Quick Study: Energy Efficiency Sizzles as a Corporate Brand Builder; For Small Biz Owners, Facebook Is a Work in Progress

â–¶ Energy Efficiency Good for Brand Building: A Deloitte study released in late July 2012 finds that improving energy efficiency at America’s businesses is as important to brand building as it is to growing the bottom line. The study, “reSources 2012,” shows that while 85% of companies claim that electricity cost reductions are essential to staying financially competitive, 81% believe they are critical to brand building. Consequently, more than three-quarters of the organizations surveyed say they are actively promoting their energy efficiency efforts to their customers. Other study findings include: • 90% of the companies surveyed have set energy management goals. • Respondents say that they’ve reached close to 60% of their targeted energy reduction levels.  • Six-in-10 businesses agree that today’s smart technology is not effective for their own unique circumstances, and an equal number believe that it is inadequate to help them achieve energy cost reduction goals. • Source: Deloitte â–¶ Facebook Vexes Some Small Business Owners: A July 2012 study from online marketing tools provider Constant Contact finds that among the one-quarter (24%) of small-business decision makers in the U.K. surveyed that report using Facebook to market their organizations, more than a third (37%) say they don’t think it has helped their business in any way, and only a fifth (21%) believe they are doing a great job using Facebook. Other findings include: • Of those whose organizations use Facebook in some way: 42% are engaging with fans by responding to posts on their Facebook Timeline; 59% use Facebook to post updates about products and services on their Facebook Timeline; 15% ask people to “like” their page to get vouchers and offers; 14% answer customer service issues; and 9% conduct polls or ask questions. • 22% of respondents reported that they found new customers through the social network, while 12% credited it with generating repeat sales. Furthermore, one-third (33%) say they’ve added up to 25 new fans over the last six months, and 31% say they have seen value in spreading the word about special offers or new products. • However, nearly a third (32%) of decision makers whose small businesses use Facebook say they don’t know how they engage with fans, yet they also report employing a variety of engagement tactics on their Facebook pages. Source: Constant Contact PR Myth of the Month: Social Media Measurement Is All About Tools In “Myth of the Month,” Mark Weiner (left), CEO of PRIME Research LLP, dispels some false assumptions about public relations. Myth: Social media monitoring and analysis is all about “the tool.” Truth: The emergent recognition that social media listening is the first step in developing meaningful interaction, engagement and relationships with customers and stakeholders created a cascade of technologies to monitor and analyze social media. Technology pledges countless benefits including speed, accessibility and low costs—some are free. But if you strip away the hyperbole surrounding the scramble for social media analytics, one sees that while tools make promises, they are only optimized through the uniquely human contributions of initiative, contextual understanding and interpretive analysis to make technological output insightful and actionable. Hundreds of tools promise constancy, accuracy and speed but many tools are simply technologists’ attempt to solve the unique challenges of professional communication with off-the-shelf solutions retrofitted to public relations. To solve problems related to what’s really important to us, PR professionals need to marry experience, insight, storytelling and technology to ensure that communications analytics form a strong foundation for solid decision making. Mark Weiner is CEO of PRIME Research Americas. Contact Mark at weiner@prime-research.com. Send PR Myth of the Month ideas to svancamp@accessintel.com.

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