Monitoring Social Media event – Boston: 5th October 2010. 20pc discount on all tickets.


Update: 16/10/2010 Discount now 20pc. Post amended to reflect this.

The folk at Influence People have a got a number of good events coming up in the US over the next few months. If the quality is anything like the Social Media Marketing event I attended in London in June, then US attendees are in for a treat.  One of our clients (Glide Technologies) will be participating in the Monitoring Social Media event in Boston on the 5th of October (more details below).  A 20% discount on any ticket price is available to anyone using the promo code ‘GLIDE’.

Enjoy.

Monitoring Social Media (Boston) will bring together leading brands, PR and marketing experts to discuss the latest ideas, trends and techniques in social media monitoring and measurement.  Though a series of presentations, panels and expert-led discussions, we will explore the critical issues that marketers and PR professionals are facing in their efforts to monitor their social media interactions.”

Tuesday 5th October

John Hancock Hotel & Conference Centre

40 Trinity Place at Stuart Street

Boston, MA 02116

 


Pogoplug allows printing from iPhone, iPad, Android or any other device, no matter where you are


Here’s an interesting new development from Pogoplug (a client) –  web printing. Or cloud printing if you prefer.

For the first time, Pogoplug users will be able to print from an iPhone, iPad, Android or other mobile device from anywhere in the world.

Pogoplug cloud printing will initially support all HP printer models and all Epson printers released since 2005.  Set-up is simple and straightforward; once a printer is connected to a Pogoplug, it is ready to use.

Additionally, users can email any document directly to their Pogoplug for printing.  Printers can be shared with friends, family and colleagues or used to create printer ‘hotspots’ for temporary access to a printer in a public location. The new Pogoplug “cloud printing” feature is coming automatically to existing and future Pogoplug customers later this Summer. And there are no fees for the new feature.

This follows on from another recent addition to the Pogoplug which was the ability to email any document for storage on a Pogoplug connected drive.

As the owner of a shiny new iPad, the Pogoplug is certainly helping to address complaints from some quarters about the rigamarole you have to go through to get files off your iPad to then work on a separate machine. For example, if you create a Keynote presentation,  you have to use some kind of file sharing software to export – and that means being in the vicinity of your desktop machine.

However, with a Pogoplug, you can simply e-mail your presentation (or any file) using “upload@mypogoplug” and you have access to your file from anywhere. For example,  I created a presentation on my iPad while  travelling – when I wanted someone in the office to edit it, I simply e-mailed it to a shared folder – and my colleague could work on it.

Neat.

How UK PR firms can improve their SEO capability overnight for £85


About 18 months ago*, I paid around £85 for a piece of software called Market Samurai. I can hand on heart say it is has been one of the most valuable tech investments I’ve made in that time.

To describe it as a general internet marketing tool doesn’t really do it justice. Whether it is drastically reducing the amount of time to handle keyword research or detailed analysis of SERPs, I constantly refer to it.

One of things that stands out for me is the vast amount of useful training material provided by the Market Samurai team – for free. Just watching a few of these videos would probably save PR firms many man weeks and hundreds of pounds of Mickey Mouse training from less reliable sources.

Here’s a couple to give you a flavour:

An Introduction To Keyword Research

How To Find Relevant Keywords

Before I get too fluffy bunny about Market Samurai, it isn’t going to do your SEO PR for you. But at least you can try out the product for free for a few weeks, so no risk there.

Anyway. Enough of my gushing. It is most unlike me. Why not click on the big graphic on the upper right of the page and get a free trial download. See what you think. In fact, I’d welcome feedback from people who try it out – I’m happy to share tips and tricks I’ve picked up using the product over the last 18 month with like minded PR folk who want to improve their SEO skills.

*In the interests of transparency, I’m happy to say that I’ve signed up as an affiliate for Market Samurai. So yes, if you do end up buying it, I get a modest commission. It doesn’t impact the price you pay for it. However, you will note that I have no other such affiliate arrangements with any other provider. I’ve been recommending Market Samurai (for free) to anyone who will care to listen over the last year. So the recent creation of the affiliate programme simply gives recommenders like me a small reward for pointing people to a product I highly value in any case.

Are PR people the main readers of UK online IT news publications? Google thinks so.


Google has just updated its Doubleclick Ad Planner tool with a useful new feature that shows a site’s top 10 audience interests, representing the aggregate interests of the site’s visitors.
As Google says: “In these top 10 lists, each interest is assigned an affinity score, such as 3.9x, which means visitors to the site are that many more times likely to be interested in the topic than the average Internet population.”
I tried it out on a couple of UK online IT news sites – computerweekly.com and v3.co.uk.
For the former title, public relations was the 2nd top audience interest for UK visitors, with an affinity score of 33.3x.  For V3.co.uk, PR was the top audience interest with an affinity score of 30.1x. In other words, the average UK visitor to computerweekly.com/v3.co.uk is 33.3/30.1 times more likely to be interested in public relations than the average Internet user.
Which is curious. Who knew that UK IT folk were so interested in PR. Or could it be that a sizeable proportion of UK visitors to these online IT news sites are in fact PR people (presumably checking to see if they’ve got any client coverage).
I realise this is only a sample of two, but I’m curious to see if this is a common phenomenon across the online IT publication sector as a whole – at least in the UK.

Escherman to handle UK PR launch for Pogoplug consumer multimedia device: personal cloud computing for the masses


You know how PR folk are always “excited” and “delighted” when they win an account.
Well, I can honestly say we are REALLY excited and delighted that we are handling the UK and European PR launch of the Pogoplug from Cloud Engines Inc.
So what is the Pogoplug?
For an immediate sense of its capabilities, have a look at the video above. In simple terms, the Pogoplug is “a multimedia sharing device that gives you more flexibility to store personal content safely in the home and then access, manage, and share it from anywhere on the Internet. The Pogoplug acts like a gateway from your home or office through the Internet. It allows you to access, share and even stream personal digital media directly to anybody, anywhere in the world. Your content always remains physically in your home or office, making it secure, convenient and available on your terms. Pogoplug is perfect for those individuals with increasingly mobile lifestyles and small businesses in need of simple, inexpensive mobile data access solutions. The Pogoplug hardware sports a new design boasting multiple USB ports supporting up to 4 external drives for expanded data capacity. The new Pogoplug also gives users improved sharing capabilities, an easy drag-and-drop interface to create engaging multi-media slide shows, seamless media playback, and enhanced sharing with friends on Facebook, Twitter and MySpace.”
Very cool.
The latest version of the device launched in the US last November – and for once, the phrase “universal acclaim” isn’t all hype.  A number of eagle eyed observers in the UK have already been asking when it will be available over here. Well, they won’t have to wait too much longer.  Mid-February is when the product should be available in the UK.
In the meantime, we’ll be doing our bit to keep press and bloggers up to speed with review kit and  information. We will be making evaluation units free for review to relevant media outlets and bloggers in due course. Drop me a line at andrew@escherman.com or Tweet me @andismit if you are interested in taking a look at the Pogoplug.
In addition, Cloud Engine CEO Dan Putterman and VP Sales & Marketing Jeff Fochtman will be over in the UK in early February – we will be organising press meetings and a press/blogger demo and drinks evening in Central London. More details to follow.
Another happy by product of handling the PR launch is that I’ve had a Pogoplug installed at home for a few weeks now. And it is rather good.  I really did get it up and running within 60 seconds.  I’ve been showing off to friends my ability to stream video from a home drive via my iPhone. And they all want a Poguplug now.
And my mother in law who lives in the Channel Islands has been able to view some Xmas videos of my son remotely without the need for me to upload the material to a third party site. Neat.
I’ve also created a Poguplug folder on one of my drives that will over time contain a variety of relevant press and blogger information. If you’re going to walk the walk……
That’s probably enough for the moment. I’ve included below a fuller list of features and benefits. But suffice to say we’ll be talking a lot about the glory of the Pogoplug over the next few weeks and months.
POGOPLUG FEATURES
Automatically Synchronize Photos, Videos, Music and Other Selected Content
Users can synchronize their Pogoplug with their PC or Mac to automatically import new content from popular applications such as iTunes, Windows Media Player, and iPhoto. This feature allows Pogoplug owners to “set it and forget it” and always have access to new photos, videos and music from anywhere on the Internet.
Drag-and-Drop Music and Photo Slideshows
Users can easily create and share fun and engaging slideshows using their stored photos, videos and music.  Creating a slideshow with Pogoplug is as simple as drag and drop, and sharing these slideshows is just as easy as ever. Once a user’s link is shared and viewed, their slideshow will immediately begin with the photos, videos and music they selected, playing seamlessly in the viewer’s browser.
Easier Sharing with Pogoplug Address Book
Pogoplug Address Book greatly improves the speed and ease of use of sharing with a user’s friends and family. Pogoplug automatically remembers all email addresses entered in a user’s previous shares – even if that share no longer exists – and makes them available in an easy to use address book to make sharing truly one click away.
Global Search Across Multiple Drives and Pogoplugs
With support for multiple drives on a single Pogoplug (and multiple Pogoplugs on the same account) Pogoplug has added “global” search support across all of a user’s Pogoplugs and drives.  Search filters are now a distinct feature, allowing users to view all of their photos, videos and music in a single organized view, or to search for a specific file across all Pogoplugs and drives.
Organize Your Music, Photos and Videos
Pogoplug automatically displays music by Album, Artist and Genre, and shows cover art for quick access to a user’s favorite music. Photos are now displayed by photo timeline and videos are only a click away, including the ability to watch a preview in the thumbnail itself.
Play movies directly from my.pogoplug.com, or even to the iPhone
Pogoplug now supports the playback of videos directly from a Pogoplug, with support for the most popular cameras, video cameras and mobile phones.  Movies can be shared and viewed directly from the Pogoplug website – or even from an iPhone!

Bloggers and journalists needed for annual Glide survey


For the last few years, Glide Technologies (purveyors of the well known Online Press Centre product) have conducted an annual journalist survey to delve into the nitty gritty of what kind of information journalists want and how they want to receive it.  The Glide surveys have tended to stand out from other similar, run of the mill research efforts in this area – they actually do seem to come up with some valuable insights.

The 2009 survey is now getting underway – the key difference this year is that Glide is looking for input from both journalists and bloggers (sorry, no PR folk required).  I realise most hacks would rather poke their own eyes out rather than spend time on yet another bloody survey – but if the thorough approach of recent years is replicated again this time around, I’d say it is 15 mins well spent.

As an added incentive, everyone who helps by completing a survey will be entitled to enter a prize draw and a chance to win 2 bottles of Champagne –  3 sets up for grabs – and of course, everyone who takes part will receive a full copy of the results (naturally).

So if you are a journalist or blogger, feel free to go here to complete the Glide Technologies 2009 Media Survey. Go on. You know you want to.

Jackenhack Awards 2009:The (unofficial) video


What do you get when you cram around 170 UK tech PR people into a small bar in London, ply them with booze and offer up the prospect of some cheeky mickey taking? Answer: The Jackenhack Awards 2009 which took place last Wednesday evening at The Dust Bar in Clerkenwell Road, London.  If the PR Week Awards are “the equivalent of the film industry’s Oscars”, the Jackenhacks are the Razzies. Due to the current economic climate, there was no official video record of the evening. So I took it upon myself to create an unofficial one.

Armed with a Flip HD video camera, a copy of iMovie and a spare 30 mins for some (very) rough editing, this is what I came up with. I’m sure with more time I could have come up with a very polished video – but that would probably be “off-message” for the Jackenhacks. Suffice to say there is plenty of footage that didn’t make it into this version. If people were really that interested, I might be motivated to create an extended documentary.

Parental advisory warning: normally smooth talking PR people can be heard to be swearing in a way which makes Malcolm Tucker look like a recently ordained vicar. Those of sensitive dispositions should watch with the sound turned off.

Does your PR agency really understand Page Rank? A client checklist.


Talking to various people over the last weeks, it is clear that a small but growing number of PR firms are attempting to use Page Rank as a metric for measuring the value of online media coverage.  However, it seems that some either don’t really understand what Page Rank is – or are misleading clients over the real Page Rank (and value) that their coverage has delivered.

For example, I’ve been told of a few firms who if they gain a piece of client coverage on, say, Computing’s web site, will claim that the value of the coverage is Page Rank 6.  However, what they really mean is that the Computing home page has a Page Rank of 6 – the actual page where the coverage appeared will almost certainly have a Page Rank of 0. That’s a mighty big difference.

In fact, almost all press coverage (or indeed any new web page) will have a Page Rank of 0 to begin with. Any new page added to a site will first have to be indexed by Google. And it takes Google time to take account of factors that will determine what Page Rank should be assigned. It is certainly possible to get Page Rank up to 1 0r 2 relatively quickly if people begin linking to the coverage  – but unless you get some very high Page Ranked backlinks rapidly, the chances that a piece of coverage will have gained a Page Rank of 5 or higher in the space of a few days is highly unlikely.

Traditionally, gaining a piece of coverage on a major site like the BBC would be cause for celebration. And I’m not saying it shouldn’t still be. However, we need to be honest about what value that might really deliver. And why we need to be careful about using Page Rank as a PR metric.

For example, the Guardian has a massive 3.8 million unique visitors and 130 million page views per month in the UK alone. Some PR firms might be tempted to say that getting coverage on The Guardian site provides an OTS (opportunity to see) of 3.8 Million. Of course, this is not exactly the case. The Guardian has roughly 20.3 million indexed pages – not of all of these are going to be editorial pages, but most will be. Fact is, not all pages are equal. Only the publishers themselves know the real data, but I’d hazard a guess that a smaller percentage of the total number of indexed pages gain the majority of site traffic. That’s the same for any website.  The challenge with using Page Rank as a PR metric is that it is an indirect measure of traffic. If you think about it, if Google determines that a page has a higher relative importance than another then it is likely to have more traffic. In which case, try randomly sampling some pages from the BBC and other major sites and you’ll probably find that the Page Rank is o.

Here is another example. This story was one of the Most Popular on the BBC site a few days ago. However, it has a Page Rank of 0. In spite of 49 backlinks, including backlinks from pages with rankings of 7. Now the Page Rank may change over time, but again, this is unlikely unless further interest is generated via additional backlinks.

That’s not to say that over time, an article might not be able to build a higher Page Rank. But how many PR firms do you know that would recommend and implement an ongoing “merchandising” strategy to try and generate more backlinks and comments to a piece of coverage in order to improve Page Rank? Or would be able to track changes in Page Rank over time and demonstrate what factors may have caused that change in Page Rank? And have a plan for using that change in Page Rank to generate further traffic to the client’s website? (Disclosure: this is a standard approach at escherman)

The traditional PR mindset is one that says once a piece of coverage has appeared, the job is pretty much done (other than to prepare a clippings book and invoice the client). Part of the opportunity with online PR is that generating the initial coverage can in fact be the start rather than the end of the process.

So beware of PR firms touting Page Rank as a metric. Here’s a handy quick checklist of things to ask them:

1. Explain what Page Rank is and why it is important. Hint: go here to find out for yourself.

2. If a PR firm claims a high Page Rank for a piece of coverage that has appeared in the last 2 days, ask them to explain what factors have caused this to be the case.

3. Ask them if they have a plan for potentially improving the Page Rank of a piece of coverage – and how they would track that over time

What is Your Unique Buying Proposition? – Content Marketing Today


Good post on how the traditional concept of a Unique Selling Proposition views the problem of positioning “almost backwards”. Hence the idea of a Unique Buying Proposition.

As Newt Barrett says: “A UBP is a first cousin to a USB. The difference is that a UBP is all about the buyer and what the buyer will gain from doing business with you. Thus, your buyers don’t care that you are the only maker of green widgets in the United States. They do care if your green widgets will enable them to double their sales or cut their manufacturing costs by 50%.

Therefore the structure of a UBP should be something along the lines of: You will achieve X positive outcome by taking advantage of our solution Y which is precisely designed to solve your most challenging problem Z.”

“We’re Swayed by Confidence More than Expertise”: Predictably Irrational: Blog Archive


Good post from Dan Ariely on new research that seems to show we tend to seek advice from experts who exhibit the most confidence – even when we know they haven’t been particularly accurate in the past.

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