SourceRise: A promising new matching tool for journalists & non-profit sources


Call it the little startup that could: SourceRise, a two-person website that’s only a year old, surprised even its founder when it recently nabbed The Global Editors Network’s best media startup prize.

Based in New York, SourceRise acts as a matchmaker for journalists and expert NGO sources all over the world.

Founder and CEO Caroline Avakian got the idea for this service after returning from NGO work in Kenya, where the streets of Nairobi were rife with protests after what some said was a rigged election. She and a group of coworkers had detailed information about the issue, but no idea of how to get a hold of the right reporter to write about it.

So Avakian created a service aimed at empowering both parties: connecting journalists with expert, on-the ground sources and allowing NGOs to reach the media more effectively than press releases and pricey PR agencies.

The result is a powerful (and free) PR tool for non-profits and a vital resource for reporters.

SourceRise is “forging a new path for foreign and crisis news reporting” by opening a door that, for years, has been gradually closing between the media and expert sources in the developing world.

With the closure of foreign news desks and the slashing of international travel budgets for journalists, this tool attempts to bridge that gap—sometimes literally—by pointing journalists to organizations that can host them in the areas they want to report on.

Her process is simple: she requires a LinkedIn profile for the NGO’s communications representatives and published work samples from journalists. “Say you want to write about South Sudan, the unrest or women’s empowerment issues,” she says. “Put in a query, and we can put you in touch with humanitarian workers there.”

Her goal is to keep “otherwise forgotten humanitarian crises and disasters in the news cycle” and increase the number of well-researched, compelling global news stories in mainstream media.

At the moment, SourceRise is available in beta with a full roll-out expected for fall.

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How to maximize your brand-created content


Your public relations agency, or perhaps even you, finally succeeded in getting that brand-enhancing column published. You’re thrilled to see your ideas—and byline—alive in digital ink in an influential industry publication. But have you given due thought to how to maximize your investment in time and treasure after the publication date? Truth be told, too many small and mid-sized business owners fail to capitalize on the value of their intellectual capital and become disillusioned when their phones fail to ring off the hook and email in-box doesn’t overflow with leads.

So what’s our newly published authority to do? Happily it’s not too late to capitalize on the content, which will live forever on the Internet. Content adds value to many aspects of a company’s brand mission, from marketing and sales to human resources and branding. Here’s a quick overview of ideas to maximize the potential of brand-created content.

  1. Post the published column on your website blog but be sure to include the link back to the original publication to avoid the duplicate content trap.
  2. Republish the column on LinkedIn’s publishing (Post) platform.
  3. Distribute through your social media channels to attract more readers.
  4. Tweet the news and retweet periodically using a tool like Buffer.
  5. Consider using a paid distribution service to further extend audience reach.
  6. Comment on discussions in user groups and online forums—include a link.
  7. Create an email signature, with a link, promoting your column.
  8. Engage and educate key audiences—clients, prospects, stakeholders, through email campaigns that include the link.
  9. Provide the column to your sales and new business team.
  10. Publish the column in a company newsletter that all employees can share.

These tips will help to maximize the value of your investment in branded content. And by exploiting these tools each time a column is published, over time, you will develop a potent marketing campaign that will drive your business forward.

Media monitoring and analysis can also help you maximize the potential of your branded content by allowing you to see who’s talking about it, what they’re saying, and how the conversations surrounding it are changing. Contact one of our Media Analysis Experts to see how media monitoring and analysis can help before, during and after your next campaign.

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Twitter’s “Moments” is only months away—how is your business strategizing?

twitter moments

As Twitter says goodbye to its CEO, it’s preparing to make one of its boldest moves yet.

The platform is gearing up for “Moments” (formerly dubbed ‘Project Lightning’): a code-named, experimental feature that puts a curated spin on live news.

This fall, users will begin to see a “Moments” icon in the centre of the home page. In a click, they will be taken to the day’s big events (ex. a sports game, natural disaster or awards show), each with full-screen photos and videos that they can swipe through.

The test feature will allows users to follow events and news stories—not just people or brands—and has the potential to eradicate the newsfeed concept altogether.

Manpower, not algorithms, will be behind each collection of stories. Twitter has hired a team of journalists to “select what it thinks are the best and most relevant tweets and package them into a collection” so users can follow that event and get curated tweets in their timeline.

In an arena where speed is everything, this feature could allow Twitter to knock-out Facebook’s curated news feed by breaking news faster, and, unlike Facebook, allow anyone—member or non-member, signed-in or signed-out—to access it. Pretty smart, considering reports that more than double Twitter’s active user-base are logged out viewers.

While some are labelling it “brand suicide” and posing ethical questions about filtering news, others welcome what they see as the end of the “Reputation Economy [where] speed, bloviation, and #engagement are prized far above the actual dissemination of useful information.

“Moments” will have more brands shifting the focus away from “me, me, me” and towards building creative tweets around real-time events in the hopes of getting featured. Twitter will be including Vine and Periscope content in their collections, so we may also see more companies adopting those apps as part of their social strategy.

Javier Burón, CEO, SocialBro, says “if a brand’s content is featured by Twitter, they will have a tremendous opportunity to reach the public, whether or not these people are logged into Twitter—a goldmine for any marketing professional looking to increase brand awareness. It could, in the long run, also open up new opportunities for companies using Twitter Ads around real-time events.”


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Events management: How to ensure productive media calls

media calls

So you’ve done your media analysis, and have identified your top authors and publications. You’ve also completed your media list. Now what?

You have to make media calls.

Whether you’re following-up on a pitch previously sent via email, calling to pitch a new story, or having a journalist call you, media calls are an important part of the PR-journalism relationship. They also ensure your messaging is uniform across all publications and authors.

But, like creating your media list, tracking media calls can become a tedious task that often gets neglected. Really, who has the time to write down the details of every media call? And besides, is there really a benefit if a relationship is established and maintained?

The answer is yes.

A common PR pain point is being able to show tangible results for communications efforts. Tracking media calls is a great way to demonstrate effectiveness and ROI to executive-level management, and ensures that all members of a communications team are as productive as possible.

Better yet, there are tools like MediaMiser’s Events Manager that can help simplify the entire process.

MediaMiser event manager

Events Manager is perfect for individuals or entire communications teams, as it allows users to log every media call within one system. It also ensures messaging to the media is uniform and consistent, especially if a team is spread across the country. Teams can then send an email at the end of the day outlining every media call made, ensuring that employees are productive and that media targets are being met.

These daily reports also demonstrate to executives the effectiveness of the communications team.

Using MediaMiser’s Enterprise system employees can track coverage generated from their pitches and media calls, and a member of MediaMiser’s professional services team can apply sentiment to the articles. Team members can then be assessed based on earned media generated or the overall sentiment score of the pitches/responses they’ve made to journalists, along with the stories that were written from interactions outlined in their media calls.

Are members of your communications team looking to increase the amount of journalists to which they outreach? MediaMiser’s Events Manager integrates with its Contact Manager journalist database to offer up-to-date journalist information, making it easy for communications teams to research a journalist completely before pitching a new story.

If MediaMiser’s Events Manager and Contact Manager sound like something that can benefit your company’s media endeavors, you can find out more by speaking to one of our Media Analysis Experts.

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AMAgeddon: the day Reddit stood still


Earlier in June we saw Reddit up-in-arms over new interim CEO Ellen Pao, who quickly became target to severe backlash from the community after establishing that Reddit would no longer be a “completely free-speech platform.” As such, many users transitioned their way over to Voat, a Swiss forum-like website similar to Reddit.

According to MediaMiser’s analytics technology, June saw over 1000 online articles published with regards to Pao and Reddit.

Today Reddit is revolting. Again.

Victoria Taylor, the employee who ensured the long-running success of Reddit’s “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) thread, has been abruptly fired. And sub-reddit moderators are not happy. Hundreds of popular communities, once open for discussion, have gone dark.

To date, roughly 100 sub-reddits have been temporarily shutdown.

In the words of Reddit user IamTimCast: Reddit really needs someone to handle the bad PR due to the backlash of firing the person who handles PR.”

Moderators and users sitewide claim that Victoria Taylor is needed to uphold the integrity of the AMA thread. Various news sources speculate that moderators have closed their subreddits in solidarity to Victoria Taylor, and to protest how they’ve been unfairly treated by admins.

With 7.5 billion pageviews a month, Reddit is one of the Internet’s central hub for news and information. Some would even say that Reddit, itself, IS the Internet. Reddit’s revolt could change the way online news, stories and information is shared in the near future.

How do you think Reddit’s strike will affect social media and online news?
Want to learn more about Reddit, and why it’s such an important source for news and information? Read MediaMiser’s whitepaper.

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What are your marketing pain points?

pain points

Lack of a single customer view, an inability to deal with large amounts of data and lack of time for optimization are among the challenges that cause the biggest headaches for modern marketers, according to new research from Econsultancy, in partnership with SmartFocus.

With input from 500 global marketers, the ‘Marketing Pain Points and How to Overcome Them’ report identifies the most significant challenges marketers face in today’s digital age and offers insight and advice from a number of leading marketing experts on how to overcome them.

Among the ‘pain points‘ identified in the report are the challenges of making customer data actionable, bottlenecks caused by IT and web development teams and lack of time for campaign testing and optimization. The report identifies the following key challenges:

  • Turning insights into actionable segments to drive effective marketing content (45%)
  • Inability to create a single customer view (42%)
  • Difficulty keeping track of customers across different channels and on different devices (41%)
  • Complexities of using multiple data sources (40%)
  • Defining attribution and assessing touchpoints required to convert a customer (40%)

“Our research shows the key challenge for marketers lies in gathering their disparate data to create that elusive single customer view and might be wholly unobtainable in the near future for many businesses,” said Jess Stephens, chief marketing officer for SmartFocus, in a news release. “When this is the case, we suggest creating a usable model like a single marketing view in the immediate, so that every touchpoint is registered and measured across channels. This foundation will also help to serve contextual marketing in real-time, driving response rates and reducing churn.”

“Digital technology and changing consumer behavior have created a near infinite number of opportunities for marketers to reach and engage customers, while also creating a whole host of new problems for marketing teams to wrestle with,” said Linus Gregoriadis, research director of Econsultancy, in the release.

Source: PR Newswire; edited by Richard Carufel

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Dashboards for media monitoring, business performance and everything in between

The first time I saw a corporate dashboard on a big LCD screen, back in 2010, it displayed the number of daily unique visitors of a website plus the guest WIFI password.

Things have changed so much in 5 years.

Today’s dashboards draw on a vast array of business information tools: customer relationship management, website analytics, social media monitoring, code repository, server monitoring, shared drives and more. In fact, any available business-related data can be pulled in and displayed via dashboard. Most applications have an Application Programming Interfaces (API) available for this very purpose which makes integration with most common types of business software possible.

In June of this year, KlipFolio hosted “Dashboardpalooza” and they invited Ottawa’s startup community to join. We were honoured to attend the event and we were blown away by their convincing use of corporate dashboards. They had deployed one highly dynamic and relevant dashboard for each company department (sales, support, devops, R&D, etc.)


If someone were to ask you for the exact financial, sales, SEO, server uptime, development productivity and media coverage status of your company at this very moment in time, would you be able to provide accurate figures in real time?

At MediaMiser, we’ve elaborated our API with reporting capability in mind, to provide instant snapshots of media interactions volume, sentiment trend, author and publication coverage and regional information. Inside a dashboard, these PR Key Performance Indicators (KPI) provide:

Greater visibility: Having key information available from a single screen allows company executives to get an overview of how the business is performing at any point in time—making it easy to get a clear picture of how each area of a business is performing and to spot areas that require attention.

Time saving: The alternative to an executive dashboard involves reports being produced by key personnel and also executives having to sift through a vast amount of information to pick out relevant points. Having an executive dashboard eliminates the need for these tasks and allows for real-time reporting whenever needed.

Trend-spotting: Having information from so many areas of the business allows company executives to spot trends as well as areas that can be improved.

To find out more about MediaMiser’s API or our unique approach to media monitoring and analysis, contact one of our Media Analysis Experts.

David Nadeau is MediaMiser’s Chief Technology Officer and founder of InfoGlutton, an online reputation monitoring application. Follow him on Twitter: @pythonner

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One third of consumers who contact brands on social media never get a response


Social media has helped generate an efficient two-way street for brands and their publics to communicate, but some brands seem to be stuck on the one-way street of yore—and their customers aren’t happy about it. As it turns out, a full third (33%) of consumers who contact brands on social media with a customer service question never get a response, according to a new study released this week by management consulting firm The Northridge Group.

Based on a survey of more than 1,000 respondents, the study finds that 26 percent of consumers choose social media for customer service when they can’t reach a representative through another channel. When companies do respond, more than 30 percent of their responses do not meet the customers’ expectations. In fact, social media has the lowest percentage of issue resolution and follow up of all the channels.

According to Pam Plyler, executive practice lead for customer experience and contact center management at The Northridge Group, the survey results indicate that social is a critical channel that is commonly used for escalations—and companies are not meeting consumer needs.

“When it comes to customer service, social media just isn’t living up to the hype,” said Plyler, according to a news release. “While there are added complexities to managing customer service through social media, engagement should not be considered optional. With the right focus, this channel can be effectively integrated into your overall service strategy.”

The survey also found that just 3 percent of consumers cite social media as the fastest channel for issue resolution, and only 2 percent cite it as their preferred channel.

Additional findings from the survey include:

  • Sixty-three percent of consumers have to engage with a brand two or more times on social media before a customer service inquiry or issue is resolved.
  • Forty-two percent of consumers expect resolution within one hour when using social media for customer service inquiry or issue.
  • Thirty-nine percent of consumers say that companies resolve their customer service issues or inquiries on social media within a week or longer.

“Nearly half of consumers plan to use social media for customer service issues the same or more than they currently do. There are clearly opportunities for companies to provide excellent customer service on all channels including social media,” said Therese Fauerbach, CEO of The Northridge Group, in the release. “Consumers want to use social to resolve problems, but the experience is inconsistent compared to other channels. Social media is a critical channel that companies should leverage to deliver a seamless omni-channel customer experience.”

In the survey, consumers were asked to provide feedback on customer service experiences via various channels including social media, phone and email. The survey results have a margin of error of 3 percent.

Download the full report here.

Source: PRWeb; edited by Richard Carufel

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New study makes the case for Data Analysis-as-a-Service capabilities


New research on data analytics reveals that the majority (63%) of B2B companies polled are frustrated by the amount of time it takes to attain the meaningful reports and data insights they seek to make more informed business decisions. It also revealed that most companies believe data analysis-as-a-service—in which the technology and underlying data science are provided by a service provider—would help address this critical business challenge.

Enterprise application and data management analysis firm Data Intensity this week announced the results of the study, conducted with Researchscape International to gauge the current state of data analytics and what hurdles enterprises have yet to overcome.

Key findings of the research include:

Despite Significant Enterprise Spending on Analytics, Obtaining Meaningful Value from Business Data is a Major Obstacle  

  • Respondents were asked how much they invest annually in current analytics solutions, including systems, people and processes. Results were as follows:
    • More than one in three (36%) said $100,000-$499,999
    • More than a quarter (26%) said $500,000-$999,999
    • One in five (20%) said $1-9 million
  • More than six out of 10 (63%) of respondents said the greatest problem with analytics is that it takes too long to get meaningful reports and analysis from their data.
  • Tied for the second greatest problem, one in three (33%) said data is not accurate, too difficult to make strategic and operations business decisions from, and too difficult to do predictive modeling/forecasting with existing data and data models.
  • Other problems cited include:
    • Can’t get access to existing data (29%)
    • IT doesn’t provide appropriate support for users (13%)

“It’s essential that enterprises build strong platforms for supply chain analytics to better understand their customers and markets and compete on a global basis. The problem is that analytics must constantly evolve to meet demanding data and business requirements,” said Paul Grone, CIO of Totes Isotoner, marketer of umbrellas, gloves, slippers and other weather-related accessories, in a news release. “The findings of this study underscore the challenges that organizations, such as our own, are experiencing each day—businesses need more options for how to solve these problems. It’s much more complicated than just adding more resources to the team.”

The Idea of an Analytics Software and Service Solution Was Highly Rated; Data Analysis-as-a-Service Capabilities Identified as Most Desired Component
In the next portion of the study, respondents were asked a series of questions about the concept of a cloud-based analytics software and service solution. The idea of the solution overall was rated very highly, with 23% citing it “excellent” and 59% citing it “good.”

The survey also asked what services respondents would want the solution to include. The majority (58%) indicated data analysis-as-a-service was most desired. Other services ranked as follows:

  • Data modeling – 47%
  • Business consulting – 43%
  • Dashboard development – 42%
  • Master data management – 36%
  • Mobile data analytics – 34%
  • Merging internal data with external data (industry benchmarks, market demographics, etc.) – 30%
  • System implementations and architecture – 24%
  • Social media data analytics – 24%
  • Extract, transform, load (ETL) capabilities – 21%

Majority Deem an Analytics Software and Service Solution Both Beneficial and Relevant to Their Business
Additional results about the cloud-based analytics software and service solution in terms of value, purchase likelihood, delivery model and purchase options are listed below:

  • When asked how different the solution was from others, nearly three-quarters (73%) surveyed said they considered it to be “very” or “completely different.”
  • The solution was also rated by two thirds (70%) of respondents as “very” or “completely relevant” to their business, along with “very” to “extremely” beneficial to their business.
  • When asked about purchasing the solution, assuming the price was acceptable, the purchase likelihood was quite strong: 27% said “moderately likely,” 45% said “very likely” and 20% said “completely likely.”
  • When asked about the delivery model, 58% of respondents indicated they preferred the method “create custom analytics solution in the cloud,” 43% said “transfer your existing analytics solution to the cloud,” while only 32% said they wanted a “packaged SaaS analytics solution in the cloud.”

“Traditional models for data analysis are hard to buy, use and manage because they require many individual components, disparate solutions and complex architectures, making it extremely difficult for companies to access data and maximize its value,” said John Bostick, president of Data Intensity’s Analytics Division. “These study findings underscore the market need for data analysis-as-a-service, and not a plug-and-play tool, but a custom analytics solution in the cloud that will truly give them the ability to capitalize on their data.”

The survey was conducted from February to March 2015, and was completed by more than 200 B2B respondents in a variety of roles, including C-level executives, directors and vice presidents, across industries such as IT, general management, finance, sales, marketing, operations and human resources.

Source: PR Newswire; edited by Richard Carufel

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Marketers need to stop interrupting!


Marketers need to stop interrupting

As consumers tune out banner ads and fast forward through commercials, brands need to refocus their marketing priorities and shift resources to non-interruptive methods, said Tom Gerace, CEO and founder of marketing and storytelling firm Skyword, at the company’s recent annual content marketing and brand storytelling conference. He reminded the gathering that stories—not advertisements—move people to action.

“As marketers, our job is not to hawk products or services to our customers. It’s to inspire them down a path different from the one they planned when they awoke this morning,” Gerace said to a room of 300 attendees from leading brands across the world, including, IBM, New Balance and Hewlett Packard, according to a news release.

He said that as the impact of commercials, display ads and other traditional advertising methods continues to decline, marketers need to find new ways to inspire and connect. Gerace urged marketers to show audiences new possibilities for living better, fuller lives and disrupt their thinking through storytelling.

“Story is core to our nature,” he said. “It’s been around for 35 thousand years, and it has helped us avoid danger, form community, and survive.”

In his speech, Gerace offered digital trends and how brands can embrace original, sustainable storytelling to differentiate themselves.

Moving Beyond Interruptive Advertising

“The interruption model is dying,” said Gerace, summarizing studies that suggest its decreasing effectiveness. In the past five years, surveys show that 75% of consumers DVR to skip ads and 60% experience “banner blindness,” while digital banners ads now generate a mere 0.10% click-through rate. “As marketers, we need to learn to become a valuable resource rather than an annoying distraction.

Ad-free Content Becomes the New Normal

“The good news is, story consumption is skyrocketing,” said Gerace, referencing
the rapid growth of paid content subscription services. Netflix boasts 62 million paid subscribers who watch 10 billion hours of programming each quarter, and millions more sign up every month. HBO Now provides another ad-free, over-the-top option, which is expected to serve 15 million subscribers by year-end. Increasingly, people are paying for ad-free content. Gerace urged marketers to pay close attention to these trends and to align their strategy with the way their audience prefers to seek out and consume content.

Marketing Budgets and Resources Do Not Reflect Changing Consumer Behavior

“People are voting with their wallets, every day, for ad-free experiences,” he said, “So naturally, we should be shifting our ad budgets to something else, something that will reach these millions of people more effectively,” he said. Gerace went on to show how major brands continue to spend tens of billions of dollars every year on digital and media ads. However, a select few have found a more impactful alternative by telling well-crafted, original stories.

To Succeed, Brands Will Embrace Storytelling as a Core Practice and Push Its Boundaries

Gerace went on to identify the key strategies for creating customer connections through storytelling. “What is the difference between a terrible story and one that we love? A lot of us believe that just because we have heard a good story, we can tell one. But there is a craft to good storytelling.”

New Infrastructure, Process, and Creative Partners Will be Key to Telling Stories at Scale

Gerace urged attendees to prioritize moments over revenue, and establish a storytelling mindset throughout their organizations. “You need to build the infrastructure required to make great storytelling a sustainable business process…this requires building a foundation that allows you to tell great stories every day in different languages, countries, and channels,” he said.

Gerace also shared how Skyword is positioned to be the best place for original, sustainable storytelling. He noted that the company announced the launch of Skyword Video, a new solution that enables marketers to manage video strategy, workflow, and production from one place. In February, the company launched Skyword Global, which includes the internationalization of the Skyword Platform and access to in-country writers, videographers, and editors.

In conclusion, Gerace reminded the audience of the enduring power of storytelling, even in an industry defined by change and innovation. “In this age of information saturation, it is more important than ever that we focus less on selling our products and services and more on creating true, authentic relationships with our audiences through stories.”

Source: PRWeb; edited by Richard Carufel

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