It’s possible I have a problem

I’m pretty excited – on the verge of giddy – for 2014 to finally get here so that I can finally start fully using the new editorial calendar I’ve worked up for one of my client’s social publishing programs.

That can’t be normal, can it?

More marketers love paying for tweets

According to the research, a slight majority (52%) of marketers have used Sponsored Tweets, up from 47.3% last year and 39.4% in 2011. In fact, Sponsored Tweets have moved ahead of sponsored blog posts (51% using this year) as the most commonly used form of social sponsorship.

via Sponsored Tweets Gaining Traction With Brand Marketers.

In my experience Sponsored Tweets (or any other kind of paid promotion for social updates) works best for those “big” moments that brands want to bring extra eyeballs to. Big announcements, big sales, things like that. And apparently more and more marketers are agreeing.

The thing is, this is where the content team (which lives under PR in the best scenarios) *needs* to step in and own responsibilities that would otherwise normally belong to the media/ad buying team. The content team will know best what those key beats are, will know what sorts of audiences need to be reached and so on. So it helps (as we do at Voce/PN) to have people who are not only super smart on the content side of things but also who have experience with this kind of social advertising.

That’s a lot of Papa Burgundy

I’ll admit, I almost brought Movie Marketing Madness out of retirement for the Anchorman 2 campaign. Not only because I love the first movie and am excited to see the sequel but because what the hell kind of way is this to sell a movie? It’s either massively deranged, completely brilliant or both.

via ‘Anchorman 2’ Promotional Blitz: Will Ferrell’s Many Appearances as Ron Burgundy Gallery – The Hollywood Reporter.

More than just your ordinary rant

Andrew Wallenstein sounds off on the silliness of social media “buzz” and all the reactionary…ummm…reactions that come along with it. Worth a read since it’s more than just your ordinary “ugh with the social media, remember when we could control that in our trade press weekly?” rant but really gets to how I think there’s a lot of “But what will our Twitter followers say” thinking that informs, rightly or wrongly, too many business decisions.

But as pervasive as this nonsense is, buzz is rapidly becoming quantifiable through a growing cottage industry of businesses that have made a specialty of filtering the noise on social-media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. There isn’t a media company out there that doesn’t partake of this kind of tracking in some shape or form to get a read on how consumers anticipate and receive their products. No wonder social analytics companies are becoming the must-have accessory to any self-respecting technology firm: Bluefin Labs was acquired by Twitter, SocialGuide went to Nielsen and, most recently and unexpectedly, Topsy rolled to Apple.

via It’s About Time for Social Media to Buzz Off | Variety.

A riot…is an ugly tzing…

originalI’ve got little to add to the hub-bub about what PR exec Justine Sacco said just before boarding a flight to South Africa and turning off her phone. Yes, the tweet was offensive. Yes, people were right to be offended by it. My friend Phil Gomes has a good post up about it that is well worth reading.

But what I will say are these few things:

First, this got ugly really, really fast. It went from a “heh, this woman’s going to have a rough time when she lands” to “Are we sure Google’s flight tracking is accurate? I want to make sure we have enough pitchforks” somewhere around hour five and never looked back. With Buzzfeed articles, “Real time marketing” posts that were in taste almost as poor as the original incident and so many people ready to pounce on her both at the airport and online, this was in my opinion a picture of what the worst use of social media looks like. It seemed as if we were all bored before the holiday and needed something to amuse ourselves, so we took to digitally stalking this woman, completely immune to the fact that this is a real person who’s life was about to be shaken. She ceased to be a fellow human being we share the planet with and became a meme with a heartbeat, someone whose existence we only acknowledge insofar as it entertained us. Once she had been devoured by the lion in the arena we went back to our idle pursuits, dreaming of what would be next to provide us momentary amusement. It was disgusting to watch.

And it makes me wonder what – or who – will be next? People say insensitive things online all the time. So when will the mob decide that X person is the next fodder for the machine? It could be any of us, at any time depending on the whims of who decides to be offended by what and how high their Klout score is. What makes Sacco any more or less deserving of being fed to the abettor than anyone else? Absolutely nothing.

This – the right to publish whatever we want, whenever we want with no editorial checks and balances – is a powerful weapon we’re wielding. Every tweet has the potential power of a shotgun blast, but it’s used mostly to share cat photos and promote our consulting businesses. Turn that power around, though, and you have something that can destroy lives and livelihoods.

You can make a strong argument in either direction, but I fall on the side of “No” when I consider whether she should have lost her job over this, which she did of course. Disciplinary action that serves as a wake-up call to not be stupid, sure. But firing? No. Yes, professional communicators need to be more careful and that could have been reflected in some HR action. But to let the mob rule those HR actions speaks to a system of which we have lost any semblance of control.

I’m not defending Sacco’s statement, not by a long shot. When you’re in a communications world you need to know what to say and what to not. So what she said was wrong, it was horribly offensive and should never be repeated in polite company. But that doesn’t justify the digital stalking that was done – including a fair amount by people who are otherwise stewards of the “don’t track me, bro” school of online privacy – of this woman became a macabre theater that, every bit as much as her tweet, has no place in polite and civil society.

Vanity Vine

As a holiday treat, Twitter has announced that it will begin allowing Vine users to register for vanity URLs for their profiles. The race begins on Friday, December 20 at 9am PST when those with verified accounts will be able to sign up. All other Vine users will be able to participate on Monday, December 23.

via Vine Vanity URLs are Here: Sign Up On Dec 20.

This is great, as web profiles for Vine have been a big, in my mind, missing feature for the service. I’ve already reserved my personal account (still coming soon) and have been working on getting client accounts secured as well. Nice end-of-year upgrade.

Last week’s PNConnect Weekly Reading

Have you read it? If not you’re missing out.

PNConnect Weekly Reading 12/19/13: Facebook Video Ads, Instagram Direct and More « PNConnect | Digital Marketing Services from Porter Novelli.

Rockin’ around the tunes from a year starting with a “2” would be nice

Thanksgiving is over — the in-laws are gone — and Christmas is not yet here. It’s a cold weekend day, not much happening, and you head to the strip mall. Flat-screens beckon, Chromebooks too, and assorted pads, pods and tablets. You turn on the radio, find your trusty Lite-FM station, and settle in for some Elton, Celine, Shania and Mariah.

But there’s no Elton. None of the usual Celine. And as for Mariah, there is no “Hero” or “Honey,” just “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” surrounded by oodles of Christmas songs by Nat King Cole, Andy Williams and the Chipmunks. And the Christmas chestnuts of Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney. When beset by the 1953 novelty hit “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas,” you finally change the station.

via Radio Stations Find Ratings ‘Rocket Fuel’ in Switch to Christmas Format –

I actually don’t have a problem with this in principle. But I do wish the stations that switch over to the All-Christmas format for a month and a half (or more) would broaden their catalogs a bit. Not that I don’t enjoy Andy Williams, but around Listen #474 I’d like a little more selection from this side of the century divide. Heck, I’d like more selection from this side of VE-Day.

Flickr finally gets embeddable

Here at Flickr we believe that taking, sharing and discovering photos is a daily habit, and with Flickr’s new web embedding feature, it’s even easier to add full-bleed Flickr photos and videos onto your personal websites, blogs and articles.

via Flickr Web Embeds « Flickr Blog.

File under this under Things I Kind Of Thought Were Already Available But Had Long Since Stopped Checking For Because I Hadn’t Thought About It In About Two Years.

Also, in case you were wondering why Flickr stopped being part of the social photography conversation to a great extent, this is probably why.

Also also, it’s nice to see that someone is getting back to the idea of content spread and making that as easy as possible. This is a welcome change in attitude.

No way this came out 20 years ago

Also, these posters are super cool.

The first, and only, Batman: The Animated Series movie to get a theatrical release turns 20 years old this Christmas. And similar to most children with birthdays on Christmas, this gem was overlooked (which is a shame because it runs circles around some of the live action Batman films that followed it). Directed by Bruce Timm, written by Paul Dini, and featuring the voice talents of Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill as The Joker, BATMAN: MASK OF THE PHANTASM was the beginning of a near flawless run of animated Batman films and series that ended with Batman Beyond in 2001.

That’s why Mondo is throwing it a belated birthday party with a 35mm screening at the Alamo Drafthouse Ritz on January 7th. As part of the celebration, we will be bringing two new limited edition posters, as seen above and available for sale in the lobby, by Phantom City Creative!

via Mondo Presents: BATMAN: MASK OF THE PHANTASM! | Mondo: The Blog.