Reader of blogs. Acquaintance of pivot tables. Digital Health at @WaggenerEdstrom. On the rocks no salt. Imported to Boston from Texas via D.C.
@Danny Brown @ginidietrich I disagree - their titles are listed as such because they probably do a lot of different things; not always specializing in one specific tactic.
Additionally, it is because at smaller agencies the (public facing) structure is still more closely aligned to traditional PR/pitching, even if they do digital work. They aren't freelancing, they just multi-task... whether that is good or not I' don't know...
1 week, 3 days ago on Freelancer vs. Communications Firm: Which is Better?
@ThePaulSutton @ginidietrich @RobBiesenbach A lot of clients are strapped for resources, on a deadline for a campaign, and need to make decisions fast. That can lead to cloudy judgment... or simply less-than-desirable outcomes to get the job done.
Thanks for including me in the recap! One thing I'd add... the best one-liner of the entire chat (by Kristie Aylett): "A5: what do you call a PR pro with math skills? Answer: Boss. #measurepr"So. Good.
1 month ago on The One When #measurePR Turned Five: Recap
"The Robot"... haha I love it.
1 month, 4 weeks ago on The 15 Types of Social Media Know-It-All
@Eleanor Pierce That's a negative, Ghostrider... I am saying that we need to be careful is framing the discussion around these metrics. If we say "don't use vanity metrics" then people assume that means "don't use them ever ever ever" when it actually means don't use them to say your campaign did well (or didn't). As for traffic driven, business conversions, etc... those are the other colors in the paint analogy I was trying to pull off in my previous comment (that they help paint the larger picture).
2 months, 2 weeks ago on Vanity Metrics: Are They Here to Stay?
So one thing that I'd clear up here is that we talking about one use for vanity metrics in this post: as a means of demonstrating performance. Right?
I'm totes on board the "we need to show ROI" train, but I do want to come to the defense of these metrics as a useful tool for crafting + optimizing a content strategy. If a blog gets 25% more views than the average post, I find that metric useful in building an insight. If a tweet gets retweeted 3x more than usual, then I want to know why.
Additionally, I track several different metrics available and use those to compare different content themes, do AB testing, and other nerdy stuff like that. I find them useful in benchmarking how content should perform and making content better in the long run.
So, they are the end-all-be-all, but hey, I'll take any piece of data I can get; it can help paint the larger picture (even if it is just one paint color).
4 months, 3 weeks ago on How to Find the Right Content Distribution
...smarter than me at least #SetsBarLow
@Danny Brown To be fair, I called you smart too...
@Danny Brown I've always been afraid about the reliability of email sharing and apps like pocket... to me, because not everyone utilizes those when reading blogs you don't necessarily get the full picture, no? Also, really like your thoughts on Flare Pro; need to check it out (however not everyone gets the volume of shares you do!)
@Ike @Danny Brown @ginidietrich @susancellura
I'm neither of those smart people, but I too once had two Livefyre presences, so I'll try to answer anyways... Yes, email-a-friend may show the greatest action, but I wouldn't solely put stock in that, because it is going to be a much less occurring metric than others. Rather, I think it makes more sense to use page-uniques layered on top of a share metric (or conversion metric if you're into that sort of thing). My preference for this is based around the data trends you can establish based upon the traffic you receive. From there, you can (hopefully) see correlates between increased traffic and increased shares/conversions... or, if not, find out why these three had correlates and that one did not. Boom... there's your insight and action item for optimization. Make sense or am just on too much coffee today?
I think the moral of the story here is that traffic ≠ community. That said the Buffer example seemed to showcase a route to drive traffic from a different (albeit not desired) audience. I bet in the same vein, you can tap into other audience by gaining visibility on other channels. For example, you mentioned Outbrain and Buffer as sources of traffic, who is to say you won't get a different audience from getting a SpinSucks post cross posted to Medium? For that matter, who is to say you couldn't potentially gain that targeted corporate audience by trying to get mentioned in some corporate newsletter? (Although I think in reality it is just that the in-house PR audience is just a small niche, and the marketing audience, which may be a larger potential audience, is still too excited about Neil Patel's content to realize there's value to digital marketers on a PR related blog too).
@ginidietrich @JasKeller :D
5 months, 4 weeks ago on Three Skills Every Communicator Must Have
So I don't think newspapers are dead, or dying for that matter... they are just changing. But people aren't really good at dealing with change sometimes (which leads to massive layoffs).
And also... I'm not going to lie, I clicked on this article from Feedly because I saw Buzz Lightyear (maybe newspapers should publish more stories with a picture of Buzz included).
@ginidietrich @EmilyWenstrom What book? I want to read it!
HBD... the dragon of the blog world...
6 months, 2 weeks ago on Happy Birthday, Spin Sucks!
@ginidietrich No just host an in-house debate on a regular basis!
7 months ago on The 10 Percent of Communicators Who Get it
What is funny, is that so many communicators get parts of the picture, not the whole thing. The ones that I've seen stand out also have mastered (or trying to master) the following things:Facilitation: Being able to coordinate others and somewhat moderate the planning and strategic processes. Understanding the science of communications: As Gini mentioned, many PR folks have degrees in arts as opposed to science. Understanding the psychological and scientific components of communications can really set apart those who get it. Rhetoric: It stuns me how many folks in this industry never think about rhetoric and the art of argument. Most of the time what PR people do is make arguments. However, it you aren't really thinking through the right strategies of persuasion, then of course you won't be able to validate efforts effectively.
Sry I ddn't ge ta chance to read this post on dancingf balloon o grams....I'll get to it later when I m not busy. Tks
Okay okay... I did read it. And I think one of the biggest problems is that most people SUCK at delegating work.
If more people would learn how to work as a team and tap other people's expertise effectively, then there would be less managers saying the catch 22 phrase "Don't be afraid to raise your hand if you have too much on your plate." (I hate that because it is a lazy attempt by a manager to show support and if a staff member is stuck in that position, it is probably already too late.) And clients are no exception here - there are things they can delegate when busy to agencies in which it could be a win-win... I love nothing more than a client to say "wait, you can help me with that?"
7 months ago on The “I’m Busy” Badge of Pride
@corinamanea @JasKeller Right... yes they keep very hydrated... right?
7 months, 1 week ago on PR Agency: Boutiques vs. Large
From the larger agency side, I would say that every agency is different too. Whether big or small, every agency typically has their forte and tries to play to that strength.
There were several places I interviewed with on a job hunt awhile back, and as a social/digital nerd, I realized some were clearly not a good fit because the agency was more focused on media relations, events, etc. (even if they marketed social/digital or wanted to go that direction).
It wasn't big or small that was the deciding factor for my in that instance, it was matching up the right opportunity with my skillset.
...with that said, I've heard they drink more at smaller agencies (defer to my boutique friends to verify that one...).
@Howie Goldfarb Thanks Howie! To be fair - BlackBerry and AOL have both still been in operation for awhile; obviously at a much smaller scale. I think that organizations do need to adjust and move as the market moves, but very much to your point, the larger organizations aren't going to succumb that easy.
Back to BlackBerry and AOL - as I mentioned, both still operational, yet past their prime... an example that big orgs move slowly, and typically don't collapse overnight (by the way, this is a super interesting topic regarding NYT - I am curious what moves that do make in the next year).
7 months, 2 weeks ago on Digital Times and the Innovation Report
Preach it Gini! One thing I would add is that having these different components of the PESO model (paid, social, blogging, media relations, etc.) doesn't mean that you have a strategy - it just means you have the pieces of the puzzle. If you don't know how the hell they fit together, then you are going to fail at getting anything useful out of them.
So even if the bandwidth argument doesn't apply. even if an entrepreneur is an excellent writer and good at creating their own content, a startup will still be in a better place if they have a clear communications strategy put together.
7 months, 2 weeks ago on PR is More than Media Relations
This is a really bold article and I love it because it really puts the growthhacking trend into perspective. However, I will say that PR folks CANNOT ignore the growthhacking conversation. There are extremely insightful articles written within this community that can make really inform the PR industry vantage point on digital marketing. Let's face it, PR is now claiming to be a lot more than just PR (and rightly so) but that means that we're entering an arena with professions with differing backgrounds. Someone graduating with a PR degree is now, more than ever, competiting with the same individual with a Marketing degree (Journalists are increasingly infiltrating the same space). That means that within the same broader profession, different niches are forming.
My take on growthhacking is that it is a online communications niche that has evolved from the startup scene which is rich in marketing backgrounds. So that viewpoint will be different than that of "us", those who approach digital marketing from a content/narrative first vantage point. The growthhacking niche views digital marketing from a metrics/conversion lense - this is in large part to the SaaS legacy it spawned from (think of growthhacking as a spinoff of Hubspot's content marketing brigade).
So basically, my viewpoint is that we need to "know thy enemy" and the strategy/tactics being used. Sometimes they may clash with more traditional methods, but there are other times where the viewpoints aren't drastically different.
All in all I don't think growthhacking is going anywhere soon - so we better not ignore it, but instead, do what we do best - out-content them with rationales why the "get-rich-quick" stuff won't fly.
We need ot be sure we explain our perspectives on digital marketing within the same circles so that there is an informed opposition to every "lazy" argument put forth (and be sure to amplify the smart stuff their talking about too - becauase it isn't always going to be one way or another).
8 months ago on “Growth Hacking” – Ignore the Hype
@ginidietrich @NancyMyrland This reminds me of an argument that @SEBMarketing had to pick with Neil Patel of Kissmetrics: http://www.quicksprout.com/2014/07/21/why-you-shouldnt-hire-a-marketing-consultant/#comment-969310 She had to clarify that marketers do offer experience a "college kid" couldn't in helping a start-up get going. Also, I was just mentioned in the same post as Jason Falls and Danny Brown, I might be blushing a little. ;)
8 months, 1 week ago on A Communications Program that Works
Nice post Robert!
Might I also suggest measuring social against top of the funnel goals too. And educating leadership on the value of this measurement.
As you pointed out, social can foster a community and a community can foster a lead. Thus, it is just as important to measure how well you are building a community, right?
That way you're not discrediting social against other activities that may generate a business conversion (like email, for example).
8 months, 2 weeks ago on Social Media Measurement for Pragmatists
@Dhara Mistry Thanks Dhara - that worked and I'm all set!
8 months, 2 weeks ago on So What Exactly Is This Thing?
@jensie_simkins From my standpoint, the timetable shouldn't matter anecdotally - it should be tied to whatever the goal of the campaign was. Unless your goals was to do X in 2 weeks, then it shouldn't be a sticking point in your case studies.
The real sell is going to be the final result of the campaign; that moments when you state how the strategy you implemented = the desired goal. The managing expectations part won't come from showing what you did in the short term, but explaining the timeline in detail for the long term; sometimes it takes telling clients about the little devils in the details to get them to understand it is more of a marathon than a sprint. Although, if @Danny Brown has something to add, it's probably better than my two cents. :)
8 months, 3 weeks ago on PR Metrics: What to Measure in the PESO Model
@Shonali Ohhhh I forgot the hammock! Really it should be illegal not to own a hammock.
9 months ago on When Social Media Fills In The Blanks
So. Tell me. Sometimes you just gotta ___________.
___________ = Take every electronic device you own, put them in a bag and hide it away somewhere in your house. Then grab your nearest bottle of wine, find a patch of clear sky, and drink said wine while doing nothing.
...perfect excuse for not blogging every now and then. :)
NYT isn't looking down on other publications - rather, I believe they are big enough not to be on the bleeding edge of what is winning right this very second. It is easy to confuse their slow evolution with ignorance, but there is something to be said about their patience too.
The biggest takeaway from the report that I saw was that there is a clear acceptance that "digital-first" is the way forward for publications. That is probably a tough pill to swallow for an organization that has built its legacy on the front page.
I'd also say that it is a huge takeaway for agencies too - while many PR agencies like to think they put digital first, are they thinking about how they package releases with tweets and video? Some are, but my sense is that the majority aren't.
We know the profit leaders in PR right now are those with robust digital offerings (data from PRWeek and the like show this) - I wonder if other agencies are being "patient" with digital (like NYT) or just ignorant... I can't think of too many agencies that are big enough not to be on the bleeding edge.
10 months ago on Digital Times and the Innovation Report
Good content is not always channel specific. And good advice isn't always prescriptive. Sounds like you'll still be providing good content and good advice; just losing the "channel-specific" and "prescriptive" parts, right? ...I'll think I'll stick around for that.
11 months, 1 week ago on Why You Might Want to Unsubscribe From This Blog
I really enjoyed this article, but it does make the assumption that people bought into Bourdain's counter-culture aura at the start and now have to live with the failings of that original persona. The bottom line is, Bourdain offers something unique - he did it in Kitchen Confidential and he does it now with Parts Unknown.
No one else is touring the world and showcasing new places or old hidden ones the Bourdain has done for years. That is why is show(s) feel like a true escape to many - not because they are authentic, but because they allow the viewer to take in a universe they otherwise would never be exposed to.
Bourdain didn't gain popularity because he was populist - he gained popularity because his audience was the populous, and he was a lens into a world they never had access to.
11 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://www.newrepublic.com/article/117408/anthony-bourdain-profile-parts-unknown-host-celebrity-he-hated
@ginidietrich @JasKeller1 We'll get there but it is tough - time and resources (and even professional backgrounds) are all challenges the industry is facing.
There's also a business value argument that needs to be had - measurement is mostly considered a secondary tactic for many. It takes smart folks to see beyond the current project/issue to scope for measurement and evaluation in a robust way.
And it seems that measurement innovation and awards also don't mesh - many of the larger entities out there with resources to really demonstrate insights via measurement seem to keep those strategies close to the vest.
1 year ago on Vanity Metrics in PR May Be a Necessary Evil
I want to give this post a hug when discussing it at a high level because it is so good. But somewhere deeper within the PR machine there is a structural problem with most agencies and in-house departments that is preventing measuring from entering the fold at a more advanced level; it's a structural problem.
Agencies in particular are organizationally set up for account management - senior team members guide strategy and manage relationships and junior team members research and execute (I'm generalizing here, but bear with me). In this typical structure, many different tasks fall onto everyone involved - there's very little room for specialization.
I think you can see where my logic is heading - no room for specialization = no room for measurement specialists, who would be able to really dissect and analyze and provide insights as opposed to metrics. When people have a lot on their plate (which practically describes everyone in communications), they tend to take the path of least resistance; in measurement, this path is marked with all kinds of vanity metrics.
I think this is where Jason Falls's post fell a little short; he called out PR for using vanity metrics, but he didn't really dive into the root cause (structure) so his overall argument and recommendation fell a little flat footed.
I have to say, content calendars seem to be the opposite of spray and pray. Having a final product that is a content calendar usually infers that there was a content planning process, and copywriting process, a review process and (hopefully) a measurement and review process to boot.
That seems much more strategic to me than any kind of automation/curation, or anything that is spontaneous and not fully fleshed out. If I'm trying to make money (directly or indirectly) via social content marketing, then having a my content organized in a way that accounts for other campaigns, news, and events I have going on seems to be the best way to go.
1 year, 5 months ago on Content Calendars Aren’t Evil – They’re Just Abused
@ginidietrich Oh of course! But with that reasoning, couldn't you put off owning a business infinitely? Because it seems "not enough experience" can always be an excuse...
I guess what I am really wondering is if you now think there is an optimum time before going on your own?
Do you think that eight more years of experience would have really helped you prepare for the unknown at an exponential rate? Especially with so much you sort of have to learn on the fly anyways.
(Disclosure - my parents started their own business recently and the transition was tough for them, even though they are in their mid-fifties. From that it is just my take (albeit inexperienced take) that the switch from employee to owner is tough no matter how much experience you obtain)
1 year, 5 months ago on Experience: The One Business Regret I Have
When I was first looking for a job, there was the conundrum about experience... agencies wanted to hire entry-level people with experience and I wanted to be hired, but didn't have the experience... to a graduating college kid, it seemed an impenetrable wall. But the truth was, I just needed to be persistent and piece together my skills through internships and volunteering.
While starting a business is far beyond the plight of a college grad, it seems the experience conundrum holds true... it seems impenetrable, but in honesty, it is about piecing those skills together and being persistent right?
This vantage point leads me to believe that starting your own business takes planning, experience, and capital... but I wouldn't say there is some magical mark that you surpass that permits you to succeed. Rather, it seems you need to be willing to take it on the chin when needed, and adapt in a realistic way as things are thrown at you.
Perhaps I'm an optimist, but I think that if you have the confidence in your offering and can make a logical argument for your profitability (and then have the capital to get started), eight more years of whatever you are doing still won't fully train you for the transition, nothing will.
I'd say you have to be really honest with yourself and what you as a professional offer. One of the most important parts of my job search was applying and interviewing for jobs a little outside my expertise. Once you see how other jobs aren't a good fit, you can build some introspective and better understand who you are.
1 year, 7 months ago on PR Firms: How Do You Know it’s the Right Fit?
The past month I have been searching for my next job and these criteria are almost identical to what I was using to find the right fit for me! Different context, same idea.
@ginidietrich Yay! I love to cause debate, and I think this one would be a dandy. :-)
1 year, 10 months ago on The Best of the Least Engaged Brands on Twitter
While they aren't successful in terms of engagement on Twitter, I think the argument stands that they are successful on Twitter. That said, I am a fan of engagement too; building relationships seems a lot more valuable than building a reader base. What do you think these three examples would look like if they built in engagement as part of their strategy? How would it shift their use of Twitter? And how would they navigate their voice on Twitter when engaging in specific conversations? ...these are questions I am really curious about - I think there are a lot of different opinions here.
The argument shouldn't be about if it is the end for RSS or not. It should be about the fact the internet is attempting to kill another long form medium of content consumption. I hope communicators take notice that many of the alternatives offered for Google Reader are much more abbreviated and have less capabilities to fully unpack arguments.
We saw it happen with soundbites (from the 30 second sound bite to the 5 second bite more common today) and not with online content, the same trend is taking place. Shorter is more easily consumed, but it isn't always better, and doesn't lend itself to complete full thoughts, opinions, or arguments. This changes (and will continue to change) how people will receive and interpret any media you publish. Blogs beware of this progression!
1 year, 11 months ago on On The Death Of Google Reader
I thought content calendars have become standard practice among most companies with an online presence? These pros and cons seem more for individuals and very small businesses. I you have a devoted person (or team, or agency, etc.) for comms, then I do not see how it is effective for those individuals to be spending every morning writing a blog post or tweets for the day.
Any effective content strategy starts with a plan, and a content schedule is where you can consolidate that plan in a way to make the day to day execution feasible. It is also a way to make sure you are diversifying the content you are posting in a way that not to bore your audience with redundancy. In short, use a content calendar and plan ahead!
2 years, 4 months ago on Pros and Cons of Using a Content Schedule
@samfiorella My point in no way was that newspapers are innovative - my argument is more along the lines that the newspaper lost most of its readership to other forms of communication than to the notion that it was no longer interesting or newsworthy (I know that claim alone can start a tangential argument)... and I am trying to posit that the same argument bears true for the corporate blog.
The secondary thought though, is that newspapers still exist as a unique channel of communication, as will corporate blogs, however both now take on a smaller role that they may have in the past, as there is more competition from other forms of communication.
2 years, 4 months ago on The Corporate Blog Challenge
So I have a different take on this argument. I am sure someone at USA Today once declared "It isn't that people aren't reading the newspaper anymore, it is that our paper needs a new design." That said, the newspaper is NOT dead. The same thing applies to corporate blogs.
Yes I imagine readership is going down for the vast majority of company blogs out there. And no, a redesign is not going to offset the decline in readership. This issue is that people's attention spans are continually being stretched thinner and thinner with the multiple forms of communication available attacking at an increasing rate and consumption of these varying media is continually on the rise by just about every individual. So that means there is less time for blogs within the mix. But I would not recommend that you start blogging in 140 character posts or solely focus on Facebook for all of your corporate online communications.
A blog is a place where a company can unpack their message with a little bit more detail and provide detail that a specific subset of the audience is looking for. Yes dynamic content is key, and adding video and visualization are going to help a blog communicate, but even with that, you may see a decline in readership. But that does not mean that a corporate blog will no longer have a purpose in the future, it just means that it is providing a more evolved niche to the integrated content puzzle. Much like the newspaper has in many ways.
@maryanneconlin For some reason I couldn't "like" your post... so... "Like!"
2 years, 5 months ago on Will Lack of Creativity Be the Demise of the PR Industry?
@Erin F. @RebeccaTodd @barrettrossie I was the kid that wouldn't stop asking questions either... I suppose nerdom payed off. :-)