Monday, July 25, 2011

Social media speeded relief during March earthquake and tsunami

I met with Kenui Hanaue at Dentsu PR in Tokyo last week. Dentsu is scheduled to publish in October 2011 a report on how citizens' use of social media was used to alert emergency relief providers of urgent needs and locations -- far faster and more effectively than government/official channels. Not a rap on government -- but a cogent case study of organic crisis communications in action that should inform corporate/government official crisis communications planning in the future.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Non-profit (ideological) news rooms

The Pew Research Center Project for Excellence in Journalism this week released a new report on the emergence of non-profit -- and ideologically focused -- newsrooms: "Assessing a New Landscape in Journalism." One interesting finding: the lower the transparency the stronger the ideological bias. The Classical Rhetoricians would not have approved -- what kind of Ethical Appeal can an argument have, when you don't know the source/reputation/identity of the person or organization making the argument?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Aggregator of textscapes


Visual.ly provides access to designers of infographics, an increasingly important art/science for communications. Infographics have enormous power for both compelling communication and persuasion, but also for deception. TED Talks provides two useful presentations, one from the Guardian's David McCandless and the other from designer, Tom Wujec.

Another textscape -- from Alain de Botton


". . . buildings are not simply visual objects without any connection to concepts which we can analyse and then evaluate. Buildings speak -- and on topics which can readily be discerned. They speak of democracy or aristocracy, openness or arrogance, welcome or threat, a sympathy for the future or a hankering for the past.
"Any object of design will give off an impression of the psychological and moral attitudes it supports. . . . works of design and architecture talk to us about . . . the kind of life that would most appropriately unfold within and around them. They tell us of certain moods that they seek to encourage and sustain in their inhabitants. . . . they hold out an invitation for us to be specific sorts of people. They speak of visions of happiness. . . . A feeling of beauty is a sign that we have come upon a material articulation of of certain of our ideas of a good life." Alain de Botton, The Architecture of Happiness (Vintage, 2006)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Registration open for North American Summit on PR Measurement


The Institute for Public Relations and PRSA are co-sponsoring the 9th annual North American Measurement Summit this year, September 18-20 in Philadelphia. Day 1 is pre-conference workshops, a "PR measurement boot camp." Day 2 includes presentations from J&J, Yahoo!, and ConAgra. I will also be moderating a panel discussion exploring how companies and PR agencies are really implementing both output and outcome measurement platforms. Panelists from BurrellsLuce, Report International, VMS, WCG, and H&K. Day 3 presentations from Treasury Department and PwC.

Another textscape

Every tree in Central Park.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Lady Gaga: the medium that works

The PR/marketing communications world today has so many more options -- for observing/understanding and for communicating -- that the concept of "the media that matters" has gained new prominence. A telling example: as Los Angeles anticipates major traffic snarls during maintenance of Interstate 405, they chose as one important channel of public communication something most would consider a form of "new media": Lady Gaga's Twitter feed. Here's the NYT story.

PR measurement and analytics


AMEC's third European Summit on Measurement (in Lisbon, June 8 - 10) assembled a good audience of communications measurement professionals/companies from over 30 countries. (Conference presentation downloads here.) Consensus of the group was that PR ROI is the most pressing issue for PR measurement and analytics. That is certainly consistent with issues percolating in the U.S. -- the Council of PR Firms currently has a task force on just that topic that will be making some recommendations for PR agencies within the year. However, AMEC's conference attendees are mostly from the European (global) research supplier community. It's unclear if their perspective is fully shared by U.S. PR practitioners.

ROI of PR is not a new topic in the U.S. PR industry. NIRI, IPR, PRSA, and academics have been working on the topic for decades. I find that U.S. clients are less likely to ask the global question of Value of/Return on PR, and are much more likely to ask questions about the specific ROI of a communications initiative (an event, a social media tactic, a sponsorship, etc.). The Big Thinkers in the PR world seem to be on the way to providing us with some better answers about the ROI of PR. But there's that next step in helping practitioners (and purchasers of PR services) understand the relative potential impact and value of different categories of tactics/initiatives.

Discussion to be continued at the North American Measurement Summit in September in Philadelphia, this year organized by IPR and PRSA.