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September 13, 2010


Adriana Gallegos

I just finished a masters in PR/Communication and we has to read your book, "Measuring Public Relationships." I use it all the time and others love it as well.
I have included your blog on my blogroll www.adrianagallegos.com

Account Deleted

Very apt post and right on target. I completely agree that organizations need to spend more time with social media. Though it’s important to understand the behaviour of social users in India and China, the two emerging economies where the Internet penetration in low but has huge potential. Their urban population to large extent has very similar social behaviour like their western counterparts but the rural and semi urban population is still very dependent on the mainstream media (read electronic, radio and print). Mobile penetration is much deeper than internet penetration, mobile phones are the only personal communications device for most people and 3G-driven mobile web is still a farfetched dream. What do you think brands marketers trying to use social media to engage with consumers in these countries should focus on as measurement metrics?


David, now you're the one being too general. To our clients, just because something is "social media " doesn't mean it doesn't have staff and editors or isn't vetted or important to the audience. In fact, we always separate out online news sources, (as in NYtimes.com) from not just the general category of social media, but specifically blogs, Youtube, Twitter etc. And in fact, we also carefully segment out those that are most influential within the specific market or audience our clients are targeting.

David Geddes

Katie -- If I am interested in getting to people through the news, I still want to be well-represented where people are seeking their news.

I would sharpen your analysis by separating online news, which is generated by traditional-style news organizations and publications that employ staff and freelance writers, and social media, which is produced by anyone and everyone. The dynamics of the two are not necessarily the same, and the PR, media relations, and blogger relations strategies required are distinct.

Did you mislead in your citation of statistics? It is a bit slippery (far from the extremes practiced by a certain political parties, but you and I agree agree on that :-). Well, the first study you references is from Pew. Then slide into statistics that comes from your own data, without clear specification of the change.

I look forward to your presentations at the IPR Summit on Measurement. I'll be in the audience supporting your exhortations.



David, you're confusing the data sources. I put a link to the Pew study because that's what triggered my blog post and never actually cited any Pew statistics. But the actual data I cite, with the percentage of traditional vs on-line/social media is from my own client studies. I live this reality every day, and for many of them the reality is that only a very small percentage of their coverage comes from what they perceive is "traditional" media. So where would YOU have them focus their attention. On the one or two opportunties a year that occur in those traditonal sources, or in those media that their customers are reading?

David Geddes

Katie – While I agree wholeheartedly that organizations need to spend more time with social media (my work in fact, my work is heavily focused on social media, as is yours), you are abusing the statistics in your comments.

What does the Pew report say?
• About one third of Americans went online for news yesterday (34%)
• “Instead of replacing traditional news platforms, Americans are increasingly integrating new technologies into their news consumption habits.”
• “Only 9% of Americans got news through the internet and mobile technology without also using traditional sources.”
• Americans spent on average 70 minutes a day with news. Of that, 32 minutes (46%) was with traditional television news, 15 minutes (21%) on radion news, 10 minutes (14%) with traditional print news, and 13 minutes (19% and growing) on online news. ==> In other words, they spend 81% of their news-seeking time with traditional sources and 19% with online news.
• Americans are spending more total time with the news than before, and this is the result of digital platforms.

It is logical that 81% of company mentions occur in online and social sources because there are so many more online news and social media sources.

It is hard to conclude from the above that companies and organizations can ignore traditional media. Your comment would not pass a Politifact-style test.

So, yes, we should encourage our clients to devote attention to online news and social media. But please select the right facts to support your assertion.


Fabulous post and right on target. 20+ years in PR and this trend is the strongest shift in delivery I've seen. Twitter is truly the new press release

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