Social listening shows that Dominic Cummings, former special advisor to Boris Johnson, was looked upon more favourably by the internet community than the almost equilibrium of the British media. So this episode talks about social listening using tools like socialmention and significance systems, and what entrepreneurs should consider when forging their reputations everyday in the digital domain.
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Hi, and welcome to the unnoticed show. And today we're going to talk about how Dominic Cummings. Got noticed. And the reason I wanted to talk about the Dominic Cummings. event. yesterday was because it creates an interesting opportunity for us to look at how different media cover, the same story. And about the impact of what we've done before. having a difference to what we are going to do next. whatever we've done before. Has created a reputation and that will create a lens through which our current and future actions. our scene. and the Dominic Cummings, seven hour. If you like tutorial on the incompetence of the British government during lockdown. Creates an interesting lesson. For us all about the way that we might be seen when something happens to us. So let's just have a look because. Most people in the UK will be aware that Dominic Cummings was the special advisor to Boris Johnson and they'll know that he played. somewhat. Machiavellian role is certainly around Brexit. Now he has subsequently, obviously had a falling out with Boris Johnson and left number And so it was interesting to hear him come clean on a number of things that have happened over the last 12 months. Now. different headlines. from different media. But also how different channels on different types of media. Have. For us clues of what different audiences are thinking about the same story. So let's first of all, look at some of the headlines and then I'm going to. Share with you. What I found on a platform called social mention. Which actually tracks. Sentiment. Around a particular key word or in this case, a particular person. So that we can get a little bit of insight then into how people have reacted. On the internet to the dominant coming story now. I've looked at a few different media. And by and large, the media have been. Fairly factual in their reporting to the BBC. did have a lead with the fairly alarmist. Dominic Cummings thousands died needlessly after the COVID mistakes. And then he said, The truth is that senior ministers, senior officials, senior advisors, like me felt disastrously, shorted the standards that the public has a right to expect of its government in a crisis like this now. The sky news. Which has on its website news that you can trust. It says that. Cumings evidence was just a performance. And that he in turn contradicts. What has been said by Cummings now. What was interesting for me having watched Cummings was that he had taken this fairly disastrous trip to Barnard castle. And it was quite a day bark all because during lockdown he'd driven. hundreds of miles to the Northeast of England. On a pretense that he was somehow trying to get his son to his parents and checking his eyesight whilst he was driving all this way. So it. It was completely incoherent. One of the commentaries that he discussed yesterday was about how inside the government. They'd created this narrative, even though it was not a good one. They felt they should have one about him breaking lockdown. Boris Johnson didn't discipline Cummings at the time. Although most of the nation felt that he should have been sacked. So yesterday he talked about how. The real reason was because his family had death threats and there was a gang outside his house now. What. One might initially have, is a sense of sympathy or even empathy. But I think most of us luckily have never had that situation. But what was slightly in Congress was that most people know that in England, if you had a gang of people outside your house and you worked for the government, You'd have the special services or you'd at least call the police. You wouldn't get into a car with your family and drive 150 master in lockdown. There was a real credibility issue for me anyway, about why this has happened. Now. Other media have been slight less friendly. So the guardian, which is one of our perhaps more libertarian media has said, Dominic Cummings tell all. Told us what we already knew about the Tories. And then there's a large number of commentaries from readers on that website, talking about really the. The attitude of a certain group of people in the UK. Towards the government and towards Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings. And the whole way that the country has been if you like run. Since the election and the move to Brexit. And the lockdown. London evening standard. leads with Hancock says he's no liar. And says, nor did any of the comings truth bombs land. So the London evening standard. Is a publication, obviously that goes out into the capital city. And that was showing. If you like on one hand, we've got the guardian saying. We all knew that we all knew these people were. Basically incompetent and they were lying. And they're out of control and another media saying none of that was true and none of that stuck. Using this as a moment to show how the same. Event. Can be interpreted. Really along the lines of the media outlet and the publishers who are publishing for their audience. Of course, it's always a debate about which comes first as the audience dictate what the publisher writes or does the publisher dictate what the audience reads. There's some degree of symbiosis there. Of course. I had a look then at social mention, because social mentioned.com is a platform. where you can plug in some keywords. And it'll search for you. the strength and the sentiment and the passion and the reach of these terms, you've use it for any number of terms. There's a free version. You can also use the earth.ai significance systems platform, but that will cost a hundred dollars. when you want to do a search, which is. Really worth it. If you want to search, for example, your corporate branding. But in the case of having a quick look at what people think about how Dominic Cummings performed. And how people view him now. I didn't invest in the full platform, but let's just have a look because what was also then interesting. Was when I did a search for Dominic Cummings. On the. Mainstream media. The strength of sentiment was only 14%. Okay. Zero passion. And not great reach either. Interestingly enough. Now what I was interested in. Was that the sentiment in the mainstream media? Because I selected news. The news feeds. The guardian and the London evening standard and the financial times and the independent. Actually. Sentiment. Was a two positive, a three neutral and a two negative. So really very evenly balanced between the mainstream media. But actually. Everyone pretty much reserving judgment. So really a pretty even balance there, between. Those that are positive. Those that are negative. And then. Just a little bit higher. When you come to those that are neutral. Now, if I then share with you what I found by going on to the social mention platform and putting Dominic Cummings in. But on blogs and micro blogs. The strength is 20%. The sentiment is three to one.Jim James:
The passion is 21% and the reaches 12%. In other words, There's greater rumbling. And there's greater. if you like commentary taking place. In the social environment than there is in the mainstream media now. Interestingly enough here. Positive is six. Neutral is 21. A negative is two In other words, the positive is three to one. To the mainstream media. Just repeat that. So the positive sentiment is. number six. And the negative is a number two. And you're a member. That on the mainstream media positive was a two, a negative was a two. And neutral was a three. In other words, a lot of people seem to be. Actually quite unclear. Quite unsure which way to go. So we have some headlines, for example. Dominic Cummings, wind surprised fans, thanks to his unbuttoned shirt, Northern accent. Tory MP mocks, Dominic Cummings. we've got the DeepMind Dominic Cummings turn to, as the pandemic hit about Demi Hassabis. There is. Really a spread of opinion and a spread of articles. The majority of which are neutral. But the next largest. Outpouring is positive. So it's interesting that on social media, the attitude towards Dominic Cummings after his seven hour speech, is, more positive at a ratio of three to one than, if you were to read the mainstream media. So why is this important? It's important because if we are working on media relations and public relations and sentiment, If we only measure the official channels, those that may be, have some controls and certainly in Asian countries where their governments run the media. Then we're only going to have a reflection in a very controlled. catalog of content. We need to look at social mentions by using platforms like social mention, for example, or significance systems. To understand what actually those people that are not paid to write are saying about a particular topic. For in this case, a person or an issue. So in your own company, if you're thinking about launching something, for example, or you are looking at take advantage of a certain opportunity, if you just rely on the mainstream media. For guidance. You could actually be given the wrong steer. And as we've seen in the case of the social mention, Three times as many people. We're positive about Dominic Cummings. Talking openly with his shirt unbuttoned. With a Northern accent saying, I'm sorry, saying we were falls saying that here are some whiteboard photographs of our plan to manage the pandemic. This complete transparency. One over some sections of the community in the UK. Now would it change anything? Not really because if at what Dominic Cummings. Said and shared. Can't change policy because Boris Johnson has already a fairly unassailable lead. In the political world. And in fact, as we know. The conservative. Government and conservative party are not about to replace. The leader that brought Brexit. But if we are managing a campaign for a client, whether it's a political campaign, a social campaign, A commercial campaign or any other. Social listening is really important. But going beyond the traditional media. Because the traditional media. We'll have publishers and they'll have advertisers and they have revenue streams, and they'll create content that as we've seen in the case of Cummings. It is pretty much 50 50. It is pretty much dependent upon the leaning of the publication that you will get the unvarnished view. But if you really want to know what people are thinking. If you really want to. Get into the psyche of what potential customers or partners. Or competitors are thinking. Then we really need to look at social listening. A tool like social mention or significance systems. We'll help with that. Now I mentioned free social media monitoring tools. I've just used a social mention. There's also tweaked deck there's tweet reach, which obviously is tracking Twitter. There's a follower wonk. That's w O N K some all mentioned map. Lithium, which used to be klout which is very good hoot suite, of course. and then. Significance systems, as I've mentioned, which is really a hugely powerful AI platform. So social monitoring is one element. Social listening goes deeper. We can look at tools. That are free. Like Google alerts. That's simple and easy and that's tracking. When people have written or said something. But that's a little bit different to a tool like social mention. Where we can get sentiment analysis. And where we can really start to see what trends are taking place. We need those. Because if you Dominic Cummings and you had political ambitions, you could see whether you're winning or not. If you're the government. Or if you're Matt Hancock, you can see whether you're in trouble or not. According to the metrics that social mention is showing. People are going to give Matt Hancock. An opportunity to answer back. Before they make their decision. And as far as they're concerned about Boris Johnson, they've already made up their mind. And they're seeing. The behavior. Of Dominic Cummings whilst he was in the cabinet. as an advisor. As being an indication that he's quite hard to trust when he's out of it. And it could just be here as trying to grind his acts. As we say here, So coming all the way back to my original comment, which is that our behavior before an event. We'll create a lens through which our new or future behavior will be seen. Now on a practical day-to-day level, people may or may not be doing a social mention check on you and your company, but they'll certainly be doing a keyword search and seeing what comes up for you, whether it's on Trustpilot. Or an advisory platform or Google reviews or another one of these review sites. So. Do check out. What people are saying about you. And make sure that everything that you do is in alignment with the kind of reputation that you want to have otherwise. As we've seen from Dominic Cummings, our past does come back to haunt us. And it's very hard to create a new future. When we're dragging around our digital past.