Smartphones And Social Media Are Taking Over
79% Of People 18-44 Have Their Smartphones With Them 22 Hours A Day
By Allison Stadd on April 2, 2013 12:00 PM
Quick: what’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
Yawn? Hit the snooze button? Go to the bathroom? Brush your teeth?
If you’re like 80% of 18-44-year-olds, the answer is “check my smartphone.”
A new IDC Research report, conducted online with data from 7,446 Android and iPhone users ages 18 to 44 during a week in March, reveals some eye-opening mobile social media intel.
Facebook sponsored the report, so our sister site AllFacebook.com has the story from that angle, if you’re interested.
But here’s the lowdown from a less Facebook-specific perspective:
49% of the entire U.S. population uses a smartphone. By 2017, the percent of smartphone users is expected to reach 68%.
Four out of five smartphone users check their phones within the first 15 minutes of waking up. 80% of those say it’s the first thing they do in the morning.
79% of smartphone users have their phone on or near them for all but two hours of their waking day; 63% keep it with them for all but one hour. A full quarter of respondents couldn’t recall a single time of the day when their phone wasn’t in the same room as them.
Friday through Sunday, smartphone users spend 163 minutes communicating and using social media on their phones. Monday through Thursday, they spend 87 minutes.
So weekends are more social than ever, probably because social media is just that – social, connecting people in person and from afar online. And as Shea shared recently, another study showed that smartphone owners are considerably more social than their desktop counterparts.
The average number of social/communication apps that smartphone users have on their phones is 7.4.
The most common sentiment regarding smartphone is one of “connectedness,” far surpassing “overwhelmed,” “stressed out,” “burdened/anxious,” or “lonely.”
That connectedness engendered by smartphone use is followed closely by excitement, curiosity, and productivity.
Basically, smartphones have become pocketable personal computers rather than cell phones. And no matter the social networking you’re doing, chances are you’re doing it more deeply and often if you’re doing it on the go.
7 traits of a solid PR professional
By Scott Signore | Posted: April 30, 2013
Having been around the block a few times, I have a good understanding of the traits of a successful PR professional. At a minimum, these are the traits we seek when filling key positions at our firm. In my humble opinion, PR people need to be…
What’s the end goal? That’s what PR people need to consider more often than they do typically. The PR activities we execute daily put a company on the map or contribute to a larger initiative designed to help it do more business. While vague, that’s appropriately described. Before acting, a PR person needs to determine how the desired result contributes to the bigger picture of business success.
I can’t think of a career that requires as much flexibility as public relations and social media. Plans, particularly those of clients, change with nutty regularity. The successful PR pro needs to adapt and, throughout any transition, help clients achieve communications and business success no matter the direction.
Social media channels present the very obvious need to be nimble: One Facebook post can change the tone of a day. In addition to being reactive and responsive, PR pros need to have the ability to deal with whatever comes their way in a professional manner.
3. Strong writers
To be great at PR, one needs to have writing skills. While content development has taken on a more expansive meaning of late, the foundation of the PR agency job is still in keystrokes. The ability to articulate, think creatively, and maintain a positive personality are all obvious characteristics for any profession, but in PR above average writing skills are imperative, with colleagues and clients demanding everything from compelling blog posts to finely-crafted press releases and everything in between.
4. Sponges (early in their careers, at least)
Becoming a well rounded, consistently reliable and savvy PR person takes work. The ramp-up to achieving such a standard varies greatly depending on the individual, but no entry-level professional punches into a new job and immediately begins counseling the world’s biggest brands on high-profile communications issues.
Most newbies make an impact, but there’s a difference between that impact and the decision making of other more senior staff members. There’s so much to learn in PR on a daily basis, and that’s one of the reasons I’ve loved being a PR guy since I first interned in the field.
The best young professionals understand that experience can be gained from closely watching co-workers, carefully noting their accomplishments, and learning from their challenges.
5. Unafraid of learning more (later in their careers)
Learning is endless and that’s so true when it comes to the ever-evolving PR field. There’s so much to gain in every interaction with a colleague or a client, and in every first-hand experience—from a methodical, well laid out plan to a crisis situation. The best PR pros know to embrace all that is happening around them and best leverage that data to improve as professionals.
6. News junkies
PR people need to care about what is happening in the news in both their core sector and in the broader world. They need to be on top of news and trends, so that they can harness what they know to craft story ideas that best position their client, topic, etc., within the most timely, topical conversations in the media and on the street.
PR people get shot-down often. It’s a common occurrence and there’s nothing wrong with that. Amid great editorial success, we get turned away pitching more than our fair share of story ideas, bylined articles, and profile pieces. While we enjoy much strategic and tactical success when working with clients, we also get shot-down presenting ideas for new programs or programmatic approaches.
It’s part of the business, and you need to roll with the circumstance. Critique and criticism are common, and it is something that needs to be embraced and learned from to survive happily at any PR firm.
10 candy hearts with your favorite jargon
By | Posted: February 15, 2013
Remember those candy hearts you handed out to your classmates on Valentine’s Day—the ones with playful sayings such as “Be Mine” and “Let’s Kiss”?
It was an early lesson in flirting. Too bad the hearts were too saccharine to enjoy.
Now that you’re all grown up and in the working world, you need a new kind of candy heart—a treat you can give to the person in your life who adores jargon.
You need jargon candy hearts.
Journalists identify the worst PR jargon
By Gini Dietrich | Posted: January 17, 2013
In little time, terms such as “at the end of the day,” “with all due respect,” “frankly,” and “win win” became the top culprits.
In fact, we filled up that whiteboard and added big sheets of poster paper on either side to keep the game going.
MBAs and wannabe executives were often the ones uttering these mind-numbing words, but they’re not the only professionals who speak this language.
According to a report by twelve thirty eight, PR professionals are the worst at using buzzwords that have no real meaning. Each year, the firm surveys 500 journalists to find out which buzzwords, jargon, and terms PR pros use when working with them.
The survey taps British reporters and editors from media outlets such as the BBC, The Telegraph, the Financial Times, the Daily Mail, and more.
The results of the survey revealed what twelve thirty eight calls the “hipsterization” of PR terminology, exemplified by the rise of words such as “awesome” and “super excited.” I have a journalist friend who shares this feeling; she’s fed up with “amazing” (which, of course, makes me use it every other word when I email her).
Journalists in the U.K. also bemoaned the influx of American terminology, including “circle back” or “reach out.”
Twelve thirty eight compiled this list of the top 20 buzzwords identified in the survey. The words and phrases in parenthesis are an attempt to define the meaning.
1. Issues (problems)
2. Dynamic (likely not to be)
3. Paradigm (a “silk purse” word)
4. Elite (you wouldn’t normally get to attend)
5. Hotly anticipated (never heard of it)
6. End-user (customer)
7. Influencer (a person who probably doesn’t have influence)
8. Evangelist (a tendency to tweet with loads of hashtags)
9. Deliverables (tasks)
10. Icon/iconic (use before 01.01.01 or never)
11. Rocketed (made modest progress)
12. “An astonishing x per cent” (it rarely is astonishing)
13. Marquee event/marquee client (probably “very local”)
14. Going forward (in the future)
15. Ongoing (a bit behind schedule)
16. Optimized (changed by consultants then changed back)
17. Horizontal, vertical, etc. (two words in lieu of a strategy)
18. Phygital (easy to press or swipe, we guess)
19. SoLoMo (no idea)
20. Well-positioned (hopeful but a bit scared)
And one of my very favorites: I loathe it when a business is described as “providing solutions.” We see this time and again and it tells us nothing.
4 myths about PR agencies spreading across college campuses
By Ryan McShane | Posted: January 15, 2013
During mentor sessions, students often describe their job-hunting progress and feelings toward different areas of public relations. It is evident that many myths are still looming across campuses, and I’m here to teach from my experience.
MYTH: An agency is always the best career starter
I have several arguments why most students should start their careers with an agency. Agencies help young professionals to discover their talents, broaden their knowledge, and develop relationships across the industry.
That said, several of my friends and colleagues have started their careers in-house and have achieved great success in doing so. Ultimately, agency public relations should be on your radar, but evaluate each job opportunity independently to find the right fit for you and your growth.
MYTH: Any agency will do
Again, I’ll concede that having agency experience on your résumé will help you gain future employment. As an internship director, it’s comforting to find candidates with prior agency internships under their belts, because it shows these folks likely have experienced (and survived) the fast-paced environment that faced them.
Pace aside, many agencies do not observe ethics and best practices, and some of those flaws may follow you in the form of bad habits or a “what not to do” case study. Don’t be that case study.
MYTH: Agencies are short-term jobs
This is a myth that I often hear when working with students and young professionals. It’s true that agency turnover is generally more volatile than in-house. Because of some of the things I mentioned above, agency practitioners often find opportunities to specialize in particular fields of interest.
However, many practitioners are cut out for a long-term career in agency public relations. Senior management often rewards this loyalty, as it sends a positive message to clients and the rest of the staff. A long-term agency path also enables you to maintain the fast-paced environment and diversified workload that many practitioners need to remain professionally hungry.
MYTH: Serving multiple clients will broaden my skills
Benefits of working on multiple client accounts include learning different sectors and honing time management skills. Conversely, young professionals who are staffed across too many accounts are unable to completely immerse themselves into their clients’ businesses and needs.
In addition, working with too many clients will likely limit growth opportunities. Imagine being staffed across four to five clients. After monitoring for coverage, clipping placements, and building media lists, you’d likely need to repeat the same process for your next client to keep up with the workload.
Many agencies lose great young talent, because they limited their professional development. However, other agencies recognize the importance of challenging their staff on a daily basis—limiting their accounts plays a big part of that vision.
10 (mostly) free social media tools you can’t live without
Pete Codella, (@Codella on Twitter), VP of marketing and PR for Alexander’s, a Utah-based full-service traditional and digital marketing communications firm, has some suggestions.
He shared his top tools for social media success at our Social Media and Community Managers Summit in Chicago:
Monitor your brand
People are talking about your company. Are you listening?
- Track and measure what people are saying about your company.
- Monitor Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Digg, Google and many more.
- Receive email alerts about your brand, topics of interest and more.
HubSpot’s Marketing Grader
- Measure your marketing activities.
- Find out how your website ranks.
- Find out how competing websites rank.
Track your tweets
- Get realtime insights from Twitter conversations.
- Search links, tweets, photos, videos, what’s trending and more.
- No, not the Dutch province of Gelderland.
- Find users in a specific locations based on their Twitter bios.
Involver (paid plans available, too)
- Add branded applications to your Facebook fan page.
- Has additional paid and free apps for other channels.
ShortStack (paid plans available, too)
- Design Facebook Apps and contests.
- Schedule pins on Pinterest.
- Analyze metrics.
- Upload pins in bulk.
- Calculate the measure of your popularity on Pinterest and value of each pin.
Grovo (paid plans available, too)
- Online video training site that teaches you social media tricks and tips through quick videos.
- A great way to strengthen your team’s understanding of social media.
Absolutely not! This is one of the biggest problems with social media, putting up with all of the nonsense that people insist on sharing, and not just on Twitter.
Another issue besides inane subject matter is frequency. We don’t need updates multiple times in an hour or even every hour or several times daily. Only when there is something either very interesting, entertaining or of value to share. Otherwise, I, for one, am totally tuning you out and then removing you from my world.
Some of us sensitive souls might feel bad “unfriending” or “unfollowing” annoying people on social media, but I look at it like this: Isn’t it a little like staying in an abusive relationship if yoI don’t? Verbally abusive, I mean.
Relationships are a privilege and a gift and if another person can’t be respectful of that, they don’t deserve to have one with you.