Perhaps Google’s short explanations of why it has chosen a story for you will make the wall between Google and users less opaque. For the moment, however, neither Google nor any other social media powerhouse has explained exactly how it determines news story recommendations, search results or ad placements. The latter two, search and ads, as well as optimizing site content were among the topics discussed during PR News’ Boot Camp: Google for Communicators last week in NY. As such we asked several PR pros about navigating the frosted-glass barriers surrounding Google searches and AdWords, its online advertising service.
Creative Solution: A tip of the cap for creativity to MyTravelResearch.com (MTR), a firm in Australia that’s taken on the task of publicizing what many in the developed world take for granted: toilets. Nov. 19 was U.N. International Toilet Day, an effort to publicize the need for more toilets, in the developing world especially, and encourage people to use them. The U.N. says 1 in 10 people still defecate without a toilet daily. This, the U.N. says, results in disease, environmental health challenges, increased mortality and lack of productivity at work. It’s also a security issue as sometimes wild animals mistake squatting humans, especially children, for food. The U.N. wants to create adequate toilet provisions globally by 2030. To raise awareness MTR created the Toilet Tourism Awards, whose proceeds will be donated to the U.N.’s effort in the winner’s name.
The Trends: In this age of immediacy, consumers are going digital to find inspiration, tips and answers to all sorts of questions, including preparation of the Thanksgiving turkey. This desire for information to be “on demand” seems paramount in all industries. We’ve observed consumers walking through grocery store aisles not looking at shelves as they consider what to purchase to prepare the perfect meal, but peering down at their phone as their go-to resource. This year, we anticipate a cadre of new holiday chefs—my demographic of older millennials—will be preparing the Thanksgiving turkey for the first time.
The turkey has been picked apart, the wishbone wished upon, and the rounds of coffee are morphing into a Manhattan or two. With the family finally gathered after a tumultuous year, all seems well with the world. But then cousin Ed is nowhere to be found; same for your stepsister and her teens. They’ve all snuck out the side door, beckoned by the promise of amazing deals, along with throngs of rabid bargain hunters and store hours that would have been unimaginable a few years ago.
For a crash course in how not to communicate with millennials, take the time to visit /r/FellowKids, a “subreddit” of gigantic content-aggregation site Reddit. It’s a site dedicated to mocking examples of “advertisements and media that totally appeal to the radical youth of today. Cowabunga!”
Google Analytics is among a PR pro’s most valuable means of proving ROI on a campaign. But for communicators that consider themselves more wordsmiths than STEM experts, it can be challenging to move past “analysis paralysis” when approaching a complex tool like Google Analytics.
As excited as we all are to jump into action with a brilliant new PR initiative, it’s important not to find yourself asking yourself in the aftermath “…wait, what should we have been measuring? Are the numbers we ended up with great, good, bad? Are those numbers important to my boss?” Look before you leap, and lay a foundation for what to measure and what to expect.
With digital’s breakneck speed influencing crises, you’d think new tools and technology that can help in crisis management would be priorities for communicators. Not so fast. A judicious mix of traditional and digital is the preferred method of Eric Wohlschlegel, director, media relations, American Petroleum Institute (API), who will be speaking at PR News’ Media Relations Conference, Dec. 8, in Washington, D.C.
Chili’s restaurants served over 200,000 free meals to veterans on Veterans Day. One of those meals went very, very poorly, and now the restaurant chain is in a worse position than if it had never undertaken the effort in the first place. What went wrong? An act of kindness to veterans should have been non-controversial.
Autodesk, producer of 3D design software, is one company that takes the “radiation” approach to YouTube as opposed to the passive storehouse approach. The company devotes much of its communications resources to its YouTube channel, and that devotion has paid off in 220,000 subscribers. The immediate goal for its YouTube channel might surprise you, considering this is a software company we’re talking about.