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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

All-Time Tweet Twits

It's hardly news that Twitter gaffes are a professional communicator's nightmare. Once posted, it's impossible to recall your tweet and pretend it never happened. We all know intuitively that brand and personal reputation damage is difficult to repair once your "mistake" has gone viral.

Still, seeing one online social media commentator's current aggregation of the Ten Dumbest Tweets Of All Time is eye-opening. I mean, who pulled the trigger on these tweets, not to mention thought them up?  We've heard of several – Chrysler/Motor City Drivers is one we at CommCore refer to often when counseling our clients. Others, like the Kenneth Cole debacle, are new to us.

Reviewing these just serves to remind us that old communications rules apply more than ever to new media technologies and PR applications:

·         Resist the notion that speedy commenting on the Internet is THE   most important communications consideration
·         Think before you tweet
·         Then think again
·         Articulate clearly to yourself WHY you are creating and sending this tweet into the public ether, and WHO your target audience is
·         Show the post to someone else for their reaction
·         PAUSE one last time before hitting "send"

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The After-Crisis Analysis.  Did it work?

It's always easy to analyze a crisis in real time.  But how do you measure the success of the crisis communications?   Simple.  Is the story still in the news?

A couple of recent examples...Former University of Arkansas football coach Bobby Petrino.  A few weeks ago he lied about his unscrupulous personal and professional practices at the school.  University officials fired him quickly.  They also held a press conference, issued lots of statements and stayed really transparent.  Do a Google news search.  The story is out there, but the cascading river is down to a trickle.

Example two.  A couple of weeks ago, Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen in an interview used the words "love" and "Fidel Castro" in the same sentence.  Now the last thing you  want to do is alienate Miami’s Cuban-American fan base.  Huge protests were planned, people were screaming for his head.  The Marlins issued all kinds of communications disavowing those statements.  They made Ozzie stand alone in a press conference to take his lumps and suspended him for five days.  It looks like the only fan protests now are directed towards the umpires.   

The moral of the story is what we at CommCore always tell our clients:  Act fast and decisive, and above all, be prepared.

Monday, April 23, 2012

How To Ideas from Business Week

One of the more fun magazine reads is the current "How to" issue of Business Week .  There are plenty of short take ideas on how to admit a mistake by an NFL referee, how to talk to a Republican (by a Democrat) or how to talk to a Democrat (by a Republican).

My 3 favorites:

  • How to Manage Creative Talent by Angela Ahrendts, CEO of Burberry.  Angela has insights on blending right and left brain talent.
  • How to Avoid Burnout by Marissa Mayer, VP of Google. Job "rhythm" might be a better term than “balance". 
  • How to Design an Office, by Denise Cherry, director of design at Studio O+A.  To do it again in our offices, we'd have more open spaces. 

Take a look and let us know what you think.

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Friday, April 20, 2012

How Does Your CEO’s Personal Mishaps Effect Your Company’s Reputation?

CEOs, Corporate Reputation, Trust, Crisis.  Each is intertwined and has its own role in the success of any company or brand.  When your CEO behaves badly in his own time, how does that affect your company’s reputation? Does it require crisis management? Attorney Michael W. Peregrine, in a NY Times post, says yes, and it is the board’s responsibility to hold their leadership responsible for their actions, even if the bad behavior happens off the clock.

Peregrine uses former Best Buy CEO, Brian Dunn, as an example.  The firm’s board is currently investigating Dunn’s alleged ‘misuse of company funds related to an inappropriate personal relationship with a female employee.   Other examples include: Highmark's board dismissing its chief, Kenneth Milani, after he was charged with assault and trespassing; University of Arkansas dismissing football coach, Bobby Petrino, over an inappropriate personal relationship with a female athletic department employee.

 “CEOs behaving badly” falls into the category of crises in which the reputation of a company or brand is at stake from criminal or civil charges, allegations of negligence or wrong-doing, social media rumors, or innuendo.  At CommCore we recommend that any company’s leadership develop its own version of our Reputation Protection Model, or RPM©.  It’s a methodology that goes beyond preparation and response; it adds a lens that views crisis preparation as an investment in an organization’s long term reputation in the eyes of its most important stakeholders.  When company leadership displays questionable behavior, there’s a set plan of action in reviewing and assessing the next steps.   

Utilize the Mirror Principle, which states that an organization must hold up the looking glass to its own issues and culture.

Bottom line: learn lessons from others, use the current bumper crop of unfortunate events to compare risks, and honestly assess your own. 

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Photos: Media Training for Food Safety Summit

CommCore presented an interactive media training session this week at the 2012 Food Safety Summit at the Washington Convention Center. The workshop focused on how to create messages and sound bites that get quoted, how to prepare for any interview, and how to develop and maintain positive relationship with the media.

To view the entire album  - photos are posted on our Facebook Page.

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Monday, April 16, 2012

A Picture is Worth One Thousand Words

Is your organization currently using Instagram?

PR and Marketing professionals have begun to re-embrace the cliché that "A Picture is Worth One Thousand Words."  Last week's purchase of Instagram by Facebook for $1.1 billion is what we call a clue about the power of visuals.

Add a couple of other facts and the case for photos or video is pretty clear:  Pinterest has come out of nowhere to a player in social media.  And it's common knowledge that You Tube is the second most used search engine after Google.

With Instagram, the picture possibilities are seemingly endless for PR and marketing.  Instragram can be used to provide a "sneak peek" of a product.  It can be used to show fans or clients pictures of your organization doing good in the community.   For example, Starbucks uses Instagram to feature items from their menu in addition to sharing pictures of their employees working in stores and in the community.  General Electric utilizes Instagram to share pictures from within its factories as well as to showcase groundbreaking research and technology.  Possibly the most important feature for Instagram is 'Geo-tagging.'  Geo-tagging gives organizations the ability to not only share photos, but to also tag the location that the photos were taken.  This allows organizations to promote a presence at events, workshops, and conferences.  We’ll see if to "instragram" becomes a verb like to Google, to Facebook or LinkedIn.

Is your organization currently using Instagram?  What kinds of visuals have engaged your fans and consumers the most?

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