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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Who do you trust?

"If it's on the Internet, it must be true," is the decade-old one-line joke about trusting bad information on the Web.

In today's social media world concern about credibility is exponentially greater than in the good old days of search when you had to find information on the Internet; now the information finds you.

But how to verify the source? If you're like most people, you might check and see how many followers or likes a person has, or whose posts are trending. The more followers, the more visibility a poster has, the more credibility right? Well, maybe not.

According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, an increasing amount of social media activity is fake. "If you're not padding your numbers, you're not doing it right," says Jim Vidmar, who buys fake Twitter accounts to increase his or his clients' social media impact. "It's part of the game."

You might try using sites that measure social media impact, like Kred, Klout, or PeerIndex to see how a poster scores. And for Twitter specifically, on the site's faker's list for a fee you can find out how many of your own fake followers they have found.

Which brings us back to what we at CommCore tell our clients before they react to a Tweet or a Facebook posting – monitor and verify as much as you can before you trust.

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Friday, November 22, 2013

CommCore in Partnership with PR News roles out "Executive Critique"

In conjunction with PR News, Jerry Doyle, principal of CommCore, will provide exclusive insight and analysis on what senior managers are doing right—and wrong—when engaging the media. 
The first installment is an interview by Shantanu Narayen, CEO of Adobe Systems, on Australian television. It turns out that Narayen, may need some more media schooling.
Concede, Then Go To Your Message!
In our first edition of Executive Critique, we see the CEO of Adobe Systems, Inc., Shantanu Narayen trying, feebly, to avoid answering a straight-forward question on price comparisons in a specific region (in this case, Australia).  In this media coach’s opinion, Mr. Narayen fell victim to a CEO’s temptation to try and completely avoid conceding any point and instead head straight to a key message.  This rarely works. 
The Result?:  Mr. Narayen looks and sounds like he is trying to pull a “shell game” on the audience.
The Lesson?:  Every spokesperson must decide in advance what points he must concede.  My advice when faced with such a question is to answer it concisely without hesitation and then bridge immediately to a positive key message.
As you can see in the video, the reporter is not fooled.  In fact, he presses on and the CEO’s refusal to answer the question continues to make things worse.  His credibility is hurt, the company’s reputation sustains some damage and the message never gets through.
Stay up-to-date with future installments of Executive Critique by monitoring PR News website. 

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Friday, November 15, 2013

Hashtags and Diamonds are Forever. #AskJPM

One of the most epic failures of social media use occurred this week when JP Morgan scheduled then cancelled a live Twitter Q&A. 

Transparency is a good thing and social media is a great tool to build relationships and listen in on what others are saying about a company and its reputation.  However when you’re a global financial institution that has spent a half billion dollars in litigation, you may want to think twice about a total open forum on Twitter.  Live chats on Facebook allow for some fast filtering of the questions.  Same with a live Twitter Q&A as long as the questions come in via email.  Clearly there needed be more control.  The killer judgment error was creating the #AskJPM hashtag.  That lasts forever and continues to trend.  There are even comedy videos all over YouTube reading many of the tweets.

At CommCore, we believe effective messaging is essential in maintaining corporate reputation.  However companies and organizations need to be mindful on how those messages are delivered.

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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Don’t Diss The Hand That Feeds You

In a recent interview, Martha Stewart gave her opinion about bloggers. Stewart’s comment that “… they’re not trained editors” is probably not a great way to engage influencers.

Social Media – Blogs and Micro Blogging sites – have changed the media landscape. You don’t have to love them, but CommCore advises clients to at least respect bloggers and avoid a social media backlash. Why?
  1. Bloggers are often closer to consumers – They have a name and a face and have a different – often closer relationship with consumers --than the brands themselves.
  2. Bloggers come with a following – Stewart refers to it as “popularity” but bloggers with a large following are often quite trusted as well as being popular.
  3. Bloggers mobilize quickly – Blogger networks are intricate. They can organize boycotts, create a trending hashtag, and fill your website and social media accounts with comments (positive or negative) in the time it takes to ask Siri a few questions.  They can also activate your Brand perception and increase your sales.

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Friday, November 1, 2013

The Employee Cost of Reputation Mismanagement

Damage to your company’s reputation not only hurts  revenue and sales, it will also hinder your organization’s attractiveness to current and potential employees.

According to a recent survey by Corporate Responsibility Magazine and Allegis Group Services, nearly three quarters of Americans  -- 69% -- say they would rather be unemployed than work for a company that has a bad reputation. Other survey findings:

·        62% of employed respondents said they would take a job with a company that had a bad reputation only if salary offered was 50% to 100% more than their current salary.
·        84% stated that they would leave their current job if they were offered a new position with a company that had a stellar reputation and would only require a 1% or 10% increase to make the switch.

Source: Corporate Responsibility, Allegis Group Services

At  CommCore we remind our clients that they need to attend to both internal and external reputations.  On a related front, clients need to have a current and stress-tested crisis communications and response plan in place BEFORE a reputation-damaging critical incident take place, including one that impacts employee morale.  We have seen incidents that never went beyond the four walls of the organization, yet had a damaging impact on employee attitudes and commitment.  

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