PR Peeps Poll: More than Half Say Twitter More Effective as Broadcast Tool Today than A Year Ago

November 8, 2011

by Monika Maeckle, Vice President New Media

In the wake of 250 million tweets per day, professional communicators continue to embrace Twitter with 55 % of those polled citing it as “more effective” than it was a year ago for messaging, a recent PR Peeps Poll found.

Of 161 public relations professionals who responded to our survey, 88, or 55%, found Twitter “more effective” as a communications/broadcast messaging tool than it was 12 months ago;  65, or 40%, found it “less effective.”

Twitter as a search tool seemed less improved in the past 12 months.  Almost half of communicators labeled it “about the same” in its effectiveness for search compared to last year, while a third (33%) said it was “more effective.”

Interestingly,  communicators are 3.5 times as likely to use Twitter primarily for messaging as they do for search–125, or 78% vs. 36, or 22%.  Details below.

Compared to a year ago, how effective is Twitter as a communications/broadcast messaging tool for you?

More effective     88, or 65%
Less effective       6, or 4%

Same                       65, or 41%

More effective     53, or 33%
Less effective      34, or 21%
Same                        74,   or 46%

As messaging tool     125, or 78%
As search tool                 36, or 22%

How else do communicators utilize Twitter?  Survey comments included PR professionals lauding the real time info network’s myriad abilities, including:  “creating connections with target audiences,” “efficient information gathering,” “as a pitch tool” and “shameless self promotion!”

We’ve executed several PR Peeps polls on Twitter, if you’re interested:  What’s your company’s favorite tool for social media outreach?, and Do you tweet the links to your press releases?

To those who participated, thank you for responding to our PR Peeps Poll.   If you’re not already, why not follow us on Twitter?  We are @businesswire.

161 respondents via Twitter, email and Business Wire webinar polls. Poll conducted conducted September – October 2011.


PR Peeps Poll on Mobile Manners: 36% say Bad Cell Phone Manners Win Rudeness Contest

August 2, 2011

by Monika Maeckle, Vice President New Media   

We know it’s a brave, rude world out there, but even us new media hounds were surprised that cell phones were named as the #1 offender when it comes to minding your mobile manners.   We figured “all of the above” would pull the most votes in our PR Peeps Poll asking, “What’s your biggest digital pet peeve?”

Socially unrefined cell phone behaviour jumped a noteworthy 12% since last year’s poll  posed the same set of questions.

Cell phones didn’t win by much.  Of 174 polled, 36% cited “inappropriate cellphone use” as their biggest digital pet peeve, followed by “all of the above” with 35%.  Next most offensive was loud talking Bluetooth users with 12%.   “Profanity and crassness in new media settings” came in fourth with 11% and  “Texting while I’m presenting” finished last with 6%.

Etiquette expert and author Anna Post remarked in our recent webinar on the topic that we  should try harder to control our cell phone antics.  “Any time cell phone use will bother others, turn it off.”  Agreed!

PR Peeps Poll July 2011 What's Your Biggest Digital Pet Peeve?Even poll comments singled out cell phones as the most annoying source of bad manners. Among the complaints:  “texting instead of calling when it’s obviously more appropriate to call,” “taking phone calls in the gym”  and the possibly life-threatening act of “texting/facebooking while crossing the street–in front of traffic!” 

Details below.

63, or 36%         Inappropriate cellphone use
21, or 12%          Bluetooth user who makes me think he’s talking to me
19, or 11%          Profanity and crassness in new media settings
11, or 6%            Texting while I’m presenting
60, or 35%       All of the above

To those who participated, thank you for voting.  Now, will you be able to help us out with our next PR Peeps Poll on the effectiveness of Twitter–now vs. a year ago?  WE hope so.  It’s only three questions. 

 174 respondents via Twitter, email and Business Wire webinar polls. Poll conducted June 10 – July 25, 2011.

PR Peeps Poll: Press Release Views are Most Valued Press Release Metric

June 21, 2011

by Monika Maeckle, Vice President, New Media

Seeing is believing, apparently, when it comes to press release metrics.   According to our most recent PR Peeps Poll, communications professionals believe press release views are the most valued metric in judging a press release.

Of 179 polled, almost 53% (94)  cited release views as most important.   Hyperlink clicks rated second in importance with 16% of the vote (29).  Traffic driven garnered 12% of the votes cast (21) while times shared took 11% (19) and headline impressions 9% (16).

 With all the talk of the importance of social media sharing and engagement, we were slightly surprised by the findings.  Counting press release views is an older concept and online marketers continue to explore the intersections of  visibility and influence.   We figure influence must start somewhere–like having your carefully crafted messages being seen in the first place.Here’s the details:

Which press release metric do you most value?

  • 94, or 52%      Release views
  • 29, or 16%      Hyperlink clicks
  • 21, or 12%      Traffic driven
  • 19, or 11%       Times shared
  • 16, or  9%        Headline impressions

To those who participated, thank you for voting.  How about helping us out with our next PR Peeps Poll on minding your mobile manners:  What’s your digital etiquette pet peeve?  Please let us know and thank you.

 179 respondents via Twitter, email and Business Wire webinar polls. Poll conducted  conducted May -  June 10 2011.

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.


PR Peeps Poll: Most PR Pros Practice Good Headline Habits

April 7, 2011

by Monika Maeckle, Vice President New Media

Congratulations, PR Peeps!  The vast majority of you practice good headline habits.

The March PR Peeps Poll with 191 participants, shows 143 (76%) utilize keywords in headlines while 119 of you (62%) take the extra minute or two to customize headers for email, social networks and Twitter.

PR Peeps Poll:   Headline Habits

Conventional wisdom assumes that 80% of readers don’t jump past the headline, so focusing on keywords and concepts and taking that extra time to customize for context is extremely important.   With so much competition for our attention, you may not have a chance beyond the headline to get your message across.

While 33 out of 191 (17%) said they do not emphasize keywords in headlines, 13 (about 7%) of you don’t know what keywords are.   Several  chimed in with comments such as, ” Headlines need to cause an editor to say ‘people will click to read this!’ ” and  “Non PR savvy executives push for headlines that are always too long.”  Yes.  We feel your pain.

How's your Headline Habits?

How’s your Headline Habits?

Do you emphasize keywords in the headlines of your press releases?

                                                  Yes–143,  or 76%

                                                  No–33, or 17%

                                                 What are keywords?–13, or 7%

 Do you rewrite/customize press release headlines for email, social networks and/or Twitter? 

                                                  Yes–119, or 62%

                                                   No–72, or 38%

To all those who participated, thank you very much!  Out next PR Peeps Poll asks, How do press releases fit into your branding efforts?

191 respondents via Twitter, email and Business Wire webinar polls. Poll conducted  conducted February – March 2011.


PR Peeps Poll: Generating Clips Still Most Important in Measuring Press Release Success

February 22, 2011
by Monika Maeckle, Vice President New Media 

Our first PR Peeps Poll for 2011 suggests that while generating clips is still the number one marker for  press release success, general branding/visibility and traffic-driving capabilities of the press release come in not far behind. 

Of  280 PR Peeps polled, 88 said the most important measure of press release success was generating earned media and clips.   Branding and general awareness-raising came in second with 79 votes, while driving traffic to websites came in third with 73.   Getting link clicks only garnered 20 votes, the same amount as “other.”

In comments attached to the survey, PR pros chimed in with their own ideas on what constitutes press release success. “Getting the phone to ring!”  “developing direct business leads,” and “a smiling client when they see the ROI,” were among the remarks.   We couldn’t agree more with this comment from one PR Peep:  “…distributing a release is only one step in a five- or six-step process (including follow-up pitching, an engaging photo, etc.)” 

The poll was conducted in January and February  through Twitter, Facebook, email and Business Wire’s webinars.   Details below:

What’s most important in measuring press release success?

73, or 26%–Driving traffic to our website

20, or 7%–Getting link clicks

88, or 32%–Generating earned media/clips

79, or 28%–General branding/awareness

20, or 7%   — Other

To those who participated, thanks for taking the PR Peeps Poll.  Now we need your help on our February survey: How Good Are Your Headline Habits?

Thanks for the help.

280 respondents via Twitter, email, Facebook and Business Wire webinar polls. Poll conducted  January 3 – February 18, 2011.


PR Peeps Poll: 43 Percent Cite Driving Traffic as Primary Objective in Optimizing Press Releases

November 3, 2010

by Monika Maeckle, Vice President New Media

When it comes to optimizing press releases for search engines, most PR Peeps do it to drive traffic to their websites, the October PR Peeps Poll found.  Of 240 polled, 103–that is, 43%–cited driving traffic as their primary goal in applying search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to their press releases.

Standard SEO techniques for press releases include working keywords into the headline and lead, providing deep links to your web site, adding multimedia such as logos, photos, or video, and keeping the headline under 70 characters so it is most likely to be indexed by Google news.

The poll results are not surprising given that the objective of most press releases is to tell the story of the issuer.  One of the best ways to do that is to lure people to your website so they can hear your organization’s story in your organization’s words–full text, unedited, unfiltered by journalists, bloggers or others.

The second most common reason cited for optimizing press release for search engines was to “influence Google search engine results” with 69 votes, or 29%.   Shortly behind was “manage reputation” with 36 votes, or 15%, followed by 25 respondents who don’t optimize their press releases for search engines (10%) and 7 respondents pegging “generate link clicks” as their main objective in applying SEO tactics to press releases.

The poll was conducted throughout the month of October through Twitter, Facebook, email and Business Wire’s webinars.   Details below:

What is your primary objective in optimizing your press release for search engines?

103, or 43%–Drive traffic to our website

69, or 29%–Influence Google search engine results

36, or 15%–Manage our brand and reputation

25, or 10%–I don’t optimize my press releases for search engines

7, or 3%   —  Generate link clicks

To those who participated, thanks for taking the PR Peeps Poll.   How about helping us with the next one?  The November poll launches today.   What is your company’s preferred form of social media outreach?

Thanks for the help.

240 respondents via Twitter, email and Business Wire webinar polls. Poll conducted  October 1 – 31, 2010.


PR Peeps Poll: What’s Your Biggest Digital Pet Peeve? Almost 40% said “All of the Above”

July 8, 2010

 

by Monika Maeckle, Vice President, New Media 

When it comes to online manners,  we’re an increasingly rowdy bunch.   That’s the takeaway from this month’s PR Peeps Poll, which asked professional communicators to weigh in on their biggest digital pet peeve.  

Top vote-getter?  Almost 40% said  “all of the above.”  Details, below.

 

PR Peeps Poll  What’s your biggest digital pet peeve?

57, or 24%–Inappropriate cellphone use

40, or 17%–Blue Tooth user who makes us think he’s talking to us

14, or 6%–Profanity and crassness in new media settings

32, or 14%–Texting while I’m presenting

91, or 39%–All of the above.

Six PR Peeps couldn’t resist adding their own digital don’ts–from bad grammar in emails and loud talkers to ALL CAPS MESSAGES (are you annoyed yet?) and the “complete lack of civility as we knew it.”

The poll coincided with our “Etiquette in the Digital Age” webinar presented by the ever proper Anna Post of the Emily Post Institute.    Apparently PR people are right in line with mass America, as Anna cited a survey that states 69% of Americans feel we are more rude  today than we were several decades ago.  Check out the video recap if you’re interested.   Please.

To those who participated, thank you–-and how about helping with our next PR Peeps Poll:  When’s the best time to send a press release?  Please let us know. 

234 respondents via Twitter and Business Wire webinar polls. Poll conducted June 1 – July 5, 2010


PR Peeps Poll: 85% say they put hyperlinks in press releases

June 2, 2010

But internal audits of the Business Wire file suggest only about 13.5% use hyperlinks in their press releases.

This month’s PR Peeps Poll suggests that the vast majority–85% of  those who send out press releases–insert hyperlinks into them. Only 15% of the 268 polled said they don’t.

Interestingly, internal research of the Business Wire file of approximately 1,000 press releases each work day, suggests otherwise.  By our reckoning, only 13.5% of press release issuers use hyperlinks to drive traffic or amplify their messages in the context of their press releases.

What’s going on? Perhaps those on Twitter and who attend our webinars–where the poll was administered–are a bit more savvy to new media tactics than the rest of our clients.    Hard to say.   But it’s an interesting disconnect in the numbers.

Our friends like Tom Foremski, the publisher of Silicon Valley Watcher who is well-known for bemoaning  the lack of hyperlinks in press releases, will be surprised by the findings of this PR Peeps Poll.   “Forget the ‘social media release’ and the work we did on trying to create microformats for news releases…At the end of the day all I want is some links in the copy!”  wrote Formski in a recent blogpost . “Help me do my job so I don’t have to search around for this stuff,” he added.

The advantages of including relevant, timely hyperlinks in your press releases are well documented.  Links can amplify your message, help increase your search engine optimization, and drive traffic to your website or other relevant sites.  We agree with Foremski:  Why not include them?

Apparently the reasons are various–from  I just “didn’t think about it” to “I don’t know what a hyperlink is.”  Check out complete details, below.

PR Peeps Poll: Do you insert hyperlinks into your press releases?

  • 229, or 85% said YES
  • 39, or 15% said NO

Of those who said NO, and asked “Why not?” here are their reasons:

  • 13 – Just didn’t think about it.
  • 12 - I don’t know how.
  • 12 - I don’t see the point.
  • 2 - I don’t know what a hyperlink is.

To those who participated, thank you–-and how about helping with our next PR Peeps Poll: What is your biggest digital pet peeve? Someone texting while you’re presenting?  Or maybe that Bluetooth Guy who makes you think he’s talking to you?  Please let us know.

268 respondents via Twitter and Business Wire webinar polls. Poll conducted April 9 – May 31, 2010


PR Peeps Poll: 30% Access News and Press Releases via Mobile Devices

February 22, 2010
The periodic PR Peeps Poll results are in and reflect a growing move by professional communicators to access news and press release content from mobile devices.   Thirty percent of 297 polled said they do just that “all the time.”
 
They’re not alone.   Smartphones will outnumber desktop shipments by 2012, according to a recent report by Morgan Stanley.   And a study by Ruder Finn says 64% of mobile internet users use mobile devices to educate themselves by getting news and other information.  Another interesting stat: Smartphone owners use those devices more than half the time for data rather than voice. 
 
Just like everyone else, professional communicators are checking news, press releases and other content from their mobile devices.  Here’s the stats from our poll, which queried 297 professional communicators via our webinar attendees and Twitter:
 
Do you monitor news and press releases on a mobile device?
 
 
  • 88,   or 30% said    Yes, all the time
  • 85,   or 28% said     Occasionally
  • 124, or 42% said     No, I’m not there yet.
 
To those who participated, thank you–-and how about helping with our next PR Peeps Poll:   Apps?  There’s a poll for that.   How many apps do you have on your phone?  Please let us know.

297 respondents via Twitter and Business Wire webinar polls.  Poll conducted  December 10,2009 - February 18, 2010.


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