No qualifier seemed bombastic enough to evoke the migration that occurred Wednesday 6th of June on the Internet: “large amplitude”, “historical day”, “critical for internet” or even “nuclear transition”… That day, part of the world switched to IPv6.
In practical terms, IPv6 (Internet provider version 6) was created to deal with the long anticipated problem of IPv4 running out of addresses. These addresses are public, individual and unique, like a phone number. Since 1983 all connected machines recognize each other through these IPv4 addresses (the old version). They are coded in such a manner that “only” 4.3 billion addresses exist. When the current system was invented, nobody imagined that we would ever run out, but with the explosion in the number of devices that connect to the Internet it became necessary to enlarge the net… just to be sure that tomorrow´s fridges would be able to be connected.
With the IPv6 it would be possible to have an infinite number of IP addresses: 3.4 x 1038 , so about 667 000 addresses on every square millimeter of the Earth´s surface, or if we prefer looking at the sky, an entire IPv4 internet for every star in the universe.
Since the 6th of July, the IPv4 and the IPv6 addresses have been recognized by most of web big players and we are heading towards the generalisation of IPv6. The progressive migration will take an unknown number of years and the mainstream users will see no difference.
Let´s have a look on how this huge change was reflected in the media.
Traditional media did not pay a lot of attention to this topic. The changes could be “historical” or “critical”, but if they did not have practical applications or a direct influence they did not really interest basic internet users… nor traditional media. It is quite interesting that one of the biggest transformations ever experienced by the internet concerned such a limited number of its users. It gives the impression that few people are aware of what happened and that the fate of such an important tool belongs to a handful of gurus.
The good news comes from the internet itself: web news, blogs, boards… we find 10 times more articles on IPv6 than for print media. It is not really a surprise, the best place to speak about the internet is definitely on the internet.
Well, there is no reason to be concerned. We just hope that this new stock of addresses will not be exhausted in 30 years. Infinity is relative.
There is a consensus among PR professionals that PR isn’t just about pushing your message out there anymore. In the changed communication paradigm, corporations turned from one main channel of information to many. Hence, the idea of corporate use of social media.
Now within this (not so) new scenario, one could think the classical press release lost its purpose. Apparently corporations are not convinced. In our media research tool, Factiva, we carry a significant number of press release wires. A study based on the number of releases shows us the following trend:
At year-end 2009, one could have concluded that we were watching the decline of a tool that doesn’t fit the current corporate communication model. Nevertheless, that trend seems to be reversed in the last three years with 2012 looking to become a record year.
Although volumes are back up, the use of a press release has changed and has become one of many instruments to drive traffic back to main communication channels. A small example: on July 1st, AT&T announced it reached an agreement with AMC Networks to keep carrying the network in its U-verse TV service. AT&T distributed the news through PR Newswire and other press release wires. The release contained links to its corporate website as well as its Twitter account. This linked back to a dedicated website on the dispute. AMC’s release on the same issue contained no such internal links. In the last day, the release from AT&T was immediately used as the basis of 19 news stories while AMC’s version only led to 4 news stories. Press releases still play a valuable role as long as they are designed to accommodate today’s channels of information. Now, we want to hear from you- do you think the usage of press releases will rise or decline in 2012?
Koen Platteeuw is a Media Consultant at Dow Jones and has worked for more than 10 years in a variety of Media Research roles. He works closely with clients in the pharmaceutical, food and agricultural, chemicals as well as the transportation and logistics industries. Koen is accredited by the International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC) and holds a post graduate degree in Digital Journalism from the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain.
Oil spills seem to happen more often nowadays, and each time, energy companies have to react to the crisis situation. BP’s disaster in the Gulf of Mexico is still fresh in people’s memories and in mid-April another oil leak occurred at its Russian oil venture, TNK-BP, in one of its main regions in the Khanty Mansi autonomous district in Russia. The media soon reported that TNK-BP was sacrificing pipeline maintenance in order to pay high dividends to investors. TNK-BP’s reputation as a socially responsible company was under threat.
Within hours TNK-BP’s press service issued a statement stressing that the company has a comprehensive pipeline integrity assurance program and carries out regeneration of previously contaminated land. Immediately, the decrease of price shares slowed down from the initial 5% drop on the first day of the crisis.
Looking at average favourability trend for April it is obvious that the favourability plunged on 18 April, reaching a maximum low of -0.42 on a scale of -1 to +1. But during the next few days, despite talks of lawsuit over TNK-BP oil spills, it did not go below -0.29 and quickly recovered to a neutral level, illustrating how the company’s quick response limited the damage and stopped further loss of share value.
Tags: BP, brand reputation, crisis communications, Public Relations, sentiment
Last week I had the opportunity to go to Houston to speak at a Factiva client event. I discussed how corporate communications’ responsibilities for reputation management, understanding the fragmented media environment and measuring communications program results are influencing our planning and products for communications and PR professionals.
It’s always great to meet customers – especially when they are an engaged, dynamic group like this one. I took the opportunity to ask them several “flash poll” questions to get a sense of their outlook on a few topics. Some of the “findings” included:
- When asked, “Are you an advocate for new ways to measure communications results?” 66% said Yes.
- 75% agreed that social media is an opportunity to enhance corporate reputation. However, only 12% are “engaged and delivering results,” while 66% are still evaluating how to participate in social media.
- When asked whether Tools, Skills or Time is the greatest challenge when managing corporate reputation in today’s fragmented media landscape, 42% said it was a combination of all three.
There was one question everyone agreed on: managing, protecting and enhancing their firm’s reputation is their number one priority.
Tags: brand reputation, measurement, Public Relations, Social Media
In the summer of 2011, Netflix was the future of video and its stock was at an all-time high. Within a quarter, the company lost two-thirds of its market value and its strategy was a shambles.
Between July and October 2011, the company unbundled its DVD and streaming services, increased its prices for the second time in a year, announced that it expected to lose a million customers and that it would spin off its DVD service under the brand “Qwikster”, and then canceled Qwikster less than a month later.
Netflix’s stock price has not recovered.
Netflix was trying to mitigate some powerful strategic threats in the summer of 2011, but the company lost control of its message.
I charted Netflix’s Dow Jones Insight Media Index (IMI) for 380,000 news stories since last July. Since October, Netflix’s IMI has returned to its summer 2011 levels, but the company’s stock price is stuck in the doldrums.
The Netflix debacle is more of a strategic than a communications fable, but there are some clear lessons for marketers:
- Think ahead. By delaying the inevitable unbundling until the last minute, Netflix maximized the pain for their customers and themselves.
- Keep it simple. Netflix was founded on a principle of simplicity, but Qwikster was just baffling.
- Own your name. Someone already owned @Qwikster on Twitter. This expensive error signaled a lack of preparation to the markets.
- Think twice before doubling down. Netflix followed its unpopular unbundling with a baffling spinoff.
Tags: measurement, media measurement, Netflix, Social Media, Twitter