Tag Archives: public relations

Communications students: Are you being recognized for your great work?

Although I’ve learned *SO MUCH* since graduating from the PR program at Algonquin College in 2006, I still miss those days every now and again!

Also the sad fact about working is you simply can’t execute every project to its fullest potential the way you might have as a student (maybe that’s just me, I was a good student!).  Reflecting back I worked on some amazing (and real!) projects as a student that I never thought of applying for awards.

IABC Canada has posted its Silver Leaf Awards 2012 Call for Entries  with a deadline of September 7. The student rate is exceptionally reasonable. However I also remember being a student and having a hard time spending money on seemingly intangible benefits like award submissions.

That’s why I am offering to personally sponsor a student’s submission. I will also volunteer to review your submission and answer any questions you have while preparing it. I have written many submissions before (some successful, and some not, but you learn from all of them!)

The deadline is September 7. Let me know via comments or by email (kellyrusk(at)gmail.com) if you’d like to be sponsored and give me an overview of the project you’d like to submit.  I will pick a winner on August 1. Sept. 4!

Finally I want to put the challenge out to other communicators to consider sponsoring a student entry. They are our future employees and colleagues, let’s help them achieve early and often.

Social media monitoring tools: Social Radar

A couple posts ago, I brought up the topic of social media monitoring tools (SMMs). They are popping up everywhere, but which one do you choose?

In this on-going series (though I warn you it might be slow) I’m going to look at the various tools available and give my opinion on what I like about them and why I think they are useful.

First up is a company called Infegy, who has a tool called Social Radar. When I first mentioned I was interested in exploring SMMs, Infegy President Adam Coomes contacted me right away via Twitter, so these guys are definitely on the ball. Since this is the first tool I’ve looked at, I don’t really have any benchmark, but I was definitely able to see a lot of value in it (vs monitoring via Google Alerts and good old-fashioned legwork, which I have done in the past). For those of you in a hurry, here’s my quick review

Product: Social Radar by Infegy
What it does:
Tracks mentions on blogs and any site with feed capabilities; allows you to analyze that data and better understand value of mentions.
Who’s it best for
: Hmm, probably small to mid-size companies with a moderate to strong online presence (Though it could definitely be scalable for larger companies).
Who should use it: Someone who knows a little about social media, loves to look at and manipulate numbers and data.
Why you’ll love it: Super fast, intuitive, easy to use.
But what is the product really like? I’ve used quite a few online tools for varying purposes, but never have I seen anything run as smoothly or quickly as Social Radar, even when doing complex searches in its very well developed database. Right off the bat I was impressed.

Also, one of my favorite features is the home page. Think iGoogle, but for the purpose of media monitoring; you are able to pick and choose which widgets you’d like to display, so you build your own dynamic dashboard:

Also if you’re an analytics junkie, you’ll love this tool. You are able to slice and dice data in any way you like and run beautiful charts to satisfy upper management.

Charts

Finally in my informal list of what made me go “oooh” and “aaaah”: the tool lets you build ‘eco-systems’ like this picture below. Basically each orb represents a blog or site talking about your product/brand/search term, and the lines around it represent inbound and outbound links, giving a great visual representation of influence. While I definitely think if you’re really on the ball, you should be reading all the influential blogs in your space, (so it would be no surprise). However this tool would allow you to easily explain influence and the importance to others, say managers, who pay your salary. Obviously this is important!Social Radar Screen Shot

Infegy’s Social Radar is based on an enormous database of feeds which is constantly growing and updating. From the demo I had it was definitely apparent it covers enough sites out there to get good bang for your buck. The only downside I noticed was that it’s unable to track mentions in audio or video files (i.e. podcasts) Though I’m not sure that’s possible for anyone, so I wouldn’t hold it against them. Also, presumably most podcasts would have a feed, and probably a text description so you’d still be covered.

Anyone out there ever use Social Radar? Any thoughts?

**UPDATE!**

So I actually did this demo about three weeks ago and just received a tip from CEO Justin Graves about a brand new feature. I was going to wait a few days to update, but it’s just sooo cool I had to get it up here. Now Social Radar can read the sentiment and give you an indication about whether your coverage is positive, negative or neutral. I’ve never heard of this being possible before, so it sounds fantastic! Now I haven’t seen it in action, but I wouldn’t expect it to be a *perfect* science, but invaluable none-the-less. Here’s a few shots of it in action. Justin also tells me you are able to build these charts based on a specific time frame and are able to compare month-by-month or year-by-year… Whatever makes most sense.

Screen shot of Sentiment chart

Social media monitoring: yay or nay?

Ok, obviously we need to track our brand’s activity in social media, but do we need a brand new tool to do so efficiently?

I’m not sure. The majority of my experience has been with small companies who wouldn’t pay (or even have the need for) media monitoring services. Instead I would set up Google Alerts, read industry publications and blogs, and just really do all the monitoring myself. And then if I had time I would do my own analysis.

However, in a larger organization, obviously this is more than one person can manage. Media monitoring services are thorough, experts in the field and can provide a third-party perspective on your media coverage. Tools available online often take a self-serve approach but look like they provide a lot of great easy-to-understand info.

I’ve decided I’m going to take a closer look at a few of the players in both the traditional media monitoring services which are adapting to social media needs, as well as new tools strictly for managing social media monitoring. In the meantime, however, I’d love to hear your thoughts, opinions, and ideas on the topic…