Friday Wrap #15: Customer service failures, Google+ in the enterprise, a network for marketers

Friday Wrap #15
Image (c) CanStockPhoto
I’m sorry I missed last week’s Wrap—I was in Brazil (even longer than I expected; my flight home was cancelled due to Tropical Storm Isaac, leaving me in Sao Paulo two days longer than planned). But I’m back with my weekly review of stories from the last week I found in my feeds and thought were interesting or important enough to share with you!

Here’s a business strategy: Ignore $1.3 trillion in annual value

A critically important study released recently by McKinsey & Company sees somewhere between $900 billion and $1.3 trillion in annual value accruing to organizations that embrace social technologies. Among… Read More »

Progresso kinda responds to controversy over chemical in its cans

Progresso SoupsProgresso, the General Mills-owned soup brand, has finally responded to a growing chorus of customer calls for the company to end its use of BPA in its cans. They have responded, that is, if copying and pasting a canned (no pun intended) statement is a response.\

I learned about the issue when Paul Gillin called my attention to it as a possible story for this week’s For Immediate Release podcast. Paul notes that the trouble started with a November 22, 2011 NPR report noted that eating soups from cans with the chemical BPA can “dramatically increase exposure to the chemical;” NPR cited a study in the Journal of the American Medical… Read More »

FIR Interview: Frito-Lay Communicators on a site for employee brand literacy

Frito-Lay logoBusiness, brand and product literacy represent fertile ground for internal communicators. Increasingly, employees know their own jobs and the products on which they work, but aren’t well-versed in other parts of the company or products they don’t work on. In an effort to improve product literacy—which arose mainly from employees’ own requests—Frito-Lay communicators Michael Karle and Joe Flowers developed a website that provides all the information employees could ever need about the company’s wide array of products and brands (which include the likes of Cheetos, Doritos and Sun Chips).

In this interview, FIR co-host Shel Holtz talks… Read More »

Brand journalism was never meant to replace independent news reporting

During one of the breaks during my daylong workshop in New Zealand, I sat down with Tom Pullar-Strecker, IT editor at the Dominion Post. We chatted about one of the workshop themes, the idea that companies have to think like publishers. Part of the discussion turned to brand journalism.

That wound up as the focus of Pullar-Strecker’s article, which is mostly accurate in reflecting my views. But I was mostly struck by the comments from Massey University journalism lecturer Alan Samson, who “was cynical about how much independence such writers would have, if push came to shove. Their work was a form of marketing, even if some of it might… Read More »

Marketers, keep your hands off of your company’s brand journalism

Hands OffCall it what you will: content marketing, content strategy, brand journalism, braided journalism or just thinking like a publisher. Whatever you call it, just don’t call it marketing.

I’ve been making this point—one I thought was fairly benign and obvious—to clients and at conferences and workshops where I speak. But when a participant in my workshop in Sydney last week tweeted the sentiment, it got a rebuke, arguing that marketing departments need to stand back from content strategies was a harsh requirement.

Marketing is what companies do to promote and sell products or services. Organizatons produce plenty of it. Brand journalism,… Read More »

Supply chain partners’ practices could make your company a target

Greenpeace learned its lesson well.

Back in March 2010, in response to YouTube’s removal of a Greenpeace-produced parody TV commercial, the advocacy organization launched a campaign against Nestle that ultimately forced the powerhouse consumer products company to seek a new source for its palm oil. Palm oil from non-rainforest sources is more expensive and Nestle was taking its time trying to find an alternative, but the pressure—much of which targeted the company’s Facebook page—led them to switch suppliers much sooner.

This time around, Greenpeace didn’t wait for a trigger like company lawyers forcing YouTube to remove its video.… Read More »

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