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Friday5: Thoughts on Communicating Data Breaches

If you’ve been following the news recently, you’ve seen the torrent of information about Sony’s recent hacking. Given the increasing prevalence of major data breaches in every industry, there are lessons for large organizations hidden among the public reaction. Here are 5 insights I’ve gathered:

1: Digital includes risk

The average employee sends and receives 30,000 emails per year (115 per day in 2013 * 260 workdays per year). That’s just email. Much of our lives have migrated online—banking, SMS, healthcare information, and so on. Consumers and companies alike should recognize two things: digital has made much of our daily activities easier and more efficient, but that convenience and connectivity includes some data risk—those databases remain (with all the less-than-thoughtful messages contained within), and perfect security is impossible. In the long-term, the risk of a breach happening is very high, and understanding this—for consumers and companies—is critical for being able to react to them.

2: The math on security has changed

There’s no question that data breaches have increased in recent years. According to idtheftcenter.org, breaches across all sectors increased by an average of 25% per year between 2005-2013. These have included everything from emails, to user IDs, to credit card information to Social Security numbers.

Source: idtheftcenter.org

Source: idtheftcenter.org

Sony’s VP of security remarked a few years ago that it was a defendable business decision to hold off on investments in data security if it might cost more than simply enduring a breach. However, in this age of data security risk, the cost of a breach is more than just the value of stolen intellectual property and offering services to protect personal information. It also includes the cost of lost trust in the organization—trust that’s essential for maintaining a positive relationship with stakeholders. Trust might not fit on a financial statement, but it’s the currency with which a brand operates in the market.

3: Anticipate how the breach will be understood

When a breach happens, the reputational context in which it happens will determine how consumers react. Sony’s recent hacking affected employees the most—all blameless. Yet some of the public reaction included finger-pointing at Sony instead of the hackers, as if they’d invited it. Of course, no company (one hopes) would ever intentionally leak employee data or invite hackers to do so. But if the organization has a history of data security crises, some unfair blame is bound to be pointed towards the organization. It’s essential to have a well-communicated plan in place to improve your data security after it happens.

4: Reestablish trust with the right spokesperson

It’s important to consider who the organization chooses to represent them in a crisis. When it’s a data breach or other information-related crisis, a senior technical officer should take the lead in communicating the problem, the consequences, and the next steps the organization will take to protect its employees and customers.

5: Take care of the victims

When a data breach happens, how you communicate your reaction to the breach is essential. If your employees or consumers have private information exposed, immediately share your plan to protect them, in detail. If the victims lost identity information, employ services to help them keep track of their credit and identities. The initial costs may seem high, but the return in trust will be huge.

What has interested you most about the current discussions regarding data security?

Facebook introduces Graph Search to mobile and Instagram rolls out verified badges

Facebook introduces Graph Search to mobile, Instagram announces verified accounts and more of the latest digital news.

Facebook Brings Graph Search To Mobile And Lets You Find Feed Posts By Keyword

Earlier this week, Facebook released Graph Search for mobile iOS users. Graph search is an in-depth way of searching for past News Feed posts by keyword. The offering is currently ad-free and is a major step for Facebook in challenging Google’s search engine.

Instagram Debuts Verified Badges for Brands

Following the announcement of Instagram reaching 300 million accounts, the popular social platform has started rolling out verified badges to signify verified accounts. The badges will be assigned to public figures and brands that are commonly impersonated, according to an Instagram blog post.

LinkedIn Hopes Redesigned Home Page Spurs More Conversation

This week LinkedIn began rolling out a new homepage for users. With a more simplified look, the platform is aiming to include features that users want to see right on their own homepages. Keeping with their mission to feed users relevant content for their work life, these predictive analytics will show personalized content to each user.

Twitter Copies Instagram with New Adjustable Photo Filters

Twitter replaced its photo filter grid with a much simpler Instagram-style row of adjustable filters. Each filter can be double-tapped to reveal an intensity slider, nearly identical in style to Instagram’s slider. This is yet another example of social platforms imitating each other to best meet the needs of consumers.

The 2014 #YearonTwitter

To look back on the best global moments from the year, Twitter launched #YearOnTwitter on 2014.Twitter.com. Check out this interactive experience that celebrates the most talked about moments of the year.

Friday5: Why Email Marketing Rules

Do your clients want to reach people…and get them to do something? Then consider the power of email for consumer marketing, public affairs, and corporate campaigns. Here are five reasons why email rules.

1. Volume

The statistics of email use and ROI are mind bogglingly impressive. Every minute there are 204 million emails sent compared to almost 6 million combined social engagements on Facebook, Pinterest, Vine, Instagram, and Twitter.[i] But this doesn’t mean email is an oversaturated channel. In fact, email is the third highest medium for expected ROI by business marketers, behind organic search and CPC, and is well ahead of social media platforms.[ii] Customer acquisition by email (i.e. subscribers) has quadrupled over the past four years,[iii] which is solid evidence that the channel is trusted, preferred, and growing. For every dollar spent there’s a $40 return on email, compared to a $17 return for keyword ads and a $2 return for banner ads.[iv]

2. Permission-Based

Email is permission-based, meaning recipients have given you the green light to send them information about their product, service, or cause. They’ve bought in. Combine that with the primacy of smartphones and tablets and you begin to understand that people are always checking their email, making it the leading activity for people on their phones.[v] Customers who come to businesses via email are more likely to do what you’re asking them to do – whether it’s asking them to share something on Facebook, encouraging them to buy something, or asking them to make a donation.[vi]

3. Behavior

Individual behavior with email is, well, active. Email is a transactional medium. In consumer programs customers expect to get offers, to buy things, to do things. In public affairs, voters contacted by email are at least 10 times more likely to take the advocacy action they are asked to do versus their counterparts on social platforms. Email is direct to the recipient and unfiltered by social media algorithms and timelines. It provokes more direct attention from recipients because it allows you to make repeated, direct contact with an individual’s inbox. Simply put, email expects action.

4. Measurement

Email can be measured in greater depth than any other engagement channel. Clients are looking for more evidence that our programs are working. The numerous opportunities to measure email performance and related recipient response means more quantitative and qualitative analysis for your client. Depending on the email service provider you use, the top 10 measurements and their value are:

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5. Progression & Segmentation

Email data exposes distinctions about how much a consumer likes a brand or why a voter supports an issue – allowing you to customize engagement based on their profile so you can make the right ask of the right person at the right time. For clients this means a promise of cultivating bigger, better results through responsive, customized messaging.

Email communications have been successful in driving consumer campaigns for new products and services. They have been instrumental in state, federal, and international public affairs advocacy movements. And they are a significant part of any corporate employee engagement initiative. Obviously, I think email is the real thing, but I sure like the way Simms Jenkings, author of “The New Inbox: Why Email Marketing Is The Digital Marketing Hub in a Social & Mobile World” assesses email: “If you have just one bullet left in your gun to sell something, then email should always be that bullet.”


[i] Elite Daily, “More Than 204 Million Emails are Sent Every Minute,” March 19, 2013

[ii] Custora E-Commerce Customer Acquisition Snapshot – Q2 2013

[iii] Custora E-Commerce Customer Acquisition Snapshot – Q2 2013

[iv] Source: ExactTarget 2012 Channel Preferences Survey

[v] Forbes, “Why Email Is Still More Effective Than Social Media Marketing,” Oct. 1, 2013

[vi] Custora E-Commerce Customer Acquisition Snapshot – Q2 2013

Image credit: slgckgc

Twitter introduces Tweet Stats, YouTube’s InVideo Programming Feature

Twitter ramps up its analytics, YouTube brings in new features and more of the latest digital news.

Twitter May Soon Show Your Tweets’ Stats

Twitter plans to roll out new mobile analytics offerings to a small percentage of users in an initial test period. If fully released, users will be able to monitor statistics on a tweet-by-tweet basis, using a new “View Analytics Details” button located at the bottom of each tweet. The statistics will initially only be available in the iOS app.

YouTube’s InVideo Programming Feature Adds Interactivity to Videos

Through its InVideo programming feature, YouTube now allows brands to add a watermarks, video intros and more. These new features, aimed to increase CTR and ultimately improve the overall user experience, are accessible right within YouTube Analytics.

Tumblr and Pinterest Now Fastest-Growing Social Platforms

In a report released by the Global Web Index, Tumblr and Pinterest were singled out as the fastest-growing social platforms. In the last six months, Tumblr’s active users grew 120% and Pinterest wasn’t far behind, with a 111% increase. It is worth noting that these placements refer only to growth, and do not reflect overall social network popularity.

Instagram’s Top 10 Most-Tagged Destinations of 2014

USA Today released a list of the top 10 most-tagged destination on Instagram. Check out the article and see if your favorite spots made the cut.

Image credit: Fyda

Friday5: Five Ways Brands Amplified Their Giving on #GivingTuesday

What comes after Black Friday and Cyber Monday? #GivingTuesday, of course! It’s an opportunity for brands and consumers to kick off the holiday season with good will and purpose. #GivingTuesday was founded in 2012 by New York’s 92nd Street Y in partnership with the United Nations Foundation. With the support of consumers around the world, campaigns activated by brands and organizations on this year’s #GivingTuesday raised nearly $46 million for nonprofits globally. With its increased popularity, #GivingTuesday has created a global conversation about how brands and consumers can give back to make a positive impact.

The Business + Social Purpose team would like to share best practices and examples from #GivingTuesday 2014 to show how a company’s significance is increasingly influenced by its ability to integrate social value into its business. Following are the top five trends brands employed during this global, digital donation campaign, including some from Edelman clients.

1. Engage your employees from the get-go: gather the voices of your employees to determine how to allocate funds on #GivingTuesday.

This year, CVS Health* used #GivingTuesday to recognize the volunteer spirit of their employees, as well as the impactful work of community-based organizations. CVS asked their employees to share their personal stories of volunteering, as well as nominate a local charity to receive a #GivingTuesday grant from the CVS Health Foundation. From these nominations, CVS chose 50 nonprofits to receive a total of $100,000 in grants as part of CVS’s #GivingTuesday initiative.

2. Strategically select nonprofit partners that align with brand values.

Southwest* is a company that believes #GivingTuesday should be year-round, but nevertheless joined the global movement this year and aligned their giving with what they value as a business: people and the planet. This #GivingTuesday, Southwest strategically selected 10 nonprofits that are meaningful to the company, donating $2,500 to each, ranging from programs supporting veterans to conserving the planet and education. They even encouraged travelers to show their generosity by lending a hand or giving a drink ticket to a seatmate.

3. Differentiate your efforts by promoting the use of a hashtag that is custom to your initiative, in addition to #GivingTuesday.

As part of an ongoing partnership with Conservation International, HP* elevated the power of the hashtag to generate donations for its partner’s new campaign, Nature is Speaking. The campaign is aimed at raising awareness that people need nature in order to survive. For each use or retweet of the custom hashtag #NatureIsSpeaking on Tuesday, HP has committed to donating $1 per tweet.

4. Focus all communications on a single initiative or program.

Focusing solely on a single initiative can be a great way for organizations to stand out and to rally support for their cause. Aligning with their partner Save the Children,  JOHNSON’S®* launched its new charitable platform “More Hands, More Hearts” to support the happy and healthy development of babies through the donation of essential resources, including JOHNSON’S® baby care kits and a special grant. JOHNSON’S® encouraged others to contribute to the cause by joining Jennifer Hudson and its own employees in creating baby care kits for families in need and generating further support via social media with #MoreHandsMoreHearts.

5. Go with the flow. Embrace the trends.

All brands want differentiation when it comes to philanthropic initiatives, but sometimes riding the big trend wave is the best bet. Playing off the ‘selfie’ craze, the #UNselfie challenged consumers to show their support for #GivingTuesday by posting photos and videos of themselves with evidence of how they’re giving back. Thousands have tweeted using the hashtag to show their support of worthy causes this year and to encourage others to do the same.

How did you participate in #GivingTuesday?

*Edelman client

Snapchat introduces Snapcash and Twitter updates search

Snapchat users can now send money to friends, Twitter makes significant updates to search and more of the latest digital news.

Snapchat Now Lets You Send Money to Friends through Snapcash Deal with Square Cash

In an interesting move, Snapchat launched “Snapcash” payment options on its app through a deal with Square Cash – entering the competitive mobile payment market alongside Google Wallet and Venmo. Users can link their debit card to their Snapchat accounts and type a dollar amount into Snapchat’s text-chat feature to instantly send a friend money. Currently the feature is only available on Android, but coming soon to iOS. This update also hints at ecommerce opportunities for brands and sophisticated targeting through paid ads.

Twitter Update Now Lets Users Search Every Public Tweet Ever Sent

Twitter updated its search tool this week to allow users to search through the half trillion tweets that have been sent over the past eight years. Previously, more current tweets with high engagement dominated search results. Now, the search field remains the same, but the platform displays all relevant results. Twitter said the improved search infrastructure is ideal for viewing entire conversations, whether it’s for a sports season, conference or trending hashtag.

News Feed FYI: Reducing Overly Promotional Page Posts in News Feed

Last Friday, Facebook announced that it would start punishing organic posts with aggressive marketing language (BUY NOW, INSTALL NOW, etc.) starting January 2015. This decision is based on a study that found users want to see less promotional content, and that the posts found most annoying weren’t ads but organic posts from Pages they follow. Brands are encouraged to create organic content that is focused on social objectives, like engagement, and to limit content aimed at increasing sales or downloads.

Salesforce.com Hones Listening Skills for Marketing Cloud, Social Studio

The latest version of Social Studio was unveiled this week and features an integrated set of social media tools geared at making stronger connections with customers and simplifying cross-team collaboration. New features include a “Send to Service Cloud” button to streamline the customer service process by routing certain content to internal experts who will be best suited to address them. Most updates are available now, with a few currently in beta that are scheduled for general availability early next year.

Friday5: Five Phases of Filmmaking

From short films and branded documentaries to Vines and tabletop photography, production teams specialize in bringing big creative ideas to life.  We are made up of filmmakers, producers, animators and creative directors from all walks of the industry—from comedy writers to comic book illustrators to live show producers – and work in constant collaboration to produce video content.

When it comes to making videos, we get all sorts of questions, so we’re here to lay it all out and take you through the Five Phases of Filmmaking.

1. Development

“The way to get good ideas is to get lots of ideas and throw the bad ones away.” –Linus Pauling

Before an idea can be developed into a script, there needs to be a creative vision—achieved by collaborating with accounts, creative, planning and other specialty teams to develop a focused insight about the audience and what you want to inspire in them through the content. It’s in this phase that we develop the creative brief and hone in on a treatment that will solve for it. We ask questions like: What’s the overarching story you want to tell? Who is that audience and what do you want them to do? Where is the content going to be consumed? Understanding distribution well in advance of production empowers the creative team to create the best concept for your client. Moreover, staying in line with the objectives outlined during this phase will be the guiding star throughout the process.

2. Pre-Production

“If I had nine hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first six sharpening my ax.”  -Abraham Lincoln

This is the time to get organized. In other words, planning, prepping and thinking of potential obstacles before they have a chance to materialize.  This is where we take everything from development and make the project a reality! From developing and locking the perfect script and laying out the full creative and narrative vision, to vetting directors of photography, to location scouting, casting the right talent and if the project calls for it, hiring a prop master and set designer– there is a lot to do! Filmmakers will tell you that pre-production is everything.

Shot lists and storyboards are essential to pre-production. These tools outline the camera angles and sketch out what each scene should look like before getting to set.

3. Production

“Filmmaking is a miracle of collaboration.” –James McAvoy
So it’s production time, when all the planning pays off and all hands are on deck—cast, film crew, the creative team, and even account and client teams. Everyone involved in production has an important role on set. From the director to the hair and makeup artist, to the script supervisor to the almighty gaffer in charge of lights – this is the moment where the professionals own their craft and we bring the script to life.

This video is a fun and easy way to remember who’s who on set and what they do.

4. Post-Production

“First you shoot the movie, then you make the movie” –Keenen Ivory Wayans.

Post-production is where the film comes together. A good editor helps tell a story by finding the best moments from the footage and working closely with the director and creative team to create a compelling narrative. This is also when a film can be fine-tuned with color correction, sound editing, motion graphics, 3D animation, and other finishing techniques to add magic to a piece. Licensing or composing the right music is also key, as most edits are timed and cut around musical moments. Having a skilled post-production team is essential to producing a project that wows.

5. Distribution

“No saint, no pope, no general, no sultan has ever had the power that a filmmaker has: the power to talk to hundreds of millions of people in the dark for two hours.”  -Frank Capra

So the video is picture locked and it’s time to amplify! Remember those questions from the development phase? Having the objectives figured out early on is key to the process and will be especially helpful when it comes to distribution. Thanks to strategic planning, paid media can now do the heavy lifting and effectively distribute the video where it will best be received—bringing the project full circle.

Voila! That’s the filmmaking process in a nutshell.

This post was written by Chris Walker, Natalie Batlle and Ryan VandenBosch.

Image credit: Luke Roberts

Facebook rolls out News Feed updates and Instagram updates caption editing options

Facebook rolls out more options for its News Feed, captions become editable on Instagram and more of the latest digital news.

More Ways to Control What You See in Your News Feed

Facebook announced new user control options that make it easier to follow/unfollow brands and people that appear in News Feeds. This update allows for easier interaction with pages (even if they aren’t being followed) and will display a list of top people that have been seen in the News Feed each week. Read on to learn more.

Discovery and Caption Editing on Instagram

This week Instagram rolled out an update that allows users to change photo captions after they’re posted, instead of having to delete images and re-post them. The update also provides the ability to re-tag relevant Instagram accounts and edit hashtags in case the wrong usernames or hashtags were posted in the original caption. To make any edits to photo captions, push the “edit” option below your posted image.

The 4 Big Changes Twitter Is Making to Convince People to Keep Coming Back

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo announced a handful of updates that are focused on attracting and retaining new users. One of these is the “instant timeline” which will fill new users’ timelines with content so that they can easily find people to follow while learning how to use the platform.  Other updates include the resurfacing of popular messages new users may have missed, new and improved celebrity pages and more.

Men are Now Pinterest’s Fastest Growing Demographic

Following its advertising launch early this year, Pinterest is expanding its social audience. Reportedly, the platform’s male user base is growing at a faster rate and accounts for one-third of all sign-ups. Pinterest claims that more male users use the social network than read Sports Illustrated and GQ, and in growing markets such as India and Korea, the platform has a 50/50 male and female user split.

Friday5: The STEM Moment in a Post-Network Age

The Five Forces Supporting STEM Students and Their Educators

Last week, I had the pleasure of speaking at the annual summit for one of our clients, Project Lead the Way. PLTW is the nation’s leading provider of learning programs in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), which not only includes K-12 curricula but professional development for teachers as well.

My talk focused on what I felt were five defining forces that make now a critical moment for STEM education.

mcleod

1. “The market for something to believe in is infinite.”

While building the talk, I was reminded of the above Hugh McLeod cartoon that contained this particular aphorism. In terms of the popular imagination and among the lay people, STEM is the source from which that something-to-believe-in springs forth—either as a source of hope for breakthrough cures or simply concepts that inspire and even entertain.

2. Four key “laws” are intersecting to make today a particularly exciting time to participate in STEM.

These aren’t “laws” in the physical-science sense, but rather observations about the human spirit as they relate to technology and innovation. Here they are briefly, in roughly descending order of popular familiarity.

  • Moore’s Law: Coined by Carver Mead on (the reluctant) behalf of Intel co-founder Gordon Moore, this refers to the notion that computing horsepower would double (or the cost of a given amount of power would be halved) every 18-24 months. While the death of this law has been five years from “today” for the past few decades, scientists and engineers keep finding ways to improve computing power nearly as fast as everyone can think of ways to gobble it up.
  • Metcalf’s Law: Coined by Ethernet inventor and 3COM co-founder Bob Metcalfe, this states that the value of a network is equal to the number of participants, squared. So, think about the number of people on the Internet. Now multiply it by itself. Wow.
  • Hayek’s Law: This is a name I’ve given to Austrian economist F.A. Hayek’s prescient 1945 observation: “The knowledge of the circumstances of which we must make use never exists in concentrated or integrated form but solely as the dispersed bits of incomplete and frequently contradictory knowledge which all the separate individuals possess.” Combine this with the phenomenal access to these individuals (Metcalf’s Law) and the power to process the data (Moore’s Law) and you have a powerful platform for innovation and collaboration.
  • Carlson’s Law: As described by The New York Times’ Thomas Friedman in honor of SRI’s Dr. Curtis Carlson, “Innovation from the bottom-up is chaotic, but smart. Innovation from the top-down is orderly, but dumb.” This perhaps modulates Hayek’s Law, counterbalancing freewheeling and even playful innovation with the need for some level of direction and order.
3. STEM produces the most-trusted people in the most-trusted industries.

As a fifth law to consider: “The further one gets into a public talk delivered by an Edelman representative, the probability of hearing about the Trust Barometer approaches one.”

Joking aside, my message to educators was that our research consistently shows that a STEM education aligns most with the most-trusted people when it comes to shaping a company’s reputation. Technical experts, for example, consistently rank second behind more general experts and academics. Further, as to the most-trusted fields, technology has nearly always ranked as the most-trusted industry for the last several years, followed by automotive.

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4. STEM is becoming a team sport that welcomes amateurs

FoldIt allows anyone to download a game onto his or her computer and virtually “fold” simulated proteins, banking on the notion that the human brain is a particularly efficient pattern-recognition engine. In one phenomenal case, game-playing amateurs collectively solved an AIDS-related protein folding problem that vexed scientists for fifteen years—after only ten days!

BOINC allows you to donate your computer’s otherwise idle time to participate in supercomputing applications, such as climate analysis, life sciences, or even searching for E.T. At the time of my talk, the 24-hour average of all of the volunteer computers using BOINC were donating enough computing power to put it at #6 on the Top 500 list of the fastest supercomputers. This puts the collective digital volunteerism of BOINC users right between leviathan-class systems at Argonne National Labs and the Swiss National Computing Centre.

The lesson: Smart scientists are figuring out ways that lay people can participate in the process of discovery. The best are even making it fun.

5. STEM’s “source code” is (slowly, reluctantly) opening

The explosion of open-source technologies and methods makes STEM disciplines more free, both as in “free as in speech” and “free as in ‘free beer,’” to borrow from the distinction made famous by Richard Stallman and others.  This opens up a world of possibilities, emerging from the ability to maximize the usable life of computing equipment, maximize technology spend from the classroom, and (most importantly) teach students the vital importance of “hacking” their world in order to create new insights and realities.

Image credit: @doug88888

YouTube’s 60 Frames per Second Video Feature

YouTube’s 60 frames per second video feature, Snapchat’s recent update and more of the latest digital news.

YouTube Can Now Play Videos at 60 Frames per Second

After years of only being able to play videos at 30 frames per second, YouTube is raising the bar on playback standards with its new 60 FPS capability. This feature has been highly anticipated since June and is currently only compatible with certain browsers. EA Sports is one of the initial brands to release 60 FPS videos on YouTube.

Snapchat Is In Partnership Talks with Buzzfeed, Time, Others

Snapchat is taking another step in monetizing its popular photo-sharing platform. According to Digiday, Snapchat is working with media brands like ESPN, BuzzFeed, Spotify, CNN and more to launch a content section called Discover. Discover will provide users with news articles, music and videos created by large media brands. Sources say that the hosted stories will not have a time limit, but will still have a shelf life on the app to encourage ongoing traffic to the application.

Red Hot Labs Launches Toro to Make Mobile-ad Buying Easy on Facebook

In an effort to make it easier for mobile app and game developers to buy ads on Facebook, Red Hot Labs has announced their newest application, Toro. The app sets up targeting, split-tests the creative ads to figure out which are most effective, and optimizes between best-performing campaigns. Toro provides marketers with the data they need to make easier and smarter Facebook Mobile ad purchases.

Twitter Takes Another Teeny Tiny Step Toward Becoming Facebook

This week, Twitter debuted a tweak to its website design that many are calling another step in the “Facebookification” of Twitter.  The “Compose new Tweet” box, which formerly lived on the left rail, now lives at the top of the page right above the timeline and asks “What’s happening?”. This is just the latest example of social networks attempting to create one streamlined digital experience.

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