A Fall Without Grace

Posted by Gina Pappas on November 30, 2017

Within one week’s time, two veteran journalists have lost their jobs over sexual harassment claims – first, CBS This Morning’s Charlie Rose, and, more recently, The Today Show’s Matt Lauer. After reporting on similar allegations themselves when the Weinstein scandal broke nearly two months ago, these two journalists have become the lead story.

The Today Show, which for 99 consecutive weeks has been the number one morning show among viewers aged 25-54, has been my go-to for nearly 20 years. And while this isn’t the first time Lauer has faced controversy, it is the time that will undoubtedly kill his career. When Lauer was called out in 2013 for disingenuous behavior amidst Ann Curry’s departure, I wasn’t sure he could bounce back. But I was wrong – The Today Show successfully carried on with him at the helm. But this isn’t 2013, and these allegations are more than just a little snark and side-eye. Lauer is done, as is Weinstein, Spacey, and the list goes on.

For their part, I thought The Today Show hosts handled the Lauer announcement with grace and sensitivity. The statement read by Savannah Guthrie at the opening of the newscast was carefully crafted by NBC executives, and the personal commentary she shared came from the heart.

Lauer released his own statement this morning, which will fall on many deaf ears, but from a PR perspective hit the right notes. Proactively issuing a statement that addresses the truthfulness of the allegations kills the opportunity for speculation and allows Lauer a tiny bit of control in the news cycle. He has made his statement, and now it’s time to disappear – indefinitely – and figure out where he goes from here.

In the wake of the cultural shift we’re experiencing, I doubt Lauer’s name will be the last we’ll hear along with the words “sexual harassment.” But, in my opinion, the quickest way to minimize the damage is to admit to your wrongdoings (think Louis C.K. and Lauer) and figure out a way to lead a life outside of the public eye.

Albers Asks Five Questions about Working with Influencers

Posted by Albers Communications on November 20, 2017

2017 has been the year of micro-influencer marketing – and it’s a trend that shows no sign of slowing down. Micro-influencers are social media users who have a respectable following, but nowhere near the millions of followers of, say, a Kardashian.

The reason why micro-influencers are the current coin of the realm is that a more modest following can often translate to better engagement. In a study of approximately 500,000 Instagram posts conducted by the social media marketing agency Markerly, influencers with fewer than 1,000 followers generally received likes on their posts 8 percent of the time. Users with 10 million+ followers only received likes 1.6 percent of the time.

This is good news for smaller businesses and organizations who don’t have Kardashian-level cash to spend on their marketing strategy. To learn more about how these smaller organizations are working with micro-influencers, we spoke with Dana Zucker, owner of multiple blogs, including Mom’s Good Eats, and curator of the Omaha Done Well influencer pages on Facebook and Instagram. Dana’s newest brand, Life Done Well, officially launches this week and features top lifestyle micro-influencers from every region of the country.

Why should organizations work with influencers?

Dana Zucker: As Mark Zuckerberg has famously said, “Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend.” A newspaper might have more subscribers, but an influencer has followers who trust them, and whom they’re engaging in a way that the newspaper doesn’t. Take the local Omaha influencer Mom Saves Money. She has 11,000 followers on Facebook. That’s 11,000 people in a local, specific demographic who are engaging with her posts every single day.

What types of organizations should work with influencers?

DZ: There really aren’t organizations for whom it’s not an option. It’s taken a little while to catch on in the Midwest the way it has other places, but nonprofits here are doing it already, especially national nonprofits that have local reach, and it’s becoming more common with other organizations, too. The key is to find a campaign that makes sense. For example, one nonprofit organization paired up with a business on a fundraising campaign with an influencer, and for every dollar that was donated through the influencer’s posts, the business matched it. If you’re having events, you can invite influencers to attend and post about them. If there’s a particular service you’d like to promote, you can ask the influencer to try it out.

What is the best way to leverage the influencer relationship?

DZ: You need to have someone who truly understands influencer marketing managing the relationship in a way to make it work. That person should know who the influencers are in your market and which ones have the audience that you’d like to reach. They will work with the influencer to determine what kind of campaign makes the most sense, and what the cost will be. When a post goes up, your manager should talk to consumers in the comments on the post, answer questions, respond to comments and repost to make the audience feel more engaged.

How should a business budget for an influencer campaign?

DZ: That depends, but any level of organization, even a struggling nonprofit, should expect to pay something. If you’re paying for advertising in a newspaper, why wouldn’t you pay to work with an influencer? It’s our time, our influence and our property that we’ve worked for a long time to build. That said, there are times when an influencer will accept a product or a service or something that will lead to a financial reward instead of monetary payment.

What kind of ROI can a business reasonably expect from their relationship with an influencer?

DZ: It depends on what the project is and who you’re working with. I work with a lot of small boutique hotels, if they get their cost back and one family books a week’s stay as a result of my posts, then they are very happy. Consumers need to see something four to seven times before they react. So, if you have a brand ambassador posting on your behalf every quarter, then over the course of the year you can begin to see the return. You should look at how much a new acquisition costs you vs. a repeat customer, how many times people have clicked over to your site as a result of the influencer’s post, and whether you are getting existing customers to engage on your social media pages.


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