When asked by the PR News/Cision Social Media Survey to describe their perceived value of the blogs and online forums they have created as compared to those they visit/engage with, respondents gave the following verbatim explanations. "A blog isn't an island unto itself. It must be recognized to garner the amount of attention necessary to drive ROI. In the Web world, cross-links between blogs are necessary, so we make efforts to interact with blogs similar to ours so we can spread our message. In a sense, this can make other blogs as valuable as our own." "We use blogs in managing community crises to keep open, transparent dialogue about road closings, school impact, town hall meetings and other pertinent news for evacuated families in an emergency. They allow us to give real-time information without the need for media vetting. Direct communication allows constituents to experience our clients rather than be represented by third-party media. And it gives local media access to up-to-date information as well." "Being able to control the message being delivered is always more valuable than having to respond to what other people are saying." "Blogs and forums help my clients stay more engaged with their audience than traditional marketing methods [because they facilitate] listening directly to consumers, direct dialogue and the good PR associated with this kind of direct outreach." "Corporate-focused blogs and forums are typically not viewed as being as credible as third-party blogs and forums. Users are somewhat hesitant to be as transparent as they might be on a third-party blog or forum that was not created to advance any particular organization's agenda." "Credibility of corporate or institutional sites is still suspect." "As a government agency, we have yet to come to terms with how to deal with social media, in particular, blog writers and social media. Because nearly everything we do has to 'pre- approved,' it is very difficult to engage with more spontaneous media." As for responses to the question about how they measure ROI when pitching social media, responses included: "At this stage and for my level of clients, they are most satisfied with more and better media coverage. Some are tracking hits to their site in conjunction with media releases and pitches, but are not tracking where every lead comes from. I am encouraging them to change that. I try to insist that new accounts I take on have tracking accountability so we can track ROI to PR." "'Pitching social media' is a pretty nebulous concept. Social media ROI entirely depends upon the goal of a given campaign. It could be the total volume of blog commentary or a single post by an influential blogger. It could be acquiring and communicating with fans of a Facebook page. It could be the number of qualified leads or revenue from direct sales. There is no set formula for measuring social media ROI." "A valuable gauge in terms of identifying a successful return from the social networking aspect would be in the form of discussions or shared content as a result."
Verbatim: A Glimpse Into The Mind Of The Executive
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