Let me tell you about Horrible PR, “twitter stupid” and the latest headache for both the University of Maryland and Delta Gamma. “For those of you that have your heads stuck under rocks,” both are dealing with a viral email crisis (think: WWE meets Clueless meets Mean Girls) after a sorority leader penned a potty mouthed email to all chapter members chastising them for being “f****** boring and awkward” and (horrors!) misrepresenting the sorority (“HORRIBLE, I repeat, HORRIBLE PR!”) at critical social events with their fraternity match up. The nastygram went completely viral within the last 24 hours, popping up everywhere from Gawker to the Huffington Post and traditional news outlets. The author was termed “twitter stupid” once her handle was publicized (then the account cancelled) for representing the very worst of online communications with dim, racist, crass commentary on her daily interactions.
There is a growing generation gap among social media users (and abusers, perhaps, in this case). As my colleague discussed yesterday, there are fundamental rules of engagement for virtual relationships in social media that many established professionals can learn from. And, likewise, there are some pretty basic rules from the “real life” camp worth refreshing as we lean on technology for our primary communications.
Think of who you represent.
No, I’m not just talking about your sisters. As a professional, employee, student, family member, or athlete, you have a built-in audience of people watching and listening. Sure, they’re hanging on your every word, but not necessarily for the reason you think. Be mindful of your future and theirs. As it’s been said, a bad tweet is no different than a bad spring break tattoo – forever and eventually ugly. Taking something back is far more difficult than biting your tongue.
Be social but know when to be traditional.
The message, “stop embarrassing the rest of us in public” could have been delivered as effectively in person verbally without a name-tarnishing, internship-stomping paper/hyperlink trail, though I will concede that the author’s penchant for expletives perhaps rendered the message more effective for her particular audience.
Timing is everything.
Before hitting “send” consider the implications and the potential aftermath of your message and your chosen form of delivery. Sleep on it if you can. Or at the very least share it with someone else (preferably not while under the influence of sorority anxiety disorder, seething anger, alcohol or stress) to get a second read.
If this message is your end-all crusade for your employees, colleagues, clients or sorority sisters, put your name on it and be prepared to defend it. Hoping for anonymity in a virtual world where histories are documented on everything from Facebook to Zabasearch to page visits and old family photos on someone else’s page, is naïve and cowardly. Be prepared to face the music when you take private conversations so very public.
There is something sacred (and safe) about leaving some things unsaid or unseen. Even more, content posted online is subject to the legal and law enforcement processes.
Finally, as mom always said, if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say it at all – or email it, tweet it, text it or leave it lying around in a public forum with your name or Twitter handle attached to it.
Several weeks ago, I attended a San Francisco Public Relations Round Table Lunch featuring Kit Yarrow as a guest speaker.
Kit Yarrow, if you don’t already know, is a consumer research psychologist, author and professor at Golden Gate University. Her latest book, Gen Buy, takes a look at Generation Y’s purchasing behaviors and what makes them tick.
Kit’s presentation was insightful and as a card-carrying member of Gen Y, most of her findings rung true for me personally. However, Kit made a passing reference about the lack of depth in social media interaction that got me thinking.
There’s a prejudice, primarily among older generations, against digital communications. Interactions that take place via social media or text message are viewed as less meaningful than face-to-face or verbal communication. I disagree.
Gen Y understands how online forums, instant messaging (remember ICQ?) and online gaming opened up our worlds. It allows us to find people with similar niche interests and expand our social networks beyond the people we meet “in real life.” For Gen Y, “virtual” does not mean simulated – our activities in the “virtual” world are very real to us. We’re the generation that pays real money for virtual gaming goods. We’re the generation that “meets” the president on Reddit.
We prefer to communicate digitally because we communicate differently, not because our relationships lack depth.
1. We grew up in the age of multitasking and digital communications facilitates this. We can switch seamlessly from work projects to GTalk to Facebook to Twitter. We hold multiple conversations across multiple platforms.
2. Because of the volume of our communications, we need our conversations to be archivable and searchable. If we forget what time an event starts, we don’t need to pester the harried host with a phone call. We just pull up the details on Elite or Facebook. Joining a project midway and need to catch up? Have relevant emails forwarded to you and read through the email threads to get a better idea of the project’s progression and current status.
3. Digital communications allow us to share in the banalities of each other’s lives, and we LIKE it. Some may scoff at mundane status updates about what one had for dinner or what one wore to a party, but think about your conversations with your closest friends. Aren’t those conversations about nothing in particular?
4. Our vocabulary now includes multimedia. We use pictures, animated gifs, emojis and video/audio clips to creatively convey our thoughts. Digital communications enable us to enrich our conversations with more than just words. An exquisitely selected meme is worth a thousand words.
The same principles apply to companies.
1. Companies should have a multi-platform approach to reaching audiences. – Your audiences will be spread out across different channels online and offline. Pinpoint those channels and prioritize resources accordingly.
2. Make your information easily searchable. – People often conduct their own online research. Facilitate their search by optimizing content on your own channels and have an active online presence.
3. Talk with your audiences. Listen to their stories. Share your stories. – Provide behind-the-scenes details about your product or company. People appreciate getting to know their favorite products and companies. Have a meaningful presence on social media. Don’t wait until you wish you had a Twitter audience or Facebook page to support your brand during a viral crisis. Don’t miss opportunities to have your brand’s fans and supporters affirm you on a daily basis.
4. Communicate visually and creatively. – Consider an infographic to display content in a shareable way or a cleverly captioned image to make your point.
So if I don’t ever call you, it doesn’t mean we’re not friends. It just means I prefer to text or talk online. Similarly, if you feel disconnected from your audiences, it’s not because they have nothing to say. You may just not be listening in the right places.
Will the day come when presidential candidates are scrutinized by the content they shared as young people on social media?
It’s about as certain as tonight’s Facebook news feed containing an Instagram photo of your friend’s dinner. Social media is not just changing the way in which we communicate with one another. We, too, are changing.
Times they are a-changin’
Last year, eventual GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney hit a snag when it was revealed during the primary that, as a teenager in 1965, he bullied a classmate believed to be gay, pinning down the teary-eyed boy and cutting his hair. Romney apologized and the story largely moved to the background, but social has changed the game for today’s young people.
If the same incident were to happen today, one of Romney’s friends may have created a Vine (a short, looping video from Twitter’s mobile video app) or blasted out a post-haircut photo on Snapchat (60 million “disappearing” photos are shared by Snapchat users every day).
In this new world, where the average Facebook post lasts for roughly 60 minutes, content is king and it can go viral more quickly to a bigger audience than ever before.
Don’t Do – Be
We don’t need to “do” social because we are social. Technology allows us, and the brands we represent, to express ourselves in new ways to develop a clear voice and build meaningful relationships.
Here are five tips for being social:
1. Be an early tester and a late adopter – The key to social is to experiment. Get to know what’s out there and see if it fits your needs. The next biggest thing could be the next biggest failure, so don’t throw your precious budget dollars into a new venture until it has been thoroughly vetted and shows staying power. If you’re looking for a place to start, begin with your personal use. Check out Timehop, Flipboard and RebelMouse, listed among Sree Sreenivasan’s five biggest media innovations of 2012. If you’re watching a long-awaited game or TV show, monitor Twitter – roughly 90 percent of all TV conversation happens on Twitter.
2. Social for brands is not about their friends; it’s about the friends of their friends – Word-of-mouth and earned media are still the best ways to build your customer base and reach new audiences. According to Nielsen, 92 percent of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family above all other forms of advertising. Users don’t share your content because they like your brand; they share it because they like their friends. Create shareable content that is compelling or timely, such as interactives and infographics. You can also excite your friends and fans by engaging them in fun, creative contests – gamification – as long as the results speak for themselves and are worth the initial, and sometimes costly, investment.
3. Tell a story – Enhance your content and its appeal by crafting stories that are meaningful for the users who share them. Posts should connect people with people and headlines should be intriguing. While keywords are important, the message is what provides meaning. Check out BuzzFeed to get a better sense of what’s shareable (Hint: don’t just see animals; learn about their secret lives).
4. Measure your effectiveness creatively – Social analytics should be built around a common goal that is specific to your program. Once your goal is identified, an agency can put in place unique, key performance indicators that measure the effectiveness of the campaign and allow for course correction; any plan is only as good as its first point of deviation. These course corrections should be driven by data-based solutions – not knee-jerk reactions. For creative measurement options, pre-crisis analytics can help a brand respond effectively in times of crisis.
5. Manage your expectations – Don’t forget, just about everything you do on social will be missed by almost everyone. If you count on one post to make the difference, it’s not going to happen. Incorporate social into your regular activities – make it a part of who you are – and you’ll get what you’re looking for.
If this fails, show more pictures of last night’s dinner or cute animals.
Follow Travis on Twitter at www.twitter.com/travistweets
This past year, Fineman PR marked another year of success with further development of the agency’s crisis communications practice, especially in Higher Education. The agency’s food and wine practice continues to provide stability, Brand PR work, event marketing, media relations success, depth in digital and social media, and public relations value measurement.
Here are snapshots:
- Delivering on more than a year of strategic planning, in March 2013, Fineman PR launched a milestone animal welfare campaign for West Coast poultry brand Foster Farms. The campaign officially announced Foster Farms as the nation’s first major poultry brand to earn humane certification by American Humane Association, the country’s first national humane organization. The launch was met with great success and major media placements in the first week alone, including front page cover story in the San Francisco Chronicle, feature articles in the Fresno Bee, Merced Sun-Star, Modesto Bee and Bakersfield Californian, and extensive broadcast news coverage in key California markets. The comprehensive communications program includes event marketing, national and regional media relations, social media promotion, community relations, measurement and corporate social responsibility elements.
- Fineman PR planned, managed and promoted Foster Farms’ third annual Fresh Chicken Cooking Contest with premier culinary judges and extensive media coverage throughout the West Coast.
- Fineman PR launched Foster Farms’ new whole grain corn dogs for the foodservice market. The agency succeeded in changing perceptions of media and foodservice decision makers by promoting the product as a nutritious lunch option with kid and parent approval. The agency highlighted the product’s value as a fun food that kids would actually eat while positioning the lower sodium, lower fat, whole grain product as a healthier alternative to popular lunch staples like pizza, burritos and even sandwiches. Social media and parenting blogger outreach was crucial to the program’s success, including a Seal of Approval from Parent Tested Parent Approved Media, the nation’s largest volunteer parent testing community.
- The agency worked with new women’s retail client The Limited to promote its California expansion and the opening of several new stores throughout the state.
- Throughout the year, the agency developed and implemented communications projects for a number of clients, including Mendocino Wine Company, which began with an issues management assignment and continued with a revamp of the company’s digital and social media vehicles and a launch of the Parducci “Small Lot Blends”; Autism Research Institute (ARI); Moone-Tsai wines; the launch of KonaRed antioxidant beverages; Sterling Meat Company and the Girl Scouts of Northern California, among others.
- The year also included multiple rounds of crisis counsel to help support the needs of several private colleges and secondary schools in the U.S. on behalf of higher education insurance company United Educators.
- Fineman PR earned additional client wins for sustainable food service industry leader Guckenheimer and XL Construction, one of the top commercial builders in the Bay Area.
- Mosaico, Fineman PR’s multicultural division, continued its run of multicultural client success with the development of a new CSR program promoting Xoom’s sponsorship and support of Peru’s Olympic team. Mosaico was also successful in working with New Orleans-based pharmaceutical company, Pamlab, Inc., in launching a pre-natal campaign informing the Latino community about a little-known mutation causing complications in Latina women’s pregnancies.
- Fineman PR’s clients continue to rely on the San Francisco-based agency for digital and social media strategy, monitoring, response and measurement. In crises, social media can be crucial in disseminating information and mitigating the spread of misinformation. In Fineman PR’s work with schools and universities, where students and communities are a primary audience, a Facebook post and/or tweet is often more effective than a traditional statement.
On the HR side, Fineman PR made another outstanding hire. Travis Taylor, previously a VP at the agency’s IPREX partner, Communications Pacific in Honolulu, joined the agency last summer. Initially appointed Group Supervisor, Taylor joins a sterling team of seasoned professionals including VP Heidi White, a 16-year Fineman PR all-star; VP Lorna Bush, a 10-year Fineman PR hall of famer; Group Supervisor Toby Baird; Account Supervisor Katie Young; Account Supervisor and Social/Digital Media Director Karmina Zafiro (an 8-year Fineman PR veteran); Mosaico director Juan Lezama; and Senior Account Executive Serene Buckley.
Issues Management for several clients, including: Westmont College near Santa Barbara, Chadwick School in Palos Verdes, Calif., Olympus Calistoga LLC Calif., UC Hastings College of the Law, Golden Gate University School of Law, Mendocino Wine Company and San Diego-based Thomas Jefferson School of Law.
When one thinks of Girl Scout Cookies, a uniformed salesgirl and rich chocolate coating may come to mind; however, there is much more than that. Each box of Girl Scout Cookies helps support valuable programs and services in the community that teaches girls the value of business ethics and financial literacy. The importance of these values is one of the key elements the Girl Scouts of Northern California teaches its members and is a lesson that will hopefully be carried with them as they grow up.
Plus, there is no denying that it’s just a wonderful tradition from this great organization that the girls – as well as cookie lovers – look forward to year after year.
This year, we helped Girl Scouts of Northern California celebrate National Cookie Day with a fun infographic that shows how these tasty treats do good in the community. So when you purchase a box, you can feel good knowing that not only are you enjoying a tasty treat, you are helping your community.
We are having an inner office debate on which is the best cookie out of the eight flavors. Which is your favorite?
As PR professionals, we stay up on the hottest trends to help our clients connect with their key audiences, especially if that new trend is free. Instagram, an interactive social photo sharing application with an estimated 90 million monthly active users, may not come to mind when thinking about social media outreach; however, we’re living in a society filled with visual learners and a visual element is an important part of our consumer approach.
As an avid Instagramer, I‘ve researched how companies are best utilizing this platform to engage consumers. Combining research with knowledge (okay, obsession) of the app, I compiled a few easy and effective ways for brands to use Instagram.
PR firms should monitor Facebook, Twitter and even YouTube frequently to make sure their clients know all levels in which the brand is being discussed – whether or not the brand has its own presence on social media. Our agency includes Instagram as a component within our daily monitoring, as we found significant chatter on the app about several of our clients. Thankfully it’s good chatter!
Here are some great ways to incorporate Instagram as an element of your outreach strategy.
Find a way to upload photos that are interesting and create a conversation with your followers. Posting a question along with your photo is a great way to engage followers and create a platform to gain consumer insight. CNN’s page, CNNIREPORT, recently shared a photo of an egg that froze due to severe cold weather. With the photo, it asked “How cold is it near you? Share your best unfiltered images by tagging #cnnireport.” The prompt led to more than 12,000 posts using CNN’s proposed hashtag.
A hashtag is a great way to connect users on the basis of a common word or phrase. Even if it doesn’t directly relate to your company but it relates to the photo you upload, tag it! For example, Macy’s uses hashtags such as #sunrise, #shoes, #NYC, #beauty and other words that relate to the Instagram photo. Using these hashtags is a simple way to draw traffic to your page. Be sure not to overwhelm your viewers with tags; three to five is plenty.
Publicly sharing your brand’s information in a unique way gives your audiences another opportunity to give their opinion about your company – both good and bad. Make sure that if you choose to publicize your company using this tool, you are monitoring all feedback. Engage with consumers who give positive thoughts and reward them by acknowledging their comment. On the other hand, make sure you address any criticism or questions that arise as you would on other social media sites. There are databases you can use to monitor your Instagram analytics such as Nitrogram and Statigram.
Bottom line: be creative. Find a way that people who view your photos will forget it’s a company’s page but rather a profile to follow that will make them excited to see what else you have to share. Instagram is far from a traditional means to reach and engage consumers, but its power shouldn’t be taken lightly.
January is a time for new beginnings and, for many of us, a laundry list of personal and professional resolutions. It’s about embracing new mantras (“Fitter, happier, more productive; regular exercise at the gym, bonding with associate employee contemporaries…”), and if you’re a marketing, communications or PR executive, it means promising to read more trade magazines, to take more professional development courses and to finally dive deep into that vague new social media platform.
For agencies, CMOs and in-house communication teams, January also means revising timelines and 2013 campaigns, identifying key target audiences, tweaking integrated marketing strategies, pooling human and digital resources for the big launch, and establishing benchmarks for success.
Remember the scene from Minority Report (2002) when a hologram salesperson from the Gap scans Tom Cruise’s stolen eyeballs, then proceeds to ask about his recent purchase?
11 years ago this movie was nothing more than science fiction fantasy, but this clip is a creepy reminder that the future is, in fact, now.
Taking cues from immersive consumer research, manufacturers are revealing exciting new interfaces, smart TVs, eye-tracking devices, mobile and wireless automated control, gaming and social media integration, 3D printing and other home manufacturing products to drive the ‘consumer as producer’ trend even further in 2013.
No matter what category you’re in, keeping an eye on the trends that emerge from cross-disciplinary industries is a trick of the PR trade for calibrating exciting, newsworthy initiatives and understanding the standards that drive buzz and claim rank amongst top-tier media. And I’m not just talking tech here, this is true across all consumer product goods and services. Whether from CES, SXSW, BIOMED, Fashion Week or The Fancy Food Show; when industries collide and cross-pollinate, innovative concepts are born for breakthrough campaigns.
Here at Fineman PR, we’ve been fine-tuning our pitch-perfect process by keeping our fingers on the pulse of emerging consumer trends in 2013 to help us predict fresh angles and stay ahead of the curve. Trendwatching.com recently revealed its top 10 consumer trends for 2013, and below are five which held some strong PR implications. You can read the full list on Trendwatching.com:
1. PRESUMERS and CUSTOWNERS
2013 will see a rise of Presumers and Custowners. Presumers love to get involved with, push, fund, and promote products and services before they are realized. Custowners are consumers who move from passively consuming a product towards funding/investing (if not owning a stake) in the brands they buy. Blame it on Kickstarter and guilty-pleasure TV shows like Shark Tank – business-savvy consumers are investing financially and emotionally into brands. The new U.S. Jobs Act will also help realize this by now allowing non-accredited U.S. investors to buy micro-equity in start-ups.
What it means for PR: The innovation story always garners attention and established brands will be tasked with tracking momentum from competitive projects. Crowdsourcing platforms can be PR opportunities in and of themselves as more reporters and bloggers track submitted concepts and project funding status. The proliferation of start-ups and investors personally attached to pet projects will result in loyalists and self-promoters who will start claiming associations on social media profiles, and this can be an opportunity for identifying influencers early on for activating partnerships. Brands can take bold initiatives and ask more from this participating audience which can result in a better social media voice and engaging content.
2. MOBILE MOMENTS
The next 12 months will see an explosion in Mobile Moments: products, services and experiences that will enable mobile-loving consumers to embrace (seamless) lifestyle multi-if-not-hyper-tasking. A survey of U.S. adult smartphone owners found that 63 percent of female respondents and 73 percent of male respondents don’t go an hour without checking their phone (Harris Interactive, June 2012).
What it means for PR: When the QR code first burst on the scene a few years ago, skepticism and questions of ROI and integration for campaigns were abound. Now they are on many new CPGs (consumer packaged goods) and are relatively commonplace in major metropolitan markets. Wireless technologies and location services will be able to pull more customer information and lifestyle data on the go. As marketing seeks to draw information from consumers, it’s the job of PR to provide new brand narratives for customer participation. Instagram, Tumblr and Pinterest are giving consumers more good reasons to like or share stunning displays, visual stories and mood-setting imagery for communicating brand values in a snapshot. If the question arises for quick and easy mobile access to content, the answer should always be “yes.” If content isn’t yet mobile friendly, 2013 is the year to make it happen.
Dubbed “New Life Inside” products by Trendwatching, an eco-mini-trend for 2013 is the phenomenon of products and services that quite literally contain new life inside. Rather than being discarded or even recycled, these products can be planted and grown, with all the eco-status and eco-stories that come with that.
What it means for PR: Consumers are paying attention to socially responsible initiatives and ‘eco’ still excites. Trendwatching makes a good point here – that symbolic, even playful statements of brand values will resonate with consumers, especially if they are seen as expressions of larger intent to take more meaningful action.
With more than 13,000 health apps in the Apple App store, it’s not a case of finding an app but finding the BEST one and – given that this is a health issue – one that is accurate and safe. In 2013, expect consumers to turn to the medical profession and medical institutions to certify and curate these products, with doctors also ‘prescribing’ them, much as they prescribe medicines, as part of a course of treatment.
What it means for PR: Information overload and resources for categorizing, curating and sifting content will remain a top trend story not just for healthcare, but across all other industries. Healthcare is most impacted in this arena and opportunities for streamlining electronic medical records and updating the International Classification for Diseases are important issues facing the industry in 2013. Products or services which offer a solution, including credible third-party certifications and populating peer-reviews will need to take center-stage for SEO initiatives and for keeping reputation in check.
5. MADE IN THE USA:
In 2013, manufacturing is coming home. Four out of five U.S. shoppers (76 percent) notice “Made in the USA” claims and labels and are more likely to purchase products labeled as such ( Perception Research, July 2012).
What it means for PR: Product origin stories remain stronger than ever – especially locally-sourced, hyper-local, niche online/offline communities and self-sustaining/sustainable principals. Sponsorship can go beyond visible brand associations and up to the next level of participation. Breakthrough stories can include corporate operations which are beneficial to “the greater good” but counter to growing profit-margins. Of course transparency, honesty and content remains king.
So what are your resolutions and plans looking down the barrel of 2013? We hope to see you in the future…
Great material again today on Day Two, at the PRSA International Conference, at least for this observer.
The General Session started things off today…a touch disappointing in that the place wasn’t even half full, compared to yesterday’s packed house. I understand (as I wasn’t there, poor me) that it may be blamed on Sunday night’s highly convivial, good eatin’ and good drinkin’ Opening Night Reception at the top floor City View at Metreon. (more…)
Saturday, before the official start of the PRSA International Conference, I happened upon 2012 Chair and CEO Gerry Corbett while surveying the scene at San Francisco’s Marriott Marquis where the Conference is being held. Gerry, always cordial, was happy to give me some preliminary comments about what he hopes will come out of the conference. Gerry is especially happy that this year there are no glaring controversies that would be distracting.
Gerry wants to grow the near 22,000-member organization (plus 10,000 student members) and believes there’s plenty of room for that. He said that from his studies and calculations, there are more than 1 million people at work in communications jobs — and nearly all are hoping for more of a voice in their organization, or client organization. Gerry also wants to reinforce our seat at the table, pointing to the Penn State situation as an institution that would have benefited greatly if PR had been in the loop early on.
With the Conference theme of “The Future Starts Now,” he said that PR must be charged with managing technology and new media communications to maintain true advocacy in a world where the media is no longer the sole arbiter of news and influence. While other marketing disciplines covet control of new media, they do not understand or have the skill set to determine and convey messaging or how to build relationships and trust, he believes. I couldn’t agree more. He said the advent of social media represents growth, change and opportunity for PR pros, and we must grab it while we can.
He went on to say that where we don’t have a seat at the table, we must build a strong tight network in our organizations so that we get early intelligence to engage in true advocacy.
Approximately 3,000 are registered for the conference.
Sunday’s mid-day kickoff was high energy with San Francisco singer Vernon Bush and his musical group. The Conference is in the heart of innovation here and PRSA rose to the occasion with music, color and flash, all in a large room with several remote screens assisting in making the small figures on stage visible to the large, expectant crowd. Among attendees, there was plenty to see, with some in he diverse international crowd wearing native garb from their homelands and with some of the younger, attractive PR pros strutting their stuff.
During the intro, Gerry reported on PRSA’s new initiatives, including advocacy for MBA Reputation Management programs to provide tools and strategies that would better allow business to manage conversations about their brands. Ethics initiatives were emphasized, and awards were bestowed on IBM’s Jon Iwata (PR Pro of the Year) and Brazilian Paulo Nassar (Lifetime Achievement in International PR).
Keynote speaker, Twitter Co-Founder Biz Stone was an entertaining treat for me, personally, but the sentiment wasn’t necessarily unanimous as I learned in interactions with other longtime Public Relations practitioners, including some I’ve known and respected for many years. More on that in a minute.
Biz talked a lot about himself, but I took the anecdotal stories he told as an effective means to convey valuable lessons. To wit, and I paraphrase:
- As an entrepreneur, be willing to fail spectacularly if you want to succeed spectacularly.
- Opportunity can be manufactured.
- Creativity is a renewable resource.
- Consumers will support a brand if it does something meaningful in the world and/or allows the consumer to do something meaningful.
- Success in life should be defined in terms of finance, meaning and joy.
- The term “social media” will soon go away as it becomes standard in the way we communicate.
- People will always find a way to express themselves, including in China and other speech-restrictive societies.
- Invest early in a company’s culture and reputation.
All music to my ears.
But, as I said, not everyone was as happy with Biz’s’ presentation or what is perceived as the often shallowness of tweets. Comments about the presentation being too much “My Life” were heard as were comments about those using Twitter who are overly fascinated by the mundane things they may be doing at any given moment. Theirs is definitely a segment of communicators who do not necessarily believe that Twitter is adding much to civilization. “Where’s the message in all this ‘conversation’ ” is what I heard from some.
Three seminars I attended were all decent, including Jim Lukaszewski’s discussion on The Strategic Advisor in Action During Crisis. In truth, as a crisis consultant myself, I had some significantly differing points of view, but I did not share these with our group. It was Jim’s show, after all, and I perceived that his area is more focused on crisis management while my own focus is crisis communications. Additionally, I respect what Jim has accomplished in his many years in the business as well as his bank of knowledge on the crisis topic.
The discussion by Daniel Tisch and John Paluszek on the Global Challenge and Opportunity of Reputation Management included insights about what corporate leaders are thinking. Tisch and Paluszek believe the future of marketing is philanthropy and solid corporate citizenship and that the pillars of Reputation Management are character, responsibility and listening.
In the presentation by global digital strategist Dallas Lawrence on Crisis Advocacy and Reputation Management in the Digital Age, the point was made that you can’t (or shouldn’t) drop a communication on Twitter and walk away thinking you did your job. “You’ve got to continue fighting for the eyeballs,” said Lawrence, and he provided tips on what kind of thinking and guidelines should go into a detailed and specific digital crisis plan, detail that is more often than not lacking in most plans I have reviewed.
I sat next to senior practitioner Tom Gable, a highly respected pro from San Diego, and he liked Lawrence’s brief discussion on Twitter as an early warning system. He also appreciated Lawrence’s emphasis on closely monitoring the organization’s protagonist and antagonists alike.
“When Will Consumers Pay to be Good?” is the theme of one of the keynotes in Monday’s session, based on a study by the speaker, June Cotte, Ph.D. I am assuming the answer is now or soon, but I am looking forward to finding out just how much reward that would mean for my own agency’s clients.
As a 24-year-old Milliennial, I’ve heard my generation defined in less than exemplary descriptions. Millennials, born between 1980 and 2000, are also called Generation Y, Digital Natives, Echo Boomers and Generation Me or We. If you think most of us are only concerned with where the next Happy Hour special is, think again.