Friday Wrap #9: Press release plagiarism, hotels and WiFi, Nike fights for promoted tweets2012-07-13
(c) Can Stock PhotoMy weekly recap of some of the stories I found intriguing while perusing my feeds during the last seven days.
Recruiters using social media, but Facebook monitoring could backfire
Only 8% of U.S. companies aren’t using social media to acquire new talent this year. (These are likely the same companies that block employee online access and maintain a healthy supply of carbon paper for all the typewriters used by the ladies in the secretarial pool.) LinkedIn is the most used network for social recruiting, according to the Jobvite report, thought Facebook and Twitter are catching up. The ZDNet write-up notes that two-thirds of Human resources departments are looking at Facebook to find talent; more than half use Twitter.
Seventy-three percent of emploeyrs have successfully hired a candidate identified via social media, up from 63% last year and 58% in 2010.
Sadly, though, three out of four hiring managers and recruiters continue to check candidates’s ocial profiles, and almost half say they always do so. ZDNet’s Rachel King writes, “While content of a sexual nature and/or involving illegal drugs was overwhelming frowned upon, surprisingly more HR reps were more upset over grammar or spelling mistakes rather than drinking.”
New research from North carolina State University found that companies screening employees on Facebook makes them less appealing—not only to candidates, but also to their existing employees. Put another way, poking into candidates’ Facebook profiles isn’t the way to earn a spot on that coveted Best Places to Work list.
In the study, 175 students applied for a temporary ob that didn’t actually exist, and were told afterwads that the company had dug into their Facebook pages. The results? Those students were less likely to take a job if it was offered. They felt their privacy had been invaded; they also perceived the company as less fair and trustworthy and candidates questioned their treatment of employees. “You assume the applicants that organizations end up choosing are more conscientious, but not studies show that these individuals are any better,” according to Will Stoughton, one of the study’s authors, quoted in a Mashable post.
Consumers are influenced by the brands friends and family follow
The value of someone liking your brand’s Facebook page is frequently called into question. There are those (myself among them) who consider a like to be table stakes. You can’t get a consumer to engage and interact with your content from their own newsfeed without that like. But it turns out there may be more value to just getting someone to follow your brand on Facebook or Twitter than you thought. Twenty-two percent of Internet users worldwide said they would buy a brand that a friend liked or followed on a social network, according to an Ipsos OTX and Ipsos Global @dvisor study reported by eMarketer; that number drops to 18% in the U.S. and 13% in Canada. These may seem like low numbers, but when you consider direct mail marketers have victory parties when they hit a 2% response rate, 18% can represent a boatload of money. What’s more, younger buyers are even more likely to spend on a brand because a friend endorsed it socially, as would nearly as many users beetween 35 and 49.
Another study, this one from Burst Media, offeers another important finding given the conventional wisdom that people follow brands for coupons, sales and discounts. The main reason people follow brands? To keep up with their latest content. If you haven’t jumped on the content marketing bandwagon, maybe that number will help get you off the fence.
Most are okay with quality of free WiFi. The C-Suite? Not so much
Go to a lower priced hotel—a Fairfield, Hampton Inn, or the like—and odds are the WiFi in your room is free. The pricier the hotel, the more likely you’ll have to fork over $10 or $12 to get connected unless you take your laptop or tablet to the lobby. According to 1,320 readers who voted in a USA Today poll, the free WiFi’s okay but they’re willing to pay for premium bandwidth. Still, 66% said their fine with the free WiFi, even if 18% agreed that it’s slow. When you get to the C-Suite, however, fast, reliable Internet access is the most important thing they want from a hotel stay (after a decent night’s sleep). Fast access beat out courteous service, bottled water, express check-out, coffee and a coffee maker in the room and an accurate wake-up call. Hotel Interactive’s conclusion: “(Executives’) requirements should be easily manageable by all properties. It also appears that Internet connectivity (both price as well as service speed) continues to be a pet peeve.
As the USA Today article noted, hotel Net expenses are rising as guests use WiFi to stream Netflix on their tablets and Spotify on their phones. But if reliable, fast access is the top requirement for those inclined to spend the most on a hotel, does it make sense for any hotel chain to drive these guests to the competition?
Nike isn’t taking U.K. ban on its promoted tweets sitting down
Last month, the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority used its power for the first time ever to ban a Nike Twitter campaign. Now, Nike is fighting back, asking for an independent review. The campaign involved a couple British soccer stars tweeting as part of Nike’s “Make it count” campaign, including a hashtag and a link. Nike paid to promote the tweeets, but the ASA pulled the plug on the program because the tweets weren’t adequately labeled as advertising. AdAge reports that a Nike spokesman said, “We do not believe that Twitter followers were misled because it was clear that the messages were connected to Nike’s ‘Make it count’ message. We, and many others, welcome the ASA’s evolving guidance on the use of Twitter in marketing.” A decision is now in the hands of Hayden Phillips, the ASA’s independent review,, even though the final decision remains with the same group that issued the original ruling.
Klout adding “real-world influence” to its algorithm
Get your pitchforks and torches out. Klout’s changing its algorithm again. According to co-founder and CEO Joe Fernandez, the change will monitor users’ reach by measuring their offline influence as well as the online influence the service already measures. He didn’t have much to say about how Klout will measure your IRL influence when he spoke at LeWeb London ‘12, according to The Next Web.
You may remember the last time Klout changed its algorithm, resulting in lower scores for most people. The backlash resonated across the social space for hours.
Is it plagiarism for a reporter to use a press release?
We in the PR field sweat bullets over crafting the perfect press release, one that will not only inspire a publisher to use it but even use the pitch-perfect prose we spent hours wordsmithing. If the result is good enough for a reporter to use, should his publisher fire him for it? That’s what happened to Steve Penn, who was cut loose from the Kansas City Star a year ago for cutting-and-pasting copy from press releases into his columns. He had done so at least a dozen times over the previous three years, the paper said. The Star cited plagiarism when they sent him packing. Now, Penn—who had worked at the paper for 31 years—says in his complaint that ““the widespread practice in journalism is to treat such releases as having been voluntarily released by their authors into the flow of news with the intention that the release will be reprinted or republished, and preferably with no or minimal editing.”
The newspaper had always permitted the practice and failed to communicate it clearly when they changed the rules, Penn says. According to Poynter Institute coverage, he’s calling the charge of plagiarism defamation, causing damage to his reputation and standing as a professional. It appears the Star has removed its original article about Penn’s firing from its site.
I don’t know about you, but if I see wholesale parts of a press release I wrote appearing in an article, I break out the confetti. It’s not plagiarism if a reporter finds my release accurate and well-written enough to incorporate into his reporting on the topic of the release. That’s a PR job well done.
What HTML5 means to marketers
For a marketer to pay attention to the nuts and bolts of a World Wide Web Consortium standard that isn’t even final yet is like an airline passenger studying the details of how the engine of an airplane still in the design stage works. But bits and pieces of HTML5 are appearing everywhere and knowing what it means to marketing efforts is as important as knowing how to start a cold call. An infoposter from Uberflip—published by Co.Create—covers some of the fundamentals. Among them:
- 48% of developers are already using HTML5 and 49% of U.S. mobile users prefer to use an HTML5 browser over native apps.
- The key benefits include its cross-platform adaptability and accessibility
- HTML5’s main features are rich media, camera access, geolocation and app-like behaviors
- By 2015, 80% of all mobile apps will be wholly or partially based on HTML5.
Most marketers can code in HTML, but HTML5 is a more than just a modest update; it’s a reimaging of what can happen on the browser level without resorting to plugins like Flash. The time to familiarize yourself with it isn’t after it has become the standard. Get up to speed now.