Working prices into a PR services or agency presentation can be awkward or uncomfortable. In David Newman’s article 17 Great Answers to ‘How Much Do You Charge?’ some of the answers are quite bold, daring and even snippy, but many will keep prospective clients interested while postponing giving an actual answer.
One smooth answer: “Let’s talk about what you’re trying to accomplish first, and then we’ll work out some pricing options based on that.” Bottom line: If your company has the ability to be flexible, make sure to play that card. For the quick-witted: “The friends and family rate might apply, but we’re not friends yet – do you mind if I ask you some questions to help us answer the pricing question?”
The Dark Side, Learning from Mistakes and Tips for Success
There’s more than negative reviews to worry about when it comes to online reputation management.
The Dark Side of Reputation Management: How It Affects Your Business warns PR pros of reputation management extortionists who dig into company histories, release photos of employee mugshots and offer to remove the information for a fee. The article interviews Richart Ruddie, CEO of ProfileDefenders.com, who suggests companies affected by a “mugshot extortionist” thwart the attempts by creating positive images of the employees on image galleries that will naturally push down the negative photos. Then, seek appropriate legal counsel if necessary. More proactively, it’s best to check out job candidates online before hiring.
In similar situations, some companies have turned to Google’s Blackhat SEO, a tool that allows webmasters to control spam and wrongfully negative comments that link to their sites by “disavowing” the link. However, because of abuse of the tool, Google announced Blackhat SEO will be inactivated by this summer, as reported in Blackhat Online Reputation Management: Is It Effective? Websites will now have to rely on an old-fashioned “by-the-book” reputation management strategy.
Online Reputation Management: How Not to Tank Your Business by Ignoring the Digital World gathers tips for a solid online reputation management strategy, including types of social media responses to avoid. Some of the online PR responses are cringe-worthy, but Jenny-Rebecca Schmitt insists there are ways to avoid them: always prepare for worst-case scenarios, and then incorporate her 10-point plan into your online reputation management strategy. Important: Go beyond “Monitoring 101″ with a service that can track blogs, forums and social media discussions. Then, incorporate your monitoring reports into marketing decisions on a regular basis.
Schmitt doesn’t include a recent worst-case social media disaster, the Facebook meltdown of two Arizona bakery owners who were both featured on the TV show Kitchen Nightmares. After receiving negative online comments about their TV appearance, the couple used rude and insulting comments in social media to lash out at followers. The first step in recovery would be “to put your hands up and say sorry,” Mike McGrail notes in Can You Recover from an Amy’s Bakery-Style Social Media Meltdown? Social media has certainly undermined an age-old precept: “No press is bad press.” Not.
One of the key recommendations of the Barcelona principles discourages reporting quantitative data without an accompanying qualitative analysis, Jim Sinkinson addresses in PR Measurement: The Painful, Costly Disconnect between Best Intentions and Best Practices. Instead of concentrating on media outcomes (clip count, media impressions, etc.), PR pros should center on business outcomes that truly explain the value of your PR efforts. Ignoring business outcomes causes disconnects between data that PR pros offer and the assessments that C-level executives want. As Sinkinson observes, the better you become at measuring business outcomes caused by PR, the more effective you’ll be at generating those outcomes.
Angela Jeffrey distinguishes between the two outcome types in PRSA’s Confused about How to Tie PR Outputs to Organization Outcomes? Outputs are metrics such as clip counts or impressions, she explains, while business or organization outcomes include leads, sales, donations, and/or survey scores. The answer is to consider employing the AMEC Valid Metrics Guidelines. The AMEC framework provides a comprehensive template for selecting measurements that match organizational goals.
For analysis of an advanced measurement system, review K.D. Paine’s presentation to Develop Key Performance Indicators Tied to Original Goals. The in-depth slides explain how to define your goals, audience, investments and benchmarks, and then how to choose the metrics that will indicate your progress. Step 6 is especially helpful on measurement tools: content analysis measures messaging, positioning and analysis; survey research measures awareness and relationships; web analytics measures engagement, action and purchase.
As the infographic The ROI of Social Media: How Do You Measure Up? explains, most social media benefits are intangible: site traffic, conversion and the number of positive customer mentions. As one consequence, determining social media ROI can be difficult.
Even though it’s tough to trace revenue or cost-savings directly to social media, it is possible to track and value the ROI intangibles in social media marketing. It’s also possible to compare the value of various social media platforms to determine where best to focus your social media efforts. Measuring against specific business goals remains the key to determining social media ROI. At this point, Facebook seems to deliver the best return according to a survey of CMOs.
Social media marketing for B2B companies can get even trickier, Sherry Lamoreaux concedes in Mission Impossible? Measuring B2B Social Media ROI. Core metrics of performance should be grounded in corporate values, Lamoreaux insists, in four categories: distribution, interaction, influence and action. If your company values sales, monitor social channels for new opportunities and leads; if it’s influence you value, measure your reach, Klout and search engine results.
According to Mark Schaefer in A Different Way to Think About Social Media ROI, there is no one-size-fits-all or even best-practice social media strategy. Companies therefore should be on a program of continual improvement and that should be guided by refining the social media metrics used to assess success. Like the sales process, social media interaction consists of a series of “touches” often over extended periods of time and all affect the outcome. The measurement matrix must recognize that long-term reality. Key strategy: Qualitative measurement, which Schaefer avers can reveal the most loyal relationships and tangible benefits.
About the Editor
William Comcowich is the editor of Media Monitoring News and the CyberAlert Blog, as well as the CEO and President of CyberAlert, Inc. CyberAlert 5.0 offers the most advanced media monitoring services on the Internet for news and consumer discussion. William has over 20 years of experience in developing and producing interactive multimedia communications programs for Fortune 500 companies and 10 years of experience in Public Relations. Contact William on Google+
Contribute to CyberAlert’s BlogCyberAlert accepts articles by guest bloggers. If you have a fresh perspective on public relations, marketing, social media, media monitoring, SEO, or any other similar topics, please contact CyberAlert's CEO and president William Comcowich at email@example.com. We'd love to hear from you!
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