Combing through recent news items, I came across a number of reports that raise important questions that all communications strategists should be considering. Even if — like me — you don’t have definitive answers for all of them, they should still spur some thinking that will influence your future decision-making.

  • Are you targeting your digital ads effectively? “John Wanamaker is often quoted as saying that 50% of his advertising budget is wasted, he’s just not sure which half. I’d venture to say that advertisers waste far more money on bad targeting than they do on fraud. By no means is fraud a non-issue – it clearly is. But if 50% of your budget is wasted on bad targeting and 36% on fraud, then you’re really only getting 14 cents on every dollar working for your business. I’d say there’s some room for improvement there, wouldn’t you?” – Christopher Penn
  • Are you producing your own content for targeted audiences? “Advocacy and non-profit agencies like Human Rights Watch fall into a group that veteran media-watcher Dan Gillmor calls “almost journalists,” and they are expanding their ability to produce their own journalism in much the same way that brands and advertisers have been” – Mathew Ingram, GigaOm
  • Is your organization prepared for the coming tectonic shift in video consumption? “Yahoo is raising its ambitions in online video, with plans to acquire the kind of programming that typically winds up on high-end cable TV networks or streaming services like Netflix, people briefed on the company’s plans say.” – Mike Shields, Wall Street Journal
  • Do you get news from Facebook, like many of your fellow citizens? “A new study from Pew Research shows that out of the 64% of American adults who useFacebook, nearly half (30%) use the social network to keep up with news. On YouTube, 10% of U.S. adults use the video platform to get news, while only 8% look for news on Twitter.” – Matt Petronzio, Mashable
  • Are you providing news and social media monitoring reports to your members or other key audiences? “The Outdoor Industry Association is keeping an ear to the ground for its members, so to speak,  and providing them with new “social media listening” reports. The association recently announced the launch of quarterly reports, along with a newly launched “Social Buzz” biweekly email, to help members stay ahead of trends and changes in the marketplace by tapping into the social media conversation.” – Katie Bascuas, Associations Now(Shameless plug: my own CustomScoop can help you produce these reports.)
  • Does Twitter have a retention problem that you should be concerned about? “To date, about 1.5 billion Twitter accounts have been registered, according to the Amsterdam-based Twopcharts. Of these, 955 million still exist today, but only 13% have tweeted in the last 30 days. That is roughly half of the 241 million monthly active users Twitter said that it had as of the end of 2013. Twitter defines a monthly active user as an account that logs in at least once a month. It does not necessarily have to tweet anything.” –Yoree Koh, Wall Street Journal