Week 9 – Action, Attitude and Attention

As social media has grown into a staple for the public relations field, as well as almost all other forms of marketing or advertising, it has become necessary to reliably measure its effectiveness. When it comes to business objectives being met by social media on the web, three major areas have been put forward to measure if they are met or not. These are broadly understood as:

–          Action

–          Attitude

–          and Attention

Action can be seen to represent the active role the public takes on social media or because of social media. Thus, this can encompass how often people post about a topic or social web program, or how this has influenced them to take action in traditional media or other areas. A social web phenomenon is only really worthy of that description if it has transcended beyond just a twitter page, and has grown and spread to numerous other areas. The more action is inspired by a trend, the more activity will occur in regards to it.

Attitude is the positive or negative opinion or view point on a certain post, or “trend” on social media. These can be seen through social media posts on subjects, either the specific wording of comments or something as simple as the amount of “likes” it could have. It has never been easier, thanks to social media, to express opinions whether positive or passionately against. The public’s attitude towards a topic is a major part of how much activity it will receive. The more extreme the positive or negative reaction received, the more activity it will have on the social web.

Lastly, attention is probably the most easily understood. It can be seen as simply the amount of focus a particular post or issue has received. Whether this be amount of “re-tweets” on Twitter or the amount of shares on Facebook, attention embodies how many people are viewing and sharing the news. This can also encompass a social media trends extension into mainstream media, where something seen almost exclusively online gains so much attention that it becomes news worthy in print or televised news. This has been seen numerous times in current events, as social media has grown to something that not only provides news, but could be people’s main method of information. If mainstream news is to keep up, they need to keep an eye on the attention social media trends receive.

All three of these categories are intertwined in social media. The more attention something gets, the more action people will take in regards to it, and of course the more their attitudes about it will be conveyed. So how can one use these categories to accurately determine whether business objectives are achieved through social media? This has already been answered. You must simply look at these categories as what they are. They are an entwined overview of just how much a topic “trends”. This term has found a more new age meaning within the last few years, and is meant to describe exactly what these categories are. If one wants to see how a social web program does in regards to business goals, and wants information on these three areas, one must keep an eye on the umbrella term for all that is popular in social media: the “trends”.

Module 4 – Content Strategy

On this blog post I will be looking at content related strategies, specifically analyzing images used to describe this. I have chosen three images that will describe this in increasing detail, seeing different methods for conveying information using visual aid. In a recent study, forty-four percent of people felt that they were more likely to engage in a brand if they had quality visual media (Walter, 2012). This emphasis on visual aid is the kind of content strategy that will be examined this week.

This first image is the simplest of the three, with a broad description of what content strategy encompasses. This broad message and simple design I think are major strengths for the image, as it conveys quickly the means and purpose of this kind of strategy. You need a core strategy, and then has four major areas used to implement it: substance, structure, workflow and governance. I think that these four areas encompass areas that require attention in a strategy very well. Also the split into two categories is helpful in understanding what is needed to implement this strategy. The initial weakness I see with this would likely also be related to their positives, in that that because it is so simple, more research is required. It is impossible to have any detailed understanding of the field with just this image, where other images describing content strategy are able to convey much more depth.

This next image has two categories as well, but splits it up into content and strategy, a different way to analyze the field but one that I think is a little easier to swallow. Just like the last image, it has areas that are part of each section, but this image has specific duties and actions related to each. In strategy, you don;t just have concepts or broad fields, but specific tasks such as audience analysis and information assessment. I think even this small amount of increase in detail goes a long way in understanding content strategy. I also think the use of an iceberg as an image is able to convey just how much importance strategy plays in this, as it is the larger portion of it. Negatives with this are less sever than the last image, as I think it balances broadness and detail well, but of course more research is necessary to understand how to implement what is suggested.

This last image is the most complex of the three, with use of much more detail in worded descriptions of the terms and steps used. This image obviously would give a person the most understanding of content strategy, as it describes every term it is using. After reviewing this image, I think one would have the most understanding of the subject. However, this image would take the longest to read through. Most images are meant to quickly convey a message, and this one requires much more attention.  I feel this image definitely has the most to offer, but may have too much to keep someones attention.

Ultimately, after reviewing these images it became clear that two major areas are a part of content strategy and they are detail and style. An image needs to be able to balance how much detail is used, while still keeping an attractive style to pull people in, fueling the desire to read however much text is a part of it.

Cheers,

Alex C.

Module 3 – HUD and PR

As a gamer, HUD is an acronym I know very well. Almost every game out there has some kind of Heads-Up-Display, with varying levels of detail. It’s odd to now see the term being used to describe something in the everyday world. The term is also present in the military, in jets, and the term is now being used again in a new area. Personal HUD devices are a reality, though not a commonplace one yet.

Some believe that as a “wearable device”, HUDs will be beaten out by more convenient and easy to wear devices in the shapes of wrings and wristbands:

http://blogs.hbr.org/2013/10/google-glass-isnt-the-future-of-wearables/

Others believe that they could be personal staples, as cell phones grew to be:

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/features/from-fighter-jets-to-google-glass-headup-displays-make-the-jump-to-mainstream-gadgets-8854485.html

As this is a blog dedicated to public relations, this week I will be examining the potential PR-specific uses of HUD technology, as well as sharing my biggest lesson regarding this research.

3 PR-specific uses:

1 – Marketing

When I first got the assignment to do this research this week, when I saw HUD and PR the first thing I thought of was a certain Futurama episode. Season 7’s “Attack of the Killer App” has Mom creating a new phone called EyePhone, and uses it to record what people do and say so as to target them with specific marketing campaigns. She also plans to turn people into mindless zombies, but let’s just focus on the marketing portion.

Fire direct marketing algorithm!

Fire direct marketing algorithm!

This episode inspired two major uses for HUD, the first being a tool for marketing. Using HUDs a means to project advertisements is a prominent use of the tool. You could be walking by a restaurant and in your HUD is a small advertisement showing you a certain deal they have going on at this very moment! Though not quite possible now, HUD marketing could be a prominent tool in the near future.

2 – Test and survey groups

The second inspiration from this episode is the use of a device to better survey groups as to how to market. It being used a means to market is one thing, but better understanding what and how to market is even more important. Any database of personal information is useful when it comes to marketing, and Facebook and twitter were huge additions to this. HUD info gathering potential could be the next big thing in understanding what the public wants, by knowing what they see and where they go.

This guy sure likes porno!

This guy sure likes porno!

3 – Customer Satisfaction

The last PR specific use is actually not inspired by a cartoon! This use falls under customer relations and minor crisis management portions of PR, and is handling customer complaints and ensuring customer satisfaction. If one has a HUD device that allows for one to record anything at any moment, it could be used to record a customer’s interaction with an employee. If those involved are severely rude or the employee unhelpful, the recordings could be used in complaints sent to the business. By seeing exactly what happens, and who is involved, and with the fear of someone recording, I’m sure customer satisfaction could be quite high in an establishment.

You see why it could be scary don’t you? It gives quite a bit of power to a person doesn’t it? With constant fear of video and photo evidence, it is a deterrent to misbehavior. Dealing with complaints and public image is a part of PR, so this device could make things easier. I could do an article simply on why I don’t like this, but let’s leave it at that it has the potential to be a small but useful tool in customer service, but equally capable of simply being a fear based deterrent.

Not really science fiction anymore.

Not really science fiction anymore.

To conclude, these are three of a very long list of potential uses for HUD in the PR world. I only scratched the surface of marketing and customer relations, but PR encompasses so many other areas. Journalism, public affairs, political ad campaigns, and so many other areas could be permanently changed by this technology. However, as seen in the article linked in the introduction, wearable technology is not limited to just HUD. What I learned most from this is just how quickly any subject can change. Media grew to encompass social media, and now we are discussing what could be the next major technology to change the personal and professional world. In ten years HUD and wearable technology could be the staple that Facebook is now, but ten years from now we will also be discussing the next big thing that will change how we live and work. I learned that there is always something new to look forward to, and more importantly, I learned that no matter where I work I will still have to learn!

Cheers,

Alex Condie

Module 2 – Twitter “Promoted Products”

Twitter “Promoted Products” cost evaluation

Over the years Twitter has grown into a staple social media tool, and what was once simple status updates by individuals, is now a means to even grow business. A major discussion point this week is the value of a business or PR based promotion on Twitter. Twitter offers three major approaches, each with different cost models and methods to promoting your product, business or organization. They, as well as their pros and cons, are detailed below:

Promoted tweets

–       Based on a Cost-per-Engagement (CPE) model

  • You pay a price (usually between 20 cents and 5 dollars) every time someone “clicks on, retweets, replies to or favorites your Promoted Tweet”

–       Promoted tweets are useful in that they are available in Twitter search. Since it is now possible for their tweets to be searched (using keywords), this is used when the business wants to reach beyond their followers.

Promoted trends

–       Based on a Flat Fee that can cost thousands of dollars per day

–       This allows a chosen Trend to be put on the top of every logged in page of the site. Though an exclusive buy, and very expensive, the visibility from this is far and away the highest.

Promoted accounts

–       Offered on a Cost-per-Follow (CPF) basis

–       Put on the top of specific profiles “who to follow” list. This is meant to foster more support with those twitter users who already show interest in an area.

Promoted Trends

Promoted Trends

After specific evaluation of these three methods, one is able to see that each approach carries more value depending on two major things: audience and budget. Audience is the number of twitter or social media followers the business has, and budget is simply how much the business is willing to spend on this kind of PR, which requires a high level of activity. If a business already has a decent following on Twitter, than “promoted accounts” is the best option, as it is meant to bolster an already strong follower base. With a large enough budget, “Promoted trends” is the definitive best option, as it would allow every person who logs on to see the trend.

Thus, “promoted accounts and trends” are much more specific to the current status of your business (i.e. Size of twitter following and size of budget). “Promoted tweets” would seem to be the option less dependent on both of these conditions. It is a cheap method that has the potential to bolster support among fans of the subject matter, while still having potential to break new ground in the public. It is therefore my opinion, that if you have a large twitter following, choose “promoted accounts”, if you have the budget, choose “promoted trends”, and if you don’t have too much of either, choose “promoted tweets”.

Regardless of how your business stacks up in my evaluation, any use of Twitter is a valuable use of a business’s time. Social media has grown to be a staple part of the household and the business and PR world. It’s a resource that cannot be easily ignored anymore, so if you want your product to grow, promote it on Twitter!

Hopefully interest increases!

Hopefully interest increases!

#PRsavvy

Cheers,

Alexander Condie

Module 1 – First Impressions

Hello, my name is Alex Condie! I am currently a public relation student, and this semester I am taking a course on social media and its role in this discipline.

Social media has so often come to my mind as something for private use, by individuals. Only more recently, as I have explored the professional world of PR have I noticed it’s varied uses for an organization. I am intrigued to see more about how I can use this in my future career.

Image

My first week focused on a broad understanding of social media in PR, with a focus on it’s emphasis on Greater Interaction and relationship building. Building personal relationships is something I have always associated with social media, but this week encompassed the professional relationship building potential of social media. Looking at my frequent use of LinkedIn every since my undergraduate degree, I can understand this better. I am constantly using social media to learn more about people and topics, and with a site like LinkedIn, my curiosity is focused to my professional and academic interests.

What’s more, I can take as active a role as I want because of social media. Entertainment careers have started because of social media, i.e. singers, actors, writers, etc. and with the right motivation and knowledge, it can be a tool that can jump start anyone’s career.

Thus, my first impressions of this course is that it is already changing my mindset on a tool that I use daily. Social media can be more than just a personal tool, but with the right interest one can use it to further their professional goals.

Can’t wait to get more specific with what I post here as the semester continues!

Cheers,

Alex Condie