Monthly Archives: November 2011

How Connected Are We?

4.74 degrees of Kevin Bacon.

It may sound odd but that’s the new title of everyone’s favorite trivia game.  Or at least that’s technically what it should be.

Scientists at Facebook and the University of Milan recently released the average number of acquaintances separating any two people in the world – 4.74. The original “six degrees” number that we have come to know was from a 1967 study.

Over time, studies have updated the findings but this is the first that has drastically shrunk the number. In 2008, Microsoft found that the average number was 6.6. Yet that was only based on the actual exchange of messages, not who you know and identify as a friend.

So this new 4.74 number presents a new dialogue.

Is the idea of a friend evolving with the growth of social media and better communication tools or are people becoming less aware of what a friend actually is? Probably a little of both.

The Facebook study was based on who people are “friends” with on Facebook. Therefore, those users that friend people without ever meeting them are skewing the study towards the low end.

Nevertheless, the number is a telling indicator that social media is changing how often we connect with others and how easy it is to meet new people.


Elusive Media and the Twit Pitches

I’ve been working on a small campaign pitching media in the New York area this week.  Normally, New York isn’t exactly my favorite market to pitch because everyone seems especially in a hurry to rush you off the phone and will promptly tell you so.   Anyone who has ever worked in public relations knows the frustration of unanswered email pitches and dodged phone calls.

I’ve had a well-known-expert in the field tell me to stick to a well-crafted email pitch and leave the Twitter pitches alone.  Well, as they say…variety is the spice of life.  This week I got frustrated and decided to Tweet the reporters I had been trying to reach.  To my surprise, three of the five people I reached out to responded to me within minutes.  I used a casual yet informative approach-all within 140 characters.  There really isn’t an official guide to the Twitter pitch, but I can say, any links you have that can take them back to the press release/photo/video etc… are the best, especially when you’re working with limited characters.

So what’s the moral of the story?  Try it!  Tweet your pitches.  What’s the worst that can happen besides getting no response? Come on, we’re all used to that by now.  Tell me, what experiences have you had with Twit pitching?

follow me @SaraAlsia

Where is the under-30 crowd? On the Internet, of course

A recent survey from the networking giant Cisco offered interesting information for marketers not sure where to reach Gen Y — the young adults under 30.  You can find them on the Internet.  Raised virtually their entire lives with a web connection, many place a higher priority on social media and other Internet offerings than on basic human interaction such as dating.

The survey of 1,400 students and 1,400 young professionals aged 21-29 in 14 countries indicated more than half of this group couldn’t live without the Internet.

Take a deep breath or a sip of water here.  A third of the respondents consider the Internet to be as important as air, water, food and shelter.

OK.  Most of us would find it difficult to live in today’s world without Google, email and games to play while the boss isn’t looking.  But 64 percent of all respondents would prefer an Internet connection to a car.  And two of five place greater importance on web surfing than they do on dating, going out with friends and listening to music.

So if you want to reach this group, there’s no doubt where you’ll find them.  Just hope you aren’t trying to sell a hot new Honda or offering 2-for-1 Saturday night dinners.

— JD

Twitter: @Jdaum

Who’s to Thank for the Growth of Public Relations

It’s no secret that social media is changing the way the world does business. From new marketing tools like Facebook ads to various outreach platforms like Twitter, industry branding is changing and adapting every day.

But what group is benefitting from this the most?

Public relations professionals are one of the leading groups reaping the rewards of the social media boom. While most industries have seen widespread job loss, PR is the one field that continues to grow.

A recent report shows that PR professionals will experience a starting salary bump of 3.5 percent in 2012. Yet that’s not even the most impressive number.

From November 2009 to May of 2011, there has been a 93 percent increase in PR job listings. This, added to the expected 24 percent growth in PR jobs by 2018, makes for a promising landscape if you’re a PR professional.

Just one minute though!

Before all you PR pros get too comfortable, don’t forget about what brought you here. Social media has been a major player in PR’s growth over the past few years.

As companies scramble to capitalize on the ever-developing social media platforms, CEOs are looking more and more to their PR specialists to teach them they ways of Twitter, Facebook and so much more. This means that while the PR industry is expected to grow, we must develop with it.

So as you kick back and smile about the promising public relations growth numbers, think about what more you can be doing to improve your social media knowledge. What are the latest trends? Where is the newest breakthrough coming from?

Public relations is no longer a conventional industry. The true PR professionals recognize this and are always looking towards the future. Are you?