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Research

STUDY: How Effective Is Sponsored Content? Not Very!

CONTENT!!

Probably not a sponsored story

Every agency with its head on straight began creating or facilitating the creation of content some time ago, and quite a few brands and publications have followed suit. Today The Washington Post added a former PR/journalist to its roster to manage a growing content production house.

Yet few can agree on what a successful piece of sponsored content looks like or on best practices for enhancing and measuring its effectiveness.

Expect the debate to continue with the help of some challenging research.

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‘Most Patriotic Brands’ List Is Almost Completely Arbitrary

FLAGS

The 4th of July Holiday is over, but we can still talk about which brands benefited the most–and we don’t mean which ones built particularly brilliant campaigns around the event; we mean which brands benefitted from being identified as distinctly American and therefore “patriotic.”

We’ll review five of the top ten placements on a completely subjective measure of patriotism: a survey conducted by the people at the firm Brand Keys and summarized in a Forbes post last week.

So why are these brands seen as “most patriotic?”

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STUDY: Has Social Media Changed Journalism for the Better or Worse?

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A recent study by finance/investor relations group ING attempts to answer a question crucial to the PR industry: how has social media changed the nature of journalism as a product and the behavior of those who practice it?

The answer: more crowdsourcing, less fact-checking and, inevitably, more corrections/retractions.

We know why that matters to PR. Details after the jump.

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The REAL Cost of Facebook Paid Reach

Despite Facebook’s increasing revenue (this week’s half-hour outage “only” cost the company $500,000), many in marketing are a bit bearish on the company’s futures in terms of its true value in dollars, cents and eyeballs.

The primary complaint, of course, concerns the demonstrable decline of organic reach. Facebook finally addressed the issue after six months of complaints, but product marketing leader Brian Boland’s response pleased exactly no one that we know.

Facebook still claims that its primary goal is to improve user experience, not profit margin…but new data from our friends at digital agency Flightpath indicates otherwise.

It’s not just organic: the agency’s clients noted a recent decline in the reach of their paid posts, and Flightpath turned the data into an infographic.

Facebook paid reach

As you can see, the price of pay-to-play has more than doubled over just six months.

We can’t be sure if all agency clients have seen the same trends, but we’re very curious. Those numbers are scarier than two dozen smiling Zuckerbergs staring us down.

Ogilvy Cannes Study: Behold the Power of Word of Mouth

can you hear me now

Can you hear my brand now?

A new study by Ogilvy, Google and TNS presented at this week’s International Festival of Creativity at Cannes ironically highlights the effect PR can have on ad campaigns as applied to brand perception and sales.

In short: word of mouth is the most powerful factor when it comes to consumers’ relationships with brands.

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STUDY: 90% of Content Marketers Lack Confidence in Their Data

big ass data

A recent study released by software provider/publisher of excellent hack-turned-flack editorials Contently combines two of the hottest topics in PR today: data and original content.

As our headline notes, the vast majority of participants in the study aren’t comfortable with the relationship between the two: 90% say they aren’t sure that they’re measuring the success of their material effectively and a small but still surprising 7% aren’t measuring it at all.

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Makovsky Study: Reputation Problems Continue to Plague Wall Street

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The latest Wall Street Reputation study from Makovsky Integrated Communications is in, and its results won’t surprise many.

In short, the financial industry still suffers from the effects of the 2008 financial crisis–and 81% of communications executives at Wall Street firms believe that this fact continues to damage businesses’ reputations as well as their bottom lines.

This isn’t just about political populism, either: it affects shareholder perceptions.

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STUDY: Most Readers Still Not Willing to Pay for News

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A timeless maxim that we just made up holds that people are, in general, hesitant to pay for things you once gave them for free. Unfortunately for media brands, a new survey by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism confirms that the same principle very much applies to news.

Amusing coincidence: we found said survey behind a big pink paywall at Financial Times. Here’s the free press release version.

Only 10% of a group of 19,000 people in 10 countries said they’d be willing to pay for digital news–a number unchanged since 2012.

In other words, get ready for further disruption to the news model. But wait: these numbers might not be quite as bad as they seem…

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PR Internships Are the Best Internships (According to a Survey)

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22.6% of participants described this image as “kind of accurate”

Job search/listing service startup InternMatch recently conducted a huge survey asking more than 9,000 students about the state of the American internship–and you’ll be happy to learn that PR is the winner.

The basic conclusions:

  • Every student wants a great internship
  • Paid internships are always better
  • As competition heats up for a limited number of entry-level gigs in various industries, these introductory gigs will only grow more valuable

Specifics and an infographic after the jump.

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STUDY: Young Americans Are Less Emotionally Engaged With Your Brand

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A new survey from marketing agency Momentum Worldwide is an interesting and familiar read, though it probably won’t be too encouraging for those who struggle to establish a connection with followers on social.

Its main conclusions: people in first-world countries feel less attached to the brands they follow than those in developing areas. This is especially true among younger audiences–and the root cause might just be overexposure to brand promo messages.

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