What is brand journalism?

brand journalism People today are inundated with advertising. So much so that they (both consciously and subconsciously) filter messaging conveyed by ads. Estimates of just how many advertising messages the average American sees everyday ranges wildly, as Forbes contributor Jason DeMers observes “Increasingly, marketers are finding that offering more – more copy, more complexity, more information – isn’t working like it once did. With estimates that the average American sees anywhere from 250 to several thousand ads or marketing messages every day, there’s simply no way to keep pace if your strategy is to be ‘bigger and louder’. Instead, brands need to think strategically about how to stand out amidst the clutter.”

The public relations industry developed in large part to accomplish that for brands through news coverage and other exposure. With today’s modern audience being more fragmented than ever before, using brand journalism is a strategic way to stand out. If done well, it will engage your key audiences and provide ideal strategic content for social media.

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Five Do’s and Don’ts of Media Relations

media relationsPR Newswire recently shared a great guide to media relations. As social engagement becomes a key priority for all content creators including journalists, generating earned media is even more of a challenge. Often times the potential popularity of a story can trump news value, so if a journalist shows interest in your story, you must be prepared to make the most of that opportunity. Ensure your coverage is high-quality and portrays your brand in the most positive light by following these do’s and don’ts of media relations: [Read more…]

Study: PR professionals can improve public attitudes by communicating through Facebook during times of crisis

Facebook-logo-1817834.pngSocial networking sites have become incredibly popular in recent years, with Facebook now ranking as the third most popular website in the U.S. With so many people spending so much time on Facebook, public relations professionals are using the site more and more to communicate to the public. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri School of Journalism have found that posting public relations information on Facebook during a time of crisis can improve the overall image of the organization that is experiencing the crisis.

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The Role of News on Facebook

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On Facebook, the largest social networking site, news is a common but incidental part of the experience, according to a new online national survey. The study is the first in a multi-part research project by the Pew Research Center, in collaboration with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, examining the role of news on Facebook and other social networking sites.

The new survey finds that roughly two-thirds (64%) of U.S. adults use Facebook, and half of those users (47%) “ever” get news there. That amounts to 30% of the overall population who are “Facebook news consumers.” Among this group, roughly 8-in-10 (78%) say they mostly get news when they are on Facebook for other reasons, such as seeing what friends are up to or sharing photos. [Read more…]

Survey Shows Small Businesses Investing More in Social Media, But Juggling Resources

VerticalResponse announced the results of an exclusive survey on how much time and money small businesses spend on social media. The company surveyed 462 small businesses on how much time they spend on social media activities, including finding and sharing content on popular social networks and blogging, and what tasks take the most time. VerticalResponse also inquired about marketing budgets.

The data are compiled in a social media infographic (with social sharing enabled and embed code) and reported below.

“Our survey confirms that small businesses are understanding the value of social media,” said Janine Popick, VerticalResponse CEO/founder. “They’re spending more time doing it, and investing more money into it at a faster rate. But the extra work will likely lead to time management issues, especially for the small business owner who’s handling social media on top of all the other responsibilities of running a company. This implies that small businesses are in need of tactics and tools now to help them save time.”

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CNN & Facebook Partner to Create ‘Social Experience’ During Election Coverage

CNN, America’s “most trusted source of news and information for the 2012 presidential campaign” and Facebook have partnered to offer America’s Choice 2012, an interactive and uniquely social experience for CNN’s on-air, mobile and online audiences and Facebook’s more than 160 million U.S. users.

In this partnership, Facebook and CNN are teaming up to take the pulse of the American electorate and amplify the voices of the social site’s users as they share their thoughts and feelings on candidates and critical issues facing the country ahead of Election Day. This innovative multi-platform partnership will include:

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Moms Lead Consumers In Following Their Favorite Brands On Social Media, Survey Says

2-in-3 Readers Get the Low-Down on Brands to “Like” From Blog Content, With Moms and 18-34 Year Olds Especially Influenced by Brand Mentions

Burst Media released the results of a survey covering the social media preferences, habits and actions of independent web audiences. Conducted in May, the study of 1,453 U.S. online adults aged 18 or older found that three-quarters (76.3%) of respondents visit social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and foursquare–though it’s clear that women are more active social media users than men. One-half (49.0%) of female respondents visit social media sites at least a few times per day, versus just one-third (34.0%) of men.

“With tweets buzzing onto our phones by the minute and every daily occurrence becoming fodder for Facebook, our survey has confirmed just how deeply engaged we are with social media,” said Mark Kaefer, marketing director, Burst Media. “And for some audience segments, such as moms, social media is a constant presence in daily life. Given this close relationship between consumers and their online communities, our study also found many opportunities for both online advertisers and web publishers to inject social vehicles into their efforts to drive user engagement.”

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comScore and Facebook Release Research Paper “The Power of Like 2: How Social Marketing Works”

Report Presents Framework for Optimizing Earned and Paid Media Reach to Fans and Friends and New Research on Sales Lift Analysis

comScore and Facebook today released the second white paper in The Power of Like series, The Power of Like 2: How Social Marketing Works, including original analysis demonstrating ways in which exposure to earned and paid media on Facebook drives behavioral lifts in purchase behavior. The analysis leverages data and insights from the comScore Social Essentials™ and comScore AdEffx™ products. To download a complimentary copy of the report, please visit: www.comscore.com/like2.

“Social media continues to emerge as an important marketing channel and major brand marketers are devoting more time and attention to understanding its impact on consumers,” said Andrew Lipsman, comScore VP of Industry Analysis. “While marketers understand the importance of a channel that now accounts for 1 in every 7 minutes spent online, many are challenged to quantify its effectiveness. The Power of Like research sheds new light on how brands are able to deliver earned and paid media at scale, amplify its effects from Fans to Friends of Fans, and understand how exposure to these media can drive the desired consumer behaviors, including online and in-store purchase.”

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Study: In Spite of its popularity, Americans skeptical of social media

13th Allstate-National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll Shows Opportunities for Businesses and Political Leaders, But Authenticity and Openness Are Key

Americans believe participation in social media makes them more informed and influential as both consumers and citizens, even as they express clear skepticism about the trustworthiness of the information they find there, according to poll results announced today by The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL) and National Journal.

The 13th quarterly Allstate-National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll explored how Americans incorporate social media into their consumer and community behaviors. Its findings reveal important themes about trust and influence, even as leaders in the public and private sectors increasingly use social media to engage consumers and voters.

Nearly two out of three American adults surveyed used social media in the last month. Although social media users are somewhat younger, more educated and more affluent than non-users on average, they closely align with the overall American public in their opinions about politics and the economy, as well as their perceptions of major institutions.

However, social media users report significantly higher levels of political and community activity, including volunteering for a community organization (69% of social media users versus 49% of non-users), signing campaign or community petitions (68% of users versus 50% of non-users), or attending a campaign rally (32% of users versus 22% of non-users). Social media users also are more likely to consult with others about buying a product or service (79% of users versus 60% of non-users) or change their minds about a product or service because of others’ opinions (64% of users versus 47% of non-users).

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Thirty-Seven Percent of Companies Use Social Networks to Research Potential Job Candidates, Study Shows

Hiring managers share why they screen with social media, and explain what they’re looking for in candidates’ profiles

With the pervasive, worldwide adoption of social media, job seekers know that the all-important first impression is potentially made well before the first interview. But just how many hiring managers browse social media profiles, and what type of information are they hunting?

Nearly two in five companies (37 percent) use social networking sites to research job candidates, according to a new survey from CareerBuilder. Of the employers who do not research candidates on social media, 15 percent said their company prohibits the practice. Eleven percent report they do not currently use social media to screen, but plan to start.

The nationwide survey, which was conducted by Harris Interactive from February 9 to March 2, 2012, included more than 2,000 hiring managers and human resource professionals across industries and company sizes.

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How do TV and social media mix? New study shows social media penetrating airwaves

Social media is showing signs of connecting with TV viewers as nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of U.S. consumers surveyed recall seeing social media symbols such as Facebook “Likes” while watching television, according to an Accenture study. Moreover, one in three viewers (33 percent) have interacted with social media after seeing a social media symbol on their TV screen.

Accenture conducted this survey of U.S. television viewers to better understand the public’s perception of social media symbols that appear during programming and how effective they are. The survey found that among the 1,000 viewers surveyed, the majority said they had noticed and were also familiar with how to interact with social media symbols while watching TV, including the Facebook “Like” symbol (42 percent), QR codes (28 percent), Twitter Hashtags (18 percent) and Shazam symbols (9 percent).

One-third (33 percent) of those surveyed said they had actually interacted with the symbols while watching TV by “liking” the TV program on Facebook (20 percent), scanning a QR code (11 percent), searching for the Hashtag on Twitter (7 percent) or scanning the Shazam symbol (5 percent).

“Social media and social networking are exploding across television screens as networks use social media to enable audiences to interact directly with related content for a richer viewing experience,” said Robin Murdoch, Accenture’s global Internet segment managing director. “This has huge revenue growth potential as social media applications build program viewer loyalty and drive online advertising opportunities.”

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Pew: 72% of Americans Follow Local News Closely

 

The Pew Research Center released results from its local news survey today, which found that nearly three quarters of Americans (72%) report following local news closely “most of the time, whether or not something important is happening.” Local newspapers are by far the source they rely on for much of the local information they need.

One-third of local news enthusiasts (32%) say it would have a major impact on them if their local newspaper no longer existed, compared with just 19% of those less interested in local news. Most likely to report a major impact if their newspaper disappeared are local news followers age 40 and older (35%), though even among younger local news followers 26% say losing the local paper would have a major impact on them.

Local news enthusiasts are more likely than others to prefer newspapers for almost all of 16 topics that were asked about in a survey, with the exception of weather and breaking news. Three-in-ten or more local news enthusiasts prefer newspapers for following crime, local politics, community events, or arts and culture. About one-quarter prefer newspapers when seeking information about local schools, taxes, government activity, other local business, and housing issues. Two-in-ten primarily use newspapers for following restaurants, job openings, or local zoning issues.

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New Social Media Study: Significant Increase in Use of Social Media for Job Searching, Networking by Healthcare Professionals

The second annual survey on “Use of Social Media and Mobile by Healthcare Professionals” released today by AMN Healthcare shows significant increase from the prior year’s results in use of social media by job-seeking healthcare professionals. According to the results of the 2011 survey, physicians, nurses, allied health professionals and pharmacists are networking with colleagues, tracking down job leads and applying for new positions at a significantly higher rate year-over-year.

The social and mobile media survey provides healthcare employers and leaders a snapshot of how clinicians have increased their use of social media and mobile devices for networking, job hunting and other career development activities.

As healthcare professionals continue to migrate to the larger social networking sites, opportunity exists for employers to move into social recruiting and sourcing of physicians, nurses, allied health professionals and pharmacists. Job candidates spent more time on social media sites and/or on mobile devices in 2011 and reported an increase in securing interviews, job offers and positions through the use of mobile job alerts.

Susan Salka, AMN’s president and chief executive officer, said, “We are not surprised that healthcare professionals continue to adopt social media as a mainstream method for job searching. Our innovative social and mobile methods have been successful in connecting job seekers to opportunities. We plan to continue reporting on significant changes and new, innovative opportunities affecting healthcare professionals and their careers.”

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‘Socially Engaged’ Companies See 4X Greater Business Impact, Study Finds

Companies that fully embrace social engagement are experiencing four times greater business impact than less-engaged companies, according to a new study conducted by PulsePoint Group, a management and digital consulting firm, in collaboration with The Economist Intelligence Unit.

The research identifies six types of socially engaged enterprises and provides insights for organizations that want both to measure themselves against peers and find the right strategy for improving business and economic impact from their investments in social engagement.

“We believe this research is essential to assure companies that their investments in social engagement can be rewarded, provided they do it right,” said Paul Walker, a partner with Austin-based PulsePoint Group.

“We felt this was an opportune time to conduct this research and to focus on C-suite executives, because it is clear that there is a growing list of high-performing companies that are achieving superior economic returns from the use of social engagement with key internal and external constituents,” Walker continued. “We believe we are seeing an inflection point at which many organizations are moving from an experimentation phase with social technologies to achieving tangible and measurable returns on the investments. Most notably, they are achieving enterprise-level scale that is impacting marketing and sales efficiency, increased sales and market share, and speed to market with new products. ”

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National Study Ranks City Governments’ Use of Social Media

More than six times as many big city governments reached citizens via Facebook in 2011 compared to 2009, while use of YouTube and Twitter grew fourfold and threefold respectively, a new study indicates.

Karen Mossberger, head of the University of Illinois at Chicago’s public administration graduate program, and Yonghong Wu, associate professor, analyzed and ranked the online interactivity, transparency and accessibility of the country’s 75 largest cities from March through May 2011. They used the data to compile the Civic Engagement Index, and compared it with their findings from a study they conducted in 2009.

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Pew: State of the News Media 2012

New Devices, Platforms Spur More News Consumption, But News Industry Loses Ground to Technology Rivals

 

A mounting body of evidence finds that the spread of mobile technology is adding to news consumption, strengthening the appeal of traditional news brands and even boosting reading of long-form journalism. But the evidence also shows that technology companies are strengthening their grip on who profits, according to the 2012 State of the News Mediareport by Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism.

More than a quarter of Americans (27%) now get news on mobile devices, and for the vast majority, this is increasing news consumption, the report finds.  More than 80% of smartphone and tablet news consumers still get news on laptop or desktop computers. On mobile devices, news consumers also are more likely to go directly to a news site or use an app, rather than to rely on search — strengthening the bond with traditional news brands.

While technology may be adding to the appeal of traditional news, technology intermediaries are capturing even more of the digital revenue pie. In 2011, five technology giants generated 68% of all digital ad revenue, according to the market research firm eMarketer — and that does not include Amazon and Apple, which make their money from devices and downloads. By 2015, roughly one out of every five display ad dollars is expected to go to Facebook, according to the same source.

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Google Slips into Second as Apple Soars to Coveted Top Spot with Highest Reputation Score According Harris Poll RQ® Study

Coca-Cola, Amazon.com and Kraft Foods fill out top five, knocking off Johnson & Johnson, 3M and reputation veteran Berkshire Hathaway in the 2012 Harris Poll Reputation Quotient®, which measures corporate reputation for the most visible companies in the U.S.

It’s a complicated world for corporate America as consumer perceptions grow increasingly negative. With the erosion of trust in corporate leadership, consumers have higher expectations and are demanding more information and transparency from companies with which they plan to spend their hard-earned dollars.

Through its 13 years, the Harris Poll Reputation Quotient (RQ) study has shown that the reputations of traditional manufacturers have fared well, though their overall visibility as an industry has declined; it also has indicated a rising affinity for technology companies. Customer inclination towards strong leadership and technological innovation may be the catalyst, and it is within this environment that Apple reigns supreme. This year regional brick-and-mortar retailers are more prominent, and many once-leading American companies are noticeably absent from the 2012 Harris Poll RQ study, which asks the general public to measure the reputations of the 60 most visible companies in the country.

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New Study: Most Facebook users receive more from their Facebook friends than they give

Most Facebook users receive more from their Facebook friends than they give, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center that for the first time combines server logs of Facebook activity with survey data to explore the structure of Facebook friendship networks and measures of social well-being.

These data were then matched with survey responses. And the new findings show that over a one-month period:

  • 40% of Facebook users in our sample made a friend request, but 63% received at least one request
  • Users in our sample pressed the like button next to friends’ content an average of 14 times, but had their content “liked” an average of 20 times
  • Users sent 9 personal messages, but received 12
  • 12% of users tagged a friend in a photo, but 35% were themselves tagged in a photo

“The explanation for this pattern is fascinating for a couple of reasons,” noted Prof. Keith Hampton, the lead author of the Pew Internet report, Why most Facebook users get more than they give. “First, it turns out there are segments of Facebook power users who contribute much more content than the typical user.

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Inc. 500 Continue to Embrace Social Media and Add New Tools According to 4th Annual Benchmarking Study

Eighty-three percent of these companies are active with Facebook, Twitter, Blogging or other social media platforms.

The adoption of blogs by the Inc. 500 has increased by 5% over last year. Meanwhile, there has been explosive growth in the use of Twitter and Facebook by these companies. These were among the key findings of the latest benchmarking study conducted by Nora Ganim Barnes, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and Research Chair of the Society for New Communications Research.

The new report is the outcome of a statistically valid study of the 2010 Inc. 500 list. The study examined these institutions to quantify their adoption of social media tools. This is the fourth year that Barnes has tracked social media usage by this sector, and it is the only methodologically sound longitudinal study of its kind with every company in the Inc. 500 included.

The research shows that:
Social networking continues to lead the way:

  • 71% have corporate Facebook pages
  • 59% have corporate accounts on the relatively new Twitter
  • 50% have a public facing corporate blog
  • 44% say Facebook is the single most effective social networking platform they use

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Study: Most Top Consumer Brands Still Not “Getting” Facebook

 


38 out of 48 Companies Still Have Company-Only or Company-Filtered Walls; 27 out of 48 Companies Did Not Respond to a Single Customer Reply; 94 Percent of Companies Land Visitors on a One-Way Communication Page

Though social media is universally pegged as a high priority for 2012, companies still aren’t listening to or communicating with consumers, suggests the latest A.T. Kearney Social Media Study, an investigation into the social media practices of Interbrand’s Top 50 Brands for 2011. Forty-eight of the Top 50 brands have a Facebook profile page, but activity levels vary drastically among them, and year-over-year comparisons show a continued reluctance on the part of most top-brand companies to embrace social media as a valuable part of customer outreach. At the same time, online messages from consumers have grown to a staggering quantity, indicating social media’s increasingly important role as a communications tool. One of the study’s key takeaways was that, for some companies, it may be better not to be present at all on Facebook than to project an uncommunicative or irrelevant picture of their brand.

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CBS Evening News Posts Solid Debut With Scott Pelley as New Anchor

The CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley debut week showed strong gains in households and viewers, according to Nielsen data.  Against the same week last year, the CBS broadcast increased in households (up +3%) and viewers (up +6%), according to Nielsen live plus same day ratings for the week ending June 10, 2011. Pelley replaces anchor Katie Couric.

“We are extremely pleased with the quality of the broadcast and delighted with the increase in viewers who tuned in to see the ‘CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley,’” said Patricia Shevlin, Executive Producer of the broadcast.

The CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley was also up a significant +9% year-to-year in Nielsen’s top ten American markets.

National Ratings, June 6-10, 2011 (Ages 25-54)
3.8 (HH)       8          5,743               1.3

Same Week Last Year (June 7-11, 2010)
3.7 (HH)       8          5,440               1.3

Have you been watching? What do you think of Pelley and the new tone he brings to CBS News?

Salesforce.com and Toyota to Create Social Network for Customers and Their Cars

New “Toyota Friend” to Be Powered by Salesforce Chatter

Salesforce.com and Toyota Motor Corporation announced today that they have formed a strategic alliance to build “Toyota Friend”, a private social network for Toyota customers and their cars. Toyota Friend will be powered by Salesforce Chatter, a private social network used by businesses, and will be offered, first in Japan, initially with Toyota’s electric vehicles (EV) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHV) due in 2012.

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Social Media Makes Local News Participatory, Provides Instant Viewer Feedback

Even in today’s digital era, television news remains the most prevalent source of daily news for Americans, according to the Pew Research Center. A recent Pew study shows that television remains the dominant source of news; 58% of Americans say they watched the news or a news program on television yesterday, a percentage that has changed little over the past decade. Even so, local television stations must be innovative to remain competitive and there are some interesting adaptations happening in the Phoenix market.

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Bing Makes Search Social With New Features

Search is becoming social with the addition of new social features announced by Bing today. The “decision engine” from Microsoft says bringing together the power of search and Facebook, people can now receive personalized search results based on the opinions of their friends simply by signing in to Facebook. New features, available today, make it easy to see what people’s Facebook friends like across the Web, incorporate the collective IQ of the Web into their decision-making and conduct conversational searches.

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Facebook Releases Guide to Social Marketing Best Practices

Facebook has released the “Best Practice Guide For Marketing on Facebook,” a comprehensive overview of how to utilize the social media site for marketing your business, products or services. Specific to Facebook, the guide is a practical overview that provides real-life examples from brands like M&M’s, OnStar, Clorox, Shane Co., Adidas, Levi’s, Sephora, 1800Flowers.com and more.

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Gannett Launches “It’s All Within Reach” National Brand Campaign

New Brand Identity and Advertising Campaign Highlights the “Strength, Reach and Value of
Gannett’s Powerful Portfolio of Trusted Brands”

Gannett (NYSE: GCI) today launched a new corporate brand strategy and national advertising campaign that elevates the company’s corporate identity and supports its unique portfolio of trusted brands, powerful network of broadcast, digital, mobile and publishing properties and unmatched local-to-national reach. The new tagline, “It’s all within reach,” captures the benefits Gannett provides for consumers, business customers and employees. Through its portfolio of trusted brands, Gannett gives businesses the opportunity to engage targeted audiences on any platform – TV, local and national newspapers, online, handheld devices and even in a specific elevator in a specific building on a specific street.

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Surge in Social CRM Among Big Brands

Large businesses are embracing social customer relationship management (CRM) software, with 30% planning to adopt it within the next 24 months, according to new study.

During the next two years 30 percent of leading companies will extend the goals of their online community activities to the design of enhanced service processes, such as social CRM, according to a study released by Gartner today. Social CRM for customer service has the potential to bring new and dynamic methods for improving customer service, and in doing so is creating opportunities for new and existing providers in the customer service and contact center infrastructure markets.

“Social CRM for customer service has only recently entered into the realm of contact center infrastructure and customer service software components, where it has been met with significant hype despite a limited number of field deployments,” said Drew Kraus, research vice president at Gartner. “There is strong corporate awareness, including at corporate executive levels, of social networks and their potential impact on corporate brand management and customer service perception. We expect the high-profile nature of social networks and social CRM for customer service to rapidly advance adoption from early adopter to mainstream deployments despite the volatile and rapid evolution of social networks in general.”

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Dr. Oz Operates on Jimmy Fallon During TV Show

The “Dr. Oz Show” goes boldly where no other show has gone before. For the first time ever, Dr. Oz performs surgery on a celebrity patient right on Dr. Oz’s stage. The patient is none other than late night talk show host and friend Jimmy Fallon! Then it’s Dr. Oz’s turn to be the patient when he undergoes a procedure with Jimmy Fallon assisting Dr. Arthur Perry and Oz’s sister Seval offering support. The segments will air in an episode to run next Wednesday (February 23).

As Dr. Oz and Jimmy Fallon are neighbors with their studios right across from each other at New York’s famed 30 Rock, Jimmy showed Dr. Oz his mole on his left hand which the doctor diagnosed as a blue nevi. When Dr. Oz appeared as a guest on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” on January 6, 2011, Dr. Oz invited Jimmy to come on the show to have the potentially cancerous mole removed (after a biopsy, the mole was determined to be not cancerous).

Jimmy arrived in a hospital gown and, despite some nerves, he put his trust in the hands of Dr. Oz and physician Dr. Arthur Perry. As he sat in the operating room chair and doctors made incisions and sutures, Jimmy turned his eyes away, unable to watch.  He sang verses of the National Anthem and cracked jokes as the audience squealed and chanted in support, “Jimmy! Jimmy!” When the audience was silent during certain moments of the surgery, Jimmy pled for their support.

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American First U.S. Airline With Social Media Channels Focused on Earning Miles

American Airlines, which this year celebrates the 30th anniversary of its AAdvantage® program, has launched Facebook and Twitter channels dedicated to the wide range of opportunities to earn miles. American is the first U.S. airline to launch dedicated social media channels focused on earning miles.

Followers of the Advantage Facebook and Twitter channels can expect to see a variety of posts detailing ways to increase their mileage balance, including special mileage offers and promotions, the airline said. Channels also encourage followers to share their own strategies for racking up miles.

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Social media users ‘more demanding’ as consumers

Research shows that social media users are more demanding:1 in 5 consumers who complain to brands via Twitter or Facebook want a response within the hour.

New research from Lightspeed Research and the IAB revealed that consumers have much higher expectations of social media customer services compared to more traditional channels. The research found that a quarter of people who complain about brands through Twitter or Facebook expect a response within the hour, and around 6% within 10 minutes.

Conversely, 50% of consumers who made complaints via a brand’s own website were happy to receive a response within a day and 27% within 3 days.

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