Journalists and Social Media

As PR professionals, we’re constantly looking for ways to connect with reporters and to secure placement for our company and clients in the most relevant publications. It can be difficult (that’s why we have jobs), but the following study gives us some interesting results that could potentially help us do our jobs more efficiently.

Middleberg Communications and the Society for New Communications Research last month released a study titled, “Media in the Wired World.” The research team surveyed U.S. journalists regarding their social media use and the study found some interesting results:

  • Almost 70% of journalists are using social networking sites, which is a 28% increase since the 2008 study
  • 48% are using Twitter or other microblogging sites and tools, a 25% increase since 2008
  • 66% of the surveyed journalists are using blogs
  • 25% of those surveyed are using podcasts
  • 48% of journalists are using online video
  • Over 90% of journalists agree that new media and communications tools and technologies are enhancing journalism to some extent

According to the study, reporters are embracing social media and are active on various social networking sites. This is great for us because we can build relationships with reporters and connect with them in real-time. Here at 451, we use Twitter and LinkedIn to follow media contacts. Both tools are useful to see what reporters are writing about, and to watch for potential opportunities to pitch our company and/or our clients.

Do you connect with reporters and journalists through social networking sites? Have some success stories to share? Let us know!

Using Ustream for Business

Tomorrow morning I’m going to film our “Building a PR Campaign for the Digital World Workshop,” and I plan to post the video on Ustream when I get back to the office.  I know people generally use Ustream to live stream discussions, events, meetings, and etc., and, eventually, I plan to do that as well. I haven’t used the service yet, but I’m excited to learn!

In the mean time, I’m wondering what you think about using Ustream for business purposes. How are you using Ustream for your business? In any unique ways? What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of the service? Do you prefer a different service? I’d appreciate your feedback!



Thinking about Facebook Changes

Last night I was catching up on some Facebook notifications, checking up on some old friends, looking at my upcoming events, etc., and I got to thinking about how much Facebook evolved since I first started using the social networking site.

I remember when I updated my Interests at least once per month, was invited to events by non-promoters, didn’t have to sort through twelve page suggestions every day and could write on someone’s wall without worrying about it showing up on mutual friends’ news feeds. Those are definitely some things I miss, but I enjoy some of the new features as well. Now, the design is more user-friendly and search results are far more comprehensive. I can comment on other people’s wall posts and I can block certain parts of my profile from certain people. The site is certainly different.

I think it’s interesting how much social networking sites change in a short period of time and I’m excited to see what comes next. I’d assume a lot of the social networking sites will focus on mobile integration in 2010. What do you think? What’s next for social networking sites like Facebook?


The Olympic Games and Facebook

The Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games is the most recent big event to use social media to connect with millions of fans across the Web. The IOC set up an official Olympic Games Fan Page on Facebook for Fans to stay updated on Olympic events and to promote contests. The Fan Page has just under 1.5 million Fans, many of whom are active contributors to the page.

Let’s look at a few of the ways the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is using Facebook to promote the Olympic Games and engage with Fans:

  • The IOC uses the Fan Page to post videos and photos of the events, promote events and games, and to provide Fans with links to Olympic athletes’ pages.
  • The Fan Page promotes engagement by allowing Fans to post comments on any status update, or wall post the IOC puts up, and the IOC often responds to those comments.
  • The official Fan Page includes a Photo Contest for Fans to submit their coolest photos from the Games and enter to win tickets to events.
  • The Mini Games feature is a great promotional tool as well. This feature allows Fans to play short video games with each other, and it promotes the official Olympic Games video game.

The IOC uses Facebook in some original and creative ways. Do you think more events will use Facebook and other social media for promotion and engagement? In what ways? We’d love to hear your thoughts!


Recent Court Ruling Could Impact Search Strategies

Yesterday in Paris, a court tribunal ordered EBay to pay Louis Vuitton over $310,000 in legal costs and damages for using search terms that “misled consumers,” by driving consumers to the EBay website. The court also supported Louis Vuitton’s claim that EBay’s actions damaged the Louis Vuitton brand.

What I find most interesting about this case is that the terms EBay were bidding on were not “Louis Vuitton.” In fact, EBay bid on misspellings of the brand’s name; Specifically, EBay bid on the words, “Viton,” “Vitton,” and, “Wuiton.”

While I don’t condone online drafting of a brand’s competitors by using the competing companies’ names as a search terms, I am not 100% comfortable with this court decision. Where does one draw the line? What happened to Caveat Emptor? I am REALLY interested in hearing how others feel about this.

Please voice your opinions!