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Research

How the Music Industry Brainwashes Us to Like Songs We (Rightfully) Hate

dd914540-a3ff-11e3-8aeb-b5427b31fc45_Iggy-Azalea-Fancy-PollThe first time I heard Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy,” I loathed it, like wouldn’t-get-through-30-seconds-before-I-changed-the-station loathed it. But here I am in August, a few months after the song’s release, and I find that while I still truly do not enjoy the song, my resolve to burn it out of my mind and all existence has weakened, and I no longer feel the overwhelming need to leap out a third-story window if it suddenly comes on while out with friends.

As it turns out, there’s a real, neurological reason for my surrender, and it’s one the music industry uses to its full advantage — think of it like Stockholm Syndrome, but auditory — and the kidnapper with whom you slowly grow to sympathize is Katy Perry’s latest auto-tuned nightmare.

The phenomenon was revealed in an fMRI study, which suggested that repeated exposure to a song is actually a more effective means of winning the hearts of the public than writing a song that they might actually like. This is because the emotional centers of the brain are more active when a person hears a song he or she has heard previously than when hearing an unfamiliar song that better suits the person’s musical taste. It seems our brains confuse the ability to recognize and remember a song with actually enjoying it. Read more

Get Ready for More Entry-Level Jobs (Some Experience Required)

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Last week, Laurent Lawrence of the PRSA wrote an op-ed on the reasons behind PR’s big turnover problem. One of the issues he addressed was “nonexistent onboarding”, or managers who hire entry-level employees and expect them to manage accounts, like, yesterday.

In an unrelated story this April, Richard Edelman responded to an inflammatory Financial Times piece by admitting that too many firms “dump” their media relations work on the very same newbies. Sorry, guys.

Yet a report published late yesterday in The Wall Street Journal tells us to expect an increase in entry-level PR jobs over the next few years. Here’s the thing: those jobs will require more experience and more refined skill sets than they did in the past.

As the WSJ’s Lauren Weber says in the video after the jump, “internships are the new entry-level jobs.”

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Ogilvy Survey: Social and Earned Media Are Inseparable

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This week, another new survey attempts to answer the question at the heart of the public relations discipline in our digital era: how has social media changed the behavior of journalists and the PR teams that interact with them every day?

The survey, released today by Ogilvy PR’s Media Influence unit after conducting interviews with 75 US-based reporters, editors and producers, brought both expected and surprising conclusions. In short: despite certain misconceptions, social has only enhanced the value of earned media. The two are inseparable.

We spoke to friend of the site Jennifer Risi, managing director of Ogilvy Media Influence and head of North American media relations, for conclusions and lessons learned after the jump.

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STUDY: How Many Brands Would You Call ‘Friends?’

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Is your favorite brand the kind that you might call…your best friend? How many brands would even qualify as casual acquaintances? And which ones do you come back to again and again like a well-worn pair of pants?

Yes, these are ridiculous questions–but they’re also very serious, because their answers go a long way toward determining where the average John or Jane spends his/her money. A new survey of more than 4,000 consumers worldwide by IBM-owned email marketing tech provider Silverpop addresses the very real idea that every business should personalize its service as much as possible.

As you probably know, a “best friend” brand is one that will regularly lead consumers to open and even actually read emails, therefore leading to more sales etc.

Some stats, then:

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Survey Says Clients Trust Ad, Marketing Agencies Over PR Firms

YOUR AD HERE

We don’t mean to be the bearer of bad news, but a recent survey of in-house marketers conducted by Marketing Week and Weber Shandwick tells us that, when asked to name a “primary strategic partner”, far more clients chose their ad and marketing agencies than their PR firms. Here’s a mixed-message quote:

“More than five times as many marketers say PR agencies are losing ground as say they are gaining ground on other specialisms. There is good news too for the discipline. Respondents agree that PR agencies take the lead on messaging and are a strategic partner, and that reputation management is crucial in a digital world.”

The news could be worse, though–and it is far worse for social media agencies.

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STUDY: Journalists Spend Less Than One Minute Reading Each Press Release

Press releases

They all blend together at a certain point…

We have a new candidate for least surprising survey conclusions via comms firm Greentarget: journalists like your press releases nice and short.

No, shorter than that. Shorter…shorter…almost there…

This one hits a little too close to home for us. Key stat: the average participant in this survey received approximately 50 releases every week–and spent less than one minute reading each one he or she opened.

You’ll click through and spend about three minutes reading this post though, won’t you?

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Q&A: What Are the Keys to Effective B2B Branding?

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Hint: it doesn’t have to be as dull as a stock photo of a business meeting

It’s one thing to raise awareness of a consumer brand among the general public, but B2B audiences are even tougher in many ways. They don’t just want a catchy campaign, a clever social feed or, say, a tasty snack–they want products that will help them do their jobs better and deliver visible career benefits.

And yet, a recent survey conducted by Omnicom’s global branding firm Siegel+Gale revealed that B2B marketers and PR professionals might have something to learn from their B2C brethren: relate to your customers as living, breathing people rather than streams of behavioral data broadcast from office cubicles.

We asked Brian Rafferty, Global Director of Research Insights for Siegel+Gale, for some guidance on conclusions drawn from the research–and what they mean for PRs who represent B2B clients.

His answers and some interesting numbers after the jump.

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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

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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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