Saturday, October 27, 2007

measuring your blog

Everyone wants to know who is reading their site. Here are some resources for understanding some of the metrics.

In addition the other sites I'll list, Google has some great videos on YouTube about how to understand & use Google Analytics. Tip: before you start diving into your analytics report, take a few moments to watch the flash product demo/tour first.

Conversation analysis
There are several ways to do a conversation analysis. Some people look at the comment-to-post ratio (are your readers interacting as much as much/more than you are posting). Other look at in-bound links under the logic that if someone is linking to your post/content then it is continuing the conversation on another site. A great site for checking out who is linking to your site is Technorati.

Bounce rate

When people come to your site - do they immediately leave? Bounce rate tells you that: it is the percentage of people who come to our site & immediately leave without getting any deeper. You want a low number for bounce rate - in general, a 40% rate is pretty good. Watch the video to learn more.

Understanding visitors
Who cares about averages -- we should care about distribution. Who are your loyal visitors and what are they doing on your site? Learn about those people who repeatedly visit your site, when the last time the visitor came, how long that person stayed on the site. Go a step further - segment the data (twitter, for example): of those who came via twitter, how long do they stay and how many times have they visited? This will give a better indication as to how "successful" that particular referrer was (& for companies using ads it will help determine where you should keep buying ads & what you should drop). Watch the video to learn more.

Track feed subscriptions
Google Analytics doesn't track how many people are subscribed to your RSS feed. But you still want to know how many read the site through feeds - especially because many times the RSS reader might not ever click through to the site. Google suggests using feedburner to get this information. It will tell you: how many readers, what are feed tools are they using & all sorts of podcast metrics. Tip: set up your feedburner feed before you start marketing your site because if you do it midstream on a blogspot blog then you'll have to change your feed URL (& readers might not take the time to update their subscription to your feed). Watch the video (jump to 11:32, end 15:38) to learn more.

Optimizing your content
Now this one is just really cool: After you've looked over your analytics & you have a good baseline of how your site is doing you might be ready to test ways to improve your site. What if I put a picture of a person with my product on the page? What if I use certain words? Heck, which layout for your site works the best? The Google Web Site Optimizer will let you set up experiments where people randomly get your page with one thing different on it each time - the data (very nicely laid out in a Google'y way btw) tells you what works the best on that page. This is the killer app made simple for usability design, if you ask me. You would use this when you're trying to improve your visitors experience & reach whatever goal you set (like get to a certain page). Watch the video to learn more.

Thinking about search
There are some things that Google Analytics doesn't do ... check out the Google Webmaster Tools. Find out what mobile devices are accessing to your site, the last time Google crawled your site & a little about Google SEO. Watch the video (jump to 7:50, end 11:32) to learn more.

There are more videos, but they are more geared toward making money so I won't go into them but you can view them all in the Conversion University section of the Google YouTube channel.

The key is that reporting is not analyzing -- don't just report numbers, interpret that data & tell people what it means about how people are using the site. Don't just look at one number, understand as much as possible about what is going on in your site. A single metric will not give you what you need to make quality decisions from your analytics reports.

Friday, October 26, 2007

social media spotlite #3: Jeremy Pepper

On Tuesday in class, we will get a skype visit from San Fransisco-based PR social media thought leader Jeremy Pepper.

His official bio says all kinds of important things like that he is the Director of Communications at The Point; prior to that he was at Weber Shandwick working with clients like Cisco, BEA Systems, General Motors, MasterCard International, Verizon Wireless and VeriSign on social media; he founded POP! Public Relations in Scottsdale, AZ; worked in-house as Public Relations Manager at Ofoto, and at Shandwick International on the Eastman Kodak and Compaq teams; & he has a IPRA Golden Award + 2 PRSA Silver Anvil Awards of Excellence. But here is his the bio from his blog - it's more fun:
Work in PR/Comm/Marcom. Work at a start-up called The Point. Used to work at a large agency and prior had my own PR firm in Arizona, POP! Public Relations. Have lived and worked in Detroit, Scottsdale/Phoenix, Tucson, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and San Francisco Bay Area. Have a dog. He's great.
Check out what his new company, The Point, is doing by creating a single place for activists to pool their petition resources to make the world better.

Updated 10/31: posted the video for Jeremy's skype call.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

California Social Media Podcast

I know Dr. Sweetser has gone over this a little bit, but I found an article I wanted to talk about.

Social media and crisis podcast

Update on PRofessional CONNECTION coverage

Thanks to everyone who has already signed-up to cover a session of PRofessional CONNECTION on Nov. 13. If you hadn't had a chance, take a look at the details.

Dr. Sweetser has been nice enough to set up a Flickr group for us, and the tag for any PRSSA-related photos will be "UGAprssa."

Also, we are officially part of Twitter! I don't think any other chapter of PRSSA is this cool! :) Please "follow" us on Twitter! Once again, we are "UGAprssa."

Kelly will post an update on the blog situation shortly.

Get excited! I am!

FB pitching gone bad

Hurt as it might, Todd Defren points out what not to do in a pitch by looking at one from his own company - this is a good, quick learning guide for pitching in general (not just within Facebook).

Many posit if you can't say it in 5 seconds, you can't sell it. Keep that in mind when constructing pitches - for any medium.

Here are some other great resources for pitch construction:
Take away: Study up before you engage so you don't get hit with the pitch.

Image by Claire Laurence from Wildcat online article.

crisis readings for 11/1

Sadly, we have another real case study to examine as we look at how social media can be used in a crisis as the California wildfires rage on in SoCal.

Please read the following to prepare for class on 11/1:
The Voce link is more of a resource - click around & see for yourself how Flickr, Twitter et al are being used.

org adoption readings for 10/30

Thanks to Edelman, you already have the hardcopy version of the "Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability in the Blogosphere" booklet they did with First&42nd. (Thanks Edelman).

Additionally, please read "Blog bias: Reports, inferences, and judgments of credentialed bloggers at the 2004 nominating conventions�," which is an academic journal article in press.

See you after fall break!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

We Are Your Solution

Here we are class, we are the answer to the growing fear that the new breed of PR practitioners will not be ready for the constantly changing PR industry.

The PR Squared blog has placed our plight on its "Best of PR Squared" list. We, as PR undergraduates, are one of the most talked about concerns for the industry. In this post from the PR Squared blog in April of 2006 Todd Defren asks this question:
Wouldn't it be great if new PR graduates were on the cutting edge of technology innovations impacting the mediasphere?---Colleges are supposed to be the training ground for our future leaders in all fields; the place where the cutting-edge is honed... so why do most college comms programs focus on press releases (dying!?)and PR plans? When was the last time anyone asked a new college grad to draft a strategic PR plan, anyway? I'd rather that THEY are to equipped to teach ME about cool new ideas like, how Search Engine Optimization, wikis and RSS might impact the PR realm.

I think that this class in particular, Social Media: ADPR 5990, is the answer to this question. I have been in this class since August and I have learned more in the last three months than I have in the past couple years. Seriously, I never thought that I would be blogging, twittering and podcasting all at the same time. This is great!

There are many other great questions that Todd Defren asks on this post. He talks about how PR people interact with journalists and how undergraduate PR majors should be interacting with journalism majors. This rings a serious bell for me, since I am taking a News Writing and Reporting class with about 50 journalism majors. I can actually see how they work and what they look for!

So cheers to you class and cheers to the Grady College here at UGA for being ahead of the game in today's fast pace PR world.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

PRofessional CONNECTION 2007: "Because the world is always ON"

Thank you, in advance, for covering the sessions. I'm so excited about this!

Just a warning that this is still a working schedule. Not everything has been finalized. We still need to come up with some creative session names!

Like Dr. Sweetser said, please sign-up for the sessions you plan to cover in the "comments."

Yea for PRofessional CONNECTION! :)

Sponsored by Porter Novelli and PRSSA
Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2007 – 1:30-6:00 p.m.
UGA Journalism Building

1:30 p.m.
Registration (Drewry Room)

Do's and Dont's of Dealing with the Media (room 403)
Faith Peppers

To Go or Not to Go: Is Grad School Right for You?
(room 404)
Sarah McLean Cannon

Be an Entrepreneur
(room 406)
Chuck Reece

Music PR
(room 407)
Michelle Roche and Scott Siman

Meet and Greet the professionals & Resume and Portfolio Critiques (Drewry Room)
Kim Englehardt, Sherry Heyl, Nicole Hunnicutt, Jessica Laiti and Blair Logan

Break (During all breaks, refreshments will be provided in the Drewry Room.)

Professionalism 101 Round table (room 403)
Jessica Laiti, Blair Logan, Molly McFerran and Michelle Roche

Consequences of Technology on PR
Round table (room 404)
Sherry Heyl, Kelly Hoag and Sarah McLean Cannon

Agency vs. Corporate vs. Nonprofit
Round table (room 406)
Kim Englehardt, Nicole Hunnicutt, Chuck Reece and Scott Siman

Meet and Greet the professionals & Resume and Portfolio Critiques (Drewry Room)
Faith Peppers and Nikki Kay


Bridging Media with New Media (room 403)
Sherry Heyl

Preparing for the Interview
(room 404)
Blair Logan

Corporate Communications
(room 406)
Alyce Sarno and Jill Krugman

True Life: Your First Six Months Out of College
(room 407)
Kelly Hoag, Nikki Kay and Molly McFerran

Meet and Greet the professionals & Resume and Portfolio Critiques (Drewry Room)
Kim Englehardt, Nicole Hunnicutt, Jessica Laiti, Chuck Reece and Michelle Roche


Hors d’ouevres Reception

Dean Cully Clark

Dr. Karen King, ADPR Head

Porter Novelli

Special Presentation
Dr. Betty Jones, PRSSA faculty advisor

Kim Englehardt, PRSSA professional advisor

Monday, October 22, 2007

social media spotlite #2: Erin Caldwell

This week in class we are lucky enough to have Erin Caldwell in the spotlite. She's going to talk about her journey from social media student to online advocacy account exec with Edelman in D.C.
Erin Caldwell, the founder and managing editor of Forward, graduated Cum Laude from Auburn University in May 2006 with a degree in public relations and an emphasis in marketing.
While Erin was an undergrad at Auburn, she started the student-centered collaborative blog, Forward, which dishes out advice on internships, getting your first job & how lots of great podcasts.

Update 10/29: audio from skype call is now available.

The launch of MySpace's first 'original' series

Maybe MySpace is realizing it needs to being evolving with the times and add a little something extra. reported this morning that the social network site is creating a new show "Roomates." MySpace has hosted clips from television before, but this is the first time it has created original content and been the sole distributor.

According to Forbes, "A peek at 'Roommates' looks like a video version of much of what already goes on inside MySpace: Girls dance around in their bikinis, flash their lacey under things and shake their barely covered bums at the camera."

Because of the extremely high numbers of hits MySpace receives, advertising space is a hot item. If the series does as well as predicted, ads could generate a great deal more than television ads. Ford is taking advantage of this unique advertising opportunity and is a major sponsor; one of the characters will buy a new Ford car that boasts a great deal of new technological features.

While I question the uniqueness of this show and wonder if this content truly is "original," I do think it is great that all four of the women on the show will be social media savvy -- each woman will have a MySpace account as well as a personal blog. Interactivity with characters is encouraged, and viewers can influence the outcome of the show by commenting and voting.

So, are original Internet programs the next big thing? Maybe -- but I don't think the women of "Roommates" will be the next Meridith, Christina Izzy and Callie. To me there always will be something relaxing about sprawling in front of the T.V. to unwind, and sitting in my desk chair staring at my computer screen just is not the same.

Visit to view the trailer.

Photos from

Sunday, October 21, 2007

10 Questions - a solution to the YouTube debate

While scanning through Wired Magazine today, I noticed a story titled "Web 2.0 Project Taps 'Wisdom of the Crowd' to Probe Presidential Contenders" and thought it may be of interest for our social media class.

Lately we've been talking about the use of social media tools such as Facebook, MySpace and personal blogs by presidential candidates. We also spent some time discussing the YouTube debate and how much of a failure this was because the candidates couldn't or rather wouldn't take the questions seriously.

This was not only a failure for the candidates but also for the American voters. The candidates blew an awesome opportunity to show that they really care about America's citizens and the voters still didn't get the questions they were really concerned about answered.

This is attempt number two. Since the first one was such a failure and there was so much controversy about how the videos were chosen, a new effort called 10 questions was launched Wednesday.

The way this works is very similar to the original YouTube debate. People can submit videos of themselves asking their questions but instead of someone going through the questions and choosing which ones would be best for the candidate to answer, people can go to the 10 Questions Website and vote to move the video up or down a list in a kind of Digg-like tool. The top ten videos will be presented to each candidate completely unedited. The Website also offers its feedback on whether the candidate actually answered the question asked.

Here is the top video as of Sunday evening:

If you were to submit a video what would you ask and how would you present yourself. A big problem with the first debate was that people's use of creativity, as we saw in class with the snowman question, seemed to turn the candidates off to actually answering the question. Do you think it's ok to be a little creative to get your question across or do you think a serious answer deserves a serious question?

social media 101

Sure - you're in a social media class so who needs a "social media 101"? Well, there are a lot of little things we are not experiencing in class -- so here's a little do-it-yourself learning thanks to Christie Goodman, APR.

On the PRSA conference blog, she dishes out short lessons in learning about social media tools one step at a time from your desk.