Tips for Measuring Sentiment Analysis: Don’t Let Early Adoption Become Buyer’s Remorse

May 31, 2011

 

by Sandy Malloy, Information Services

A recent  blog post by measurement expert Katie Paine calls sentiment analysis the “latest shiny new measurement toy” and suggests questions to ask before attempting to measure  social media sentiment of corporate and other messaging.

One of her most important points  has relevance for press releases:  Do people express any sentiment at all in discussing your brand? 

Simple searches on Twitter and/or Google blogs will give you an idea, but first consider the kind of news your company announces.   If you sell measuring equipment to scientists, for example, it’s unlikely that sentiment will register anything but “neutral”–even if your products are discussed in social media.

No sentiment = no need for sentiment analysis.

That said, monitoring all types of media for what’s being said about your company, industry and competitors is important.  But monitoring is not analysis, and analysis might not be sentiment metrics–thus, paying for analytics when all you need is monitoring makes no sense.

Just for fun, I reviewed about 200 social media clips that a long-time subscriber to Business Wire’s NewsTrak Clips had received over a few days.   Almost all the tweets and mentions of  this engineering company were neutral.  One item stated that the company had been “called out” for some action. 

A human reader could easily identify the statement as negative, while software might or might not make that determination.  Either way, though, I would have had no trouble doing my own analysis with such a low volume of posts.  For Paine, the cut-off before investing in analysis software is 10,000 relevant non-spam mentions per month.

Of course, you can analyze your social media mentions in other ways to put this information into a meaningful context.  Almost every week, I see lists like this one that offer help managing and analyzing social media clips.

If you still can’t resist the “shiny new toy,” here are some steps to take to assure your early adoption doesn’t become buyer’s remorse:

1Start with monitoring and worry about analysis later.  You can use free tools or a more comprehensive paid service, as long as you can monitor how many posts or tweets come through daily.

2.  Commit to either looking at the results yourself or making sure a colleague does every day.  That way, the task won’t be overwhelming unless the volume is overwhelming –and then you’ll have a case for investigating analysis software after all!

3. If sentiment analysis is indeed a “key metric,” decide on whether the volume of posts and tweets justifies buying software.  Also, be aware that sentiment analysis software has improved but is unlikely to be 100% accurate.  You’ll probably need  people to cross-check at least a sample of the results.

4.  If you determine that sentiment is largely absent, decide what metrics are relevant and find the tool(s) that will help you gather the information.


PR Peeps Poll: Two-thirds say Press Releases Play Significant Role in Branding

May 25, 2011

 

by Monika Maeckle, Vice President, New Media

As branding and SEO continue their convergence, two-thirds of those responding to a recent PR Peeps poll said that press releases play a “significant role” in their branding efforts.

Out of 228 polled, 66% categorized the role press releases play in their branding efforts as “significant.”  Twenty-five percent said press releases play a “minor” role in branding efforts, while 9% said they don’t use press releases in branding efforts.

PR Peeps Poll:  How do press releases fit into your branding efforts?

“Press releases are part of an overall strategy for my company and customers,” noted one PR pro in the comments section of the survey.   “Brand positioning plays and should play a major role not only in press releases, but also in any piece of info or PR writing [that comes] out of the organization,” said another respondent.

Judging from these results, one could argue that press releases belong in the marketing department–in addition to communications, of course.

Here’s the findings:

    • 150, or 66%    Press Releases play a significant role
    • 57,  or 25%     Press releases play a minor role
    • 21, or 9%          Don’t use press relases for branding

To all those who participated, thank you very much!  How about helping us out with our next PR Peeps Poll:  Which press release metric do you most value?

228 respondents via Twitter, email and Business Wire webinar polls. Poll conducted  conducted April – May 2011.


Editor’s Corner: Avoid Press Release Buzzkill with George Orwell’s Writing Tips

May 24, 2011

By Rebecca Bennett, Editor, Business Wire Seattle

by Rebecca Bennett, Editor, BW Seattle

While there’s plenty a PR pro can do to draw attention to press releases – solid SEO terms, attractive multimedia, for example –  simple language should not be underestimated. 

Straightforward language in the body of a release can be a big asset in establishing credibility and gaining traction.  Those writing press releases should avoid buzzwords and industry jargon that work against clear messaging, opting for brevity and conciseness.

In 2010, PR strategist Adam Sherk compiled a list of the most common buzzwords in press releases to demonstrate how a company’s perceived innovation may serve as a buzzkiller when it provokes eyerolls from editors and journalists who read dozens of press releases daily. 

Writers of press releases are wise to consider George Orwell’s Five Rules of Good Writing (actually six rules) included in his famous 1946 essay, Politics and the English Language.

Here they are:

  1. Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
  2. Never use a long word where a short one will do.
  3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
  4. Never use the passive where you can use the active.
  5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
  6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.

Rules two and five are especially relevant to press release writers.  Keeping it brief can help your budget, since press release distribution costs are based on word count.  Avoiding jargon and obtuse language clearly communicates your message.

Business Wire’s website has plenty of press release pointersPRFilter.com is a great aggregator of press releases–useful for a PR professional to compare frequency of words across industries. 

Also, don’t hesitate to contact your local newsroom and/or account executive for feedback.

With 31 bureaus around the world and more newsrooms than all of our competitors combined, Business Wire is proud to provide local expertise and superior service, backed by the most accurate editors in the world. In Editor’s Corner, we ask some of our best to chime in on how to get the most out of your press release, based on their years of experience in the industry.

BW Fun Fact: Business Wire Reaches Journalists With a Combo of High Tech and High Touch

May 20, 2011

When Business Wire launched it’s website in 1995 there was a lot of excitement around sending the press release via email to the media. Previously, all major media points received news from us through a satellite fed teleprinter while many others received local area or industry news via fax.

From the beginning we wanted to make it easy for journalists to see our news.  So we kept diversifying our news delivery options.  Today, our BW created and patented delivery platform–News Express–as well as hundreds of dual-hosted websites, RSS, FTP, Twitter feeds, mobile distribution and even some diehard fax subscriptions are among the channels our news arrives in newsrooms, and on desktops, tablets and the mobile phones of journalists, bloggers, financial analysts and news consumers globally.  None of these methods is more popular than our PressPass email delivery.

Our first customized email delivery product “Email Select” was limited to 500 email addresses and a short list of industry keywords.  This tight limit concerned Business Wire Founder, Lorry Lokey who monitored every journalist name and email address added to our new distribution list–presumably to remove anyone not worthy (though this never happened).

Today, tens of thousands of journalists are registered for our PressPass email service and yes they’re still vetted, verified and approved by a member of our media relations team.  How do we do it?

With unlimited choices for keyword search term selection and news customization, journalists are able to create and recieve feeds that are more targeted then ever.   Those enhancements in technology allow our team to focus on the relationship aspects of our role in the news process and keep the media and communications communities satisfied.

If you’re a member of the media and would like to subscribe to receive a customized news feed from Business Wire, you can register for PressPass or subscribe to our RSS or Twitter feeds or even subscribe to the BW Mobile site to view your custom feed on your mobile device.


Hybrid Approach: Reporters Use Social Networks, but Prefer Phone and Email for PR Pitches

May 18, 2011
 
by Raschanda Hall, Global Media Relations Manager,
Business Wire/Chicago
 
  
The PR community seems to have an insatiable appetite for information on how, why and for what journalists are using social media.  Two recent surveys suggest  a hybrid approach is preferred. 
 
According to a recent  Society of New Communications Research (SNCR) survey of 200 journalists, more than 70% use social media networks and platforms as reporting tools.  Facebook (no surprise), is the dominant player.  About 75% of journalists said they use it as a reporting tool, yet only 1% prefer Twitter as a way to be contacted.   Interestingly, nearly 90% prefer traditional communication tools like email and phone for building relationships with PR people.
 
Reporters also continue to find great value in resources like company websites  when it comes to their day-to-day news gathering, the study found. 
  
The Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW) is also conducting a survey.  This one will take a look at the social media habits of business reporters.  At their Spring Conference last month, the organization held a social media tools workshop where Thomson Reuters  personal finance reporter Lauren Young  shared that she uses pitches she receives on Twitter to cultivate and tap news sources.
 
Specifically, SABEW wants to take a look at business journalists’ use of social media for “reporting and disseminating business news,” said Kevin Noblet, SABEW’s president, with the intent of conducting the survey annually to establish benchmarks and track changes in usage among its membership.    Results will be made public on the organization website before the end of June.  
 
If you’re a business journalist, we encourage you to take this one-minute survey today.
 

Send Your Press Release on a High Quality Site

May 17, 2011

Conversations around Google’s Panda update have continued nonstop since Google announced the change in late February.  At the time, Google stated that the change affected 11.8% of their search queries.

That means that one out of every eight-and-a-half searches returns a different result from pre-Panda days–which could work for or against your website.   Third party data from companies around the world suggests some websites have been horrifically effected while others have emerged unscathed.

Losing sites are claiming traffic deficits of 20% – 90% or more.  Since Google’s update was so profound for many sites, the company has issued advice on “building high quality sites” in the form of questions which form part of the Google mindset.

As we’ve stated previously, Business Wire’s performance has improved since the Panda update. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the questions posed by Google and how Business Wire stacks up.

Would you trust the information presented in this article?  Is the site a recognized authority on its topic? Would you recognize this site as an authoritative source when mentioned by name?

The Business Wire brand is synonymous with press releases and wire services.  We celebrate our 50th anniversary October 2, our website has been online since 1996 (it’s come a long way), and we can count a significant number of the Fortune 500 among our current and former clients.

Does the article provide original content or information, original reporting, original research, or original analysis?

Press releases are new news by nature.  Every day we push out hundreds to thousands of press releases with new information about companies and organizations.

Would you expect to see this article in a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book?

It’s no secret that press releases often provide ideas, sources or supporting facts for news stories across all mediums.  As journalists are expected to do more and more with fewer resources, the value of press releases to the story process is only increasing.

Does this article have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?

Press releases hosted on BusinessWire.com never contain advertisements.  We don’t want anything on the page to compete with client news.

Does this article have spelling, stylistic, or factual errors? How much quality control is done on content? Was the article edited well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?

We have teams of editors around the world that prepare each and every release we receive from our clients, including proofing for grammar and spelling.  In addition, we distribute releases that are written by professional communicators with expert level knowledge or access to key personnel at their companies and clients.

Branding and search are converging.  Take a deep look at the advice in Google’s post when you are considering how to distribute your news, or even how to improve your company’s websites.  Where you distribute your news is more important than ever.


Two Great Tips for Pitching Health and Life Science Reporters

May 13, 2011
 
by Liz Koch, Media Relations Specialist, Business Wire/Boston

Directly from those who cover the biotech, pharma and medical device industries: tips for getting your life sciences announcement covered by mainstream media and niche industry publications alike.

“Media often prefer to write about broader trend stories than individual pieces on just one company or product,” says Todd Wallack, Business Reporter for The Boston Globe who formerly covered life science firms.

That means putting the news in context. For instance, maybe your company is part of a wave of oncology firms winning venture capital to develop cancer fighting agents.   “If you can name the other companies, that will help make the case that’s it’s a broader story than one company firing off a press release,  says Wallack.

Brad Perriello, co-founder and executive editor of the Massachusetts Medical Devices Journal (MassDevice.com), suggests always including a link to key information. “I want to be able to find the release online. Always include in your pitch a URL for the press release on a newswire or company website posting. Just including the URL ups your chances by 50 percent.”

To summarize:

  1. Give your press release some context and don’t be afraid to mention your peers. Relate your announcement to industry trends and hot topics.
  2. Your news is going to be accessible on every social media platform, so make your release available right away by always including a URL for your release in your pitch email.

Use these tips and you’ll maximize your biotechnology or pharmaceutical announcement’s potential to get the “healthiest” results!


Business Wire CEO Cathy Baron Tamraz Talks Women CEOs, Warren Buffett and 50 Years of Trust on Fox Business

May 11, 2011


Check out this great interview with Business Wire chairman and CEO Cathy Baron Tamraz on Fox Business. Fox Business anchor Liz Claman sat down with Cathy as part of their “Women at the Wheel” series on female CEOs. Cathy discussed her background, working as a cab driver in college before joining Business Wire as an editor in San Francisco in 1979. She also retold the famous story of how she sold the company to Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway in 2006 after reading an article about him and writing him a letter.

Cathy also talked about how Business Wire has built its business on speed, accuracy and technology for the last 50 years, and how the key to the success of the company is the trust we’ve built with our clients. Watch the full interview at the Fox Business website.


April in Omaha: My Invitation to 2011 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting

May 6, 2011
by Deb Subia, Editorial Process Development Manager, Business Wire

Deb Subia


A dozen lucky Business Wire employees from several U.S. bureaus and London joined CEO Cathy Baron Tamraz in Omaha for the 2011 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting.  I was thrilled to be one of them.

Never having been, I was anxious to attend the meeting – okay, experience the EVENT – I had heard and read so much about over the years. I had heard so much of the “Berkshire Buzz” and the celebratory nature of the event!

Business Wire has long been known as a company with a family atmosphere.  I had the sense being around other Berkshire Hathaway companies that I was part of an even bigger family.

Selling show-themed passport booklets that included “smashed” pennies with images of Warren Buffett, Charlie Munger, the Annual Meeting date, and Business Wire’s 50thAnniversary crest to raise money for a local youth charity, CASA for Douglas County, Nebraska, was quite an experience.  It’s not every day you hear a co-worker say, “You want to get Warren’s head smashed on a penny?” Thanks to generous attendees, Business Wire sold out of passport booklets, raising more than $5,500 for CASA, all while having a lot of laughs and meeting some great people.

Cathy Baron Tamraz, Warren Buffett and Business Wire CTO Steve Messick operating the penny press

I was surprised at the diversity of the shareholders and delighted with the young investors-to-be who came by our booth.  One told me it was his first time attending and he was “so excited and overwhelmed and wanting to take everything in at the same time.”  I think he summarized the way many first-timers felt. Certainly learning early about ethics and patience in investing will leave a lasting impression.

The piece of advice I’ll most remember came from Charlie Munger and was about not making important decisions in anger: “You can always tell a man to go to hell tomorrow.”

I was impressed with Buffett’s smile, busy schedule and ability to handle questions hour after hour.  Coupled with the fact that he’s 80 years old, it is mind-boggling.  I’m  seriously considering adding a steady stream of Coke and See’s Candies to my diet.

The Business Wire 2011 Berkshire Hathaway Meeting booth crew

Overall, what I most took away surprised me. It was more universal than investment advice: passion for what you do, the desire to learn more all the time, the importance of becoming a better communicator, patience.  Buffett, at the core, is a teacher as well as an investor.

See more photos from the 2011 Berkshire Hathaway Shareholder’s Meeting at our Facebook page.


Upcoming Business Wire Events: Meet the Media in Chicago, Crisis Comm in Atlanta, Visit Bloomberg in Toronto

May 5, 2011

Upcoming Business Wire Events

Wake Up With the Chicago Media

Hosted by Business Wire Chicago

Rise and (make your pitches) shine! Join Business Wire Chicago for breakfast and meet the producers and editors from some of Chicago’s most sought-after outlets. Find out who wants to be pitched via social media, how you can make a great first impression and where the best PR opportunities exist in each of these hot media outlets. Kimberly Eberl, President at Motion PR, will moderate the panel, which includes: Kathryn Born, Founder & Editor-in-Chief, TINC Magazine (Technology Industry News – Chicago); Susanna Negovan, Editor-in-Chief, Michigan Avenue Magazine; and Kathryn Janicek, Daypart Manager/Executive Producer, NBC Chicago. This event is free for all attendees.

Thursday, May 12 at 8 a.m. CT
Maggiano’s Little Italy – Chicago
Antinori Room, 516 N. Clark St. (banquet entrance is on Grand Ave.), Chicago, IL 60654

To register: Please send an e-mail to Abbie Sullivan at Abbie.Sullivan@BusinessWire.com BEFORE Friday, May 6. Be sure to include your name, the name of your company, and a phone number where you can be reached. Please note that seating is limited. We request no more than 2 guests per organization.

Media Breakfast on Crisis Communications

Hosted by Business Wire Atlanta

From a natural disaster to a negative blog post, is your company prepared to manage a communications crisis? Now is a great time to go over the basics of crisis communications and reputation management. Join us as our experts share their thoughts on some key steps to following when responding to a crisis, rebuilding trust and how best to address the media during a crisis. Panelists include: Andrew McCaskill, V.P. & Group Director, William Mills Agency; Chris Joyner, State Government Reporter, Atlanta Journal Constitution; and Chris Sweigart, Manager of Digital Content, WXIA NBC, 11alive.com.

Thursday, May 26 at 7:30 a.m. ET
Anthony’s Fine Dining
3109 Piedmont Road Northeast, Atlanta, GA 30305

To register: RSVP to Matt Johnson at 770.667.7500 or email matthew.johnson@businesswire.com.

Bloomberg Editorial Briefing Session

Hosted by Business Wire Toronto

Join Business Wire Canada for an exclusive intimate conversation with Bloomberg News editors and reporters at Bloomberg’s Toronto offices.  Please join us for a complimentary breakfast and informal chat with four members of Bloomberg’s esteemed team to hear their collective insights on how not to have your hard work end up on the news room floor. Speakers include: Paul Davitt, Team Leader, Bloomberg Sales; Sean Pasternak, Bloomberg Banking Reporter; Steve Frank, Bloomberg Commodities Industry Editor; and David Scanlan, Bloomberg Bureau Chief. This event is free for all attendees.

Friday, May 27 at 8:30 a.m. ET
Bloomberg
Brookfield Place, Canada Trust Tower, 161 Bay st., Suite 4300, Toronto, ON

To register: RSVP to Katrina Bolak at 416.593.0208 or email katrina.bolak@businesswire.com by May 23.

Business Wire holds dozens of local events every year. We bring local media members and industry thought leaders to your market to discuss today’s most relevant topics, from trends in today’s newsrooms to writing for SEO. Events are usually free of charge to members. For more upcoming local Business Wire events or to see what’s coming up in our award-winning webinar series, visit BusinessWire.com. Follow live updates from Business Wire events on Twitter: hash tag #bwevents


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 38,066 other followers

%d bloggers like this: