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Creative and strategic PR, social media, other digital things, events, video, content optimization. Guided by analytics. Usually way more effective by lots of different measures.


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Atomic Opens Orange County Office

(photo source)

Atomic has expanded its Southern California regional presence with a new office in Orange County.
The office is headed by Vice President Krys Card Grondorf, a senior Orange County PR executive who joined Atomic from Citizen Paine, (formerly Paine PR), where she managed PR and social programs for a number of top consumer and technology brands including Procter & Gamble, Kraft Foods, Aflac, Sony Electronics and others. Previously, Krys was director of the entertainment technology practice at Los Angeles agency Bender/Helper Impact where she managed accounts including Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment, Dolby Labs, LG Mobile, NXN Software (acquired by Avid), Discreet (acquired by Autodesk), and others.
Jennifer Olson, veteran Atomic director, rounds out Atomic’s Orange County management team and additional regional firepower is provided by Atomic’s 18-person Los Angeles office, led by Senior Vice President, Rachel Rogers.
“Atomic is a world-class PR and social media firm with a unique approach and a strong pedigree with consumer and technology brands,” said Rick Sharga, president of the Technology Council of Southern California.  “Atomic offers an interesting new option to Orange County brands looking for a fresh perspective.”

Atomic also has offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, London and Munich.   

Atomic client Cozi a finalist in SABRE awards!

Congrats to our client Cozi for being named a finalist in the Holmes Report SABRE awards in the “Publicity Stunt” category!

Cozi lets families “get their ducks in a row” by providing shared calendars, shopping lists, and to-do lists to help them get organized. With that in mind, they put over 17,000 ducks in a row - stretching a full mile - and set a Guinness World Record for the logest line of ducks ever.

Check out the stunt on the TODAY Show.

Atomic in Top 20 Firms Nationwide

O’Dwyer’s ranked 127 firms by revenue and Atomic is in the Top 20 of firms nationwide. With total revenues of $15MM and 35% growth in 2011, we’re also among the fastest growing agencies on the list. Great job to the entire Atomic and H3O teams!

Worldwide Fees of Top Independent PR Firms With Major U.S. Operations - O’Dwyer’s

Atomic is the #5 tech firm in the US, and among fastest growing firms

With billings over $12MM and yearly growth of 35% in 2011 Atomic has taken the #5 spot in O’Dwyer’s ranking of tech PR firms. As quoted in the article, our co-founder and CEO Andy Getsey says the firm’s growth in 2011 was due to its “broadening, creative and effective use of analytics as well as the launch of sister agency H3O Communications, which billed $2 million on it’s own, bringing Atomic ‘family’ revenue close to $15 million.

"These two things led to a string of tech and consumer tech wins by both firms, kicked off by McAfee and Sony early in the year, and a growing number of pure consumer assignments from brands like Bertazzoni and Cabot Creamery going into the end of the year," he said.

Great job to the entire Atomic and H3O teams, and looking forward to a strong 2012!

Read the full article here

Profile of a Facebook Fan - SXSW Edition

SXSW Interactive wraps up today and music is just beginning, but what do the 200,000 people who like SXSW on Facebook prefer? Our client Swaylo, which measured influence in social media, analyzed the fans of SXSW on Facebook and we put together this infographic based on that data.

Click the image to view it large on Wired!

Who is talking about South by Southwest (SxSW)?

This post was authored by Melanie Wong of Atomic Digital

With a good chunk of SxSW attendees traveling today, we were curious to see how social media represents them - where they’re coming from, what they’re talking about, etc.

For those who are unfamiliar, South By Southwest Interactive (SxSWi) is an event taking place in March focusing on emerging technology. The conference is often credited for helping launch startups, including household names like Twitter and Foursquare.

This year five of our Atomiccons will be headed to SxSWi — tweet @atomicpr to find us!

As expected, an overwhelming majority (92%) of conversation regarding SxSW occurs on Twitter. In the past 3 months, there has been a predictable spike of organic conversation circulating around SxSW.

Also, sentiment seems to stay healthy in the 91% favorability level(meaning 91% of content mentioning SxSW interactive is considered positive) Negative comments are from Austin locals remarking on the huge influx of visitors taking up lines at bars.

In terms of demographic, conversation is split somewhat between Texas, California, andNew York. It makes sense, seeing that a majority of tech startups are based in either NY or SF and the event is being housed in TX.

So, amongst the Texans that are speaking about SxSW, who are they? What are they saying? A word cloud and age demographic chart below shows the following:

"Best", "Free", "Band" and "Party" all make the list understandably. However, we are also seeing results like "Courtesy" and "Check" — signifying a source of advice and information is coming from young locals looking to share expertise on their hometown and what to do during SxSW. A large majority of Texan tweeters and bloggers are around the 21-35 age range.

If we take a look at what the visitors are saying…

We are seeing a definite similar set of words in the word cloud regarding the positive mentions (free, great, know). However, we’re also seeing a larger percentage of 21-35 year olds talking about SxSW as well (67% versus 62%)

Tailored Searches and Filter Bubbles

Here’s a little trick to try at home. Pick a topic, any topic. Let’s say, “Greece.” Now, both you and a friend Google it at the same time and compare results. You might be surprised to find how differently they turn out. This is the magic of tailored searches.

As you type away in that unassuming search bar, Google is taking into account a multitude of factors, from your chosen web browser to your past Internet behaviors, in order to generate a list of results that would be most relevant to you. Facebook is using similar algorithms to populate your newsfeeds. That means what you’re seeing isn’t all there is to see, just what aligns with your interests.

In a time when frictionless sharing and tailored searches are the way to go, Eli Pariser argues against the system and warns that it will inevitably trap us in a filter bubble. As he aptly puts it, “The Internet is showing us what it thinks we want to see, but not necessarily what we need to see.” Meaning you might be seeing a lot more lolcats than world news.

A recent Adweek article also touched on the pitfalls of frictionless sharing. With an Internet model driven by tailored searches and information distribution, people are more likely to miss out on what JWT CEO David Eastman terms “human moments of discovery.” The “A-ha!” moments that come with finding compelling new sites or products will be fewer and farther between and the masses will not be too keen on giving those up. In fact, findings from a recent survey show that although 7 out of 10 participants found tailored information helpful, 8 out of 10 would prefer seeing unfiltered information.

So, frictionless sharing…is it too much of a good thing?

Watch Eli Pariser’s TED Talk here
Read Adweek article on “frictionless sharing” here

Social Media Week in NYC & SF

Atomicons will be at a number of events this week for the global distributed conference Social Media Week, one of us will even be speaking at one. Here’s some highlights we plan to check out…

- NYC -

The Internet and Power: Sopa, Twitter Censorship and Who We Can Trust To Protect Us
Tuesday 2/14, 2:00-3:30 EST

When new legislation threatened some of the biggest sites on the Internet, the Internet fought back. Though SOPA & PIPA have been withdrawn for now, there’s no doubt that, in some form and some day soon, they’ll be back. Are lawmakers informed enough to craft laws that both protect copyright owners and allow the Internet to prosper - including sites like Twitter, YouTube & Tumblr?

Deep Focus Presents: An Evening of “Connectedness”
Tuesday 2/14, 6:00-8:00 EST

The evening will be an insightful exploration of how connectedness is changing the worlds of advertising, content, journalism, and civilizations — and why it represents the next evolution of humanity. This event will feature talks on how being connected to more people, more content, more data, and more information than ever before is not only evolving business and commerce, but culture and humanity as well.

Collaborative Storytelling: Transmedia and Social Media
Thursday 2/16, 3:00-5:00 EST

With an interactive introduction to this new form of storytelling, a panel of creators gets down to brass tacks on how exactly the form works, how it enhances collaboration and innovation platforms, and what it means for the future of entertainment, activism, marketing, branding and business.

- SF -

Keynote: Social Technology & Analytics
Tuesday 2/14, 9:00-9:50 PST

VP of Emerging Technologies at IBM will be covering social technology, analytics and ways to manipulate tools to fit in with KPIs and campaigns.

Digital Storytelling: Influence and Successful Brand Engagement, plus Social Media Mixer
Wednesday 2/15, 6:00-9:00 PST

In an environment that rewards speed, continuity and flexibility, social media has transformed advertising campaigns and the metrics that define their success. We’ll show off case studies and best practices from leading agencies and brands, along with the analytics that proved out their success and delighted their clients.

AAU Major Mingle
Thursday 2/16, 655 ½ Sutter, 7:00-9:00pm PST

I’ll be speaking on a panel at my alma matter, the Academy of Art University, on working with folks from other majors and career paths to extend your skillset, build your network, and ultimately strengthen one’s output. Nothing exists in a vacuum, and that’s even more true now that “integrated” campaigns and projects are becoming the norm.

Keynote: How our social circles influence what we do, where we go, how we decide
Thursday 2/16, 9:00-9:50am PST

The people around us are our workaround solution to the increasing amount of choice, and the increasing amount of available information, in our world. Paul Adams, Global Brand Experience Manager at Facebook, will share stories about how people we are close to, and people we’ve never met, may or may not influence us, and explain how norms learned from people’s local culture impact how much they can be influenced.

Building Momentum for the Game Console of the Web
Friday 2/17, 5:00-5:30pm PST

Diana from Adobe Systems will discuss how Adobe has leveraged social media by working with partners like Epic, Rovio, and Zynga as well as indie game developers to amplify its unique position in social and casual gaming.

The Super Bowl in Social Media

After the defeat of the New England Patriots on Super Bowl Sunday, we are left to wonder: How many people were left cursing at the TV and how many were ecstatic?

Of the 13.7 million tweets that were broadcasted over the 5 hours of the game, we took a look at what was being said about the Patriots and the Giants during the past 14 days (Jan 23 - Feb 7) to get a taste of how tweets were buzzing before, during, and after the big game. Here’s what we found:

New England Patriots

When looking at social buzz by geography across states, we noticed a large number of tweets came from California, Florida, and Texas despite being far from teams’ home states of New York and Massachusetts. We wondered why far away states were so participatory; one insight was that Patriots fans tend to travel or move away from their home states, yet maintain a loyalty to where they once lived. This is everything from born and raised locals to those who attended one of the many colleges in the Boston area and caught a case of Pats fever. In the case of Florida, it is also helped along by the old stereotype of New England / East Coast transplants rooting for (or against) the Pats.

Beyond the qualitative assessment, states like CA, TX, and FL have very high populations. The three states account for the 1st, 2nd, and 4th most populous states respectively. This will heavily skew the share of voice to those states on a national level, and with the Super Bowl representing such a wide cross section of the US it’s not too surprising to see the social buzz density closely mirror population density across the country.

A staggering 45% of tweets mentioning the Patriots are positive despite their loss, outpacing the positive sentiment of the NY Giants by six percentage points. Why the better sentiment despite their loss? It’s due to a number of factors, everything from people congratulating the Pats after a tough loss to those venting anger toward the NY Giants and thus skewing their sentiment more negative. Also, with the Giants as underdogs in Super Bowl XLVI (just like the last Giants/Pats matchup in XLII), positive predictions in the Pats favor ahead of the game helped to push their score higher.

New York Giants

Where the Pats geographical buzz density was more evenly distributed, the Giants saw a notably higher concentration coming from New York vs. other areas in the US. Combined with the Giants’ lower sentiment score this tells us a few things.

First, the Pats have been one of the dominant teams in the league for over a decade, where the Giants were an underdog this year, just as they were the last time these two teams met in the Super Bowl. Add to this the Giants stopping the Pats in Super Bowl XLII and it’s clear that NY state saw a severe case of Giants fever erupting on social channels this year as fans hoped for - and received - another victory against New England.

Second, where the Pats enjoyed a more even buzz distribution and more positive sentiment nationwide, the Giants clearly showed a hometown team. Everything from casual observers expecting a Pats victory to jaded San Franciscans who watched the 49ers lose to the rival Giants in overtime (…ahem…) made the Giants a less favorable team, however at home they clearly had a fanatical and loyal base of fans cheering them on.

Buzz Volume

Over our 14-day sample period, the Giants buzz was larger in volume compared to the Patriots by quite a large margin considering the sample size. With a ten point spread in buzz volume and the huge skew to NY state in terms of geographical distribution, the hometown fans were leading the charge with a vengeance, however the sentiment skew shows that at a national level the Pats were the more positively viewed team. Overall, the buzz surrounding the Giants outpaced New England throughout the sample period, just as the Giants would ultimately outpace New England in the game.

This post was co-authored by Sean Mulholland and Melanie Wong of Atomic Digital.

Atomic Cost of Waiting Survey program for client TOA Technologies plugged on David Letterman and Conan O’Brien

It turns out that “waiting for the cable guy” costs the American workforce nearly $38 billion every year in lost time? That’s what TOA (Time of Arrival) Technologies’ 3rd annual Cost of Waiting Survey found. And Atomic conceived and designed the program.

Last week, this staggering statistic caught the attention of both David Letterman and Conan O’Brian. The late night show hosts both opened their respective monologues with references to the report, bringing national consumer attention to the survey’s findings and TOA’s solution to the “cable guy problem.”

TOA Technologies' software is used by cable companies and other providers to cut the wait-time window they offer customers and accurately predict in-home appointment arrival times for many global brands, including Cox Communications, Arhaus Furniture and Virgin Media. Its technology touches the lives of millions of Americans, but most consumers don't really think of the cable and delivery guy past their current service appointment.

So, how did Atomic get TOA, a business-to-business mobile workforce software company from Cleveland widespread attention from a slew of major national broadcast, print and outline outlets?

TOA came to Atomic nearly three years ago with the goal of obtaining more media awareness in consumer press, as well as business and trade outlets. Atomic’s strategic recommendation: focus on bigger picture consumer problems and answer the fundamental question: How much does all this waiting really cost customers and companies?

The first national Cost of Waiting Survey generated 18 pieces of media coverage in 2009, mostly in trade press. The following year Atomic expanded research to include the UK and Germany, while modifying the questions to hone in on popular themes from 2009 and identify new trends. Program materials included more in-depth reports, infographics and a video. US coverage grew 83% from the previous year — especially in the consumer space, with more than 30 media placements.

This year Atomic expanded markets to include Brazil, an emerging cable market, and engaged with IBOPE Zogby to help identify trends in the customer service space and reevaluate the survey questions, leveraging benchmarks of relevant statistics from previous years.

The 2011 findings gave Atomic the opportunity for a NYC media tour with TOA’s CEO, Yuval Brisker, who hosted pre-briefings with Fortune, CNN Money and Reuters. The tour and all messaging highlighted 3 key trends: social media’s impact on the space, the shorter fuse and higher expectations of customers across the board, and the need for a human element in customer service. Atomic’s focus on top-tier media and trade press generated coverage by media influencers and national outlets, including Good Morning America, TIME Magazine, Business Insider, CNBC and the Huffington Post. To date, the survey has generated 88 pieces of media coverage in the US alone, a 193% increase over last year and 360% more coverage than the first report.

The Cost of Waiting conversation continues to cycle, with Twitter mentions surpassing last weekend’s traditional and online news coverage and many of the national articles spurring strong opinions from readers, generating at least 30 comments per article. By elevating TOA’s differentiators and business model within key media interviews, the news cycle began to build into a problem and solution conversation — highlighting TOA’s business model and how they solve a frequent consumer need.

From Conan O’Brian to USA Today, more than 110 million people have read, watched or listened to news on TOA’s Cost of Waiting 2011 survey. That’s more than 1/36 of the world’s population — which is another stat we’re thinking of emailing to Letterman’s producers.

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