Tuesday, October 20, 2009
How do we keep these sites entertaining and appealing, which will drive traffic, yet communicate key messages? And please, don't tell me it's about creating interesting content. We all understand that's the baseline and table stakes for this discussion.
How do we keep these sites vibrant, yet commercial? What are the lessons we can learn from television's business model? Does the print industry have anything to teach us?
I don't have the answers and only know a few of the questions. Does anyone have some of the answers? What should I read and where should I go (conferences that is)?
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
While those numbers point to an overall rise in Internet usage, they also point to the limitations of social media. If you want to reach baby boomers, you will need to find a channel that speaks to the 40 percent of boomers who do not have broadband access. And if you are looking for the folks who did not attend college, nearly half of them can only be reached through traditional marketing channels.
- Senior citizens: Broadband usage among adults ages 65 or older grew from 19% in May 2008 to 30% in April 2009.
- Low-income Americans: Two groups of low-income Americans saw strong broadband growth from 2008 to 2009: First, respondents living in households whose annual household income is $20,000 or less saw broadband adoption grow from 25% in 2008 to 35% in 2009. Second, respondents living in households whose annual incomes are between $20,000 and $30,000 annually experienced a growth in broadband penetration from 42% to 53%.Overall, respondents reporting that they live in homes with annual household incomes below $30,000 experienced a 34% growth in home broadband adoption from 2008 to 2009.
- High-school graduates: Among adults whose highest level of educational attainment is a high school degree, broadband adoption grew from 40% in 2008 to 52% in 2009.
- Older baby boomers: Among adults ages 50-64, broadband usage increased from 50% in 2008 to 61% in 2009.
- Rural Americans: Adults living in rural America had home high-speed usage grow from 38% in 2008 to 46% in 2009.
Last year, the traffic to the top 50 news websites grew by 27%. But the price of an online ad fell by 48%.
The consequence is that the amount of our civic life that occurs in the sunlight of observation by journalists is shrinking. The number of city councils and zoning commissions, utility boards and state houses, governor's mansions and world capitals being covered on a regular basis, even by a lone journalist, is diminishing. One out of every five people working in newspaper newsrooms in 2000 was gone at the beginning of 2009, and the number is doubtless higher now. My old newspaper, the Los Angeles Times, has half the reporters it did a decade ago.
In a nutshell, while more people are reading the news, fewer people are reporting it. In a democracy, someone needs to ferret out the truth, if only for the populace to have an informed opinion.
If you think we have an informed populace, take this quiz and compare your answers with the nation at large and let me know how you feel about the depth of our collective knowledge.
Friday, October 2, 2009
When I am helping out an organization, I always start with the basics. You know that whole research, action, communication and evaluation thing. But if public relations is about relationships, how about starting with this?
1) How can I make things easier or less difficult for the organization?
2) How can I serve this organization to help them move forward?
3) What is “our” action plan?
4) How do we get the process going?
Sometimes these questions involve media relations, but most of the time it does not.
First, the panel didn't have a good idea of how PR actually helps media relations; but second is the misunderstanding that PR means only media relations. Today's PR is much more than that.
Traditional media players understand the Web is putting them out of a job, and they also know that PR people are trying to disintermediate them by using the Web and social media tools. If I were them, I'd be pissed off too.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Yet, if you polled most consultants who offer these services, they would undoubtedly say they work for PR companies or, at least, marketing agencies. Indeed, Everywhere, one of the firms cited in the article, is a self described "Social Media Marketing and Content Development" company. I would think the agencies named in the article would not mind being labeled marketing or PR shops, but perhaps that's just me.
To be fair, the article includes the following:
Other agencies simply tack on social-media support as part of a package of advertising and public-relations services. Red Square Agency Inc., in Mobile, Ala., charges clients around $200 an hour, and ThinkInk LLC charges $10,000 to $20,000 a month for the integrated services.
But, one quibble here, most agencies would look at social media as part of an overall PR program, not an add on or after thought. Social media is part of an overall PR campaign, not a separate entity. For my money, the WSJ missed the point.