Issue #1223 May 15, 2018
Publisher: Joan Stewart
“Tips, Tricks and Tools for Free Publicity”
In This Issue
- Are You a Victim of These Facebook Apps?
- 50 Ways to Measure Your Analytics
- Top 9 Writing Mistakes
- Hound Video of the Week
This Week in the Hound House:
My garden is exploding with perennials. And weeds. I can’t work for more than four hours in the yard without feeling wiped out. So I’ve set aside one hour a day to weed and sprinkle Preen, tiny granules that stop weeds from germinating. It won’t kill existing weeds, however. That requires good old-fashioned elbow grease.
1. Are You a victim of These Facebook Apps?
Facebook has given you a way to determine whether one of the 200 apps on its platform has misused your data.
That includes the app “This is Your Digital Life” which shared users’ information with Cambridge Analytica, the company that sparked all the bad publicity for Facebook and caused users to flee in droves.
Go here, log in and follow the directions. That’s what I did and learned:
“Based on our investigation, you don’t appear to have logged into ‘This Is Your Digital Life’ with Facebook before we removed it from our platform in 2015. However, a friend of yours did log in. As a result, the following information was likely shared with ‘This Is Your Digital Life’: Your public profile, Page likes, birthday and current city.
Not a big deal because I never share my real birthday on these sites.
Facebook has temporarily stopped approving new apps until it sorts out this mess.
To do: After you’ve clicked on the link above, review and update the information you share with apps and websites by checking your Facebook settings. You can learn more about what Facebook is doing by reading their article “How is Facebook preventing platform abuse?”
2. 50 Ways to Measure Your Analytics
How do you know if your PR efforts to build a platform online and offline, pull traffic to your website, and sell more products and services achieve results?
Check your analytics. When I hear that word I immediately think “Google Analytics.”
But that’s just one way. Analytics expert Melody Kramer has compiled a list of 48 other ways. They include several that don’t immediately come to mind:
–Rate of growth of sharing. Did traffic pick up after it was shared by a particular individual or on a particular platform?
–Number of people who sign up for push notifications.
–Total uninterrupted listening time for one of your videos or podcasts.
Once you know what’s working and what isn’t, you can adjust accordingly.
To do: Read her entire list in the article “50 ways to measure your analytics (with apologies to Paul Simon).” For a deep dive into how to read the numbers, take the Poynter Institue’s course “Analytics 101: Understanding Digital Metrics” for $29.95.
3. Top 9 Writing Mistakes
When I work with Publicity Hounds who have joined my Mentor Program, I teach them how to improve their writing.
That means starting with the basics and explaining the top writing mistakes I’ve seen in my 22 years as a newspaper journalist. Those same mistakes plague writers everywhere. They include:
–Wordiness, which occurs most often among people in academia or in the corporate suite. I used to tell reporters to pretend that I’d give them $1 for every word they could eliminate from a story without changing the meaning of the story. You can do this same exercise.
–Overusing any form of “to be.” This includes “is,” “was,” “were” and “would be.”
–Business jargon and cliches like “end-user perspective,” “thinking outside the box,” “at the end of the day” and throwing anyone under the bus.
To do: Read my article “The Top 9 Writing Mistakes And How To Fix Them.”
4. Hound Video of the Week
Thanks to Publicity Hound Lois Turley of Fort Smith, Ark., for this step-by-step video on how to turn an old broken end table into a luxurious four-poster bed for your dog or cat. The video is in the center of the page. It would take me five days to make this! That’s why God made kennels.