Public Relations Tactics

PR Blotter: September 2017

September 5, 2017


News outlets like Mashable, MTV News and Fox Sports have recently shaken up their editorial departments by prioritizing video content to reach younger audiences and generate more ad revenue. However, a successful YouTube producer, in an anonymous interview with Digiday, claims that this revenue model isn’t as simple as these outlets may think.

“If you’re going to invest in video, you have to understand that this is a long ROI game,” he said. “Videos take longer [than articles]. Between preproduction, production, editing, one of our daily YouTube videos can take days to make.”

He also suggests that emphasizing videos over articles can make creative or journalistic content seem indecipherable from promotional material. “You can have a marketer who says they want to work with publishers to create great content,” he said. “Then, that goes up the chain of command, and someone in finance or management questions why they’re doing it. By the time it comes back down, it looks like an ad.”

According to business intelligence firm L2, brands are uploading content to Instagram Stories more than twice as often as they are to Snapchat. In July, the firm tracked 89 brands that hold both Instagram and Snapchat accounts, and calculated that marketers posted 1,347 Instagram Stories compared to 614 Snapchat Stories.

Brand diversity is more prominent with Instagram, too — 38 percent of brands posting to the platform were beauty and hair-care companies, while retailers generated 26 percent and luxury goods marketers produced 21 percent. In contrast, a strong majority (72 percent) of Snapchat’s marketing content came from beauty and hair vendors.

Though known for their unflappability, investors apparently react positively when executives use personal pronouns such as “I,” “we,” “my,” “ours” and “us” on earnings calls, regardless of a company’s results,a study from Tulane University found. Serena Loftus, co-author of the study, chalks this up to the power of “self-inclusive language” in creating the impression of control — making investors more confident in the executive’s abilities.

Mobile advertising revenue continued its rapid growth in 2016, increasing from about $32 billion in 2015 to nearly $47 billion, according to the Pew Research Center.

A recent poll of 2,201 U.S. adults from Morning Consult found that Americans consume their news most often on Facebook. Forty-two percent of survey respondents said they look at Facebook for current events “several times a day” — while just 20 percent go straight to news sites like CNN and Fox News as often. Fifteen percent of respondents read Google News and 12 percent check Twitter “several times a day.”

According to RAND Corporation’s American Working Conditions Survey, half of Americans report exposure to unpleasant and potentially hazardous working conditions, and nearly one-in-five American workers are exposed to a hostile or threatening social environment at the office. On a more positive note, though, four out of five American employees report that their job met at least one definition of “meaningful” always or most of the time.

Investment banking firm Cowen and Co. predicts that Amazon Prime, which includes Prime Now, Prime Music, Prime Video and Prime Pantry, will be in more than 50 percent of American homes before the year is over.

However, Amazon still has ground to cover with low-income households — while Prime is used by 70 percent of homes earning more than $150,000, the service can only be found in 36 percent of homes that make less than $25,000. 


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