As the EU countries, their political leaders and policy makers argue over the future of the single currency and the fate of the EU as a whole, the Euro Cup 2012 is a welcome distraction from daily concerns. So, while fiscal and currency policies are getting kicked around like footballs by the European leaders, European players are kicking real footballs. Who will win?
The Euro Cup semi-finals are taking place next week and according to a few colleagues in London, their guess is that Germany and Spain will play the final match, with Germany taking the prize.
Yet what is the media’s forecast? The vast majority of media mentions between June 15 and 22 predicted that Spain will meet Germany on the pitch to decide the winner. While Spain vs. Germany received 155 mentions, Spain vs. England gathered 57 articles.
- Euro Cup 2012 Media Analysis: Share of Voice and Volume Trend
What are your forecasts for the semi-finals and final?
Tags: Euro Cup, media analysis
Quite often clients tell me they find social media of great interest and relevant; however, they still do not quite know how to manage the vast amount of information published on the internet, including the direction in which information is flowing. The lack of control over what is going to be published and by whom has made more than one client nervous, especially since blogs and social media sites have mushroomed swiftly.
PR and Corporate Comms professionals operating in the renewable energy sector are no exception. Plenty of blog posts are being posted every day on renewable energies, not least by NGOs and lobby groups. How many of them are relevant and how to establish what is relevant? While media monitoring is relevant to scan through the media coverage on a daily basis and to perform regular fire fighting, part of a measurement programme’s aim is to develop a tactical communication strategy and to assess the way certain news stories unfold over time. The Dow Jones Insight Discovery chart tracks what conversations are rising and falling over time, including those mentioned in the social media space. As an example, I recently took a look at coverage of EDF.
In early March, EDF halted the concreting of its reactor at nuclear power plant Flamanville 3 after security controls revealed flaws in its consoles. Hundreds of people recommended the news on Facebook and hundreds added a comment on several blog posts. As expected, several posts questioned the safety of nuclear power plants, giving the Fukushima disaster as an example.
In February, EDF CEO Henri Proglio responded to a shortfall of electricity, saying that the company would not cut the supply of electricity to disadvantaged households. As thousands of households had been left without electricity, several angry bloggers and subsequent comments complained that EDF had not kept its promise. Yet this topic of discussion, as the chart shows, has fallen since it started.
Click to enlarge:
(Date Range: 22 December 2011 – 22 March 2012)
Tags: EDF, Facebook, Fukushima, Insight, Nuclear Energy, Social Media
Since November 2009, almost nine million Toyotas have been recalled, including its top-selling luxury model, Lexus, and high-tech hybrid car, Prius. Fixing the errors will cost over $2 billion in repairs, yet what is the price Toyota has to pay to repair its reputation, which took so many years to build?
Toyota first needs to understand the scale of the damage to its reputation. At Dow Jones, we’ve done some analysis about the way messages about Toyota’s brands spread across traditional and social media. Social media was particularly influential as Toyota’s current and potential customers posted information on the company.
Dow Jones Insight shows that between November 1, 2009, and January 31, 2010, the large majority of coverage on Toyota’s recalls appeared in social media in the US. 2,592 blogs posts were added during that time frame, followed by 1,879 board discussions, 1,290 online articles and 443 press articles.
Furthermore, a more in-depth analysis gives a deeper insight on which social networking sites, blogs and boards discussed the recalls more frequently:
Yet social media coverage peaked towards the end of January 2010:
What do these charts reveal? It is striking to observe how the media landscape has changed considerably, given that more messages about Toyota circulated in social media compared to the traditional media (online, print and broadcast). Taking blogs and boards together, the results show that social media generated 158% more coverage compared to traditional media channels. It follows that social media platforms have led to many-to-many conversations amongst angry costumers.
What does this tell Toyota? Given that so many messages about the recalls circulated all through social media, it is the hub at which influence starts and identifying the voices that travel most widely and have the greatest impact in the conversation is critical.
According to PR and marketing agency, Ketchum, there are three types of WOM individuals, the ‘Hear Me’, ‘Reputation Terrorist’ and‘Competitive Destroyers.’ The ‘Hear Me’s’ tend to make noise by writing letters to company management, newspapers editors and consumer trade organizations; yet they don’t have an agenda with a particular party as the other two types. While the ‘Reputation Terrorist’ has an interest in publicly criticizing a company or brand with the aim to introduce a change, the ‘Competitive Destroyers’ goal is not only to damage a company’s reputation, but to put it out of business.
Therefore, it is vital for a business to not only identify and monitor these different types of critics, but also to engage with them directly as they are the most influential amongst their peers.
Graco, for instance, issued a voluntary recall of over 1 million of its strollers in January, 2010 (see the PRWeek story about the Graco recall; subscription required). Subsequently several members of the blogosphere praised Graco for reaching out to consumers through several social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and the company’s corporate blog.
Graco showed that even though its reputation was continuously at stake – given that the internet has changed the traditional flow of communication from one-to-many to many-to-many – they used social media to be available to customers, increasing their reliability and re-building the feeling of trust between consumer and brand. This case study illustrates that, nowadays, press releases may not be the most effective way to revert a company’s reputation as it was in the past.
Claudia Schoenbohm is a writer and consultant in the Dow Jones Media Lab, based in London.
Tags: crisis communications, Social Media, Toyota
Much attention has been paid to the impact of social media on marketing and PR. However, the power that citizens and consumers have to promote change within corporations and governments has also been affected by the changing relationships in the media marketplace.
Traditionally, information traveled in only one direction: corporate world → traditional media → consumers. Today, though, social media has revolutionized the flow of information between companies and their stakeholders.
Today’s consumer/citizen produces his or her own content on the Web quickly, at little or no cost and as part of his/her daily routine. This “non-media” content circulates freely and quickly from one corner of the globe to another.
With the rise of these online networks, the relationship between the citizen consumer and large organizations has become far more democratic and horizontal. The resulting lack of control over content and the growing number of people joining the online conversation can result in uncertainty for businesses and governments.
A few examples below illustrate the way in which the “social relationship” between large organizations and the citizen consumer has changed with the arrival of Web 2.0 and social networks.
For companies to successfully join the social media conversation, they need to understand the rules and conventions of the game. In the Twitter world, hashtags are a community-driven convention for adding additional context and data to one’s tweets, and they help users follow conversations on the site. In addition, a hashtag is a way of notifying users that they can join a tweet to a specific discussion or event.
- After the Iranian protests broke out, the volume of tweets using the tag #IranElection increased, resulting in thousands of tweets about the protests. Twitter then played a significant role as proxy servers were used to circumvent the government’s efforts to block access to the Internet. Citizens both within and outside Iran used hashtags frequently to inform and update people about the events and to help organize the protests.
- Habitat, a British furniture retailer, saw its reputation at stake when it used Twitter in a marketing campaign to sell products and add consumers to its marketing database. Habitat used hashtags to promote an offer to win a £1,000 (US$1,900) gift card, but it chose hashtags already in use for other purposes, such as #mousavi, which was also used to protest the Iranian elections. Twitter users accused Habitat of improperly capitalizing on a serious political issue, and its mistakes were heavily retweeted on the microblogging service. As a result, Habitat pulled all the messages and replaced them with standard marketing tweets. It also apologized for its promotional messages on Twitter.
These examples illustrate that new media, such as Twitter, can become hubs of real-time information, and any player in the media marketplace – corporation, government or consumer – can contribute ideas, opinion, news and observations.
But as Habitat’s experience has shown, the properties of Twitter can result in a disadvantage since it is instantaneous and accessible anytime, anywhere, by thousands of “followers,” making mistakes more immediately visible to potential target audiences. The Habitat story also demonstrates that consumers are reluctant to “buy” just any information released by corporations on social media sites. On the contrary, they scrutinize content according to the rules established by the online community.
Consumers and citizens can now produce media content and messages that drive change in the offline world, as much as they receive information that seeks to change their behaviors. We know that the hallmark of excellent public relations is two-way communication. Now that markets are conversations, consumers have as much opportunity to change organizational behaviors as organizations have to change the behaviors of their stakeholders.
Claudia Schoenbohm is a writer and consultant in the Dow Jones Media Lab. This post is an excerpt from her graduate research studies at the London School of Economics.
Tags: hashtag, Public Relations, Social Media, Twitter, two-way communications