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Community manager: A job title or a state of mind?

By Leo Valiquette

Over at ReadWriteWeb, there’s an interesting discussion underway about the concept of a “community manager” and the need for this entity early on at a startup company.

The question, however, is whether this job description is simply an extension of the PR department or a separate, if complimentary, position. In addition, in the early days of a startup, how much money should be devoted to this kind of role when cash is scarce and the company founder should be taking a leading role in cultivating the company’s community?

If you look at any component of a comprehensive and strategic public relations strategy, having a person dedicated to a particular role or set of responsibilities is definitely more effective than a scattergun approach in which one person is challenged to wear several different hats. In addition, how you manage relationships with your community should also be conveyed in a philosophy that is permeated throughout the entire culture of your organization at every level.

What do you think?

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Media monitoring – can you really get it all?

By Danny Sullivan

Media monitoring is a function of every PR firm, but how comprehensive a service are you getting? There are a hundred and one services and solutions out there, but each comes at a cost and, for the average PR firm, there isn’t an unlimited budget for such things.

We use a few tools that, when combined, provide a fairly comprehensive report on clients’ coverage. However, there are still some pieces of coverage that aren’t always picked up on, typically in niche publications without much web content.

The best form of media monitoring is knowing where your coverage is likely to appear and keeping an eye open for it - although this is admittedly less practical for coverage of news announcements, where monitoring tools really come into their own.

Ensuring you are subscribed to the more niche publications on your target list should cover the possibility that your tools and services miss something. Of course, this becomes less practical if you are monitoring coverage that is occurring all across the globe.

Ultimately, you have to achieve a level of media monitoring accuracy that is acceptable to you and your clients, at a reasonable budget, while understanding that there may be some pieces that will slip through untracked.

If anyone has any particular tools and services or combinations that they have found to work particularly well in terms of effective monitoring, I’d be interested to hear from you.

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