Though Facebook algorithms mostly classify users as having certain traits and interests accurately, about half the users are uncomfortable with Facebook having this knowledge once they are shown this information. Facebook users can go to this link, about their ad preferences, to get an idea of what the social media platform knows about them. Pew Research Center has been studying Facebook use and users for some time now. Their findings have shed light on how Facebook users feel about ads selected for them and what the social media site’s algorithms say about them. Roughly a quarter of all Facebook users think the company isn’t accurate about their politics, interests or racial and ethnic background, but that leaves a large group feeling the information is accurate. The study is comprehensive and much more detail has been analyzed than what we have discussed here. You can find the analysis at this link.
Goldman & Associates Blog
Facebook Users Information On Target
BBC Story on PR Causes PR Biz Controversy
This is somewhat inside baseball, but a story in the Financial Times discusses a controversy within the British PR industry over what constitutes public relations. It all started with an early January interview by BBC Radio 4 of actual PR companies about how they influence news. The show was called The Art of Public Relations. The controversy centers on the question of whether PR is simply publicity, which is how many people see PR, or is it more than that. The Financial Times believes it is publicity, but the Public Relations and Communications Association disagrees. Both make their case in the article. From Goldman & Associates Public Relations perspective, publicity is a tactic of PR and does not define our business. However, at times it has been a substantial part of our business. Employee engagement, community engagement, addressing social media issues and providing general PR counsel are just a few of the numerous areas that don’t generally involve publicity and were not addressed in the article.
Polls Hold Too Much Sway for Reporters
As the next presidential election inches nearer, there’s some talk among journalists about relying less on polls … it’s the subject of this piece in the Washington Post.
Congress’ New Members Amp Up Social Media
Incoming members of Congress are making a lot of noise on social media and it’s just the start … the story from CNN.
AI Tool Might Find and Enhance Reporting
Digiday has an intriguing piece on how Forbes is investing in AI to help reporters and contributors find, enhance and possibly draft news stories. According to the article, their AI software, “recommends article topics for contributors based on their previous output, headlines based on the sentiment of their pieces and images too. It’s also testing a tool that writes rough versions of articles that contributors can simply polish up, rather than having to write a full story from scratch.” Though humans are involved throughout the process, it now appears AI will be playing a large role in content development.
Why January 1 Begins the New Year
2019 is fast approaching and across the world celebrations are being readied to recognize the new year. People are preparing their resolutions, pondering their New Year’s toasts and making big plans for the event. Why do we celebrate the new year on January 1? In reality, it could actually have begun at any point on the calendar. It seems the best day would have been the winter solstice the day with least sunlight. At other times in history and in various cultures it was on different dates and at completely different periods of the calendar. So how did January 1 begin as New Year’s Day? We can most thank Julius Caesar for that … 2064 years ago … and not 2019 years ago. Huh? The History Channel explains the origin of the modern new year. Regardless of what date we celebrate the passing of a year, it’s a good time to reflect on the past, give hope for the future and ponder how we can make improvement in our daily lives. But sometimes, it’s fun to step back and look at why we do the things we do, like celebrate the new year on January 1.
Seasonal Media Stories Always Needed
There is a seasonality to many media stories. From our perspective as public relations professionals, it’s highly beneficial to be aware of those stories the news media have to do every season. This time of year, like clockwork, the media are covering Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s resolution stories. Not too far into the new year are Black History Month and Valentine’s Day. We could go through the entire calendar and pick annual recognitions and holidays when the news media seek to find fitting stories to illustrate those dates, but the point is seasonal media stories are always needed. If your organization or company can do something unique or highly unusual during these periods that are timed to calendar events, it’s a great opportunity to garner positive visibility about your good works.
Jargon Defeats Communications Goals
It’s quite easy to fall into the communications trap of using jargon to convey popular ideas, industry practices or the latest political issue in what you assume are well understood terms. In actuality, jargon is a poor means of communications. It leaves open to interpretation what you are saying. Often it is assumed these pop phrases and industry terms are commonly understood, but in reality they are not. To reach a wider audience with clarity, it’s best to use common language that easily explains the message. This is particularly true for business executives. CEO Magazine has an article that looks at this communications concern that should be heeded by every executive.
Reporter Chronicles Social Media Detox
Could you survive three months without social media? What would it feel like? Would you want to relapse afterwards? Christina Farr, a Millennial and reporter for CNBC, decided she needed to step away from her social media, mostly Facebook and Instagram. She had concerns about what she might miss by doing so and how friends and family would react. Unsurprisingly, she survived to tell her tale. You can read it here. Similar to a drug or alcohol detox, her social media detox didn’t always proceed without a bit of relapse, nor was she prepared to remove total access to her accounts. Now that the three months are completed, she has decided to make the break final. You might be surprised to learn why and what she learned in the process about herself.
2019 Social Media Trends and Predictions
It’s that time of year when a number of media prognosticators are making predictions for the coming new year. The Goldman Blog has been looking at a variety of articles to see what we think might have a good chance of being on target. We came across this one on social media trends and predictions for 2019 posted by Smart Insights and prepared by Somya Mehta. It provides the data behind the trends for her predictions. We can easily see these coming true and really like the way they have been framed. Her first one, “From text to visual” is simple, but happening everyday and growing. Take a look at her article and let us know what you think of these social media trends and predictions.