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Aug 16, 2010, 13:54 CDT
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Thursday, June 9, 2011, 10:53 AM
Klout, the company that attempts to measure the influence of social media users with an algorithm-generated score, introduced its +K feature last week. On the surface, this appears to be Klout's answer to Facebook's like and Google's +1 buttons. However, Klout's feature is a bit more nuanced.
What +K is
The company calls +K "the ability to vouch for your peers' influence in topics." Each user on Klout is assigned up to 10 topics on which they're supposedly influential about. Underneath each of a user's topics is a button that says, "Give +K." Clicking on this button tells Klout that that user has recently influenced you on this particular topic.
Another wrinkle in the +K feature is that users get five +K to shell out every day, and they can give +K to the same user on a given topic once every seven days. This aspect of Klout's new feature has compelled many to call this a form of "social currency."
While +K is limited to Klout's website for now, CEO Joe Fernandez says Klout has plans to expand the feature across the Web.
This feature adds a layer of gamification to Klout's website and makes it "stickier" for its users. More page views are sure to follow, as users monitor their influence and dole out +K to others. It's also interesting to see Klout offering a relatively subtle tool instead of a blunt one. Making +K a way for users to indiscriminately and directly boost each other's overall Klout scores would have been much less insightful and a lot easier to game. Crafting +K to be about the specific topics a user is influential about is the better way to go.
That said, +K and Klout as a whole are still quite raw. For starters, the topics Klout's algorithm assigns to its users are sometimes laughable. While users can hide topics from being displayed on their profiles, there is currently no way for users to add topics to users' profiles themselves (though the company says it plans to allow self-submission of topics in the near future).
Also, despite Klout's plans for implementing +K into big social media cogs like Twitter and YouTube, the fact remains that the feature is walled-in right now. This, along with the imperfect topics assigned to users, limits the relevance and usefulness of +K for the time being.
The implications for brands
Klout's introduction of +K means brands will have another way to carve out a niche of authority for themselves. It also menas brands have another tool to use to help them target their products and services to consumers, either via Klout Perks or through their own word-of-mouth campaigns. However, this won't be a clear-cut endeavor.
There's a case to be made against the strategy of placing too much emphasis on targeting so-called "influentials." Even if brands choose to take this route by using +K data, it may prove to be inefficient once users figure out how to game the system. By artificially getting +K, users will position themselves in a way that gets the attention of brands. If a brand includes one of these in their campaigns, they'll be wasting time, effort and money on people who are not influential at all.
On a more positive note, there will be creative uses of +K. For instance, in a recent interview with tech aficionado Robert Scoble, Fernandez shared about the potential for media organizations to target and seed relevant stories to influencers on a particular topic before they get to anyone else. It would also be interesting to see the +K concept rolled out into other products where topical expertise is especially important -- Q&A community Quora, for example.
The implications for everyday users
While it might be unfair to judge +K in its current form, there are already reasons to be wary of the feature and its consequences. One has to wonder whether a person clicking on a button to convey that a user has influenced them really reflects influence at all. Influence is a matter of unmeditated interactions and unconscious impressions, not all-too-aware contemplations and actions.
Once you start asking people to assess and focus on influence in this kind of social environment, their left hands become aware of what their right hands are doing -- it becomes less about influence and more about popularity, what you might get in return, etc. In essence, persuading people to say something about the influence of others in this kind of system compels them to focus on themselves.
Case in point: There have already been people seeing their friends on Twitter and Facebook asking for +K from their followers/friends on those sites. Take this further down the cynical rabbit hole and it's not too hard to imagine a quid pro quo ecosystem filled with users who feel obliged to return +K for +K, similar to the etiquette some adhere to regarding certain interactions on Twitter -- except with a more visible and misleading consequence.
Though +K might be the start of something big, in its current form it's just a blip on the radar. It brings a more granular approach to measuring social influence to the table, and that's something to keep an eye on. For brands, +K offers a way to further establish authority in their industries by stepping up interactions on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, which may be a boon for their followers and fans on those sites. However, utilizing +K as a way to target consumers for campaigns will require discernment and attention, especially as users figure out ways to take advantage of the system.
For everyday users, it seems like this opens the door for more regrettable repercussions than positive ones. Klout is prodding users toward sycophantic "social" behavior, egging them on to trade natural social media interactions for contrived ones. Though not all of Klout's users will be so bold as to outright ask for +K, some will adjust their social media behavior in a way that's conducive to getting +K and boosting Klout scores, an echo of what content farms did to get favorable search rankings. Is this the second coming of content farms? No, but as businesses continue to press for more metrics for their social media campaigns, and as sites like Klout pump out scores and data attempting to quantify behavior, Twitter streams and Facebook walls might become less natural and more calculated.
Monday, June 6, 2011, 11:31 AM
NYT Columnist's Relationship With PR Professional Comes Under Fire: David Pogue, a New York Times technology columnist, has reportedly been dating Nicki Dugan, a vice president of OutCast Agency, for the past year. OutCast is a PR firm in San Francisco that represents big hitters like Amazon, Facebook and Yahoo, and Pogue has written about OutCast's clients and competitors without divulging his relationship with Dugan. Pogue's editor was informed of the relationship last December and was fine with it, so long as Pogue didn't write about companies Dugan personally represented and OutCast didn't pitch stories to Pogue. (PR Daily)
U.S. PR Consultancies Saw Fee Revenue Rise 11 Percent in 2010: According to the International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO) World Report 2011, PR consultancies in the U.S. posted an average 11 percent year-over-year increase in overall fee revenue in 2010. This was a significant improvement from the 5 percent decline in 2009. "Digital and social media services are playing an increasingly important role as PR gains share against other marketing disciplines, though staffing remains a challenge." (ICCO)
Anthony Weiner's Mishandled PR: Anthony Weiner, the New York representative who is ensnared in a scandal (affectionately dubbed "Weinergate") involving an inappropriate photo being sent from his Twitter account to a college student, is breaking PR protocol -- in cringe-worthy ways. Instead of simply issuing a statement saying he wouldn't be answering questions on the matter, Weiner stumbled repeatedly by offering rambling answers that did nothing to put the matter to rest. "There are two likely outcomes to Weinergate. It could go down as one of the worst-handled PR incidents in recent political history. Or, there is more to the photo than Weiner is currently willing to admit." Until Weiner directly addresses the central issue of whether or not it's actually him in that photo, no PR strategy can save him from the torrent of questions coming his way. (15-Seconds Blog, International Business Times, The Washington Post)
Urban Outfitters Was Too Slow: It's not the first time we've seen it: a company is the object of negative comments on social media and drags their feet in responding. Urban Outfitters is the latest example. The clothing retailer was recently accused of ripping of an independent jeweler's design by none other than Stevie Koerner, the jeweler herself. Koerner wrote a blog post titled, "Not cool Urban Outfitters, not cool." Word quickly spread on Twitter and users took to Twitter and Urban Outfitters' Facebook page to voice their support for Koerner. "Instead of responding to Ms. Koerner’s comments and her following of supporters, the retailer resorted to a single tweet stating that it was investigating the issue. It did not follow up and keep the community updated on its findings, though it has crafted a response on its website." This is yet another reminder of how quickly news can make their way into social media streams, and how a slow, inadequate response can damage one's reputation. (The Globe and Mail)
The Future, Credibility and Harm of Journalism Education: Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism recently changed its name to "The Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications." This has sparked a wide range of reactions, but the central question is why a leading journalism school would choose to identify itself so closely to marketing. Following this thread leads to big topics, including where journalism education is headed, how it's unnecessary (and even "bad for the craft") and an alternative path. Why not take journalism out of its silo and incorporate it into the teaching of other subjects? (The Nation)
Public Relations Done Awesome: It's easy to find stories of PR people making botched attempts at reaching out to bloggers and social media types. This is most certainly not one of them. Here's an account of how a PR agency rep for an ice cream brand said and did all the right things, then went the extra mile by delivering four custom boxes of ice cream to the blogger -- in person. "Just because you’re in an agency, doesn’t mean you can’t be awesome. PR doesn’t have to stand for Press Release. It can still mean Public Relations. When you do awesome things, it makes people want to share the awesome. It wouldn’t matter how much they paid me, I wouldn’t use this blog to promote ice cream. And now I just did. Because of the awesome." (UnMarketing)
Julian Assange Wins the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism: Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, has been named the winner of the 2011 Martha Gellhorn Prize for journalism. "This prestigious award celebrates journalism that challenges secrecy and mendacity in public affairs -- ‘official drivel’, as Gellhorn called it -- and raises 'forgotten' issues of public importance, without fear or favour, working against the grain of government spin," according to the award's website. The six judges said Assange "represents that which journalists once prided themselves in – he’s brave, determined, independent: a true agent of people not of power." (The Next Web)
Crowdsourced Tips for Getting Your First Paid Journalism Job: Getting a journalism job these days is challenging. Gone are the days when an internship put you closer to your first paid job -- now, it seems, you need three or more, or you start your own publication. Here's a crowdsourced look at advice people shared regarding landing that first, paid journalism job. Three topics are covered, with the help of word clouds: 1) What are the top three skills you think journalists need to get a job now? 2) What is the key to getting a journalism job? 3) Give a one-word tip to aspiring journos trying to land a gig. "Journalism is a calling. And if you want to make it, you can never give up. Good luck and remember to pay it forward." (Online Journalism Review)
Forget Influence -- Connect and Build Trust: The Web isn't about influence -- it never was. Yet many people maintain an "unhealthy obsession" with influence and use the word to define their startups, reflecting a misunderstanding of the nature of Web communities. When building a Web community, use data but don't get blinded by tools and metrics. It's not about influence, but about trust, which is more qualitative. "Build connections and trust with those that matter. And the funny thing is, by focusing on less but higher quality connections you position yourself far better for growth than unartfully trying to persuade over-tapped influencers to get a flirting glimpse in front of their audience." (The Future Buzz)
What is 'Community Engagement'?: What does "community engagement" mean? Is it something to get excited about? Is it about marketing? Is it yet another chore for you? The tweet-friendly definition is: "Community engagement = News orgs make top priority to listen, to join, lead & enable conversation to elevate journalism." This post unpacks each of the key words in that definition and lists the primary techniques of community engagement, including social media, blog networks, crowdsourcing, breaking news, engaging through stories and community events, curation and aggregation, content submitted by users, and voting. (The Buttry Diary)
Friday, June 3, 2011, 12:23 PM
Following are ProfNet’s Expert Alerts for Friday, June 3.
Via Expert Alerts, ProfNet members can alert reporters to experts and potential stories by showcasing the experts' knowledge on timely issues or trends. Reporters can contact experts via the contact information listed at the end of each alert.
For more information on Expert Alerts, please go to budurl.com/expertalerts
Cellphones and Cancer (10 experts)
1. Health: Food Pyramid Traded in for MyPlate
Have you checked out the ProfNet Connect online network lately? The site features more than 44,000 profiles, all searchable by keyword, institution type, location, and even language(s) spoken. In addition, the site's Blogs section has hundreds of articles each month on topics ranging from expert opinion pieces to social-media tip sheets. And now through June 10, every media professional that registers for the free network will be entered into a drawing to win an iPad 2! Want to know more? Visit bit.ly/profnetcontest for all the details and then register at www.profnetconnect.com
CELLPHONES AND CANCER:
Following are experts who are available to discuss various health issues related to the World Health Organization listing cellphones as a possible cause of cancer.
**1. Bob Carter, M.D., Ph.D., chief of the division of neurosurgery at the University of California, San Diego (UC San Diego), Medical Center, and the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, can discuss the WHO's announcement that cellphones may cause cancer. News Contacts: Jackie Carr, firstname.lastname@example.org or Kim Edwards, email@example.com Phone: +1-619-543-6163
**2. Dr. Cara Frankenfeld, assistant professor in the Department of Global and Community Health at George Mason University, can speak to the WHO levels of carcinogenicity and the public health impact of the WHO findings. Frankenfeld says that, in most cases, the average cellphone user doesn't have anything to worry about: "There are several layers that the WHO uses to classify compounds in terms of carcinogenicity, which range from Group 1 (carcinogenic to humans) to Group 4 (probably not carcinogenic to humans). Cellphones were classified in Group 2B, which is possibly carcinogenic to humans. Tobacco smoking has been classified in Group 1. Cellphones have become a large part of our society, so we need to understand any possible health risks associated with their use. Because the evidence for most cancers is considered inadequate to draw conclusions regarding whether cellphones are a cause of cancer, these findings illustrate the need for further monitoring and studies." Frankenfeld completed postdoctoral studies at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and at the National Cancer Institute. Frankenfeld: firstname.lastname@example.org
**3. Santosh Kesari, M.D., Ph.D., chief of the division of neuro-oncology at the Department of Neurosciences and associate professor of neurosciences at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, can discuss the WHO's announcement that cellphones may cause cancer. News Contacts: Jackie Carr, email@example.com or Kim Edwards, firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: +1-619-543-6163
**4. James Marshall, Ph.D., senior vice president and chair of the Department of Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y. (an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center): "We've only been using cellphones for 20 years, so we don't know what the long-term impact of them is. Now I don't have children (they're all grown), but if I did, I would sure be awfully careful about letting them hold something like that up to their head." Marshall's bio: tinyurl.com/3povgbx Marshall: email@example.com News Contact: Annie Deck-Miller, Ann.Deck-Miller@RoswellPark.org Phone: +1-716-845-8593
**5. Edward Pan, M.D., is an assistant member of the neuro-oncology program at H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute: "Cellphones have been around for only 15 years, so the data is inconclusive. We need to have a case-controlled study that tracks people’s behaviors and outcomes before we can validate a link between cellphone use and cancer. I don't advise people to not use their cellphone, but I think limiting it is reasonable. That may mean texting more or using a headset or speakerphone." Pan's bio: tinyurl.com/3cuwqsb News Contact: Varuni Jaipershad, VJaipershad@FHBnet.com
**6. Samuel Potolicchio, M.D., is a neurologist with The GW Medical Faculty Associates who is well-versed in studies surrounding the topic of cellphones and cancer. He has followed the data closely after the diagnosis and eventual death of his resident, Dr. Chris Newman. Newman believed his cancer was due to cellphone radiation. For more information on Potolicchio, please visit his profile at tinyurl.com/3ev36h4 News Contacts: Kathryn McGriff, firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: +1-202-741-3381 or Kristin McLinn, email@example.com Phone: +1-202-741-2861
**7. Lisa Rogers, DO, a neurologist, is the medical director of the neuro-oncology program at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland. She can discuss the WHO's announcement that cellphones may cause cancer. News Contact: George Stamatis, firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: +1-216-844-3667
**8. David Savitz is professor of community health, and obstetrics and gynecology, at Brown University. He serves on an international committee that monitors the issue of cancer risk and non-ionizing radiation (www.icnirp.de/sc1.htm): "I find the conclusions surprising given that there is increasingly strong evidence that cellphone use has no association with brain cancer occurrence," Savitz told the Los Angeles Times. "With few exceptions, the studies directly addressing the issue indicate the lack of association." Savitz: David_Savitz@brown.edu
**9. Dr. Michael Schulder, director of the Cushing Neuroscience Brain Tumor Institute at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y., can discuss the WHO's announcement that cellphones may cause cancer. News Contact: Michelle Pipia-Stiles, email@example.com Phone: +1-516-570-4406
**10. Andrew Sloan, M.D., a neurosurgeon, is the director of the Brain Tumor and Neuro-Oncology Center at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland. He can discuss the WHO's announcement that cellphones may cause cancer. News Contact: George Stamatis, firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: +1-216-844-3667
**1. HEALTH: FOOD PYRAMID TRADED IN FOR MYPLATE. Kent Shoemaker, CEO of Immokalee, Fla.-based Lipman, can talk about Michelle Obama and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack unveiling the new MyPlate symbol, which replaces the iconic food pyramid: "The government hopes that the simpler plate image will help Americans visualize recommended serving sizes. Because fruit and vegetable consumption levels in the U.S. remain well below other industrialized nations, we firmly believe that continuing to help promote freshness and a healthy lifestyle is going to be a positive for our industry. With the help of the USDA, people will come to recognize the benefits of eating more fresh fruits and vegetables. We need to help promote these healthy products in our menus and on our dinner tables to encourage a better American diet and produce high-quality products that will satisfy demand.” The change is part of the USDA’s initiative for healthy eating, a mission that Lipman -- North America’s largest field-tomato grower -- has been championing for decades. Profile: www.profnetconnect.com/kent_shoemaker News Contact: Jennifer Izzo, email@example.com
Wednesday, June 1, 2011, 12:28 PM
Last Wednesday, May 25, the Newswomen's Club of New York hosted a workshop titled, "Journalists and Social Media: Using Social Media in Reporting and Publicizing Your Work." The two-hour panel discussion was hosted at the offices of DNAinfo.com, a hyperlocal news website covering Manhattan.
The panelists were:
- Jonathan Oatis, front-page editor for the Americas at Thomson Reuters
- Carla Zanoni, reporter and producer at DNAinfo.com
The discussion was moderated by Latrice Davis, a freelance journalist.
As the title of the session implies, the focus was on how journalists can get acquainted with social media and leverage those tools for their jobs. Topics spanned from the fundamentals of tweeting, to firsthand stories of how social media was used to find and report stories. Below are four of the points made during the discussion:
- Social media is useful: A recurring theme during the panel was how practical and useful social media is for doing on-the-ground reporting. Zanoni, who covers northern Manhattan for DNAinfo.com, follows hashtags for the regions where she does her reporting. She also follows local terms for her beat, including the names of streets, buildings, schools and museums, and follows both "Washington Heights" and "#washingtonheights." While using that hashtag is "crazy" because of how long it is, Zanoni said she wants to make sure she's not just following people who use Twitter the way she does.
"This opens me up," she said. "I have actually discovered that in upper Manhattan there's a tremendous amount of a teenage audience that's using Twitter, and I have gotten a lot of stories this way."
Zanoni also shared that she follows 300 people in her area of coverage who she's met and verified in person at some point, and has put them into a Twitter list. She uses this list to follow their conversations. "That's one way that I keep track and get story ideas."
She shared an example from last summer when she was keeping track of a local basketball tournament via Twitter. "I'm sitting in my living room at 9:30 at night during the summer and I see all of these tweets coming in about this big fight that had broken out and that somebody had a gun. I threw on my jeans and ran over and was able to report on that."
- Social media is just a tool; the fundamentals remain the same: Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms are just tools -- the fundamentals of communication and journalism remain the same.
Zanoni shared how she recently received a direct message on Twitter meant for someone else. Though the contents of the message weren't anything troubling, this served as a cautionary reminder for journalists to remember the public nature of social media and to heed a basic rule: "Don't write anything that you wouldn't want your grandmother to read, don't tweet anything you wouldn't want your grandmother to read."
From a journalism perspective, Zanoni added that finding leads via Twitter are just nuggets and tips that require follow-up journalism. "This is just a tool to facilitate deeper reporting," she said.
"It's just another tool in the toolbox and shouldn't be seen as a be-all and end-all," added Oatis. He followed this up with a caution about confirming people's identities on social media sites. Though Twitter marks verified accounts, Oatis said he'd still want to confirm a user's identity himself.
"I do the same thing I would do with an email from somebody or a Web page -- call their people, call their publicist, call their PR operations," he said.
Zanoni emphasized the notion that social media is just a tool, "So you need to be doing the same kind of reporting that you would be doing normally. And as much as the pressure is on to be the first one to report something, to be the first person to send something out, I'd rather be right than first, and I truly believe you have to choose one or the other."
- Promote yourself and your organization: Social media is also a tool that can be useful for promoting yourself and your organization. Oatis shared that Reuters encourages its staff to use Twitter and Facebook to brand themselves and the company. This might mean posting your own stories on Facebook and Twitter, as well as sharing stories from other reporters at your organization, even if they're completely unrelated to what you cover.
Sharing links to articles outside of your own or those from your organization also helps to build credibility, according to Oatis. "My gut tells me if you do nothing but tweet your own organization's stuff, you lose credibility. But if you tweet stuff or share links on Facebook to stuff that's just interesting, that's good -- whether it's from your organization or somewhere else -- then you add to your credibility, you get more followers, people start sending you more stuff. It's just more fun."
Davis responded by saying, "I think that the one thing I'm having trouble reconciling myself, and I'm sure there are other journalists who are struggling with it as well, is the idea of branding myself. I don't like the idea of being reduced to a product."
"To be honest, it's an awful term," Oatis replied. "But what it's about is just making yourself stand out from the crowd, and making yourself more attractive to potential employers because you're more visible and they get to know you as a person."
- Journalists as entrepreneurs: This brought the discussion to another point: It's not enough to be a writer or editor anymore -- you have to be an entrepreneur as well.
"There is no way to survive in this industry if you're not getting comfortable with that kind of marketing," said Zanoni. "As comfortable as we are with those 9-to-5 jobs, they may come, they may go. It's about having a constant conversation with lots of different sources and making sure that you're known, out there."
Tuesday, May 31, 2011, 11:30 AM
This is the inaugural edition of a new series of weekly blog posts. These posts will round up 10 interesting media-related stories from the previous week.
The True Cost of a Social Media Campaign: How much does a full, year-long social media campaign actually cost? About $210,600, according to estimates from Bonsai Interactive, a social media and mobile marketing company. This may be surprising when you think about how opening social media accounts is usually a free endeavor, but when you consider staffing costs, advertising, external fees and the necessary tools for launching a thorough social media campaign, it makes sense. See the details of the breakdown in this nifty infographic, which includes other tidbits of information, including the economic potential of having fans on Facebook and the estimated value of Twitter followers. (Focus)
Five Reasons Why the Reporter Didn't Quote You: There are few things as frustrating as nailing a media interview only to find out that you've been left out of the reporter's story. While it may be easy to get down on yourself, be of better cheer -- this may not be your fault. Five reasons why the reporter may have dropped you from their story are: 1) the reporter's storyline may have changed, 2) the reporter may have upgraded their source, 3) the reporter may have run out of space, 4) you may not have said anything useful, or 5) you may have useful things in an unquotable way. Accompanying each reason are ways you can go about things differently next time. (Mr. Media Training)
How to Avoid a Social PR Hangover in Six Steps: Social media is described by some as "one big cocktail party," with tweets, emails and search results all converging to form a potent mix. When a social media PR campaign goes awry, something akin to a hangover is experienced. Here are six ways to avoid the social PR hangover: 1) proactively control branded search results before a problem arises, 2) draw the line with employee guidelines, 3) monitor who's saying what about your brand, 4) think before you send out emails and tweets, 5) remember that phone conversations can sometimes be more efficient and safer than email volleys, and 6) consider security. (Search Engine Watch)
Lance Armstrong Responds to '60 Minutes' With a Single Tweet: What did Lance Armstrong have to say in response to the "60 Minutes" story that turned the public's attention back to the cyclist's alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs? "20+ year career. 500 drug controls worldwide, in and out of competition. Never a failed test. I rest my case." Those 109 characters were "blasted out to Armstrong’s nearly 2.9 million followers, and then retweeted thousands of times, effectively making a clean sweep of the Web." Instead of falling for the "ratings trap" set up by CBS, Armstrong and his team of PR experts simply responded with that tweet and followed up by linking to a response website, effectively taking the steam out of the once-hot story. (PR Daily)
Meporter: Opportunities and Challenges: Meporter is a new location-based mobile application that aims to help citizen journalists report on events and breaking news. "A couple things about Meporter’s approach stand out: The company is offering to license these reports to news organizations, and it is offering real rewards and possibly even payments to the users who create content." While this app presents intriguing opportunities for news organizations and citizen journalists, Meporter faces the daunting challenges of building a significant network of users, making sure posts are accurate and differentiating itself from other apps in the space. (Poynter, TechCrunch)
Five Taboo Topics in Social Media: Say whatever you want on your personal social media account. But when you're using a business account, everything you say has the potential to become a problem, either today or in the future. In general, avoid these five things on your business social media account: 1) personal topics, 2) updates about not working, 3) complaints about customers, 4) politics or religion, and 5) bad language. (PR Fuel)
PR Belongs in Business Schools: Not many MBA programs bother to teach reputation management, a trend that clearly needs to change, as many qualified chief executives "find themselves looking foolish after responding obtusely to common and inevitable threats to their companies' reputations." MBA programs need to delve into the gap that exists between what companies do and say in order to help rebuild trust between company stakeholders and businesses. Knowing how to manage reputation also creates tangible value in the forms of product pricing, stock price, revenue stability and customer loyalty. (Businessweek)
Eight Ideas for Making a Living From Your Blog: An article that recently ran in The New York Times spotlighted a handful of bloggers who are earning a living from what used to be their hobby. Among the takeaways are: choose a topic you'll never get tired of, learn how advertising happens on the Web, use video on your blog and ask for donations. (PR Daily)
The Meaning of Community: Social media is a great tool for building vibrant online communities and friendships. But what's the true meaning of the word "community"? This social media and PR professional shares about a somber experience of a neighborhood community coming together to support a family who lost their daughter. "The sense of community you can feel from 2,000 silent neighbors can be far more meaningful and poignant than the sense of community you might get from 20,000 Twitter friends. Not more important. More meaningful." (PR-Squared)
Ten Interesting Facebook Facts and What They Say About Us: A number of recent surveys and studies have unearthed some fascinating tidbits of information about Facebook users. With more than 600 million people active on the social networking site, these bits of information provide "a deeper understanding of our evolving cultural norms: our values, our morals and our changing relationships between one another." Here's a look at 10 such facts and what they say about our views of business relationships, our happiness, how much we value privacy and how hung up we are on our exes, among other things. (CNN.com)