Thursday, June 16, 2011

What Anthony Weiner can teach us about online reputation management

Posted by Kwan Morrow
If there is one thing that we have learned over the past couple of weeks, it’s that careless use of social media can damage your reputation within a matter of seconds. Whether you are a person or business, politician or average Joe, given the chance, social media can be an equal opportunity reputation destroyer. 

OK, so we didn’t just learn that over the past couple of weeks. We’ve learned it over and over again. So why do otherwise seemingly smart people seem to lose all traces of intelligence, or common sense for that matter, as soon as they log in to their favorite social media sites?

Could the false sense of security we get when we sit safely behind a computer make us fall victim to the “that only happens to someone else” syndrome?

Whether you’re a seven-term politician debating whether to send a college girl a shirtless picture of yourself in boxer briefs, or you are a business that understands the importance of proactively managing your reputation, there are a few things about online reputation management we can all learn from @RepWeiner.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Be the news: The life cycle of the news starts when companies think like media

Posted by Mike Lizun
Where do stories come from? I mean, in this 24/7, always on world of media and news, what is the origination point and how can we initiate the process to win interest and awareness for our issues, products, services, and thought leadership?

Ironically, it often comes down to the worldview of a company and its ability to realize that today, every enterprise is its own news organization.

Every company can spark and originate its own visibility and seed it to other news organizations, increasing its impact and influence. If, they think like the media and understand how ideas, trends, issues begin and expand in a highly infectious world of news.

Rule One. Unless you're Apple, the media could care less about your product or service. Sorry to pop your balloon. Rather the media reports on trends and directions, movements, and velocity of issues impacting industry, consumers, and markets. Want to win their attention? Stop hawking you or your product. Instead, start reporting on your industry in ways the media can't on their own. How? See rule two.

Rule Two. Create a meaningful measure, index, or benchmark. How concerned is the world about Internet security? Poll consumers to find out. Which social networks are most stable and responsive? Test them regularly and report your findings. Which cities have the greatest infestations of bed bugs? Scrape the Internet for news reports and publish your conclusions.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Near motorcycle crash is a lesson in crisis communications

Posted by Joe Crivelli
This past Memorial Day, I nearly died. My motorcycle skidded on a patch of wet leaves, throwing me left then right. It could have been bad.

A leg crushed under the bike. Or worse, my head hitting the pavement. Instead, I kept the bike upright. It all happened in an instant.

But as I unpacked the event, I realized there a lot of parallels between the near-accident and the crisis communications work we do at Gregory FCA.

Invest in quality equipment. On the bike, I was wearing a helmet, sturdy boots, and thick riding gloves, so even if I lost control I still might have averted serious injury (although the damage to the bike would have been catastrophic). Even before a crisis hits, organizations must equip themselves with a basic toolset to marginalize risk, including:
  • A working group list including contact information for all key players in a crisis is essential and should be compiled far in advance. This should also include contact information for important outside resources, such as the PR firm and outside counsel. It should include all pertinent contact information such as office, cell, and home phone numbers (including vacation homes -- what if the CEO is at her house in Florida when the crisis hits?), e-mail addresses, etc. Nobody wants to run around tracking down e-mail addresses and cell numbers when the pressure is on.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Five media myths exploded for PR professionals

Posted by Greg Matusky
Where does this stuff come from? The unwritten rules of PR that surface again and again, but often have no basis in fact. So here, after 25 years of experience, let me share with you some of the greatest myths of media relations and the truth in back of them.

1. Never say no comment. On the whole, that might hold true. But years ago, I was working on a major acquisition for a client. It was all hush, hush, cloak-and-dagger stuff of late-night calls from halfway around the world. The media got wind of it and called the CEO, who turned the call over to me.

I was young at the time and fully ingrained in the prevailing wisdom -- to never say no comment. The CEO was firm. He screamed at me to tell them no comment. I explained that the cardinal rule of PR is that no comment just creates enemies with the media and lets the media tell their own story. At least we could put together a non-committal response, I urged.

The CEO bellowed from halfway around the world. "Nothing I do is non-committal. The world will respect us more for not talking now and then telling the full story at a time and place of our convenience."

He was right. I said no comment. The media frenzy built in the days and weeks that followed. We leveraged the interest into a front page Wall Street Journal story. All because of a stone wall the media desperately wanted to climb over, and eventually did, but on our terms at a time right for the client.
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