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Social Networks are Adding Features and Pushing the Limits

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Social networks are constantly trying to attract new users and retain existing ones, but this week revealed the lengths that they’re willing to go to grow. Facebook is trying to hook users before they can legally create an account. Meanwhile, marketers are finding huge success on Instagram, and new features are about to help audiences share more content within the app. Finally, Twitter is looking to expand into developing countries by making itself available in 24 new countries.

Facebook

The Verge: Facebook Launches a Version of Messenger for Young Children
Though it’s being advertised as a playful way for kids to interact with trusted friends and family members, the app is a not-so-subtle way for Facebook to attract future users. Read more after the jump…

Forget Fake News, How About Fake Sources?

The old saying in journalism that “if your mother says she loves you, check it out” rang true recently with reporters at the Washington Post.

A source claiming to have had personal information about inappropriate relations with US Senate candidate Roy Moore was uncovered to be tied to an advocacy organization that attempted to trick the Post to report false allegations. If successful, it would have shown that the media failed to adequately check out its sources in a rush to print salacious information.

The sting failed, and is being held up as an example of journalists upholding the basic principles of their profession, namely, reporting the truth.

“The intent by Project Veritas clearly was to publicize the conversation if we fell for the trap,” Post Executive Editor Martin Baron said about the sting. “Because of our customary journalistic rigor, we weren’t fooled.”

This latest “undercover investigation” is a good reminder for clients to be aware that anything they say may become a matter of public record, regardless of the circumstances. Think you are talking to an interested student or a job candidate? Think again, they might be undercover and looking to catch you saying something that can further a cause.

It’s scary and unfortunate, but a good rule of thumb is to remember that private conversations are no longer private, and don’t share information that you wouldn’t put in a press release.

In terms of fake reporters, we created this video with tips to help from getting duped:

 

Data-Driven Decision Making Basics

Data-Driven Decision Making Basics | CenterTable Digital AgencyYou’re smart, strategic and you know you want to start making more data-driven decisions. If you’re just getting started, you may notice that there are many nuances involved in making data-driven decisions. If you don’t pay attention to these nuances, it’s possible for you to interpret the data as saying something it isn’t. The nuance we’re focused on today that will lead you in the direction of more accurate data-driven decisions is an N.

If there is only one, N doesn’t stand for nice

What is an N? You ask. It’s really just a fancy way of saying the number of examples you have. Whether it’s the number of patients in a clinical trial or the number of times you’ve tried posting a social media post. Read more after the jump…

Micro-Influencers and New Twitter Analytics

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Finding the right mix of prominent influencers and influencers you can afford is a marketing tightrope. Anyone who has an ongoing influencer relations effort in place is all-too-familiar with that balance, and this past week we’ve come across two great articles that discuss the advent of the “Micro-Influencer.” Twitter is also testing two new analytics features we’re excited to see come to fruition. And: Are you listening? Podcasts are coming back in a big way.

Micro-Influencers:

SmartBrief: How to Work with (or Become) a Micro-Influencer
It’s not necessarily a brand new idea, but the concept of “micro-influencers” – those who aren’t full-fledged influencers with hundreds of thousands of followers and require five-digit product mentions – is something that nearly every brand should consider. These individuals with followers ranging from 1,000 to 10,000 tend to be more authentic, more uniquely engaging, and drive interest in a real-world manner. Read more after the jump…

Holiday Balancing Act

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year…” Or is it? Holiday cheer is no doubt contagious and everyone at work has an extra groove, but the holidays also usher in a bit of anxiety around the office work schedule. Holiday Balancing Act | GroundFloor Media PR AgencyWho’s on vacation? What work has to get done before year’s end? What about budgets for 2018? How will you manage family time and providing extra care to clients?

For those like me, who are self-proclaimed “planners,” the holidays can also be a great time to reflect and prioritize projects. While you may not be able to avoid working late the nights leading up to the holiday break, there are a few things you can do to achieve work-life balance and combat stress during the holidays. Below are a few of my own suggestions:

  1. Put in extra hours before the holiday to build a buffer & complete projects
    As I said, I am a planner and one tool I implement during the holiday season is scheduling ahead to add one extra hour of work to my day, each day leading up to the end of the year. If you are like me, this will allow you to get more work done and hopefully put you ahead of projects.
  1. Determine “must-do” items versus “would like to do” items on your list
    Part of living a balanced professional and personal life is planning and setting clear expectations with team members. I generally have two lists of priorities. The first list is my general “to-dos” and the second list is my priority “to-dos” that I re-write each day. Making these lists of what has to get done, versus what can wait until the new year, helps keep me on track when last-minute projects arise. Prioritizing and thinking ahead helps me ensure I am creating the right deliverables. While it is almost certain you will have last-minute fires to put out, staying organized helps to keep these fires more manageable.
  1. Give yourself time to mediate and reflect
    Between holiday parties, gift shopping and prepping for family to arrive from out of town, it is easy to get caught up in this crazy time of year. That said, it also a great time to hit pause once a day and take time for yourself to reflect and recharge. Recently, I have been practicing meditation and using an app on my phone called Calm to guide me through my practice. The app offers tools to become more present and often provides perspective on the many things we can appreciate about each day.

While all of the above contribute to reducing stress around the holiday season, the most important thing to me is to stay present and enjoy this magical time of year.

How Much Should I Spend on Social Advertising?

Navigating options for your social ad spend can be challenging.

Navigating options for your social ad spend can be challenging.

We often receive this question from our clients, particularly as everyone is locking down their 2018 budgets: How much should we budget for social media advertising?

The short answer is that there is no short answer. A simple Google search for “how much should I spend on social media advertising” will provide results that range from industry averages to advertising as a percentage of your overall social media marketing budget. The problem with those figures and averages is that they don’t consider your business’ unique needs and/or budget at this moment (or for the first quarter or first half of 2018).

Here are some questions to consider as you think about social media advertising and your 2018 marketing budget: Read more after the jump…

How to Add the New Donate Button to Google Search Results

The holiday season is in full swing – and with that comes the season of giving, when nearly 30 percent of all donations happen. With Giving Tuesday well under way today and Colorado Gives Day just a week away, many donors are actively searching for ways to support and donate to causes they care about. Now, Google search has made that effort easier than ever. Read more after the jump…

Three Things Clients Want From Agency Partners

At the Public Relations Organization International (PROI) conference held in Denver last month, I had the opportunity to hear from a panel of in-house, senior-level communications professionals who spoke about what they hope to get out of agency partnerships. Each of the panelists previously worked for creative agencies themselves, providing for unique insight and surprisingly simple answers. Below are the top three things this expert panel asks of agency partners.

What Clients Want From Agency Partners | GroundFloor Media Public Relations Agency

Photo credit: Startup Stock Photos

Read more after the jump…

The Biggest PR Disasters of 2017 – Part 3

Over the last couple of weeks, I have shared Part 1 and Part 2 of my biggest PR disasters of 2017, which included United Airlines, Red Cross, Pepsi, Facebook, Papa John’s, the Oscars, Kathy Griffin, USA Gymnastics, Nikon and Cheerios. Here is the final look back at the year’s biggest PR debacles.

Uber Logo UpdatedUBER … When the hashtag #DeleteUber becomes your company’s most impactful marketing campaign, you know what kind of year it has been. You can pick which issue was the worst: privacy and tracking concerns, erratic behavior from its CEO, a plot to evade regulators through a complex program named “Project Grayball,” allegations of systemic sexual assault, being banned in the London – the choices go on and on. Former CEO and still-current board member Travis Kalanick added to the miserable year by feuding with his fellow board members, threatening a potentially lucrative IPO.

Equifax Logo.svgEQUIFAX … There are only about 320 million Americans, so it takes a special kind of incompetence to let hackers steal the personal data (names, Social Security numbers, birthdates, addresses and driver’s license numbers) of more than 145 million of them. But the good folks at Equifax rose to the challenge. Particularly frustrating is that there is little to nothing that average consumers can do to punish the company. Fortunately, Equifax’s corporate clients have also grown leery of the company. And to date, it has spent nearly $90 million in legal fees and other expenses to respond to the incident.

Subway LogoSUBWAY … Subway has been on my annual lists of biggest PR disasters for so many years it should win a lifetime achievement award. In years past, the disasters have been much worse (think convicted pedophile/spokesperson Jared Fogle), but this year the ubiquitous sandwich chain made the list for a research study that found that the “chicken” it serves was only 50 percent chicken. Panicked Subwayophiles were relieved to learn that the other 50 percent was soy rather than something more sinister, but the sensational headlines were everywhere. In the end, it may not hurt Subway as much as it could. The decision-making hierarchy for eating at Subway starts with price, moves to taste and eventually lands at quality. Hybrid soy-chicken is still cheap and salty.

Nivea LogoNIVEA … Every year, a company wins the award for “Needs a more diverse set of employees.” This year, that company was Nivea. In February, the cosmetics company launched a “White is Purity” ad campaign that targeted consumers in Middle East countries. The campaign quickly went viral, and earned it the support of a white supremacist group that posted on Nivea’s Facebook page: “We enthusiastically support this new direction your company is taking. I’m glad we can all agree that #WhiteIsPurity.”

Adidas LogoADIDAS … Context is king in public relations, and Adidas blew it this year. The Boston Marathon has become an almost-sacred event in the wake of the terrorist bombings that killed three and injured hundreds of others in 2013. This year, Adidas launched an email promotional campaign to marathon participants congratulating them for “surviving the Boston Marathon!” The company quickly apologized and is unlikely to suffer any long-term damage. But, it was an extraordinary gaffe from a global company that doesn’t often blunder.

Read the entire series of 2017’s biggest PR disasters:

Part 1: Includes United Airlines, Facebook and Papa John’s Pizza
Part 2: Includes Kathy Griffin, the Oscars and Men
Part 3: Includes Uber, Equifax and Nivea