Good morning, PR pros:
Sunday marked the 25th anniversary of the banner ad, which started with AT&T’s ad on former publication HotWired (now Wired), which read: “Have you ever clicked your mouse right here? You will.”
… AT&T’s ad lured 44 percent of readers to click, a miracle click-through rate by today’s standards. The click led to a landing page with links to webpages for museums like Paris’ Musée d’Orsay, and, naturally, a link to more information about AT&T.
However, today’s banner ad gets a click-through rate of roughly 0.5%, partially because the average consumer is faced with 1,700 banner ads every month. Given the sea of content and branded messages bombarding consumers’ attention, marketers must be even more innovative with their tactics.
There’s room for improvement—along with budget dollars to support experimentation. This is especially important as chief marketing officer roles are rolled into executive communications positions, putting PR pros in charge of finding ways to break through the noise.
Online advertising is expected to generate $120 billion in the U.S. this year, growing from just $100 million in 1995, according to an advertising forecast from Publicis Groupe’s Zenith.
How do banner ads affect your overall PR and marketing campaigns? Share with us your thoughts under the #MorningScoop hashtag.
Here are today’s top stories:
Facebook partners with journalists and publications for ‘Facebook News’
The social media platform is testing a feature that offers its U.S. users a “dedicated place for news,” which includes top stories of the day, personalized recommendations, topic sections, options to hide articles or publishers you don’t want to see, and the ability to link your Facebook account with your paid news subscriptions.
In a blog post, the social media platform announced that it gathered “insight from journalists and publishers before we started developing a product,” asking them “what they’d like to see included in a news tab, how their stories should be presented and what analytics to provide.”
The upcoming features have had mixed reactions from journalists. Vox’s headline read, “Facebook has finally decided that the best way to deliver news is to act like a newspaper.” However, Breitbart is one of Facebook News’ partners, to which CNN reacted: “If Breitbart is ‘high quality’ news, what’s low?”
Why it matters: Facebook continues to grapple with social media users’ mining its platform for news—and their having to weed out the rampant misinformation that’s tarnished the company’s reputation and eroded users’ trust. As more users get their news and commentary from social media sites, communicators have a responsibility to help employees, executives, customers and partners be more savvy consumers of information.
- One in five journalists lives in NYC, LA or DC
- Report: More than half of PR pros are willing to create fake news
- How and why communicators should fight the ‘fake news’ scourge
According to new research from Edelman, chief information officers have become important guardians of trust for many organizations.
Over half of CIOs say they have a public-facing role, and pressures about topics like cybersecurity, data use and regulatory compliance are making the CIO a key protector of corporate trust.
Edelman also asked what helps build trust in the CIO, or how the CIO comes to trust vendors and other stakeholders. Interestingly, it depends on how long the CIO has been in the job.
CIOs with less experience in their role tend to place trust in emotional connections; more experienced officers are more likely to rely on a more cerebral approach when looking for trustworthiness.
Lyft offers free rides to job interviews and doctor appointments
The ride-hailing app recently launched its Jobs Access Program in more than 35 cities across the United States, partnering with nonprofits such as United Way and Goodwill to provide free or discounted rides to and from job interviews, training programs and job sites for the first three weeks of employment, to those in need “making their way through the employment pipeline.”
Lyft also announced that it’s expanding its non-emergency medical transportation program for Medicaid patients to Tennessee, Missouri, Michigan, Georgia and Virginia. Already available in Arizona, the program has the “potential to positively impact … an average of 17 percent of the population” with its currently enrolled states.
Why you should care: Whenever possible, your corporate social responsibility efforts should align with your organization’s offerings and provide a noticeable and necessary benefit to included communities or the world at large. Lyft’s programs highlight gaps in areas where a ride-sharing company could be a perfect fit.
When sharing your initiatives, ditch the marketing messages and instead focus on the people who need your help and have inspired the program.
- In focus: Communicators’ power to drive business purpose
- Trust in CEOs craters, Bed Bath & Beyond pulls ‘blackface’ jack-o’-lanterns, and Gen Z keys in on brand purpose
- Infographic: The benefits of purpose-driven marketing
Chipotle is again offering discounted burritos booritos for customers who show up in costume on Halloween:
༼ つ ╹ ╹ ༽つ Boorito is back!
Come in costume on 10/31 from 3pm to close for $4 entrées.
— Spooky Chipotle 👻 (@ChipotleTweets) October 24, 2018
This year’s promotion comes with an added twist, via TikTok: Consumers are encouraged to post before-and-after videos of them in costume with the hashtag #Boorito, and five users whose posts grab the most “likes” will each win free burritos for a year. Chipotle calls it the “TikTok Transformation” and has partnered with a few influencers to promote the contest:
With more and more Gen Z consumers gravitating to social media apps such as Snapchat, Instagram and TikTok, PR and marketing pros should expect to see highly creative approaches to reaching them, leaving standard messaging for platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
YouTube creators come together to plant 20M trees
Influencer and content creator Jimmy “MrBeast” Donaldson organized a fundraiser in what he calls the “largest YouTube collaboration of all time.” The campaign seeks to raise $20 million to plant 20 million trees by January 2020. Donaldson partnered with Arbor Day Foundation on the fundraiser, dubbed #TeamTrees, in which more than 600 YouTube influencers have joined so far.
Why it matters: Similar to the Ice Bucket Challenge, this fundraiser is already going viral, thanks to influencers taking up the cause to make a difference. It’s a timely reminder that you can partner with social media superstars on more than just your next marketing message.
YouTube also committed to covering the donation transaction costs for the initiative, which also helps promote the social media platform’s new “Donate” button. The tool can be useful for organizations of all stripes launching a fundraiser or corporate social responsibility campaign that asks consumers to pitch in.
- The best marketing strategies for nonprofit organizations
- How a hospital’s PR team responded to a fundraiser frenzy
- Study: How to make the most of your YouTube channel
WHAT YOU SAID
We asked what your No. 1 content priority is for the upcoming year, and 36% of you said video is your focus. Social media content came next with 28% of you naming it as your priority, followed by long-form web content (26%).
What's your No. 1 content priority for next year? Share your thoughts with our hashtag #morningscoop to be featured in Monday's newsletter.
— PR Daily (@PRDaily) October 25, 2019
Though long-form web content wasn’t the top choice, communications pro Kamreshan Moonsamy said capitalizing on that type of content enables you to boost customer experience while steering traffic to your website, whether through your blog or other webpages:
Web content is royalty. It is pure form engagement. The consumer is in the brand arena and away from any other media distraction on social platforms. So to capitalize on that opportunity is a must. No, not funnels. But CX intensity.#MorningScoop
— Kamreshan Moonsamy (@KamCanDoIt) October 25, 2019
No matter your content priority for 2020, ask yourself how you can better tailor each piece to your audience and how you can repurpose what you create across channels and campaigns.
As we near Halloween, lots of things—including unforeseen PR crises—can frighten even the calmest communicator. What’s the scariest thing (outside of a crisis) that you might encounter this week?
It's Halloween week, PR pros! Outside of an unforseen PR crisis, what's the scariest thing you might encounter?
Share your other workplace and industry frights with us under #MorningScoop, and we'll share in tomorrow's roundup.
— PR Daily (@PRDaily) October 28, 2019
Please weigh in and share your thoughts under the #MorningScoop hashtag.