords account, but the client is sharing the analytics data with us from inside their own Analytics account. So, linking the two - we couldn't figure out how to do that. (I don't even think it's possible when the Adwords and Analytics accounts have different usernames, but if someone else knows how, by all means, share!)

What You Will Need

  1. The Filter Manager - You will need to create two custom filters which we will show you later.
  2. Manual URL Tagging - with a slight modification
  3. Javascripts mentioned below
  4. A webserver to upload a .js file to be called remotely

The Steps

1. Add the GA Initial Referrer .js file to your webserver. You can find the script on our website here. (Note: Please ignore the other scripts and samples on this page; this is a testing page we use to house some coding we're working on). Kudos to John Henson at LunarMetrics, Brad at the ROI Revolution Blog, and Brian Clifton's first referrer tracking scripts. Scroll down to the section called "GA Initial Referrer Script". Copy this to a text file, rename the .txt extension to a .js extension, and upload to your webserver. Remember the path because you will need it later.

2. Add the GA Initial Referrer Script 2 .js script to the web pages you want to track. You can find the script on the same page as in # 1, in the section titled "GA Initial Referrer Script 2". Add this just above your existing Google Analytics tracking scripts, on all pages. You may even add this script on your confirmation pages as well. Your revised tracking script should look like this:

Google Analytics Tracking Script, Revised to Track Initial Referrer

Note that you will need change the path of the first line of html_removed

3. Create a filter to view the conversion referrer. The filter looks like this:

See Conversion Referrer URL Filter

What this fliter does is takes the value in utm_medium of a manually tagged URL and rewrites it to the utm_source value. Later on you will see why this filter is needed when we get down to how you're supposed to manually tag the URL. For ease of reading, the values for the above filter are

  • Filter Type: Custom -> Advanced
  • Field A: Campaign Medium -> ^(cpc|ppc)$
  • Field B: Referral -> ^https?://([^/]+)/
  • Output To: Campaign Source -> $B1
  • Field A required: Yes
  • Field B required: Yes
  • Override Output Field: Yes
  • Case Sensitive: No

By the way, you can find the place in Google Analytics to create such a filter here. See the yellow highlighted section below:

Where to Create the Filter in Google Analytics

4. Create a second filter to view the full URL of the referrer. (GA out of the box doesn't show you the full URL). It looks like this:

See Full URL of Referrer Filter

For ease of reading, the values for the above filter are

  • Filter Type: Custom Filter
  • Advanced
  • Field A -> Extract A: Referral (.*)
  • Field B -> Extract B: leave blank
  • Output To -> Constructor: User Defined $A1
  • Field A Required: Yes
  • Field B Required: No
  • Override Output Field: Yes
  • Case Sensitive: No

5. Manually tag the URLs for your Display Network ads following this syntax:

gnosisarts.com/home/Free_Press_Releases-...utm_source=&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=EP

Notice the orange highlighted section in the code above. Normally, you need to specify a value after the " = " sign for utm_source. However, for this case, you must leave the value blank. I am not sure why, but we noticed that, when you put in a value for "utm_source=", that value overrides everything else in the User Defined Value segment of your Analytics. We don't want this value to be hardcoded in there. Rather, we want it dynamically populated, as it were, from our customized tracking scripts.

Now you see the reason behind the first filter (number 3 above). Since we are rewriting the utm_medium to the utm_source value, we suspect that this is the reason we need to leave the "utm_source=" value as blank.

For example, when we put in "PRON3" as the value for "utm_source=", this is what we get in Analytics:

Manually Tagged URL with utm_source= specified

When we specified "utm_source=PRON3", this is what results. We get a (not set) for User Defined Value, when what we are really looking for is the original referrer URL.

But when we left "utm_source=" as blank, this is what we get (see lines numbers 7 and 8):

What it looks like when utm_source= isn't specified

Notice that we tried many different combinations and permutations of this (lines 1 - 6 and 9-10). All other versions of the manually tagged URL produced a "(not set)" in the User Defined Value.

Putting it All Together

What line 7 in the picture above tells us is that a person started off at a Display Network Placement of "http://www.pressreleasesonline.net/2011/ ..." and ended up at our conversion confirmation page (gnosisarts.com/home/Thank-You3.html). Google Analytics now shows us the full referrer URL of any content network placement that delivers a conversion! This is valuable because it gives us another way to see which content network sites are producing conversions and which aren't. We no longer have to just rely on the CTR of the Content Network placement to evaluate that placement's worth to our campaign.

Now, we do not know which of the elements mentioned above is causing GA to report all this in the way that we want. We tried many different combinations and permutations and none of them gave us exactly what we were looking for except this one. So, since we can't be for sure, we suggest you use all the steps we stated above - even if one or more of them is unneeded. Again, I'm sure there's a simpler way to do this, but we don't know of one that works as reliably as this one.

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Sat, 28 Apr 2012 15:06:48 -0500 http://www.profnetconnect.com/gnosisarts/blog/2012/04/28/how_to_determine_exactly_which_google_display_network_site_delivered_a_conversion http://www.profnetconnect.com/gnosisarts/blog/2012/04/28/how_to_determine_exactly_which_google_display_network_site_delivered_a_conversion

Or How to Track the Original (or First) Referrer of a Conversion using Google Analytics

(NOTE: In case you can't read the images below, the original post can be found here)

The purpose of this post is to answer one specific question: How to find out exactly which Google Adwords Display Network site was responsible for a conversion recorded in the Goal Funnel Visualization section in Google Analytics.

Now, I am sure there is more than one way to do this. I am sure there are cleaner, easier, simpler methods of doing this than my way. But as my Indian coding brothers like to say, "I didn't found one" - not one that worked consistently and under all cases, at least. Admittedly, this way is a bit complicated, consists of a lot of steps, and isn't all that intuitive. But it works. Our team spent two days researching, testing, tweaking, over many different test cases. So, we're confident it works and are excited to share it with you.

Can't You do This With Adwords Conversion Tracking?

Supposedly, you can do this with Adwords Conversion Tracking, as Brad Geddes explains here. However, we needed to do this for a client account, which complicates things. In order for Conversion Tracking to work, you have to be able to link your Adwords and Analytics accounts (I think). But you can only do this if the Adwords and Analytics account are under the same Google Account credentials .. or something. At any rate, we couldn't figure out how to do it this way. We are managing the client's Adwords campaign inside our own Adwords account, but the client is sharing the analytics data with us from inside their own Analytics account. So, linking the two - we couldn't figure out how to do that. (I don't even think it's possible when the Adwords and Analytics accounts have different usernames, but if someone else knows how, by all means, share!)

What You Will Need

  1. The Filter Manager - You will need to create two custom filters which we will show you later.
  2. Manual URL Tagging - with a slight modification
  3. Javascripts mentioned below
  4. A webserver to upload a .js file to be called remotely

The Steps

1. Add the GA Initial Referrer .js file to your webserver. You can find the script on our website here. (Note: Please ignore the other scripts and samples on this page; this is a testing page we use to house some coding we're working on). Kudos to John Henson at LunarMetrics, Brad at the ROI Revolution Blog, and Brian Clifton's first referrer tracking scripts. Scroll down to the section called "GA Initial Referrer Script". Copy this to a text file, rename the .txt extension to a .js extension, and upload to your webserver. Remember the path because you will need it later.

2. Add the GA Initial Referrer Script 2 .js script to the web pages you want to track. You can find the script on the same page as in # 1, in the section titled "GA Initial Referrer Script 2". Add this just above your existing Google Analytics tracking scripts, on all pages. You may even add this script on your confirmation pages as well. Your revised tracking script should look like this:

Google Analytics Tracking Script, Revised to Track Initial Referrer

Note that you will need change the path of the first line of html_removed

3. Create a filter to view the conversion referrer. The filter looks like this:

See Conversion Referrer URL Filter

What this fliter does is takes the value in utm_medium of a manually tagged URL and rewrites it to the utm_source value. Later on you will see why this filter is needed when we get down to how you're supposed to manually tag the URL. For ease of reading, the values for the above filter are

  • Filter Type: Custom -> Advanced
  • Field A: Campaign Medium -> ^(cpc|ppc)$
  • Field B: Referral -> ^https?://([^/]+)/
  • Output To: Campaign Source -> $B1
  • Field A required: Yes
  • Field B required: Yes
  • Override Output Field: Yes
  • Case Sensitive: No

By the way, you can find the place in Google Analytics to create such a filter here. See the yellow highlighted section below:

Where to Create the Filter in Google Analytics

4. Create a second filter to view the full URL of the referrer. (GA out of the box doesn't show you the full URL). It looks like this:

See Full URL of Referrer Filter

For ease of reading, the values for the above filter are

  • Filter Type: Custom Filter
  • Advanced
  • Field A -> Extract A: Referral (.*)
  • Field B -> Extract B: leave blank
  • Output To -> Constructor: User Defined $A1
  • Field A Required: Yes
  • Field B Required: No
  • Override Output Field: Yes
  • Case Sensitive: No

5. Manually tag the URLs for your Display Network ads following this syntax:

gnosisarts.com/home/Free_Press_Releases-...utm_source=&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=EP

Notice the orange highlighted section in the code above. Normally, you need to specify a value after the " = " sign for utm_source. However, for this case, you must leave the value blank. I am not sure why, but we noticed that, when you put in a value for "utm_source=", that value overrides everything else in the User Defined Value segment of your Analytics. We don't want this value to be hardcoded in there. Rather, we want it dynamically populated, as it were, from our customized tracking scripts.

Now you see the reason behind the first filter (number 3 above). Since we are rewriting the utm_medium to the utm_source value, we suspect that this is the reason we need to leave the "utm_source=" value as blank.

For example, when we put in "PRON3" as the value for "utm_source=", this is what we get in Analytics:

Manually Tagged URL with utm_source= specified

When we specified "utm_source=PRON3", this is what results. We get a (not set) for User Defined Value, when what we are really looking for is the original referrer URL.

But when we left "utm_source=" as blank, this is what we get (see lines numbers 7 and 8):

What it looks like when utm_source= isn't specified

Notice that we tried many different combinations and permutations of this (lines 1 - 6 and 9-10). All other versions of the manually tagged URL produced a "(not set)" in the User Defined Value.

Putting it All Together

What line 7 in the picture above tells us is that a person started off at a Display Network Placement of "http://www.pressreleasesonline.net/2011/ ..." and ended up at our conversion confirmation page (gnosisarts.com/home/Thank-You3.html). Google Analytics now shows us the full referrer URL of any content network placement that delivers a conversion! This is valuable because it gives us another way to see which content network sites are producing conversions and which aren't. We no longer have to just rely on the CTR of the Content Network placement to evaluate that placement's worth to our campaign.

Now, we do not know which of the elements mentioned above is causing GA to report all this in the way that we want. We tried many different combinations and permutations and none of them gave us exactly what we were looking for except this one. So, since we can't be for sure, we suggest you use all the steps we stated above - even if one or more of them is unneeded. Again, I'm sure there's a simpler way to do this, but we don't know of one that works as reliably as this one.

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