Damage Control: Social Media Reversals

Corporations continue to get blindsided by social media –which of course, is just a representation of underlying customer or product issues that should be fixed. Companies respond in three ways: 1) Ignore it and do nothing at their own peril, 2) Are responsive but not necessarily in control 3) Assert themselves and be proactive –even during a crises.   The following three examples highlight companies being proactive in the third effort –and analyzes their end result. AT&T Evangelist Softens Support Woes –For The Short Term Large telecommunications giant AT&T has had a reputation for ineffective coverage and support –an ailment common the bigger companies get.  Recently, the iPhone community in both NYC and SF in particular have shouted out against … Continue readingDamage Control: Social Media Reversals

Future of PR: When Agencies Represent Communities –Not Brands

We continue to see that communities will continue to gain more and more power as they lean on each other to make decisions, support each other, and share their lifestyle. What happens to agencies that traditionally serve brands? Seem far fetched? Not really. We’re already starting to see bits of this: I’ve seen user innovation in car forums, Facebook groups, and networks of mommy bloggers. Or take for example UserVoice , GetSatisfaction or Ideastorms that allow communities to define what features they want with products. Imagine for a second that these communities, say bike-enthusiasts, or young mothers, or even home-theater-fans could start to define using organized innovation tools what products and features they want. What if Doc Searls vision for … Continue readingFuture of PR: When Agencies Represent Communities –Not Brands

PR Scorecard For Social Media Vendors

I really want to hear about the great things your company is doing. In fact, I’ve pretty much dedicated my life to this industry, and you can tell by efforts I’m really listening. It’s important to remember that social media vendors need to walk the talk, and that means demonstrating your social media prowess that you are claiming to sell. I’m all for press releases, they have a specific purpose, but I won’t link in my digests, regular blog posts, twitter and maybe even my reports if you don’t demonstrate how you’re part of the discussion using the very tools you sell. Engage us with a blog post, invite your clients to comment, create a video demo, walk us through … Continue readingPR Scorecard For Social Media Vendors

Data: What Happens to PR Firms in a Recession, a 2009 Forecast

Left: Access the Slides from the USC report on The Impact of the Current Economic Situation on Public Relations/Communication The USC School of Communication contacted me about their latest study based of 200 PR agencies to find out the impacts of their business during a recession. The report and press release have lots of great data and there are dozens of graphs in the presentation, so in the usual web strategy style, I’ll boil down what’s important to business folks –from an industry perspective. By The Numbers: Key Takeaways from Forecast Report of PR Firms Budgets: Half of firms to suffer from 20% reduced budgets The report indicates that “Half (51%) of responding organizations indicated their FY 2009 PR/communication budgets … Continue readingData: What Happens to PR Firms in a Recession, a 2009 Forecast

Misjudgment or Transparency? How a Single Tweet Caused a Stir With a Client

It’s entertaining to watch how the PR industry self-spins, in this latest dust up regarding a tweet by James Andrews, an executive who works at Ketchum, a well known PR agency. James is accused of bad form, and his company had to backtrack when he posted this tweet on the way to visit his client Fedex: “True confession but I’m in one of those towns where I scratch my head and say “I would die if I h ad to live here!” it caused angst with the ‘location sensitive’ client, and they issued this comment, apparently on this blog (update: this may have been an email from Fedex to Ketchum), after it was run up the Fedex flagpole. (via David, … Continue readingMisjudgment or Transparency? How a Single Tweet Caused a Stir With a Client

Four Business Opportunities for the Evolved PR Agency

This post is a response to last night’s event at the Horn Group called Is Social Media Killing PR? Sam Whitmore moderated Kara Swisher (media), and Susan Etlinger (PR) and me (analyst) for a lively debate, which resulted in the crowd chiming into the issues. I don’t think the conversation evolved as far enough as I wanted to see it go, so here’s what I wanted to share. For years the Public Relations industry has ironically one of the worst reputations –esp since they are hired to look after the reputations of their own clients. Things only got worse as some brands got punk’d; the introduction of self-publishing tools that allowed anyone to connect to each other using social technologies, … Continue readingFour Business Opportunities for the Evolved PR Agency