I’m a long-time fan and booster of Rhode Island-based Marketing Sherpa, whose research and how-to advice I’ve read and purchased for years.
Of particular interest is its just-published 2009 Social Media & PR Benchmark Guide
While everyone knows that social media is changing the world of PR, communications and online marketing— this is the first significant piece of research I’ve seen that provides a qualitative and quantitative assessment of the value of social media, tips and techniques, and survey results from 1,200+ marketers on their current and anticipated use of social media.
Excerpts from the Sherpa Social Media Marketing & PR: Benchmarks & Best Practices:
- 48% of respondents said their expenditure on “social media” would increase in 2009.
- 48% plan to increase spending on e-mailing to house lists--good news for e-mail tools vendors like Constant Contact.
- 83% would cut back on Radio/TV ads, 60% plan to cut back on print ads.
- 69% of those surveyed said they thought an external consultant with expertise in social media and PR would be the most effective resource to execute effective social media outreach (vs. in-house or using a conventional agency)
I was amused to read two quotes in the Guide that closely paraphrase the description of my own view of modern communications (as embodied in the name of my own consultancy: INTRASTAND):
1) Sherpa: “Social Media marketing and PR is the practice of facilitating a dialogue and sharing content between companies, influencers, prospects and customers”
Intrastand: “When clients & those with whom they interact (press/analysts, partners, employees) "intrastand" one another-- relationships become intradependent. Everyone wins.”
2) Sherpa: “The premise of social media and PR is engaging the consumer in a way that delivers mutual value.”
Intrastand: “We help clients achieve "mutual advantage" with their Very Important Publics: media/analysts; customers/prospects; partners/public”
At 202 pages, the Sherpa Social Media report is a hefty tome.
Still at only $397 for the PDF version, $447 for a Print/PDF combo it’s a good value for anyone who wants to learn how social media will be effective in building brand and driving site traffic.
Check out the Exec Summary and decide for yourself.