These days, separate mobile-specific versions of websites are usually inadvisable. These scaled-down sites confuse the user experience and force the host to maintain two websites instead of one. Often, they withhold valuable content and functionality from mobile users. So in fact, there are two viable options: a responsive site or a mobile app. Here’s PNConnect’s take on how to make the decision:
If any of these capabilities are vital to your strategy, then a native app may be better at the moment. But that’s only “at the moment,” because HTML5 is constantly innovating and adding more functionalities.
Definitely before 9 a.m. I try to get in between 7:30 and 9 every morning to get ahead of the crush of workday meetings.
We have an open floor plan in PN NY, so my space is somewhat limited. I have a stack of books about analytics and idea generation, such as Data Smart and Drinking from the Firehose. I also have a banned book, Imagine by Jonah Lehrer, and a collection of awards I’ve received — PR News Rising Star, PR Week Best Use of Analytics 2014 from our work with Timberland. And everyone on the analytics team has a big widescreen monitor, because we use Excel so much.
I follow a lot of analytics and big data thought leaders on Twitter like Avinash Kaushik, Jim Sterne and a variety of other vendors. We go to a lot of data and analytics meet-ups in NYC, too, hosted at places like Foursquare’s and Spotify’s offices.
I drink a ton of coffee. I don’t even need that much caffeine, it’s just like a prop for me to always have a beverage. I used to always wear a pen behind my ear, too; that was a habit I picked up in my days working on my high school paper.
Right now, we’re really excited about how we’ve refined our process of creating dashboards for reports. It used to take 60 hours; now it takes an afternoon. We’ve also been increasingly empowering other teams and offices to pull their own reports rather than needing to go through us each time. This lets our team touch more clients, and it gives more of the analysis to those familiar with each individual account rather than analysts picking up account knowledge on the fly.
I use Evernote a lot, for meeting notes, links, pretty much everything. For task management I use Todoist. DataSift is our data aggregator for pulling social and other data. Microsoft Office, of course. My Excel philosophy is “If you can automate it, you should.” One of our favorite interview questions is, “What is your favorite Excel function?” For business trips, I use Expensify to store copies of receipts digitally so I don’t have to keep track of the paper versions.
My team works for 30 clients, so there’s always a lot happening at once. I start sorting through things by prioritizing client work over administrative stuff. I have a 45-minute commute from the Upper East Side, so I get started on sorting and writing emails while I’m on the bus or train.
I find that it’s really important from the outset to confirm the parameters of the project — the hours, budget, business objectives, and specific request. I want to keep the focus on the client’s goal rather than get wrapped up in tactics and the day-to-day. It’s about results, not just PR.
When email provider MailChimp signed on to sponsor the podcast “Serial,” no one expected a massive success. But shortly after its debut, the “This American Life” spinoff rocketed to the #1 spot in iTunes and became enough of a cultural phenomenon to spawn an SNL sketch, a Reddit forum and a podcast about the podcast. Even more strangely, MailChimp’s ad went viral, too.
The MailChimp ad spans 20 seconds and airs at the top of every episode of Serial. MailChimp provided the initial copy for the ad, and then a Serial producer recorded various strangers on the street reading it. In the final edit, one girl mispronounces “MailChimp” as “MailKimp” — the moment of fate. As Serial’s popularity has skyrocketed, “MailKimp” has became a popular in-joke among fans. As of November 21, 1,300 tweets mentioned #MailKimp, while nearly 2,500 tweets mentioned Serial and MailChimp together. Mark DiCristina, MailChimp’s marketing director, compared the explosion to “lightning in a bottle” — impossible to predict or intentionally create.
— This American Chart (@ThisAmerChart) November 7, 2014
Critically, MailChimp kept its response to its newfound infamy low-key. Apart from purchasing the domain mailkimp.com, the company has barely acknowledged the joke. As DiCristina noted, “I feel like if we were to get involved and play along, it would spoil the fun a little bit.”
Best Buy, another brand caught up in the Serial frenzy, has proved this point. Serial’s first season, which concluded last month, investigates a 1999 murder in Baltimore, and Best Buy is a critical location in one version of the sequence of events. The company gave a nod to fans of the podcast in this tweet:
Given the somber nature of Serial’s subject matter, many Twitter users found it appalling that Best Buy would use the podcast as a promotional opportunity. Within an hour Best Buy had deleted the tweet and apologized for its insensitivity.
Meanwhile, MailChimp’s choice not to mess with a good thing has clearly been a wise one. The company will be back to sponsor Serial’s second season, but it’s not out to make another “MailKimp” moment. DiCristina explains, “If we go into it thinking, ‘OK, let’s do this again,’ we’re just going to fall on our face.”
For more information about our team and approach, or to learn how we can help your organization with digital strategy, development and measurement, please visit the PNConnect site.
Pete Schiebel in Winter Haven, Florida, wrote this month’s Feature about apps and responsive websites, and Mary Gaulke in Sarasota created this month’s Guide to content workflow tools (with special thanks to Heather Brinckerhoff). Stephanie Pham and Mark Avera in Atlanta and Mary Gaulke contributed stories and insights for the Social Networking Stats, Noteworthy News, and Advertising Trends sections. Mary Gaulke penned the “Serial” case study, and Amanda Wu in New York City provided the latest stats. James O’Malley in New York City took the On Workflow hot seat.
3D Systems provided our cover and welcome photos of 3D-printed candy at CES. Jason Persse uploaded the AOL photo to Flickr, Anthony Quintano uploaded the Twitter NYSE photo, and Ted Eytan uploaded the Ferguson photo, some rights reserved. Some backgrounds courtesy of subtlepatterns.com.
Thanks to Jennifer Laker and Pete Schiebel from the Platforms team for providing design and development support, and to Mary Gaulke and Tom Harris for editorial oversight and proofing.