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Should PR pros use Reddit?

Should PR pros use Reddit? | PR and Social Media | Scoop.it
It isn’t as easy to jump onto Reddit and start posting as it is to get going on other social media sites, but it may just be worth the extra effort.
Lindsay Lee's insight:

Although Reddit is one of the most popular social media sites as far as user interaction, pr professionals have yet take the leap into the unchartered territory. The author of this article talks about how a client recently came across a relevant industry discussion on Reddit and wondered why its brand name was not mentioned. The answer was obvious to the writer being that Reddit is a user-generated site so the content is not controlled but it also sparked an interesting question. Since Reddit online community powered by users, is it an appropriate place for pr professionals to promote brand awareness for clients?

 

In case you haven’t dealt much with Reddit the author provides a brief overview of what the site is and how it works. “The site describes itself as “a source for what’s new and popular on the web.” Users are responsible for providing all the content and identifying what’s interesting and what isn’t. They share tidbits from all over the Internet on the social platform—images, stories, and more. Users then comment or vote to promote content they find most appealing, which then has a chance of landing on the site’s front page for maximum viewership.”

 

The upside of this site is the amount of users. With an audience of 85,901,746 unique visitors per month from more than 185 countries, why wouldn’t you want to tap into that market? “A successful post holds huge potential for generating online interest. The site includes hundreds of topics and subtopics relevant to a wide variety of interests. Commenting with unique insight on posts can gain you votes, upping the chances that your content will be read and shared and might even end up on the main page—where it will spread everywhere,” says the author.

 

But of course, with every upside there must be a downside. This site unfortunately has little tolerance for commercial content. The site thrives on non-promotional, non-editorialized material so users are sensitive to brand promotion and will immediately reject content that’s blatantly promotional. You also cannot control your image on Reddit like you can on other sites such as Facebook and Twitter, which make it even more risky.

 

The Cyber Relations chapter of Adventures in Public Relations says that the medium is best judged on a case-by-case basis (Guth and Marsh pg. 320). If the content is appropriate for the platform than go for it! But make sure you have done plenty of prior research so you do not damage your brand image.

 

Reddit is a very powerful tool if used correctly. It is completely different from any other social media site and therefore has to be treated differently. If you start small, gain respect and build a good reputation among Reddit users, then you can consider creating posts geared toward brand awareness but even then the author warns to do so with “extreme caution.” 

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How a Winery Uses Social Media to Increase Sales and Brand Loyalty

How a Winery Uses Social Media to Increase Sales and Brand Loyalty | PR and Social Media | Scoop.it
A case study on how a Napa Valley winery hit on a winning social media formula that pays dividends in both increased sales and brand loyalty.
Lindsay Lee's insight:

In this article, Whitehall Lane, a 20-year-old Napa Valley Winery run by the Leonardini, shares how they use social media to increase sales without breaking the law. Because their product is alcoholic, they face many challenges and restrictions with their business strategies on social media. The federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Bureau regulate what wineries can do. These laws prohibit them from giving away product samples so they had to go another route. They are also not allowed to run contests that give away wine, and they must monitor user-generated content for anything that might promote irresponsible drinking. “We don’t fool around with the TTB regulations,” said Katie Leonardini, direct sales manager for Whitehall Lane. But nevertheless, that has not stopped them from building a loyal fan base. The Consumer Relations chapter in Adventures in Public Realtions talks about the legal environment and how various federal agaencies regulate marketing communications and, like advertisers, public relations professionals must comply with the law (Guth and Marsh pg.169).

 

Whitehall began using Facebook and Twitter in 2009. In the last year they have expanded onto Instagram Pinterest and a blog. By keeping an eye on their brand while experimenting through trial and error, they’ve the perfect social medium formula for their company.1) By partnering with complementary brands, 2) rewarding loyal fans and 3) educating and telling stories vs. selling.

 

Contests and giveaways are standard tactics for many brands but because of the TTB restrictions on giving away alcohol, Whitehall had to do some creative thinking. They decided to giveaway things like wine glasses, cookbooks and even the Whitehall Lane estate olive oil, instead by having followers tag them on social media sites like Instagram. Whitehall lane also retweets content on Twitter and like photos on Instagram of complementary brands that promote tourism in Napa Valley, which helps with their brand image.

 

Another unique promotion Whitehall Lane does is rewarding existing fans rather than running contests to gain new followers. They would rather use contests to collect email addresses of current fans for their database than inflate follower numbers with people who aren’t true fans of their brand. “All of our fans are genuine,” said Leonardini. “Whitehall Lane isn’t about hundreds of thousands of fans, it’s more about the quality and the conversation,” she said.

 

Whitehall winery uses Twitter primarily to educate fans about food and wine pairings and share facts about Napa Valley and winemaking. The interaction they receive tells them this is what their followers want. They use their blog to post recipes and updates from the winemaker and harvest notes. Although they do not have very many subscribers to their blog yet, they are confident that if they remain consistent with quality content the numbers will follow. 

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Kellogg’s UK rethinks offering food to hungry kids in exchange for retweets

Kellogg’s UK rethinks offering food to hungry kids in exchange for retweets | PR and Social Media | Scoop.it
Twitter critics jumped all over the brand, saying it shouldn’t make charity contingent on social media promotion.
Lindsay Lee's insight:

More and more organizations are embracing cause-related marketing to build a cause-related brand. Kellogg's UK has officially jumped on the bandwagon. 

 

The current trend for this on twitter is organizations asking for retweets and offering a dollar or some other small donation for each one. Some brands have been doing this on Twitter for years now. For instance, The History Channel offered $1 (up to a total of $50,000) to veterans’ charities for each tweet that used the hashtag #thankavet on Veterans Day. It seemed to work very well for the History Channel and has worked well with other brands so Kellogg’s decided to give it a shot. 

 

This past weekend Kelloggs UK tweeted “1 RT = 1 breakfast for a vulnerable child.” The tweet was retweeted hundreds of times but unfortunately was not perceived the way Kelloggs intended it to be. Many people found tying feeding hungry children to retweets of a brand account distasteful. One person even tweeted “@KelloggsUK: 1RT = 1 breakfast for a vulnerable child” Anyone else find this kinda creepy? Like sayin "Help us advertise or kids go hungry"

 

Kellogg’s recognized the problem, deleted the tweet and apologized. Their tweet read: "We want to apologise for the recent tweet, wrong use of words. It's deleted. We give funding to school breakfast clubs in vulnerable areas." Later, they apologized again. "We’d like to sincerely apologise for our distasteful tweet yesterday. We accept full responsibility for any offence we have caused."

 

As always, there were a wide variety of responses. Some accepted the apology, some asked whether Kellogg’s would donate the breakfasts without the retweets, and some directly challenged the brand’s wording. One person even said, “@KelloggsUK it's not a wrong use of words, it's a wrong use of social.”

 

Personally I don’t think it was the wrong use of social media. Other organizations have done this and it has worked very well for them, it is all about the perception. I think this campaign could have gone better for them if they would have actually put a monetary amount on each retweet (similar to The History Channel). Also the word choice of “vulnerable children” is not appropriate. If the tweet had read something along the lines of “1 RT = $1 towards Help Give a Child Breakfast,” they may have received a better response.

 

Even though this campaign did not work out as well as Kellogg’s had hoped, they still did a good job with crisis communication while they received the backlash for their tweet. They did not engage in arguments with people, and took action as soon as possible. 

 

"The best crisis is the one avoided," (Guth and Marsh pg. 295). As the book discusses there are four different stages of crisis, the first being the Prodromal Crisis Stage. This is the warning stage, when signs of potential trouble exist. Luckily Kellogg's took control of the situation in this stage and did not let the crisis exceed to the next stage -"the point of no return," (Guth and Marsh pg. 296). 

 

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The Best Times to Post on Facebook

The Best Times to Post on Facebook | PR and Social Media | Scoop.it
Many studies claim to know the best time or day to post on Facebook -- but most of these studies conflict with one another.
Lindsay Lee's insight:

In this article, the author discusses claims that different studies have made about the best time to post on Facebook. She found that most of the studies conflicted with each other as well as her own analysis.

 

The first thing businesses need to understand is their audience. “Facebook posts receive half its reach within 30 minutes,” according to the author, so it’s important to know when the biggest majority of your audience is online. The author gives three easy steps to follow in order to determine your audience. 1) Determine who your audience is. You can accomplish this by looking at demographics of your followers like age range, gender, and location. 2) Think about what their day looks like.  “Is your typical fan a mom? A student? Likely to work at 9-5 job?” These factors can help determine a more specific time to post. 3) Apply what you know. After researching these different demographics you can choose the best time to post more accurately.

 

The bottom line is the best time to post is when your audience will see it so if the majority of your audience works a typical 9-5 job, stick to early morning, between work and dinner, and bedtime.

 

This article goes back to what Guth and Marsh were saying in the cyber relations chapter of Adventures in Public Relations. “The interactivity of the Web can be an effective tool for building and maintaining beneficial relationships –if it is used properly” (Guth and Marsh pg. 320). The segmentation of the web by the purpose, audience and medium, reiterates what the author was trying to explain. The purpose for Facebook posting in this situation would be that it is an effective way to reach the majority of your businesses audience. The audience would obviously be whoever you determine it is through the three steps the author gives, and the medium would be whichever platform reaches your audience the best, which in this case would be Facebook (Guth and Marsh pg. 321).

 

Posting regularly on social media sites with updates and information is one of the primary ways businesses still exist nowadays. If a business does not use social media and also use it effectively, they are missing out on a substantial customer platform. Businesses that do not have an online presence almost don’t exist in today’s world so it’s important to make the most of it and keep up with the ever-changing society to make your business as successful as possible and knowing how and when to reach your audience is the perfect way to start. 

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How to go the extra mile using Twitter for PR

How to go the extra mile using Twitter for PR | PR and Social Media | Scoop.it
Going beyond the basic uses of the platform can yield huge benefits.
Lindsay Lee's insight:

Using Twitter as a platform for public relations certainly isn’t a new idea in today’s world. Many journalists and pr practitioners are currently using it to reach their publics, but are they using it effectively? PR Daily writer, Shonali Burke discusses the four standard uses many of them are using today.

 

The first is publicizing. They can post news, blogs, and any other content pertaining to their company. Next is retweeting. When other people say something nice about the company, they retweet it, and tell the person how “awesome” they are for saying such nice things about them. Third is participating in #followfriday, which means doing a “reply-all” by using the hashtag. Live-tweeting from events is another popular tool. By using a hashtag created specifically for the event, people can follow everything that is going on there, rather than just hearing about it from one specific company. Last, but not least is pitching journalists.

 

The writer discussed how these activities are pretty standard, but how there are much better ways of doing all of them. There are many ways to “take it further,” says Burke. She suggests using twitter lists “smartly.” By being able to make lists public or private, the company has the ability to group specific people and/or companies to see what they are saying about them. According to the writer, “People like being added to lists, so you’re both giving them an ego boost and making it easier to find relevant content.” If you can decide who is most important to your company, you can reply to them regularly and build a more personal relationship. This goes back to the cyber-relations chapter in Adventures in Public Relations: Case Studies and Critical Thinking. The interactivity can help build and also maintain beneficial relationships by engaging in this type of communication (pg. 320).

 

This author also suggest to balance scheduled and real-time tweets. By using a dashboard site, (Burke uses HootSuite as an example), companies can monitor their lists; schedule tweets, and participate in other social networking sites all from the same place. “if you’re not, I truly believe you’re making too much work for yourself,” says Burke. Actively participating in Twitter chats helps build cyber-relations as well. People are able to have a more personal connection when they are interacting with each other.

 

Twitter is a platform that has “revolutionized the way we communicate.” So lastly, the author suggests going beyond “photo-sharing via Instagram, or tweeting pins from Pinterest.” It is still fairly simple to use, so take the opportunity to do more than what is already being done.

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J.P. Morgan, with egg on its face, cancels Twitter Q-and-A session

J.P. Morgan, with egg on its face, cancels Twitter Q-and-A session | PR and Social Media | Scoop.it
According to one analysis, two-thirds of the questions that used the #AskJPM hashtag were negative.
Lindsay Lee's insight:

Social media’s main purpose is to interact with people. Unfortunately, some large corporations, like JPMorgan Chase for example, have not quite figured out the perfect formula on how to do so.  

 

On November 7, J.P. Morgan tweeted,  “What career advice would you ask a leading exec at a global firm? Tweet a Q using #AskJPM. On 11/14 a $JM leader takes over @JPMorgan.” On November 11, they followed up with a tweet that read, “It’s a #TwitterTakeover: On 11/14 $JPM Vice Chairman, Jimmy Lee, takes over @JPMorgan to answer questions. Use #AskJPM to tweet a question.”

 

The Twitter Q-and-A session was supposed to take place with one of its top dealmakers, Jimmy Lee, to offer career advice for college students. “J.P. Morgan was an underwriter for Twitter’s initial public offering last week, and the banking giant seemed to be trying to seize the moment,” said the author. J.P. Morgan teased the session for a week; however, students were not the only ones chiming into the session.

 

According to the Telegraph, two thirds of the 80,000 tweets directed at J.P. Morgan were negative. Topics included the so-called London Whale, foreclosures, etc. On Wednesday evening, almost a full day before the Q-and-A was set to happen, the firm decided to cancel it. Their tweet read, “Tomorrow's Q&A is cancelled. Bad Idea. Back to the drawing board.” Of course you cannot get rid of a hashtag so the tweets were still coming in strong Thursday morning.

 

Twitter users continued to bash the company by asking questions like, “#askJPM What metrics do you use for bribes? $ billions saved/# of Four Seasons lunches? # of reg settlements/cushy post-gov't job arranged?” and “So, what's the best way to run a corrupt corporation without any kind of conscience?  #AskJPM.”

 

The article ends by warning other brands to think before creating a hashtag. There are a million things that could go wrong when you begin to involve the wrong audience. This case can be related back the Crisis Communications chapter in Adventures in Public Relations. J.P. Morgan did not anticipate the negative comments therefore they were not prepared when the tweets spiraled out of control. The Acute Crisis Stage is also called “the point of no return,” which is the moment when a crisis is recognized and some damage will occur (Guth and Marsh pg. 298). The company attempted to take control and cancel the Q-and-A but the damage had already been done and the attempt only made things worse. 

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Social Media Is Becoming THE Place For Video Discovery, And That's Great News For Brands

Social Media Is Becoming THE Place For Video Discovery, And That's Great News For Brands | PR and Social Media | Scoop.it
Social media is changing how online videos are found, shared, and created. (Social Media Is Becoming THE Place For Video Discovery, And That's Great ... - Business Insider: Socia...
Lindsay Lee's insight:

This article discusses how people are no longer turning to television or looking through the TV guide to discover videos anymore. Most people nowadays are completely reliant upon friends to see what they have shared on their social media pages. This is good news for brands because it means they will no longer have to pay to show their videos to their consumers. The work will be done for them if the video is compelling enough. Another perk of having videos shared by the consumers is that they are more likely to remember the brand involved if they viewed it on a social media network because they came across the video themselves and chose to watch it. 

 

The article goes on to give some key developments in social media video. The first is social media influenced video has eclipsed nonsocial video in terms of audience size. The majority of people now will discover or watch video and TV content on social media platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and new mobile-focused social video apps like Vine. According to Cisco, online video audiences are expected to double in 2016, reaching 1.5 billion globally. The second is that teens, a sought-after demographic, love video.

 

The author said, "BuzzFeed chose a small sample of 152 videos on the app and discovered that 80% of them were posted by teens. The next is advertisers want to be associated with social video. 85% of the U.S. Internet audience viewed online video in April 2013, and video advertising is now up to 13.2 billion monthly views in the U.S. alone." 

 

Research has shown that consumers are more likely to enjoy a brand video and remember the brand if they came across it as a social recommendation. The last development is that social is key to all-valuable viral video. For a brand, a video that goes “viral,” and earns millions of views on YouTube means that a brand has earned millions of impressions that it didn't have to pay for. Brands are using these key developments to crack the code that will tap the right emotions and encourage mass sharing.

 

This article relates back to the Consumer Relations chapter in Adventures in Public Relations. This chapter talks about how when public relations practitioners build relationships with consumers, they participate in marketing. The promotional phase of marketing is of course advertising, which is the process of creating and sending a persuasive message through controlled media (Guth and Marsh pg. 169). Crafting these videos for social media sites is the way these brands are advertising.  

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Ex-employee trashes Heart Attack Grill on Reddit

Ex-employee trashes Heart Attack Grill on Reddit | PR and Social Media | Scoop.it
The Las Vegas eatery fired back at the former hostess in an interview with The Huffington Post .
Lindsay Lee's insight:

Whoever said, "there is no such thing as bad publicity," may have been on to something. At least that is what John Basso seems to think; founder of Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas. 

 

During a Reddit AMA Tuesday, a former hostess at the Heart Attack Grill posted, “I am an ex-Hostess of the controversial Heart Attack Grill. If you aren't familiar it's the restaurant located in Downtown Vegas who is known for their 9000 calorie Quadruple Bypass Burger, Butterfat Milkshakes, and the infamous "if you weigh 350 pounds you eat for free" gimmick. It is a hospital themed restaurant where all customers have to wear hospital gowns, and if you don't finish your food we spanked you with a paddle. Ask me anything!” 

 

A Redditor asked what made her ultimately leave the restaurant. “Ultimately it was the work environment,” she wrote. "Extremely unorthodox, unprofessional, and chaotic.” In the AMA, the hostess even claimed that her manager once made her record a video of a man who passed out “so they could send it to the media.”

  

In the book, Public Relations Practices, there are rules for effective employee relations. The first rule states that employees should be told information affecting them or their jobs directly from the employer. The second is telling the bad news along with the good (Center et al pg. 25). Although this restaurant may seem completely bizarre, the owner has always been completely upfront and transparent about the company to both his employees and their customers. The employees know what is expected of them and the customers know what to expect when they walk through the door. He openly tells the media how terrible the food he serves them is. Their website also provides an address for hate mail so that people who disprove of his business can send write directly to them.

 

Because of the transparency of this business, The Heart Attack Grill has found itself in the news repeatedly in recent years. Earlier this month, Basso was interviewed on Bloomberg's in the Loop. During the interview he held up a bag of what he claimed were the cremated remains of someone who died at my restaurant. Basso also said, "I am probably the only restaurateur in the entire world who is unapologetically telling you that my food is bad for you, that it will kill you and that you should stay away from it.”  

 

In the media relation’s chapter of Public Relations Practices, studies have found that media influence is cumulative and long-term, the main power of the media is to make us aware, and the media concentrate on reporting bad news (Center et al pg. 160). Because Basso openly shares how bad his food is, the media picks it up to make the public aware. Even with the food as terrible as it is, they still continue to get customers in the door so maybe there is some truth to the saying “bad press is good press,” after all. 

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7 Hot Tips for Executing Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

7 Hot Tips for Executing Your Social Media Marketing Strategy | PR and Social Media | Scoop.it
Follow the 7 social media marketing tips we'll share with you here, and you will get the business results you're targeting.
Lindsay Lee's insight:

Social media marketing success doesn’t happen over night. It takes time to develop a process that produces success with persistent and consistent execution. The first step in social media marketing is to develop a strategy that defines the target audience and how they will be reached. Once the marketing strategy has been developed, the success of your efforts is dependent on your execution. This article discussed seven great tips on how to properly and efficiently execute your social media marketing strategy.

 

Tip number one is to spend time everyday executing your social media strategy. They suggest investing a minimum of the equivalent of 25 percent of a full-time daily employee. If this amount of time is not being spent on the strategy, it is not likely to get the results you desire. Also, the author says the social media manager should be measuring, communicating, posting, responding and analyzing your social media marketing every day.

 

The second tip is to develop a three-month editorial calendar. This will help identify the content you want to communicate over a three-month period. Even with the calendar though, it is important to execute it daily so every post is timely and reflects the current news.

 

Tip number three is to use the 10-4-1 rule. Your audience will quickly tune you out if the only thing you talk about is you. For every 15 social media posts, 1 should be a link to one of your landing pages, 4 should be links to your blog posts and 10 should be helpful content from other sources. This formula will help optimize your social media posting.

 

The fourth tip is to involve your sales team in your social media marketing. While you’re focused on optimizing your company’s social media marketing channels, have your sales and management team amplify your efforts with their personal accounts by encouraging them to share posts.

 

Tip number five is make it easy to share your content and follow your company. You can do this by making sure you have "follow" buttons on your website, email signatures and marketing collateral. Also, make sure to include “share” buttons on your email marketing, landing pages and blog articles.

 

The sixth tip is to follow your customers and key prospects and monitor regularly. What better way to learn what’s important to your prospects and customers than to see what they say on social media?

 

Finally, tip number seven is to review your analytics monthly and adjust tactics as necessary. The author says you can accomplish this by looking at your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to see what’s working well and what isn’t.

 

This article directly relates back to the Cyber Relations chapter in Adventures in Public Relations. “The internet has created a new front door for organizations.” (Guth and Marsh pg. 320). Organizations that are not using these tools are really doing themselves a disservice (unless they do not understand how to properly use it). If more companies would get on board and learn from others that social media marketing has worked for, they might be surprised at how far it can take them. 

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J. Crew promotes fall catalog with exclusive Pinterest debut

J. Crew promotes fall catalog with exclusive Pinterest debut | PR and Social Media | Scoop.it
The fashion retailer launched its highly anticipated fall collection in style, eliciting chatter with a limited release on the popular image-based social platform.
Lindsay Lee's insight:

J. Crew is going where no fashion magazine has gone before. For the first time in fashion history, the company has released their fall catalog completely online. Using a Pinterest board, J. Crew allowed loyal customers to have early access to the new collection and the opportunity to preorder styles. Prior to the catalog launch, J. Crew had yet to use any type of social media as a marketing platform.

 

In the book Adventures in Public Relations: Case Studies and Critical Thinking by David W. Guth and Charles Marsh, the authors discuss cyber relations and how “the internet has created a new front door for organizations.” (Guth and Marsh pg. 320).

 

Despite the fact that the Internet is criticized for being less formal then “traditional ink on paper,” the company took a risk and gave it a shot.

 

There are three different segmentations of the web that Guth and Marsh discuss. The first is purpose. The Internet is instant and easily accessible, which puts their catalog in their customer’s hands, virtually 24/7. The second is the audience. Because the majority of Pinterest users are women, as is the majority of their audience, it’s easy to see why J. Crew would use this as their media outlet. The last segmentation is the medium. The Internet is a convergence of all media so there are very few circumstances for which it is not suitable (Guth and Marsh pg. 321). J. Crew recognized this and took full advantage.

 

In the past companies similar to J. Crew have tried to use Pinterest as a “social scrapbook” for their brands, but none have ever taken the plunge and gone completely virtual. For example, Nordstrom began using the site as a new and interesting way to exhibit their clothing but never took it beyond the original idea.

 

So far their Pinterest board strategy has paid off, and leads “the retailer’s oncoming digital market sprint.” It has successfully created a way for the brand to “create buzz, engage followers, and give customers a chance to share their favorite pieces.”  

 

The fact that J. Crew decided to only debut the catalog online was a risky move but also very strategic. By not making it available in any other outlet, it forces the customers to use the board. The success or failure of this strategy will be easily measurable for the company so that they can decide whether or not to use it again in the future. Who knows? J. Crew might have just set the new standard for all future fashion catalogs to come. 

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