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January 12 2012

15:20

Pew Studies the Power of Text-Based Donations After Haiti Quake

A simple text message can have a big impact. Mobile giving makes it easy to donate almost instantaneously after disaster strikes -- users authorize a mobile donation by texting a keyword to a specific short code, and the donation is then billed to the donor's mobile phone bill, eventually ending up with the nonprofit of choice.

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Following the devastating Haitian earthquake of 2010 that left more than 200,000 people dead and more than 1 million Haitians homeless, mobile donations to Haiti totaled more than $43 million -- the first time mobile giving went mainstream in the United States on a large scale.

On the two-year anniversary of the Haitian earthquake, the Pew Internet Project has released "Real Time Charitable Giving," a report that delves into mobile giving and donors' motivations in the U.S.

The report, a collaboration among the Pew Internet Project, the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, the Knight Foundation, and the mGive Foundation, aims to provide a window into the motivations, benefits, and potential pitfalls of mobile giving campaigns.

Drawn from a sample of 863 individuals who made a mobile donation to the "Text for Haiti" campaign, the survey covers why the users gave, how they learned about the mobile donation campaign, how likely they were to share information about their mobile donation, and how likely they were to remain engaged with relief efforts.

Key Findings

Many of the contributors to the Text for Haiti campaign were first-time mobile givers; 74% of the respondents said that the earthquake response was the first time they had used a mobile device for charitable giving. Many of the users went on to contribute to other relief efforts (such as the Japanese tsunami and the BP Gulf oil spill) through mobile donations, with 56% of the respondents saying they had continued to use mobile donations for other efforts.

Some of the key benefits of mobile giving are the ease of the transaction and the relatively small donation amounts, which make it an easy impulse decision; 73% of respondents donated the same day they heard about the campaign, and 50% of those users donated immediately upon hearing about it. The ease of mobile giving also encouraged the donors to spread the word about the campaign to their social groups; 43% of the surveyed mobile donors reported that they encouraged their friends and family to make mobile donations as well.

Unsurprisingly, the report found that mobile giving attracted a younger, more diverse, and more technologically savvy group of donors compared with the typical nonprofit donor. The majority of the respondents were also more familiar with the little computers in their pockets, using their phones in more ways than just texting or calling (such as taking photos, accessing the mobile web and social networking sites, sending and receiving emails, etc). Less than 40% of average U.S. mobile users use these features.

A downside to the mobile giving campaign was respondents' limited long-term engagement with relief efforts and news following their initial donations; 43% of participants reported that they were following the reconstruction efforts "not too closely," while 15% were following them "not at all." Furthermore, the impulse decision to make a mobile donation meant that there was minimal research into relief efforts before the donation, with only 14% of respondents saying they had researched where the money would go before making their mobile donation.

The spur-of-the-moment nature of mobile donations and the ease of the transaction make mobile giving an easy way to reach a large number of donors, despite the challenges.

Image courtesy of the United Nations Development Programme and used under the Creative Commons license.

July 15 2011

16:46

Mediatwits #13: Smartphone Ownership Booms; This Week in Rupert

jack shafer.jpg

Welcome to the 13th episode of "The Mediatwits," the weekly audio podcast from MediaShift. The co-hosts are MediaShift's Mark Glaser and Rafat Ali, the founder of PaidContent. This week's show looks at a recent survey by Pew Internet that found that 35 percent of Americans now have smartphones, and that ownership is even higher among people of color. Guest Aaron Smith from Pew explained one surprise from the survey: 25 percent of smartphone users were using their phone as their main source of accessing the Net.

Then talk once again turned to the United Kingdom, and what is becoming a regular feature on the podcast: "This Week in Rupert." The phone-hacking scandal continues to widen, with News Corp. dropping its bid to take over BSkyB, and a new FBI investigation into possible hacking of the phones of 9/11 victims in the U.S. Special guest Jack Shafer, Pressbox columnist for Slate, says not to jump to conclusions and that the New York Post and Fox News are innocent until proven guilty.

Check it out!

mediatwits13.mp3

Subscribe to the podcast here

Subscribe to Mediatwits via iTunes

Follow @TheMediatwits on Twitter here

Intro and outro music by 3 Feet Up; mid-podcast music by Autumn Eyes via Mevio's Music Alley.

Here are some highlighted topics from the show:

Google+ addictions

0:40: Mark convincing friends to join Google+

3:10: Rafat waiting until it grows out of early adopter phase

3:30: Rundown of topics for the podcast

Pew Internet survey on smartphone use

aaron smith pew.JPG

05:00: Background on Pew Internet's Aaron Smith

07:15: Smartphones becoming part of daily life

11:15: Theories on popularity of smartphones by blacks, Latinos

This Week in Rupert

14:50: Slate's Jack Shafer now supporting Murdoch (joking!)

16:10: Update on the phone-hacking scandal, spreading to 9/11 victims?

18:20: Everyone's guilty before anything is proven

20:20: Guardian, Nick Davies deserve praise for staying on story

22:30: Fox News impacted? Mark and Jack argue it out

25:45: Twitter keeps Jack updated on story

More Reading

Smartphone Adoption and Usage at Pew Internet

As smartphones proliferate, some users are cutting the computer cord at Washington Post

Smartphones and Mobile Internet Use Grow, Report Says at NY Times' Bits blog

Jack Shafer's Pressbox column on Slate

Rupert Murdoch, Paper Tiger at Slate

Murdoch Pulls the Ultimate Reverse Ferret at Slate

FBI to investigate Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.: Did it hack 9/11 victims? at Christian Science Monitor

Google Plus Users Top 10 Million; 1 Billion Items Shared Each Day at ReadWriteWeb

Weekly Poll

Don't forget to vote in our weekly poll, this time about how you access the Internet:




How do you access the Internet?

Check out the results of a previous poll: What do you think about Google+?

Screen shot 2011-07-14 at 4.00.33 PM.png

Mark Glaser is executive editor of MediaShift and Idea Lab. He also writes the bi-weekly OPA Intelligence Report email newsletter for the Online Publishers Association. He lives in San Francisco with his son Julian. You can follow him on Twitter @mediatwit.

This is a summary. Visit our site for the full post ».

February 23 2011

19:06

How to Fix the Tech PR Industry's Diversity Deficit

PBS.org has recently been home to some frank and thoughtful discussions about an overlooked issue: the lack of racial diversity in the media.

For those who may have missed it, the dialogue was sparked by Retha Hill in an Idea Lab post about the lack of minorities at new media conferences. Mark Glaser expanded the conversation from the comments section to a wider audience on Twitter with a MediaShift #mediadiversity chat. And Hill has followed up with a post on the need for media innovation in minority communities.

All this got me thinking about my particular media niche: technology public relations. What's so special about tech PR? Well, for those loosely familiar with the PR sector, imagine it as music. Entertainment, fashion, beauty and sports PR are akin to pop music.

Tech PR is more like opera. It requires a slightly different set of skills and media approaches. How many people of color in opera can music-lovers name? Aside from the great Kathleen Battle, not many come to mind. Unfortunately, this dilemma also rings true for tech PR. Persons of color are an untapped market that many PR agencies have not yet explored. Looking back at my six years in PR, I can count the number of brown colleagues I've worked with on less than two hands.

Why are minorities -- especially those of black and Latino descent -- largely missing from the tech media landscape? Inspired by this new-found dialogue on diversity in media, I want to talk about my career as a publicist representing and working with digital media and technology companies and offer some suggestions for remedying the tech PR industry's diversity deficit.

How I got here

When I was about 12 years old, I accompanied my father, who is a professor, to a wrap party for a film project where he served as an academic advisor. At the celebration, I remember one of the producers telling me that I'd be "good at PR" when I grew up. Back then, I didn't know what the producer meant. But that seed of advice remained in the back of my mind as I graduated from Rutgers College (part of Rutgers, the state university of New Jersey), studied and lived abroad in Europe and Brazil, and completed a master's program in marketing from the Bristol Business School in Bristol, England.

ana cano nennig.jpg

Upon finishing my master's program, I gravitated back to where my friends and family are from -- New York City, the so-called Silicon Alley of innovation -- and sought to finally discover what this PR thing was all about. Within a few months of my arrival, I landed an entry-level position within the technology practice of Euro RSCG Worldwide PR. It was there that I met my mentor, Ana Cano Nennig, a female of Mexican-American descent. With her encouragement and guidance, I have navigated my way through the close-knit and competitive world of tech PR, representing some of the most innovative and respected companies -- from startups to established brands -- that are advancing the tech and digital media industries.

As Nennig evidences, I'm not the only person of color to succeed in PR. Minorities, especially African-Americans, have done well in sub-sectors of PR such as entertainment and sports where persons of color have played starring roles. This history stretches as far back as 1957, when the United Artists movie studio A.S. "Doc" Young to publicize an interracial love story, "Kings Go Forth."

New opportunities for Tech PR

When it comes to persons of color in technology and digital media PR, history may still be in the making. And, considering that minorities have led the way for technology adoption and innovation, I think a larger role for minorities is manifest destiny.

Take social networks and mobile technology, for example. New media and technology are widely embraced and used by minorities. According to a Pew Internet report [PDF file], 18 percent of Latinos and 13 percent of black adults who are online use Twitter; that's significantly greater than the five percent of white Internet users who tweet. Blacks and English-speaking Latinos were found to be more likely to use the various smartphone features such as web surfing and mobile shopping, according to Pew.

Given this history of early technology adoption and today's rising dialogue about minorities working in media and technology, I'm excited about what's in store. Smart business strategists hoping to increase their multicultural market share would do well to get on board.

How to promote diversity

In addition to continuing the dialogue of #mediadiversity, I want to include a few constructive ways to address the shortage of minorities within tech PR.

  • Weave diversity into everything you do. This is particularly crucial for PR agencies. One way to do that is by actively recruiting qualified minority talent, leaders, and mentors.
  • Create programs to help tell and preserve minorities' history in communications, as well as revitalize the role minorities play in the broader field of marketing communications. PR agencies can create an award or scholarship program to achieve this.
  • Educate minority youth on the opportunities in tech PR by partnering with minority communications professionals, entrepreneurs, journalists, and related organizations.

The reason I enjoy what I do is because of what technology and media represent: advancement and innovation.

In order for the industry to live up to the ideals it represents, diversity needs to be realized not just at the consumer level but at the corporate level as well. More personal dialogue should be encouraged regarding what it's like to be a minority in this industry.

But more importantly, action is required by the leaders driving the PR industry. PR agencies that serve technology and digital media companies should encourage diversity in both personnel team-building and marketing initiatives for clients.

Such steps will help to create stronger and more creative technologies and media that are reflective of our nation's and world's undeniable diversity.

Julian is an account supervisor at the Horn Group, where he has worked since November 2009 to executing PR strategy and manage media and analyst relations for marquee clients. Julian has regularly secured national feature placements for clients in Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Forbes, Adweek, GigaOm and Computerworld, among many other mainstream business, advertising, and technology publications. He is a martial artist and comes from a family of writers, including his father Dr. David McBride, a widely-known educator and researcher at Penn State University and his uncle James McBride, who chronicled their family in the New York Times and the international best-selling memoir "The Color of Water."

This is a summary. Visit our site for the full post ».

December 10 2010

22:50

4 Minute Roundup: Minorities, Young People Lead in Twitter Use

news21 small.jpg

4MR is sponsored by Carnegie-Knight News21, an alliance of 12 journalism schools in which top students tell complex stories in inventive ways. See tips for spurring innovation and digital learning at Learn.News21.com.

In this week's 4MR podcast, I look at the recent survey results from Pew Internet on Americans' use of Twitter. The research group found that 8% of American use Twitter, with 2% using it daily. That use is even more pronounced among Americans aged 18 to 29, and among blacks and Hispanics. I spoke to Pew Internet senior research specialist Aaron Smith about the survey results and how Twitter use compares to social networking use.

Check it out:

4mrreading121010.mp3

>>> Subscribe to 4MR <<<

>>> Subscribe to 4MR via iTunes <<<

Listen to my entire interview with Pew's Aaron Smith:

smithpew final.mp3

Background music is "What the World Needs" by the The Ukelele Hipster Kings via PodSafe Music Network.

aaron smith pew.JPG

After our phone interview, I asked Smith why he thought minority use of Twitter was so high compared to whites. Here's his response via email:

"There are a lot of factors possibly at play, but a big part of the story is that these groups are both younger as a whole than whites, and also more likely to access the web using a phone or other mobile device. Obviously Twitter was built with the mobile environment in mind, so to the extent that these groups are oriented around mobile access to information, they make a nice match with the service."

Here are some links to related sites and stories for the podcast:

8% of online Americans use Twitter report at Pew Internet

Who's Using Twitter? Some Surprising Answers at PC World

8% of Americans Use Twitter and More Stats You Need to See at Huffington Post

8 Percent of American Internet Users Go to Twitter, Report Says at NY Times Bits blog

Twitter use strongest among US minority groups - study at the BBC

There's a whole Internet outside of Twitter, so don't forget it at Zombie Journalism

5 Interesting Facts from Pew's Twitter Study at The Atlantic

Here are some of the responses to our recent poll question what people think about WikiLeaks:

wikileaks answers grab.jpg

Also, be sure to vote in our poll about how you use Twitter:




How do you use Twitter?online survey

Mark Glaser is executive editor of MediaShift and Idea Lab. He also writes the bi-weekly OPA Intelligence Report email newsletter for the Online Publishers Association. He lives in San Francisco with his son Julian. You can follow him on Twitter @mediatwit.

news21 small.jpg

4MR is sponsored by Carnegie-Knight News21, an alliance of 12 journalism schools in which top students tell complex stories in inventive ways. See tips for spurring innovation and digital learning at Learn.News21.com.

This is a summary. Visit our site for the full post ».

June 25 2010

12:56

Pew Internet on how media habits have changed since 2000

This presentation by Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Internet & American Life Project, highlights how media habits in the US have changed in the past 10 years.

It highlights how internet use has changed from being based around a stationary and slow computer to mobile connections built around storage and services in the cloud.

The presentation was delivered at the Newhouse Monetising Online Business conference

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