Pokemon Go: Poke-Marketing?

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Do you want to be the very best, like no one ever was? If so, then you’re probably one of the 7.5 million people who have downloaded the Pokemon Go app since its recent launch.

The app, a location-based augmented reality game that enables you to catch virtual Pokemon in the real world, has experienced a tremendous start since its release in the United States. Pokemon Go has captivated mobile users of all ages worldwide, quickly becoming a cultural phenomenon.

Within weeks, the game generated an estimated $1.6 million in revenue per day. Benefiting from this instant success is Nintendo, parent to Pokemon Co., which has already seen a 25 percent increase in stock shares and added nearly $11 billion to its market value.

The popularity of Pokemon Go and its clear potential for profit not only have opened the door for Nintendo’s success, but also have become a tool for Pokemon-inspired marketing by food and retail businesses.

The game format encourages users to explore their real-world cities to find in-game Pokemon , PokeStops or Gyms, which can be found at actual landmarks and local businesses. This alone is a valuable marketing tool that can result in rising visits and an increase in foot traffic for any organization hoping to convert locals who want to play into customers willing to pay.

Real-world marketing value

Some establishments have already realized the marketing potential of the virtual Pokemon in the real world. By flaunting ties with the game, Main Street businesses have been able to set themselves up for an increase in recognition, popularity or profit.

Storefronts have found a number of ways to engage with the traveling hordes of Pokemon trainers. One of the most popular methods of capitalizing on the app’s hype is to place Lure Modules at Poketops at or near a business’ location.

A Lure Module is a well-recognized in-game feature that enables users to attract Pokemon to a certain area. Although the Lure Modules were designed to bring in Pokemon, they’re also bringing in a slew of gamers.


‘Poke-marketing’

Pokemon Go has become a great way for retail business to attract potential customers to its location. Once gamers are lured in, stores have taken “Poke-marketing” a step further by offering tailored discounts and promotions.

These strategies are just the start of what is sure to become a more prevalent marketing approach as the app rolls out in more countries, evolves and inspires copycats. Bringing an entire generation’s childhood nostalgia into the modern age of augmented reality gaming is unlike anything we’ve ever seen before.

Although this level of popularity can be fleeting, Pokemon has retained its status as a recognizable and well-loved brand since 1996. With the game’s technological sophistication and promise of added, advanced features—in-game chat functions, head-to-head battles, Pokemon trading, and so on—there doesn’t seem to be an end to Pokemon Go’s success anytime soon.

Kelly Holcombe is an account coordinator at Flackable, a national financial public relations and digital marketing agency. Connect with her on Twitter: @kelly_holcombe . This article was reposted from http://bit.ly/29WN08c (PR Daily)

Journalism Ethics that PR Should Consider Adopting

Successful public relations hinges on the ethics of its practitioners. Like journalists, PR practitioners often face challenging ethical issues that are best solved by adhering to the industry’s code of ethics.

The biggest difference between public relations and journalism’s adopted ethics codes are the people each code serves. While journalists serve the public and its right to know, PR professionals primarily answer to their clients and companies. 

PRSA’s ethical guidelines are perhaps the industry’s most widely recognized code for ethics. They cover the necessity for honesty, accuracy, integrity and confidentiality.

The Professional Standards Advisories (PSAs), designed to keep the PRSA code timely, address PR-specific areas and modern practices, including recording conversations, use of interns, video news releases, pay-for-play journalism and disclosure guidelines.

Both codes are quite comprehensive and benefit PR agencies and companies when followed. But are they comprehensive enough? Perhaps it’s time for PR to adopt some of journalism’s ethical guidelines. PR inherently serves the public (it’s in the name), and PR practitioners are functioning more as journalists; more PR content is now reaching the public directly without review and editing by the press or other independent journalists.

With this in mind, we’ve examined some principles from The Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics, not (yet) covered in PRSA’s code, that may be worth adopting by PR.

Give both sides the opportunity to respond to allegations. Support the open exchange of views, even views found “repugnant.”

To follow their promise of being “fair and balanced,” reporters must always get all sides of the story. This is why you’ll often see statements like, “Mr. so-and-so did not answer calls for comment.” The mention is proof that the reporter attempted to get the other side’s point of view.

Even recognizing that PR is an advocacy profession, the inclusion of some balance would likely enhance the credibility of PR-produced communications materials. That balance is especially important in the appropriate use and interpretation of facts and statistical data. Suitable balance can be achieved by including the viewpoints of independent experts.

Adding the layer of credibility can gain trust of PR practitioners and the businesses they represent from both journalists and consumers.

Make certain that headlines and content do not misrepresent. They should not oversimplify or take incidents out of context.

Public relations specialists should never choose a witty or mysterious headline over one that tells the truth. Make it a principle never to mislead your audience, especially on social media when creating clever messages to attract more attention.

Out-of-context messages can also backfire, as The Colbert Report’s PR team recently learned through this social media post.

Avoid misleading reenactments or staged news events. If reenactment is necessary, label it.

This guideline pertains mostly to photographs and videos used in news articles. Staged photographs have gotten journalists fired because they don’t accurately represent the scene.

When you stage a product demonstration, the demo must accurately and precisely portray the capabilities of the product or service as it exists at that time – not as you expect or hope it will exist in the future.

Up until 2011, the White House would often reenact speeches and photo-ops for the press. For example, when President Barack Obama finished his on-air address about the death of Osama bin Laden, he then re-enacted his walkout and the first 30 seconds of the statement for the press. The White House has since stopped its practice of staging photos, but until that point, the public could not be sure whether footage of the president’s speeches was real or fake.

Never distort the content of news photos or videos.

Similar to the guideline above, PR should take all steps necessary to be honest with their audience. When using photographs, it is inappropriate to distort them through editing.

Avoid stereotyping by race, gender, age, religion, ethnicity, geography, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance or social status.

Stereotyping is not always deliberate, but can sometimes show up in PR materials. Prohibit it and always look out for it.

Give voice to the voiceless; official and unofficial sources of information can be equally valid.

Stifling dissent and criticism, once a standard responsibility of PR, is no longer an effective PR tactic given the all-permeating presence of social media.

On social media, anyone can be a witness, everyone has a story to tell and, eventually, everything gets out; covering up dissent or criticism is now nearly impossible.  Like journalists who are bound to present all sides of the story, PR can successfully embrace open discussion by encouraging fans and critics to share content.  Companies that are “good guys” and do the right thing ultimately win the battle of minds. Other important journalism ethical guidelines to consider:

  • Recognize that the process of gathering and reporting news may cause harm or discomfort. Pursuit of the news and defense of published materials does not give  license for rudeness or arrogance.
  • Show good taste. Avoid pandering to lurid curiosity.
  • Refuse gifts, favors, fees, free travel and special treatment.
  • Be wary of sources offering information for favors or money. Avoid bidding for news.
  • Accept, work with and even encourage the public’s ability to voice grievances against the news media (or in this case, your company or PR agency).

Bottom line: PR is best served by adhering to both PR and journalism ethics. Some journalism guidelines are not entirely appropriate for the PR industry, but  may provide guidance on behavior not addressed in PRSA’s code of ethics.

Which journalism guideline(s) do you think PR should follow? Share in the comments below.


William J. Comcowich is the editor of Media Monitoring News and the CyberAlert Blog, where a version of the story originally appeared. He is also founder, president and CEO of CyberAlert, Inc.

An Ogilvy Director’s Insights for Industry Hopefuls

A few weeks ago, I sat down with the managing director of Ogilvy Atlanta, Mickey Nall, for lunch, and my life goals changed. 

The day began with his talk at The John Koten Distinguished Lecture Series, hosted annually at The University of Alabama by The Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations. Afterward, UA’s public relations student leaders were invited to a lunch with the man of the hour. 

Nall is a firm and straightforward speaker, filled with love for his field and high expectations for future leaders. His sound bites could scare a lion, but the passion behind his every word offers hope for potential colleagues. He is a leader I hope to grow to be one day. 

Nall spoke about leadership, storytelling, and passion. He enticed us with stories of his path to Ogilvy and his time at the firm. He gave just a glimpse of the life we all are about to venture into, and we were allowed to ask as many questions as we wanted. 

Below, I’ve listed some of the key points he made. Some of his advice may scare you, but odds are you’ll want to handwrite him a thank-you note later. 

1. If you want a job, stand out

“Unless you have three internships and are in grad school, you probably won’t get our internship,” Nall said, explaining that Ogilvy receives 153 applications for every one internship position. “You’ll have to network harder than you ever thought in order to get out in our business.” 

2. Get involved. 

Did I just scare you with the “three internships” comment? Don’t worry. Nall considers serious organization involvement as an internship. PRSSA, PRCA, and even getting into PRSA after college will increase your chances of employment. 

“Three-fourths of you will not be able to find a job right out of college,” Nall said about the inevitable fact of job searching. “You have to use your involvement and get connected.” 

3. Make your résumé pop. 

Obviously, experience should be highlighted, but the only résumés that will get in front of Nall are those without error, show true skill, and are specific to the job and firm. 

“You should make a résumé for every new job for which you apply,” Nall said. Point blank, if it is obvious your résumé is generic and used for every application, no one hiring will want it. Side note: Nall said color should be minor and keywords of the company’s values should be major on your résumé. 

4. Be a “storyteller” or a “truth teller.”

You should love public relations and all that you can do with it. 

“Do not just do this because you couldn’t get into business school,” Nall said. “Do it because you have a passion for PR.” 

Nall described a “storyteller,” one of David Ogilvy’s favorite descriptors, as the “truth tellers” of our industry. “You have to be an employee that will help tell your brand’s story. You have to want authentic stories as well as know how to get them out.” 

Nall gave the example that he would rather hire a gamer with passion in his or her eyes than a public relations major who just wanted to avoid math. 

5. Use that wiggle room. 

“There is a lot of wiggle room, fun to be had, and power of public relations out there,” Nall said. “Look outside of corporate and agency. There are plenty of places that need PR work that you’d never expect, like a nonprofit.” 

6. Take advantage of the “four big opportunities.” 

Nall said there are “four big opportunities” in public relations right now: “An opportunity to focus on your own reputation, create your own content, become a ‘storyteller,’ and an opportunity for employees to become advocates.” 

Know what companies you admire and set your goals through that. Take these opportunities on, and you will be ahead of the game. 

7. The interview is not all about you. 

“When it comes to conversation, remember that this is a business,” Nall said. “Tell me what you can bring to benefit me, but don’t talk about yourself too much. Create a conversation; I want to know that I can work with you.” 

If this article doesn’t make you want to work harder than you ever knew possible, I’m not sure what will. Speaking with Nall was a joy, and I imagine working with him would be even better. 

Students, print this list and keep it with you. Then go the extra step. Don’t let anything be an excuse that stands in the way of success. 




Myreete Wolford is a senior at The University of Alabama studying public relations and communications. She is also an editor for Platform Magazine, the school’s student-run public relations publication. Visit Ragan’s PR Daily where this excerpt is originally appeared.

4 Common Mistakes PR Pros Make on LinkedIn

You probably used LinkedIn at least once today to do some research (as opposed to spying) on a client or potential client, colleague within your own company, potential hire or potential new employer, or a journalist who covers your industry. So you use LinkedIn, but that doesn’t mean you really know how to use it.

If you ask Lori Russo, managing director, Mid-Atlantic, for Stanton Communications, which of the leading social networks is least understood by PR pros, she’ll give you her answer before you even finish asking the question.

“Public relations professionals have done a masterful job over the past several years finding innovative ways to use popular social media platforms including Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook to drive client programs and tell their own brand stories,” says Russo, who will be co-leading the session “What You Don’t Know—But Should—About LinkedIn, Google+ & Reddit” at PR News’ Social Media Summit in New York on June 3. “But LinkedIn remains underutilized, even though it’s the one platform specifically built for a business audience.”

For communications professionals responsible for growing their business and positioning their clients for growth, LinkedIn is potentially the most valuable tool in the digital arsenal. Not only does it connect organizations and individuals with peers and potential partners, it offers new opportunities to build relationships with journalists who use the site to research companies and identify sources.

Russo sees four common mistakes that PR pros habitually make on LinkedIn. How many of these are you guilty of?

1. Incomplete Profiles. LinkedIn offers an opportunity to share with the world a multimedia rich version of your professional life and experience. The platform enables you to be extensive and thorough about your experience, your capabilities and your point of view on industry issues and offers options for adding links and uploading files, including PowerPoint presentations through LinkedIn’s SlideShare integration. These files can include everything from sample campaigns to powerful media placements. Adding these enhancements and incorporating relevant keywords will make your profile more “findable” for prospects, potential employers and journalists seeking a specific kind of expertise. For agency pros, it is a good idea to offer to help clients who are subject matter experts or spokespersons build out their profiles as well.

2. Weak Contacts. LinkedIn provides a great avenue to solidify existing business relationships and build new ones. Take a moment to connect with your colleagues, your client contacts and prospects you know well. When it comes to reporters, those with whom you have an established relationship will be more than happy to connect on LinkedIn. Consider proactively inviting them to connect and use the opportunity to ask for introductions to their colleagues you would like to know. If you are using LinkedIn to connect with anyone you have not yet worked with but would like to know, be sure to include a personal note explaining why you, and possibly your clients, are relevant.

3. Inconsistent Updates. It’s funny how PR pros can find the time—several times an hour or a day—to share irrelevant posts on Twitter and Facebook, yet their LinkedIn updates are few and far between. LinkedIn users who share updates at least once a week are 10 times more likely to be approached for new opportunities. These may include new clients, partners, employers, recruits or reporters looking for sources. By keeping your feed current with company and client news, articles in which you are quoted as a subject matter expert, corporate blog posts or your perspective on industry issues, you will maintain a position that is front and center on the LinkedIn news feeds of your contacts and remind reporters that you are a potential resource.

4. Outdated Company Pages. LinkedIn aims to be the primary engine for business-related searches. More and more business leaders and journalists are using the platform to find information about individuals and organizations. To ensure the information they find is fresh, accurate and relevant, consider LinkedIn a key piece of your company’s (or clients’ companies) content marketing plan. Offer to work with the company page manager, provide content for updates, develop creative for the header image and create Showcase Pages for prominent products and services. By providing a wealth of information in one place, you are building your organization’s newsroom on a site reporters and others are already using for research.


Written by Steve Goldstein. Follow Steve Goldstein: @SGoldsteinAI. Visit PRNews where this excerpt is originally appeared.

Want to learn more about giving your a PR career a boost with LinkedIn? Register now for PR News’ June 3 Social Media Summit in New York.

Follow Lori Russo: @lorirusso

How to Tell an Epic Story in Five Everyday Steps

We already know the power of telling a great story for our clients. We want to sell that punch-in-the-gut moment, the horse and the puppy Super Bowl tear-jerker, time and time again.

I was reading an article recently, however, about what comprises an epic relationship. The author surmised, nicely, that at a distance sweeping romances and lifelong relationships are, indeed, epic, but upon closer look, are made up of 20,000 everyday Wednesdays.

It made me think that in marketing and PR, we are always looking for the next big story, or the next great angle on our product, service or business.

Awesome. That’s our job, and it’s why the people who are making sure their products or services actually work are paying us to take care of this part of the business.

But a truly sweeping story–the ones that snare us from the first gripping sentence to a neatly resolved “the end”–can’t always be full of narrative climax.

Every story has an arc or dramatic structure, and each piece must fit together with the whole (what good old Walter Fisher would call narrative probability). Gustav Freytag, a German novelist and playwright, identified five parts of the dramatic arc after studying Greek and Shakespearean dramas.

Each part serves to push the audience through the story, and each part–though some parts less narratively sexy than others–plays an important role in how effectively the climax or main idea of the story is conveyed to the audience.

1. Exposition

In this part, important background information is laid out for the audience. You could also call this “context.” Either way, it’s an essential part for building a story that makes sense.

2. Rising Action

This part of the arc is the series of events that build immediately upon the background information and begins to lead the audience toward the point of greatest interest. Interestingly, this part of the arc is arguably more important than the climax, because without these events, the climax will not make sense, will feel jarring…or, frankly, the audience won’t care about the climax in the first place.

3. Climax

This part of the arc is the big moment people talk about after the movie is over, or that “turning point” where things go from bad to good…or sometimes bad to worse (in the case of a tragedy like Titus Andronicus. Shakespeare was dark, ya’ll.)

4. Falling Action

This part of the arc is “what’s next,” where we see if there is a win or lose situation based on the climax, and how characters respond to the “big thing” or turning point in the story.

5. Resolution

In this part of the arc, all conflicts are resolved, characters return to normal life, and there is a pervading sense that the big events that got us here might still shape the future, but they are firmly in the past.

Critics of Freytag’s model are quick to point that this arc only applies to tragedies or dramas, but personally, I’m a big fan of allowing any storytelling theory to be a guide for the way we do PR and marketing.

I’m also a big fan of any model that very closely resembles a sales or buying cycle, and how those models might give us deeper insight on how we might anticipate where customers are in the cycle, and deliver the information they need before they know they need it.

For example, a customer at the very beginning of the sales cycle who is unfamiliar with a brand or product is going to be in dire need of exposition (“Who are you and why should I care?”) whereas a customer who is familiar with a brand or product’s key selling points might need that extra “what’s next” information or story (“Your product sounds great…how does it positively or negatively affect my life?”).

When we can think of the stories we tell as larger parts of the whole, we can more ably tell the smaller stories that pack a little less punch, because we know how they play into the narrative arc.

So tell that epic story. Just remember epic stories are composed of just a few heroic moments…and 20,000 everyday anecdotes.


Written by Sarah J. Storer. Sarah has been a fan of stories ever since she memorized ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ at the ripe old age of three. Today she channels that passion to help individuals and businesses tell their stories with heart. Learn more at about.me/sarahjstorer or follow her on Twitter @sarahjstorer. Visit PRTini.com where this excerpt is originally appeared.

What to Do When Social Media Is Not Working For Your Business

Is social media not working for you?

Are you struggling to form a social media connection with your audience?

Have you found that the recommended “getting started” tips and tricks for social campaigns just haven’t resonated with your followers?

The truth is, while there are plenty of audiences that respond well to social media marketing attempts, there are others that don’t for a number of different reasons.

In this article you’ll find out how to recognize the variables that could result in an audience-marketer mismatch and how to work around them.

Why Your Social Media is Not Working?

If you feel like you’ve tried everything to connect with your audience, but it’s just not working, you’re probably looking to social media experts for advice. Maybe you’ve followed that advice, but your audience still isn’t responding. What’s going on?

istock social media image

Not all social networks match your audience. Image source: iStockPhoto

Well, it may not be the advice or implementation that’s your problem. The problem may be your choice of social platform, your industry’s expectations or even your audience’s comfort level with social media.

To find out, I suggest looking closely at age and demographic matches, the size of your audience, industry standards and your audience’s interest in engaging online. In this article I’ll discuss each of these and how they can affect your social engagement, then offer advice on how you can work on those issues.

Know Whom You’re Talking To

A recent Pew Internet study revealed that 73% of online adults use a social networking site of some kind, but only 42% use multiple social media sites.

The following chart demonstrates how these percentages break down.

pew internet study results on adults social website use

A Pew Internet study reveals the percentage of online adults using different social websites.

Considering the data from the study, let’s talk about how it can apply to you.

Imagine your audience is primarily made up of middle-aged women who, according to the study, are four times as likely as men to be Pinterest users.

If you’re focusing your social marketing efforts on Facebook because of its high adoption rate but not seeing engagement, it could be because your primary audience is spending its time on Pinterest.

It may be time to reevaluate who your target customer is. When you know your audience and their social platform of choice, it’s much easier to engage them.

Understand That Size May Be a Factor

Another reason you may not be making a strong connection with your customers could be related to the size of your audience on a given social channel.

This infographic from Mediabistro shows interests across Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter.

mediabistro social media infographic

Not all interests are represented equally on all social networks.

If you’re selling a high-dollar product, you’re more likely to have a very small and specific audience. As a result, sending out broad messages via social media may not be the best way to connect with them.

Consider Your Industry’s Culture

In some cases, a company may not see high engagement simply because of industry culture. Perhaps the overall industry is behind the times technologically. That could be because either their customers or the industry as a whole aren’t familiar with social media or comfortable using it.

If you’re in a very personalized industry (e.g., the funeral profession), getting your clients to engage on social sites may be a challenge simply because they don’t think to look for you online unless it’s to look up your phone number. In those cases, it’s unlikely they’ll reach out via social media.

Not all businesses exist in industries that naturally lend themselves to online engagement.

jones-wynn funeral home facebook update

Some industries have a harder time engaging with their Facebook fans.

As an example, take the partnership my company recently had with Self Storage Finders. They’re a service that helps consumers identify and evaluate different storage providers in their area.

While this type of service is valuable to the customers who use it, those clients don’t necessarily think about discussing their storage experiences on social sites.

While these variables and their impact on engagement are frustrating, it’s not impossible to market to difficult audiences.

The following three tips should help you adapt social media marketing recommendations and best practices to suit the needs of your specific (if challenging) audience.

Keep in mind, though, that your social media marketing strategy may necessarily follow a different path than it would if your audience were more amenable to social conversations.

Know Where To Be

Conventional social wisdom says that all businesses need to maintain a Facebook and Twitter profile. I have a different point of view. I believe that creating social identities and then essentially abandoning them because of lack of engagement does more harm than good to a business.

What did you discover when you reevaluated your audience? You may have discovered that the most active community engagement portals in your industry aren’t social sites at all—they’re forums and “old-school” message boards.

If that’s the case, you have to set conventional wisdom aside and focus your efforts on the arenas where they’ll be noticed in the first place!

See What Sticks

You’ve looked at your audience, you know where they are and you’ve set up shop there. Now let’s suppose you’re getting ready to start a social promotion for an audience you’re pretty sure is going to be difficult to engage.

There are plenty of different templates out there for possible social posts. I recommend trying as many as you can. I call this the spaghetti-flinging approachbecause it’s as if you’re throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks.

paid facebook ads

Paid ads can grab the attention of your target market.

If you’ve chosen to focus your efforts on Facebook, try posting text-based status updates, images, links, polls, paid ads and morePost at different times of day and on different days of the week.

While it’s nice to see engagement at this stage, the true goal of early social posting to difficult audiences should be to gather data.

Remember, you can’t trust the industry pundits to tell you what will work best for every audience, so use your own metrics and gather your own data.

Look For Your Loudest Fans

As you post more updates, you’ll likely find the members of your community who are more highly engaged than othersMake sure these people aren’t your employees, close friends or relatives!

When you’ve found your most active fans, pay attention to the exact types of content they’re engaging with. Use this data to refine your posting techniques to include content that’s likely to appeal to these users.

Take a look at the following screenshot from the Self Storage Finders Facebook page before we started working with them. This particular update didn’t resonate with audience members, so it had no engagement whatsoever.

self storage finders facebook text update

An early Self Storage Finders Facebook update falls flat with followers.

When we started working with them, we began experimenting with different types of posts and content and we noticed that fans reacted well to cartoon images.

Below you can see how catering to fans’ favorite type of post results in more likes, all because we were willing to experiment and base future posts on actual audience data.

self storage finders facebook text update with image

Extensive testing revealed that Self Storage Finders’ Facebook fans respond well to cartoons.

Know When to Cut Your Losses

Unfortunately, there are audiences out there that simply don’t respond to social media marketing. But that doesn’t mean you should throw in the towel.

Take another look at the data you gathered from your audience analysis and post experimentsCompare it to your established metrics and install analytics tools that will provide additional data to help you figure out whether your social marketing is working.

Let’s say you determine that including man-hours, image subscriptions and other investments, you put roughly $500 per month into your social campaigns. What does your data tell you? Are your social channels sending you visitors that result in more than $500 per month in sales?

That example is a simplification of social marketing’s value, of course. It’s true that social media can lead to extensive brand awareness that may indirectly lead to sales. But if you consistently see that your profits are falling short of your investments, it may be time to either refocus your strategy or pull the plug on your social efforts entirely.

The Bottom Line

If you’re not getting traction with your social media marketing, take a break from researching broad advice that promises a quick fix. Reevaluate your efforts:meet your customers where they are, consider the size of your audience and set your expectations accordingly.

Not every business will have success with social media marketing no matter how hard they try, but it’s worth the time to experiment with different tactics and gather data before calling it quits.

What do you think? Have you ever found yourself marketing to a difficult audience? If so, what social media marketing tips do you have to add for those in this situation? Leave your experience and advice in the comments.


 Written by Eric SiuEric is the CEO of digital marketing agency Single Grain. He also interviews entrepreneurs on business and personal growth tips on his blog, Growth Everywhere. This post is originally appeared on SocialMediaExaminer.com

Images from iStockPhoto.

Study: Bad weather sours online reviews

If you’re not already reading online reviews with a large grain of salt, here’s even more reason to do so. 

A recent Georgia Tech/Yahoo Lab study of online restaurant reviews finds that weather is associated with the positive or negative nature of online reviews. 

From Eater

Customers who visit a restaurant on a rainy day are more likely to leave a negative review, while customers who review a restaurant on a warm sunny day are more likely to leave a positive review. 

Also, during snowy days, users rate restaurants lower than other days. 

The study’s abstract states that it has “implications for designing online recommendation sites, and in general, social media and online communities.” 

Some other findings: 

  • There are lower ratings and a higher number of reviews in July and August.
  • The highest ratings come in November.
  • Areas with a high concentration of educated people see more reviews—three times more, in fact—than places where fewer than 10 percent have diplomas.

Will the study lead to change in online review sites? Maybe. For now, if you’re doing marketing for a restaurant, consider building a weather-control machine.

 

About the author

Kevin Allen has developed social media strategies for Fortune 500 companies and created content for major brands across multiple social platforms. Previously, he served as an editor and reporter for the Chicago Sun-TimesESPNChicago.com, FoxSports.com and Ragan Communications. As a reporter, Kevin has covered MLB, NHL, NBA, PGA, NCAA football, national political campaigns, backyard barbecues and just about everything in between. He’s been a contributor to PR Daily since its launch.