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Posts Tagged ‘Social media policy’

How Zelda Williams Will Change Twitter’s Troll Policy

A while back, we offered a ’5 Things‘ post about “How to exterminate Internet trolls.” Apparently, some of you didn’t get the memo because something really (expletive) awful happened to the grieving Zelda Williams, daughter of Robin Williams.

The tweet says it all. Thousands of others chimed in because those two aforementioned stains on humanity were sending Zelda pics of … her deceased father. Of course the photos were fake, but the claims were bad enough.

Twitter finally got the message and let the trolls know: “We’re coming for you.

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NPR to Employees: ‘Retweets Actually Are Endorsements, So Quit It!’

does-not-equalSomething that has plagued reporters of any ilk for years is the dreaded retweet button.

Although they work for a particular network (local or national), they have personal accounts … and opinions. Thanks to becoming the personification of the TV network, the disclaimer “Retweets are not endorsements” appears throughout Twitter bios everywhere.

But does that even matter? Are retweets endorsements or just sharing opinion?

Twitter has created a subculture and an unspoken set of rules that reflects retweets as implied endorsements. You share with your followers and that means it becomes your opinion. To be retweeted means someone else likes your tweet because you shared good information. And that they agree with it, most of the time.

So, NPR has stepped in and said what most of us already think…sorta.

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Is Social Media’s Branding Power Overstated?

Despite the intense focus on social media and measurement in PR and marketing departments, a new and somewhat surprising study from web content management provider Kentico Software downplays social content’s ability to define a brand.

Just under half of customers around the world claim to have recommended a product or service on a social media site, but the Kentico survey implies that home pages are far more important than social media accounts when it comes to establishing a brand’s reputation.

Some results:

What weighs most heavily on brand affinity?

  • 28% word of mouth
  • 25% brand website
  • 18% in-store experience
  • 7% social media

This may seem surprising, but social media campaigns rarely define brands, and very few customers develop an “affinity” for a brand due to its Facebook posts or tweets.

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Film Studios May Stop Running Facebook Promos

Today’s Academy Awards nominations mark Hollywood’s second-biggest PR day (this year’s theme seems to be “Thank you, Steven Spielberg, for keeping things classy”). But the movie industry may be re-thinking some of its promotional strategies in coming years–especially those involving Facebook.

In short, some studio executives and their press teams have begun to wonder whether “likes” amount to box office returns. It would seem that the two parties’ revenue streams have crossed–and anyone who’s seen Ghostbusters knows what that means.

It’s all about Facebook’s new algorithm. While the site once served as a free marketing platform for studios, promo posts now bring limited returns unless they’re “sponsored stories”–which means more money, of course. You want “reach” and “engagement”? Get ready to pay up. Some studios are “finding new ways to…interact” with audiences by “bringing in their own writers” to “help create more engaging campaigns”. Sounds like more work for PR teams, doesn’t it?

Should media folks in La-La Land cut their Facebook budgets and stop counting on the social network to drive ticket sales? It makes sense to us, because we’ve never “liked” a movie that we haven’t seen. But we wonder how studios can replace this free platform.

Oh, and while we’re at it, here are a few other things Hollywood could do with a little less of:

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5 Great 2012 Instagram Branding Campaigns

InstagramThere’s been a bit of drama on the social media photo-sharing front recently, hasn’t there? We didn’t spend too much time following the playground Twitter vs. Instagramfilter fight” that had tech bloggers wondering which property would come out on top or the recent outrage over new privacy policies–and we still think Instagram will be the visual branding tool of choice for the foreseeable future.

On that note, we thought we’d highlight a few  successful Instagram projects from 2012 via brands that know how to do visual PR.

(Quite a few brands have great Instagram accounts, but for the purposes of this post we only considered theme-driven branding campaigns.)

Five names that stood out in 2012:

  1. Ben and Jerry’s
  2. Ford
  3. Burberry
  4. Urban Outfitters/Free People
  5. Bergdorf Goodman

Click through for some notes on each:

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Will The White House’s New Social Media Strategy Work?

The White House Twitter Feed ImageThere’s no question that The White House knows its way around social media—President Obama’s “four more years” Instagram tweet quickly became the most liked and shared message in history.

Of course, officials like the President don’t just use Twitter and Facebook to post adorable pictures of themselves and their families—they also use it to drive strategy and influence policy. And yet, as we’ve seen in the past, social media is an unwieldy animal that many political groups struggle to master.

Exactly one year ago, The White House used Twitter to push an effort to extend a “payroll tax cut” that affected millions of Americans. That effort ultimately proved successful, but now Obama faces a new and potentially bigger challenge involving the much-discussed “fiscal cliff” that would result in massive spending cuts and the elimination of George W. Bush-era tax cuts if not addressed by congress before the New Year.

Obama recently debuted the hashtag #My2K, named for the approximately $2000 in yearly tax increases that would theoretically affect millions of middle-class Americans if congress doesn’t act. He tweeted his millions of followers encouraging them to offer personal stories of what that $2K might mean to them and their families—and to direct those messages to their representatives.

Sounds like a well-planned PR strategy—but will it work?

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Mitt Romney and the Dangers of Automated Messaging

We can understand why the Romney/Ryan campaign might forget to cancel the obviously automated publication of its official victory website after Tuesday’s election. In this case, the team’s oversight inspired little more than snickering and/or sadness among observers. But it also serves as a useful example of the headaches that automated content, messages and responses can create for PR teams.

Automation can be a great tool, especially in the world of social media. But real-world circumstances change quickly, and a failure to re-align one’s messages in the moment can amount to a big PR fail. Let’s review some recent examples:

  • Progressive Insurance responded to a massive PR headache (taking a deceased client’s estate to court to contest benefits) by…sending out a series of automated responses on Twitter. There’s no better way to confirm your status as a heartless corporation than by responding to tragedy with robotic corporate messages. You can type “our heart goes out to…” all you want, but members of the public are surprisingly adept at calling out this sort of thing.

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Hurricane a Big PR Win for…The MTA?

Yes, we’re still a little overwhelmed by all the Sandy stories, but we’d like to bring you another example of a brand that scored a PR win during the storm. This story is even more relevant because the brand in question, The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), has a generally terrible reputation–the public almost universally sees it and the crucial service it provides as a necessary evil (again, we don’t have any nifty links, so readers outside the NYC area will just have to trust us on this).

And yet, a very interesting Buzzfeed piece reveals the organization’s up-to-the-minute social media documentation of the Sandy crisis and the public’s overwhelmingly positive response.

The MTA’s official Twitter feed, @MTAInsider, quickly provided information on service outages and changes well into the night each day this week, posting helpful resources like a constantly updated subway map. The feed also reported on less popular developments, like the fact that the group’s previously waived fees would go back into effect tonight at midnight. Even more impressive were the feed’s many links to the revealing, horrifying and sometimes beautiful photographs featured on its Flickr stream (with accompanying video clips).

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Amway Social Media Policy Focus: Transparency and Negativity

Cynthia Droog, digital PR specialist for Amway Global, spoke exclusively with the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) recently about the company’s social media strategy and execution.

One of the topics that also came up was the company’s social media policy. When asked about the key items that the company has learned, Droog said:

We really had to focus on helping people – employees and distributors – understand two things: the need for transparency and the right way to manage negative comments. Because our distributors do receive income from the sale of our products, they have to disclose their relationship with us. It’s that simple, but it isn’t something that comes natural, because they are independent business owners, building a business based on their own relationships, reputations, and customer service and selling capabilities.

Droog also comments on the right and wrong ways to handle negative comments.

Last week, Mediabistro and PRNewser dedicated an hour-long podcast to the topic of social media policy. Featuring Michael Brito, VP of social media at Edelman Digital, the webcast is now archived for your view pleasure. Click here to watch.

Webcast Tomorrow: Social Media Policy

Last week, PRNewser posted a video about’s social media policy. While most companies have a social media presence, many lack a cohesive guideline for social networks.

Tomorrow from 2pm to 3pm EST, PRNewser is hosting a webcast with Edelman Digital VP of social media Michael Brito offering tips on how you can fashion your own social media policy. Learn how to develop, implement, and roll out a social media policy for your company and your clients.

Click here to register.