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Yahoo Taps Ramakrishnan As Social Search Research Head
Yahoo has taken yet another major step to show how serious they are about their commitment to Social Search with the naming of academic database expert Raghu Ramakrishnan to head Yahoo’s research on their human assisted search projects.
Rueters reports that Ramakrishnan, Vice President and Yahoo research fellow in charge of defining the strategy behind Yahoo’s “social search” system, based on his expertise in databases, data-mining and privacy-preserving technologies.
More info from the Yahoo announcement; Ramakrishnan joins Yahoo! from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he served as a professor of computer science and a co-founder of the Data Mining Institute. Ramakrishnan will apply his experience in privacy, data mining and the online community systems he has developed over the course of his career to further ensure the high-quality, safe online experience trusted by hundreds of millions of Yahoo! users.
“We are proud and excited to have someone of Raghu’s academic caliber and entrepreneurial approach to help Yahoo! Research with our commitment to building the new science of the Internet,” said Usama Fayyad, chief data officer and senior vice president. “Raghu joins a rapidly growing assembly of the leading thinkers and scientists in key fields of this new emerging science who have chosen to join Yahoo! to deliver on this ambitious goal and to help build innovative products and services that are essential to consumers’ lives.”
Ramakrishnan co-founded and served as chairman and chief technology officer of QUIQ, a company that pioneered online question-answering communities as well as online collaborative customer support and knowledge management communities for companies like Business Objects, Compaq, and Sun. He is co-author of the widely-read text Database Management Systems (WCB/McGraw-Hill) and has published over 150 research papers throughout his career.
“Yahoo! fosters an open environment for innovation, engaging the top thinkers in data mining, microeconomics and other fields to shape the future of the Web,” said Ramakrishnan. “This is the perfect opportunity to apply my interests and experiences in social search and database management to help people connect to other people and to the information they need, making the Web a natural extension of their everyday communities.”
Ramakrishnan is the chair of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Special Interest Group on Management of Data (SIGMOD) and serves on the boards of the Very Large Data Base (VLDB) Endowment and ACM Special Interest Group on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (SIGKDD). Ramakrishnan is a Fellow of the ACM, and recipient of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation Fellowship in Science and Engineering, a National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award, and an ACM SIGMOD Contributions Award. He is an associate editor of ACM Transactions on Database Systems and was recently editor-in-chief of the Journal of Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery.
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2023 was an exceptional year for Bitcoin. After facing a tumultuous time during the end of the 1st quarter, the largest digital asset performed admirably to end its year on a new all-time high. The asset has continued its rapid growth into 2023 as well, currently valued at just under $38,000. With institutions becoming increasingly involved with the digital asset, Bitcoin is presently undergoing a price discovery similar to 2023. The only difference is that BTC is in a much better position in 2023 in terms of interest, on-chain fundamentals, and market sentiment.
With respect to Bitcoin’s future in 2023, Ben Caselin, Head of Research and Strategy at cryptocurrency exchange AAX, recently presented a research paper titled ‘Bitcoin in 2023’. It is a comprehensive paper categorized into three different sections describing Bitcoin from a perspective of an asset class, investable standpoint and future horizon. Structurally, it is a well-drafted research paper that is palatable to someone who is new to Bitcoin, but also to investors who are seeking to further understand the asset from a valuation perspective.
AMBCrypto recently sat down with Mr. Caselin and discussed various topics from his research paper. We explored various insights with respect to Bitcoin and its future in the larger financial landscape.
Good evening Ben! Thank you for your time for this interview. How are you?
Ben- Hello! I am good, nice to meet you. How are you doing?
I am doing good! Alright, let’s start off with one of the facts from your paper. Bitcoin’s first decade of emergence resulted in 9,000,000% ROIs in 10 years but it was widely led by high risk, skepticism, and FUD. What will be the major factors running Bitcoin’s growing valuation for the decade forward?
Ben- Yes, during the first 10-years of Bitcoin, there was a long period of stagnancy with Bitcoin. People knew about cryptocurrency but they were not paying too much attention. However, over the past 3-4 years, after the bull run in 2023, Bitcoin was pushed into this limelight when major publications and financial outlets were covering its price actions. Market analysts were trying to identify its intrinsic value and hence, there was a lot of criticism and FUD as you said. Now, 2023 changed public perception, and Bitcoin has finally completed its decade of emergence in its own right.
In terms of what is ahead, it is fair to state that we might be heading towards a decade of adoption. We have already witnessed Bitcoin being part of important discussions.
If we see Bitcoin being mentioned more and being understood in relation to monetary policies, when we see great political instability, if we see Bitcoin being part of that conversation, then those are signs of adoption. So in this decade of adoption, we should also see regulators open up more to Bitcoin, but we definitely should not be surprised if we also see clashes as well. The decade of adoption is not some smooth, beautiful process. Certain regulations would make it very difficult for exchanges to operate effectively. So, as a part of the Bitcoin community, we will have to deal with these challenges to stake a presence in global finance. Then, as Bitcoin gains force and more institutional investors integrate the asset into their strategies and outlook, then there’s no reason to believe that we can’t find a proper balance.
Well said. Alright, speaking about balance, there is a constant discussion in some Bitcoin communities that BTC should overhaul Fiat U.S dollar as the main mode of currency. While Bitcoin has performed admirably well whenever there has been some socio-economic turmoil, the fall of the US dollar might not happen anytime soon, how do you see Fiat and Bitcoin co-exist together in the future?
Ben- So, you know, this is a very interesting question. I think one way to look at it, is from a generational perspective. If you ask, let’s say someone who is a teenager, they might be very open to this idea and they don’t necessarily think of the wider impact and consequences. However, a veteran economist may find it ridiculous. Now, although maximalists might wish to see Bitcoin overtake the U.S dollar or Fiat, it doesn’t seem to be very realistic at this point in time. There are so many interests tied into the U.S dollar. Hence, if anything, we may see fiat being converted to central bank digital currencies, right? Like, there’s no reason that we cannot move into a kind of digital form of fiat. But central bank digital currencies are a fiat currency.
Bitcoin is more censorship-resistant, decentralized and then there are utility tokens and security tokens. So these, these are very different. Just because they share a similar technological architecture doesn’t mean that they’re the same. And so yes, they can coexist. I think the coming years is more about rebalancing. I think the whole world is rebalancing at the moment. The world is one giant portfolio and it’s re-balancing money, political power, everything. So, I think it’s really interesting to see that Bitcoin was part of the historical transformations we’ve seen in 2023.
Bitcoin’s volatility has been one of the most talked-about characteristics in recent years. In 2023, while the asset underwent strong uncertainty, it maintained lower volatility levels than some of the major stocks. From a purely market perspective, is volatility still important to describe the crux of Bitcoin?
Ben- When we talk about Bitcoin volatility, there are different opinions. Some love it and others like to criticize it. First of all, volatility was not intended to be part of Bitcoin’s identity, but over the past 10 years, or at least five or six years, it’s definitely become part of Bitcoin’s ethos. But at the same time, I think everybody understands that as an asset matures, such high volatility is not realistic. Let’s say if 2% of global wealth was locked in Bitcoin, it would not be possible to think of 30% price swings that would kind of upset everybody. So it’s very logical that over time, some of that volatility should decrease. From a payments perspective, that’s of course great. However, from a store of value perspective people say, it’s so volatile, you cannot store your, well, it depends on how long you want to store it for.
If you want to store it for five years, maybe volatility is really great, giving you plenty of buy-in opportunities. If you want a store your wealth for five minutes, maybe it’s really awful. I think Bitcoin is a great trainer of the mind and people that deal with Bitcoin, there’s a certain effect that it has on you as a person and how you deal with the volatility of life. Now things are changing. Others have come into the market, the institutions have come into the market and some don’t like that, then some do like that, but it’s a reality and it will impact volatility one way or another.
One major comparison following Bitcoin’s rise over the past few years is its similarities with Gold. While traditional economists and market analysts continue to trust Gold as a true inflation hedge, in terms of ROIs, Bitcoin has completely blown Gold out of the water in recent months. How would you define Bitcoin being a better inflation hedge against Gold?
Ben- So, there are two answers for this. One is actually more profound than the other one and lets me start with the other one. The other one is kind of technical and common. It goes that gold as a hedge against inflation and it has been around for thousands of years and it’s scarce. And then people will say Bitcoin is also scarce and it’s easier to keep track of and transact. All of that is fine.
The point is, and this is, I think the more important answer, if we agree that Bitcoin is just a very awesome technology that can offer the same type of scarcity as gold. So let’s just agree on that because it’s not that complex. The reality is it depends on what we agree on because yes, we can say gold is a great hedge. And the reason why it’s a great hedge is not because it’s yellow. It’s not because it’s hard and because you can melt it. And not even because it’s scarce, it’s just because over time, this has become the habit.
Now are in the process of agreeing that Bitcoin is a wonderful store of value and now gold is going to have to share the market. It’s simple, but also profound because it’s quite a big shift. Newer generations prefer Bitcoin now. Gold may carry the weight of history and tradition, but Bitcoin offers a vision for the future.
Liquidity is a key aspect of Bitcoin but according to recent data, it was revealed that 78% of Bitcoin in the current market is illiquid. Does that affect Bitcoin’s long-term affinity as an investable asset?
Ben- Now, it is important to note that the 78% coverage is only counting the coins that are currently in circulation. We know that a whole lot of Bitcoins are already lost and we should stop saying that there are 21 million Bitcoins. The 78% figure is an indication that people have some trust and confidence in the coin and that they want to hold it for the long-term. Investors are taking the asset off-exchange but again it is only a metric. It is a helpful metric to look at but there is nothing more to that and it does not affect Bitcoin’s long-term credentials as an investable asset.
Tomorrow, illiquidity may drop down to 72%, or 64%, or 10%, so these are just numbers, metrics. Additionally, Chainalysis, reported that much of the liquidity now that we see in the market is actually provided by long-term holders that have been holding on to Bitcoin for a long time and are now just selling some of it on the market because you know, why not? And so, that means that it’s also new investors coming into the market. It’s is a continuous cycle.
Alright! Now coming to the last question Ben. Predicting the price direction of Bitcoin is always extremely difficult. The paper suggested that maintaining current momentum would lead Bitcoin to breach $55,000 by end of Q1. Now, we have witnessed some corrections over the past few days, so without putting you on the spot, what kind of price range are you looking for Bitcoin by March 2023?
Ben- Haha, yes. It is very difficult to estimate Bitcoin’s price in the short-term and as you just said, it registered a massive crash recently. We are currently looking at a parabolic rise and we do not know if it is sustainable. So, Bitcoin’s price may depend on different sociological and economic factors. We should not see Bitcoin in seasonal terms like altcoin seasons and crypto winters, although they sound nice, and we should understand instead its position with respect to the state of the world and global markets.
Now, coming to predictions, our paper mentioned a moderate target of $55,000 by March 2023 and I feel it still holds. If support at $36,000 is held, Bitcoin may continue to build on its momentum but again, we continuously need to account for different factors. Over the long-term, we’re very bullish on Bitcoin, but Bitcoin is no stranger to 25% drops, and when we’re at $40,000 price levels, those spikes can be intimidating. Let’s see how everything pans out in 2023. Lots of things to worry about, but I don’t think Bitcoin is one of them.
For more information on the AAX exchange, please visit their official website.
Yahoo My Web Personalized Search Experience
Yahoo announced that they are taking My Yahoo Search (or personal search) to the 360th degree today with the launch of Yahoo ‘My Web’ – a beefed up personalized web offering which offers RSS syndication, saved search, and integration into the normal Yahoo Search and Toolbar offerings (this is BIG). The announcement was made on the YSearchBlog this evening by Kevin Akira Lee, Senior Product Manager of Yahoo! Search.
Today, we launched a ‘My Web’, a new personal search engine fully integrated with Yahoo! Search. My Web is based on a very simple principle – a search engine should enable you to define and use the information that’s important to you. Specifically, My Web enables you to find the information relevant to you, save it, share it, add your own notes to it, and easily find it again, whether it’s three days or three months later.
The idea is a simple one – we provide a “Save” button on our search results, on the Yahoo! Toolbar (for both IE and Firefox), and, in the future, anywhere you might find useful info on the Web. When you hit the “Save” button, My Web grabs that page and makes a cached copy which is fully searchable. Anytime you need that page, all you need to do is search My Web. You can publish your My Web links via RSS and, of course, there’s an API for My Web published on YSDN.
By the way, there is no direct link to Yahoo ‘My Web’. Why? Like I said (and this is BIG) it is directly integrated into Yahoo Search! What was that Google personalized search thing that everyone was talking about a couple of days ago? I forgot… Maybe I’ll check Yahoo My Web and try to remember.
The main difference between Yahoo and Google’s personalized searches is that more Yahoo users are “logged in” as they search and Google still has some space ahead of them when it comes to securing more registered users. Basically, Yahoo Search is able to deliver a valuable personal search experience to users by leveraging direct relationships with nearly 176 million active registered users per month. Yahoo users are more apt to be logged in due to the popularity of Yahoo’s Fantasy Sports, Yahoo Messenger, Yahoo Mail and other long term Yahoo offerings.
Our compilation of the latest social media statistics of consumer adoption and usage of social networking platforms
Social networks have transformed marketing and, as this post shows, their popularity is still growing in our latest global social media statistics research summary for 2023.
Networks vary in popularity with different demographics and they’re still evolving. Research by Global WebIndex that we reference in this article shows that globally,
60% of the world’s population uses social media. The average daily usage is 2 hours and 24 minutes (April 2023).
We’ll keep this post updated during 2023 as the latest statistics are published drawing on our recommended top 10 digital marketing statistics sources. We’ll be pointing to new data on the popularity of social media from Global Web Index (worldwide), Pew Internet Surveys (US) and OfCom (UK), and most recently the Datareportal April 2023 global overview.
This post will apply the latest reports to our answers in 7 key areas crucial to understanding consumer use of social networks:
Q1. What is the overall popularity of social media compared to internet use globally?
Q2. Which are the most popular social networks by demographics (age and gender)?
Q3. Which are the fastest-growing social networks?
Q4. How do social users interact with brands when selecting products and services?
Q5. What are the different engagement metrics based on consumer behavior when using social media?
Q6. How do consumers interact with different post formats in social media?
Q7. What are the most popular times for consumers to use social media suggesting the best times to post?
Now more than ever, marketers need to make smart decisions when planning their digital distribution channels. So reviewing the latest social media diffusion and usage stats is a crucial part of any company’s digital marketing strategy.
Q1. What is the overall popularity of social media compared to internet use globally?
Datareportal regularly updates its global compendium of social media statistics, which we recommend as it gives some great insights into the world of social media. It’s a great download for including slides for your presentations. Note that their data is compiled from other sources of which the Global Web Index panel is the best source, although only available to paid subscribers. If you’re researching social network adoption, it’s worth checking out GWI’s top 10 2023 social media statistics and their free annual report of social media trends.How many people use social media?
According to the Datareportal April 2023 global overview, we can see that social media growth has continued to increase:
half of the world now uses social media (60%)
4.80 billion people around the world now use social media, 150 million new users have come online within the last 12 months
The average daily time spent using social media is 2h 24m.
The full report from Datareportal contains a huge amount of insight collated from different data providers across 200+ slides. It provides country-specific data for the vast majority of the world, so you might want to check out the slides of the countries in your core markets to get a better idea of the current state of social in the areas you operate. In this post, we focus on the social media data which starts at slide 160 in the report.
This chart, by Datareportal, summarises the importance and growth of social media today.Q2. Which are the most popular social networks by demographics (age and gender)?
The best source for getting stats on the biggest social media platforms is direct from company statements and earning announcements.
Notably, of the top 4 social media platforms, 3 are owned by Meta. Facebook is the most-used platform in total – but as marketers, we know it’s crucial to consider different trends of usage for different demographics, as we’ll see below.
The rapid growth we’ve seen from TikTok shows no sign of slowing. TikTok had 1.4 billion monthly active users in 2023 and is expected to reach 1.8 billion by the end of 2023.
So, what does this mean for your social media marketing strategy?
Our RACE Framework has a data-driven structure that marketers can use to plan their own strategies.
Free digital marketing plan template
Our popular marketing planning template is structured across the Smart Insights RACE Framework. Join Smart Insights as a Free Member to download our digital marketing plan template today
Access the Free digital marketing plan templateGlobal Facebook demographics
Since it is still the top dog, I’ll share the Facebook demographics from Sprout Social Media’s report. But you can get this breakdown for each channel and more in the report.
As we can see, from the Facebook data, the biggest demographic on Facebook is males aged 25-34. For females also this age range represents the largest user pool.
United States Social network popularity
The Pew Research Center news usage research is a very strong recent source showing US social media statistics trends in usage for news. Interestingly, nearly half of those surveyed used social media to get news often or sometimes.
More interestingly, the stats breakdown below shows which social media channels are used by which genders, ages, education level, race, and political affiliations. For example, Facebook is a regular source of news to nearly double the amount of women to men. Nearly two thirds of Snapchat’s regular news consumers are aged 18-29.Q3. Which are the fast-growing social networks?
Every marketer has limited time for social media marketing, so which fastest-growing social network should you focus your efforts on?
HubSpot has a good summary of these based on its own consumer survey – see Fastest growing US social platforms 2023 which features less well known, but growing social networks such as BeReal and Twitch.A summary of global social media growth
The number of social media users globally grew from 4.62 billion in January 2023 to 4.72 billion in January 2023. This accounts for a 3% growth of +137 million users YOY. With more growth predicted over the rest of the year.
As of April, the number of total users are still going up, but the average time on the internet has slightly decreased, as we’ll see.Social media vs internet users: opportunities for growth
This chart shows the total number of Internet users as of April 2023. Whilst 64.6% of the world’s population are internet users, 5% of those are still not active social media users.
Social media platforms today are evolving and developing to meet an ever-wider variety of consumer wants and needs. Surely the value that social media usage can add to consumers’ lives is more evident than ever before – social media marketers can tap into that.
2023 analysis of regional use of social media shows the wide variation of social media penetration:
72% in Eastern Asia
74% in North America
72% in Southern America
84% in both Northern and Western Europe.
This falls to 41% in Southern Asia, 13% in Western Africa, and 7% in Middle Africa.
As you can see, the makeup of our international social media users is varied. This useful infographic demonstrates the share of global social media users – with Eastern Asia representing 27.7% of global social media users.Q4. How do social users interact with brands when selecting products and services?
One of the challenges of social media marketing is that by its nature, social media are peer-to-peer, involving conversations between friends, families and colleagues. Given this, brands must be sensitive to how they use social media.
The research from GlobalWebIndex also shows how/why visitors use different social media services. Instagram, Pinterest, Linkedin, Reddit and Twitter users all report ‘follow/find information about products/brands’ in their top 3 motivations.Platform-specific social media marketing planning
Our new Organic Social Media Learning Path modules are dedicated to helping marketers optimize their organic Instagram marketing with a strategic approach, integrated across the marketing funnel.
Our bite-sized modules contain tools and templates designed to help you address the systematic issue of businesses using social media platforms to create standalone posts rather than planning a strategy.
Our Social Media Learning Path has modules with dedicated help for:
LinkedIn organic marketing
Instagram organic marketing
Facebook organic marketing
Tiktok organic marketing
This example plan, taken from our Facebook module, demonstrates how a joined-up approach can strengthen each stage of the funnel, across the RACE Framework of reach, act, convert, and engage.
Social media statistics benchmarking tool Rival IQ produces these useful sector-by-sector benchmarks of social media engagement metrics including:
Posts per day
Posts per week
Top hashtags by engagement rate
These include useful sector benchmarks for Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter you can compare against. Here is a sample of the insights from their 2023 report.
Facebook engagement rates
The 2023 median average engagement rate per post (by follower) on Facebook is 0.064%, across all industries. Sports Teams see the highest engagement, achieving an average of 0.27%, followed by Influencers with 0.23% and Higher Education with 0.15%.
At the lower end of the spectrum, Health & Beauty, and Tech & Software receive an average 0.02% engagement rate.
Instagram engagement rates
Engagement rates are significantly higher on Instagram compared to Facebook. As you can see the 2023 average median engagement rate per post (by follower) is more than 10x higher, despite engagement on Instagram dropping approx 30% between 2023-21.Q6. How do consumers interact with different post formats in social media?
Marketers know intuitively that the right type of visuals and videos are more effective in gaining engagement.
This is also supported by this data from this Social Bakers social media trends report:
Videos longer than a minute achieved the highest median interactions and median reach on Facebook, according to Socialbakers data.
In fact, for both reach and interactions, there was a correlation that showed the longer a video was, the further it reached and the more interactions it received.
As you can see, different platforms offer different opportunities for capturing different audiences. The trick is finding the right techniques to that to your channel goals.
If you’re looking for one simple reference guide which contains all the social media channel updates in an easy-to-track format, look no further than our digital media updates tracker, which is updated quarterly, to make sure our Business Members never miss a trick.Q7. What are the most popular times for consumers to use social media suggesting the best times to post?
Testing different frequencies of updates and timing is another aspect of social media optimization based on consumer behaviour.
Each network tends to have a ‘sweet spot’ for frequency based on its algorithms. It used to be beneficial to post several times a day on Facebook for many brands, but with decreased organic reach, a single update tends to be more effective. We find a higher frequency on LinkedIn or Twitter tends to be more effective.
Sprout Social’s 2023 social media strategy builder compares the best times to post on social media. Compare these to your patterns of posting and consider how you could post differently.
Each network tends to have a ‘sweet spot’ for frequency based on their algorithm and the most common times for consumer usage. It used to be beneficial to post several times a day on Facebook for many brands, but with decreased organic reach, a single update tends to be more effective.
We find a higher frequency on LinkedIn or Twitter tends to be more effective. The results from Instagram and Facebook show a clear preference for around midweek at midday, so you should consider this when scheduling your post updates.
Structure your marketing plan around a funnel proven to boost performance. Join Smart Insights as a Free Member for instant access to our free digital marketing plan template to hone your skills and drive the results you need.
Free digital marketing plan template
Our popular marketing planning template is structured across the Smart Insights RACE Framework. Join Smart Insights as a Free Member to download our digital marketing plan template today
Access the Free digital marketing plan template
It is not everyday that you come across search technology that challenges the established leaders in the search space – that too on the grounds of relevancy.
It is a fact that there is an explosion of content on the web. Relona’s technology is based on the theory that the keyword space (or query space) has to grow in order to cover the whole swath of content on the web. This means that on an average, users will have to enter more keywords to get more relevant results from the search engine.
On the major search engines, the results returned for long queries is not as relevant as those returned for short queries. This is where Relona’s Intent Based Search algorithm uses statistical models to better map content to search queries by adjusting the emphasis on the words that form the query.
Intent Based Algorithm
The Intent based algorithm does computationally what the user does by habit when the results returned do not meet the relevance criteria – use different words to convey the same meaning. This is where Relona’s technology takes the middle path between natural language processing and using pure link analysis. By using statistical models, Relona’s search technology “guesses” users intent by adjusting the weight on different terms used in the search query.
Sprucing up relevance as compared to Google
What is really interesting is the enhanced relevance that MSN, Yahoo and chúng tôi have (as compared to Google) when combined together with Relona’s Intent based algorithm.
MSN-Live – Relevance improves by 20% for two or more keywords.
Yahoo – Relevance improves by 35% for two or more keywords, making it 5% more relevant than Google.
The results are provided at chúng tôi as impressive presentations and were obtained from analysis of AOL’s query logs. Also to be noted is that the above analysis was done without any direct integration with the search engines (Is this a hint they are open for acquisition?)
Relona’s technology is all the more alluring because it seeks to build upon the base of the first era of search engines and uses a statistical model that improves with usage. A demonstration of the search engine’s technology can be accessed from here.
Who’s in charge of media coverage?
Journalists, reporters, bloggers, influencers, search engines, social media, and – most importantly – brands (that’s you).
There was a time in the not so distant past when journalists were the primary gatekeepers between brands and media coverage. Pitching the media with a press release or holding a press conference was a chance for a headline.
Remember when spamming out multiple online press releases was considered SEO?
In some ways, public relations (PR) has not changed. But in many ways, PR is a whole new ball game.
Brands and marketers have more influence and opportunity for exposure than ever!
Journalists don’t hold the only set of keys to publicity; it’s now a mixed bag of strategies and tricks. The formulas and templates are fluid and still evolving.From Flyers & Posters to Google & Facebook
There was about a 100-year period from the time public relations first started that not much changed. PR bureaus began in the early 1900s with the intent of influencing the public opinion on politics and other issues.
“The three main elements of public relations are practically as old as society: informing people, persuading people, or integrating people with people,” according to Edward Bernays, one of the pioneers of PR.
Today we’re still informing, persuading, and integrating using a blend of old school meets new age search and social.
The days of reporters clinging to wire services for story ideas and Google ranking press releases stuffed with keywords are long gone.
Here are the days of massive opportunity and saturation.Old School PR Tips for Media Coverage
Anyone can jump in the marketing and PR game.
Fire up a Facebook page, set up a Twitter account, and start a blog. No college degree needed.
Unwinding back to traditional best practices, and the art of pitching and building relationships, is still an essential factor in the media coverage success formula.1. Pitch A Story
Breaking through the clutter of the inbox or DM of a journalist, blogger, or influencer isn’t easy, but it is possible.
Remember, you are potentially making their life easier by offering resources for them to make their job easier.2. Study
Make sure you have studied the competitive landscape and know what stories and posts are online and have been published in the past.
Do a Google search, social search, hashtag search, and a search on the online publications to see what stories similar to your idea have been covered.3. Research
You can’t just pitch an idea without having tons of backup data, stats, third-party analysis to help support your story idea.4. Audience
Know your audience and the media’s audience.
Read past articles from the author/journalist. Look at the previous posts of the influencer.
Be able to have a conversation about whom you are pitching and the audience they write for or serve. Be prepared to talk about the audience like it’s your best friend and a real person. The buyer persona!5. Angle
Did you identify your best angle? Better yet did you provide multiple angles?
Be OK with being inspiring versus right. Your angle can inspire and lead to the reporter’s angle and still involve you. Egos aside here.6. Subject Line
The first impression and most important element to get your pitch read. Not only is it essential to get the pitch read, but it’s also important to get the pitch found again when searching an inbox. Use keywords in your subject line that will help the reporter (or anyone you are emailing) find your email later.
Reporters and journalists may not respond right away to emails, but they are notorious for hoarding good email pitches for future use. Some journalists have been known to have an inbox with more than a million old emails they have saved. Make sure you use keywords to make it easy for someone to go back and find a past email.
Social PR Secret: “A subject line is not only important to get a person’s attention, but it’s also essential later for the search functionality,” said Aliza Licht, author of Leave Your Mark and marketing and communications executive in the fashion industry. “Always make it easy for someone to find your email that is in the treacherous sea that is his/her inbox.”
Spoiler Alert: Don’t spoil the pitch by giving it away in the subject line. Putting everything in the subject line gives the reader no reason to open your email, Licht said.7. Format
Always be sure to customize and personalize the content.
Ending group emails or having the “Fwd” in the subject is out. Nobody likes the feeling of being one of the masses. Everyone wants to feel like the one and only.8. Timing
Later isn’t better. Early wins the attention.
A Business Wire survey notes the best time to pitch the media is in the morning:
61 percent of reporters prefer pitches in the morning.
30 percent in the afternoon.
9 percent in the evening.
Tuesdays are the most popular day to pitch the media in general.
Being at the top of anyone’s inbox first thing in the morning drastically increases the chances of getting read and possible action taken. (Disclaimer: If you are pitching a media newcomer or younger person, morning is the worst time to pitch while afternoon or evening is the best!)
Social PR Secret: Craft your emails ahead of time and schedule them to go out at 8 a.m. using Boomerang or HubSpot. You might start your day with a high response rate.9. Length
Nobody wants to open an email and get a huge block of text without bullets, paragraph spacing, or returns. Long emails do not win the race.
Keep the email short, to the point and be mindful of using white space well with bullets, spacing, font size, emojis, photos and end the message with a call to action.
Pitches need to be short and sweet. Period.10. Style & Tone
Aggressive and serious or funny and playful? Humor and authenticity go a long way but stay professional and appropriate.
You can get a good read by following your audience on Twitter or another social channel to get the personality vibe.11. Emails
While press releases are no longer faxed and mailed as a best practice, a Cision survey found that 92 percent of journalists and influencers prefer email pitches.12. Email Address
AOL? Yahoo? Hotmail? Earthlink? Let’s get legit.
You may lose credibility using those old-school email addresses notorious for spam. Make sure you have a legitimate and well-branded email address.13. Exclusive
Can you give them an exclusive? Or an exclusive angle?
“People love the word ‘exclusive’ because they love knowing that they’re getting special content,” Licht said. “Of course if you are using the word ‘exclusive,’ what you are giving them or telling them better be exclusive.”
Follow up and stalking – “Did you get my email?” “Just following up on the email.” You can know if someone opened an email using tools such as Hubspot Sales and the Streak app can give you that info.
It’s always best to follow up a few days later – just realize that “no response” may be the response.The Art of Search, Social, & Media Coverage
According to PWR’s 2023 Journalist Survey, 83 percent of journalists use search engines when researching a story or article. Facebook is the primary social media platform journalists use when working on a story followed by Twitter and LinkedIn.14. Press Releases Still Work, But…
It’s less about quantity and more about quality, storytelling, newsworthiness, relevance, visuals, data, and video.
Up to 84 percent journalists prefer press releases loaded with transferrable assets – such as images, videos, graphics – which they can grab and reuse online and in print or broadcast.15. PR Optimization
Supporting facts and strong headlines are top considerations and photos are the most important supplement a press release can have.
Making sure your headline and body have relevant keywords to have a higher chance of getting picked up in Google searches in the future.
Paying close attention to Google best practices with links in press releases and being mindful you are writing for humans and not just for search engines.16. Online Newsrooms
The hub of your brand news including press releases, media coverage, industry reports, social media streams, company blog, events, and leadership info is the brand’s online newsroom.
TEKGROUP’s 2023 Online Newsroom Survey Report (note: download required) found that 75 percent of journalists refer to an online newsroom when researching an organization (small and large). But a newsroom isn’t just for journalists anymore.
Online newsrooms serve as a content-rich portion of a company website that is visited by prospects, investors, decision makers, influencers, and your customers.
The top things expected in an online newsroom to help get more media coverage include:
PR contact info (if they can’t contact you, they can’t cover you!)
Email alerts for news (or more savvy and intuitive media relations chatbots using Messenger)
Linked social media sites
Company background history
Social PR Secret: How about adding a Facebook Messenger chatbot to your online newsroom for immediate communication? Now your chatbot is the new media relations hero! Chatbot PR Alerts!17. Twitter Lists
Twitter is not only where journalists flock for news and story sources; it has also had somewhat of a “presidential” effect. More and more media relations and networking are happening on Twitter.
Journalists and newscasters are expected to be building a personal following on social for added reach, so interacting on Twitter is where media coverage can begin.
Create private Twitter lists for your targeted media, journalists, writers, and influencers and set up a system to monitor and share their content when it makes sense.
Turning on the social video channel – live video on social media – is the latest trend that is nothing to joke about or miss.
Facebook Live, Facebook Watch, Twitter Live video, and Instagram’s latest IGTV are all opportunities for brand’s to engage with their audience.
Video content is thumb stopping. GlobalWebIndex data indicates that nearly 30 percent of internet users have watched a live stream on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
So it isn’t all about social.
Video will make up 82 percent of all internet traffic in 2023, according to Cisco.
IGTV is Instagram’s new app for watching long-form, vertical video. Brands like Cheddar, BuzzFeed, and Tastemade are crushing it.
However, you don’t need to be a big brand to create your own media coverage with IGTV. All you need is a smartphone, Instagram, and a strategy.Conclusion
Brands and marketers have what seems like an infinite number of ways to stir up positive media coverage using old and new ways.
The trick is standing out in the clutters whether it’s the inbox or IGTV channel, you are in the director’s chair.
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