Posts for News Tracking
I've heard this phrase many times, and each time it strikes me as a riddle. Is there more to this question than the words convey? When it comes to your name, personally, the words of your name tend to take on the personality of the man or woman behind the name, not the other way around. Similarly, the name of a company or service says much about what they do...or at least it should.
At Utah News Clips we've been providing broadcast monitoring services for almost 30 years. However, since May of 2009 we have become a complete news monitoring and media analysis service. In the first 26 years we provided just what our name implied, broadcast news clips from the Utah area only. After purchasing the company in 2009, I added in the full scope of print, web, and social media monitoring to compliment our comprehensive TV/Radio monitoring. Additionally, we are now a leading provider of media measurement and analysis services.
Beyond what we do, news monitoring and analysis, our region and client base has also expanded. No longer limited to primarily the Utah region for clients, we are now serving clients across the country. What this all means is that Utah News Clips has quickly transformed into a service that can provide all the services clients need in Utah and beyond. For this reason you will begin seeing some new names coming from us. First and foremost we have brought on Chad Carpenter to power our sales and client relations effort. Chad has extensive experience in demonstrating the value of a service, which we believe will help bring our solutions to a wider range of clients. Secondly, over the next several months you will see a gradual transformation on how our brand reflects our services.
Like our primary competitors, Cision and Critical Mention, our branding and marketing will begin to better reflect the true personality of our company. We will always be a Utah company, headquartered in Salt Lake City, and staffed with Utah residents, but more information from us will reflect our expanded services and region. Again, we are still the only company with a full staff on the ground in Utah, ready to serve any need, but we need to get the word out that there is more to us than just Utah news clips. Your help in spreading that word is certainly welcomed.
Yes, we have many #newtools, but the #samerules of service apply now as much as ever. Our Core Values are:
-Deliver consistent Quality
-Surpass Client Expectations
-Honest & Direct Communication
-Maximize each team member’s strengths
I believe that it is our attention to the above values that have so strongly driven our growth in the past two years and I look forward to a very long relationship with all of our clients. Please leave a comment if you have any suggestions or feedback on what service means to your brand. We're also interested in all feedback as we begin the process of re-branding Utah News Clips.
Interestingly, this blog post started out as an experiment to find out how engaging location-based mobile platforms truly are. Many people won't deny that they've either not heard of Foursquare, or have heard of it and asked, "But why?" Like all #newtools in the social media world, or any new tool for that matter, adoption only occurs if the question of "Why?" can be answered. Why participate in Foursquare? Why would I want to take the time, effort, or bother checking in as I travel about my day?
I've tested/played/worked Foursquare for about six months now, and my basic summation is that Foursquare does not suck. I know I've only scratched the surface of what circumstances and environments are right for location based social tools like this, but here's what I can share.
First, Foursquare seems to work best when your community, or your friends, operate on a level playing field. If for example you spend most of your days at a desk in an office, but the rest of your friends or family are mobile and moving throughout the greater environment, you will never score well. You may become Mayor of your office, or even your cubicle, but you'll never have the points you get from checking in and a variety of places. Besides, there's just not enough engagement in this scenario to make it worthwhile if you don't go anywhere.
Second, Foursquare is awesome for close groups of friends or families. When you mix the game theory with the ability to comment and post pictures, your result is a somewhat competitive platform that engages the group. I enlisted my family (2 kids, a wife, plus me). We now scramble to check-in from our smartphones, or iPOD Touch in the case of my daughter, to see who can maximize their points. You soon learn the strategy to maybe be the second person to check in and garner those additional points because your "BFF" is there. I know, kind of corny, but so is Karaoke and that's hugely popular.
Finally, Foursquare is great for business to consumer location based check-in and event check-in. Restaurants, soccer fields, movie theaters, grocery stores, office buildings, concerts are all among places you can check in. If you don't see it, add it based on the GPS location of the space you want to add. There are obvious marketing benefits to what you add and how you name it, not to mention the tips you might post...or hopefully your visitors post. Offering discounts and consumer generated recommendations are very good reasons to try Foursquare, but probably not compelling enough to be the only reason to try it.
Where I think Foursquare fails, simply because of the model and not their platform, is that it offers very little in the way of business to business engagement. I have a hard time applying the location-based game platform to a B2B model, but maybe someone can suggest ideas and leave them in the comments below. Still, at a simple level, it has provided an engaging platform that my whole family can participate in no matter where we are. I even enabled my Android phone as a 3G mobile hot spot with Verizon so my 10 year old daughter can play when there's not wi-fi in the wild for her.
Ultimately, many find a "who cares" factor kicks in after using Foursquare. Of those informally polled, about 50% said they were no longer checking in. I also believe that the over saturation of "daily deals" makes the deals provided by Foursquare less compelling. For me, I enjoy it. When visiting a new city it is nice to push for a all time high score as you visit new points.
With Groupon and LivingSocial the behemoths in the geospecific advertising world, and more niche deal sources coming on line every day, are we getting too much of a good thing? Utah News Clips helps track and analyze advertizing and news. The question of ROI, especially in the social media realm, is always foremost on the minds of our subscribers.
As a guest blogger for The Daily Cowbell I explored the problem of daily deal overload. My opinion on the matter likens the situation to that of news saturation. To much information makes it difficult for the consumer to to discern between the options, and therefore they tune out. News or discounts, over-amplification of "the message" creates noise...much like when you turn your sound system up to 11.
Visit the Daily Cowbell and tell me what you think. Too many deals, not enough, or just right?
Next topic: Foursquare for the Family-increasing utilization by involving the whole gang.
The conference season has been in full swing over the past 30 days, as if it ever really slows down, and we have three great reasons you should make conference attendance a regular part of your business and new media education.
First, if you at all have a passion for your job or what you are pursuing, then continuing education must be a part of that path you follow to success. Nearly every industry, and variation within industries, has some form of a meeting where you can learn new tricks, rub elbows with peers, and hear from experts in your field. My news monitoring and media analysis industry has no less than five opportunities per year. I can attend PRSA, IABC, NDS, and even Rotary conferences...and many others. All of these opportunities allow you to further yourself in your position. Whether CEO or intern, gaining new perspectives is an essential part of fully realizing your potential. Here are a few resources I use to find helpful conferences in my areas of interest.
http://www.bigomaha.com/ (don’t let the name fool you, this may be the most important conference you ever attend)
Second, if your success depends on your own creativity, then attending industry meetings and conferences allows you to get outside of your own head. At Universal Information Services my primary role is to envision, create, and deploy new services for our clients. I have implemented all of Universal’s TV and Radio monitoring, media analysis, and web monitoring services…but only through the insight I’ve gained from my pears throughout the industry. Developing services in a vacuum can be a dangerous path to believing all that you dream up is of great value to others. Interacting with competitive and cooperative peers exposes you to ideas that help keep your own mind in check and accelerates your own development.
Third, the ability to connect the dots may be the greatest benefit to attending conferences. I refer to connecting the dots as the ability to hear new ideas at meetings and conferences, but hearing them in a way that connects with a seemingly unrelated concept you may have rattling around in your head. This is critical to innovation. I use The Action Method, developed by Scott Belsky’s mind at Behance, to help me manage my ideas and visions This should be mandatory training for anyone with a creative thought.
Leave your comments on what conferences you have found the most beneficial. I’m always looking for better ways to get outside my head and connect the dots. Many of these fun ideas are found in our new site.
Next post: Number 1 Reason to Skip A Conference
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Total News Tracking has created this blog to illuminate ideas related to the intersection of communication fundamentals and new channels of information distribution. Our media analysis and position as a news monitoring service has led us to the conclusion that the fundamental rules of public relations communications has not changed, only the tools we have at our disposal are new (#TheNewsTracks).