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“In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”
― Dwight D. Eisenhower
For years as a PR manager my vice presidents had come to expect that whenever I submitted a client plan for review, it would include this quote from our 34th President. It wasn’t a form of silent protest by any means, but a subtle reminder that PR is fluid and news cycles can change within minutes or a simple Tweet. To lock into a plan of action without accounting for a changing media landscape would be doing us and the client a disservice.
In the ever-changing world of social media, everyone wants to be the first to declare the next has-been. Last week, The Atlantic put a stake in the ground with a 1,800 word Eulogy for Twitter where it declared that “the publishing platform that carried us into the mobile Internet age is receding.” The story is mostly based on a hunch that “people are still using Twitter, but they’re not hanging out there.”
From a numbers standpoint, it doesn’t look like Twitter is going anywhere fast. After earnings last quarter, Twitter added 14 million new users for a total of 255 million- an improvement on the previous quarter. Anecdotally, every teenager I know has left Facebook for Twitter (and Instagram), a promising sign for the platform.
There’s no denying it, Americans are addicted to Facebook. While other platforms like Twitter and Instagram are gaining major traction, Facebook still reigns supreme (especially among young adults). According to a study of 1,000 Americans ages 18+, that InkHouse recently did in partnership with GMI Research, we discovered that Facebook users across ages have clear preferences about what they want to see on their newsfeed.
How to get “unfriended” – tell me what you had for breakfast, who you voted for and how great you think you are…
Based on the 75% of respondents who reported using Facebook, the top reason cited for “unfriending” someone was too many meaningless updates (aka no one cares about your breakfast croissant). Political posts ranked second and bragging posts came in third.
Last week, Jessica Lessin, a well-respected tech journalist who earlier this year launched the news site The Information, wrote a thoughtful piece on why Misleading Pushback on Media Reports Does Nobody Good. The post cited several high profile stories on brands such as Nike, Amazon and Square, that the subjects publicly denied – though Lessin’s whole point is that their PR statements were open to interpretation and trying to put the best spin on reports that, ultimately, were true.
“Many don’t dispute the underlying facts,” she wrote. “Instead, they try to obscure them. Others use words that could mean multiple things to multiple people.”
You may have heard that Facebook and Storyful launched FB Newswire yesterday. The service, run via a Facebook page, seeks to be a resource for journalists by aggregating “newsworthy social content shared publicly on Facebook by individuals and organizations” through the page on Facebook and its Twitter feed, @FBNewswire.
The good news is that Facebook will evaluate posts based on quality of the content and the quantity of genuine interactions (shares, likes and comments) to bring FB Newswire followers news that the Storyful team determines as valuable. This opens up an opportunity for official Facebook pages, especially for companies whose business, industry or point of view is related to the news.
I’ve been on the news a lot lately. As a PR professional whose number one job is to help others get media attention, it’s an odd feeling to see yourself on a TV screen. And yet there I am… every time they play the surveillance video from the Boston Marathon bombings. I see the two brothers inches from me as I stand on the sidelines, watching the race and waiting for my friends to run by. One year later and I still get chills every time I see that video. Remembering how close I was, how close to home – my home, my city – it is an indescribable feeling. But Jeff Bauman did a pretty amazing job: the iconic Boston bombing photograph isn’t about my legs – it’s about a rescue.
Editor’s Note: This week, we dedicate the InkHouse blog to the Boston Marathon. All of our hearts were broken last year, and we’re so very proud that our own Tina Cassidy is running for the MR8 team to raise money for the foundation started by the Richard family, a family that lost so much. Tina shares her beautiful story about why she is running below. Our design team created the “Boston 4-21-14” image for anyone to use. We hope you’ll help spread the message of healing and resilience. #WeRunTogether
Why I’m Running the Boston Marathon
Below is Tina’s post:
How is your list of Twitter followers looking? If your answer falls somewhere between “meh” and “I don’t know,” let’s talk.
Twitter is a fabulous tool, but carefully crafted tweets are no good if they’re never seen by your target audience. Fortunately, there are a few easy steps you can incorporate into your everyday social activity to maximize your reach.
- In this case, it’s okay to be a follower. Following someone is the easiest way to get on his or her radar. Plus, it’s a compliment. I love the brands and organizations that follow me on Twitter! (As soon as I’m old enough to figure out how mortgages work, expect a call from me, @easternbank.)