Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Filters.... Everywhere

"People are looking for filters to get the highest quality of content they can," said Ron Bloom, CEO of PodShow Network. I almost missed this quote while reading through chapter eight, "The Talkers" of The New Influencers.

I'm glad I felt compelled to read the side examples, if not, I would have missed this quote that so concisely expresses my reasoning for majoring in Public Relations. Ron hits the nail on the head.

Everywhere you look, whether in your house(atleast mine), at your university, riding your bike or walking your dog, messages are being thrown at you left and right. Every time I turn on my television or radio I am bombarded by audio and visual messages that I really couldnt care less about.

Enter podcasting and videocasting. With new mediums such as these, people are able to boradcast highly targeted messages like never before. I now have the choice to listen to things I actually care to hear about, and be able to respond directly to the creator of the message.

Although podcasts may not be as interactive in nature as blogs, they indeed present many growth opportunities for bloggers looking to capture a specialized niche.

Presently, marketers and PR professionals may be dissuaded from using podcasts or video casts because of the comparably much lower audience than captured on traditional media like television.

However, I belive the "beauty" of mediums like podcasting and videocasting are their ability to capture primarily only active audiences who are currently engaged in learning more about a product, service, hobby, cause, etc.

Reaching the general masses may be good, but reaching the specific masses that are most likely to act on behalf of your cause is GREAT.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Why Do Social Media Campaigns Fail?

I just read an excellent article about the difficulty of generating tangible results from social media camapaigns. This brings up a great question, what are the criteria by which to determine the success of a social media campaign?

In an article posted by Caroline McCarthy, media analyst Adam Sarner expresses his belief that social media campaigns need "...a way to serve both the company putting out the campaign and the audience interacting with it."

How do we as PR practitioners begin to engage our audience in a way that goes beyond just creating "buzz," but also drives people to action (whether that be to engage a specific brand, or influence an action)?

Fortunately, I've been able to find some useful information about how to engage consumers. on he blogs about engaging consumers through the use of widgets.

According to Spoon, good widgets are the result of 3 factors:

  • Give Users a Reason to Come Back

  • Make it Customizable

  • Market Softly and Carefully

I Suggest you check out the articles, they are good sources for beginning to piece together the puzzle that is a successful social media campaign.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Thank God for Monday

Thank God for Monday.... four words I never thought I would utter. Clearly I didnt know what I was getting myself into when I left on Thursday for the Regional ITA tennis tournament in St. Louis Missouri.

Although the tournmanet was a good experience, it was completely exhausting. To start, the bus ride to St. Louis was just under seven hours. I can't speak for others, but I know I can never seem to sleep well on a bus and usually end up staring out of a window for hours on end.

After what seemed like 10,000 miles of corn, wheat and soy bean fields I finally reached St. Louis. However, regretably, nobody informed me that St. Louis is composed of the most complex series of twisting one-way streets ever conceived by mankind.

Luckily we were fortunate enough to only spend an hour and a half circling St. Louis looking for the Red Roof Inn that was in reality five minutes away from the exit we got off on.

Ridiculously long bus rides and confusing streets weren't even the most taxing part of the weekend. My favorite part of every weekened was ripped away from me..... my sleep.

Although I enjoy playing tennis, waking up at 7 a.m. is not my ideal weekend. Suffice it to say, two days and 13 hours of sleep, five matches and seven more hours on a bus later I am sitting on my couch and am actually looking forward to sleep until 7:30 for my 8 a.m. class.