Chili’s controversy just one case of social media driving a brand to take a stand on a social issue

Chili'sLessons abound in the recent controversy surrounding restaurant chain Chili’s decision to cancel its autism-focused fundraiser. The controversy has emerged as one big cautionary tale with three key themes:

  • Companies need to perform due diligence before aligning with other organizations
  • Websites need to be reviewed regularly and revised based on the organization’s current reality
  • Since social media is emboldening (some might say forcing) organizations to take stands on issues, it is increasingly important for brands to understand the strength of its own market’s positions

The kerfuffle kicked off when Chili’s announced plans to donate… Read More »

Jill Rowley’s dismissal could be a case of misguided adherence to 20th-century spokesperson policies

Jill RowleyJill Rowley says Oracle fired her for violating the company’s social media participation policy after she gave an interview to Advertising Age. The AdAge article from early last month offers a concise look at Rowley’s work as head of the company’s social selling effort, where she was helping Oracle’s sales staff learn how to use social networks as part of their jobs. According to Business Insider, she was transforming the team of more than 23,000 sales people.

According to Business Insider, Oracle hasn’t commented on Rowley’s dismissal. If the reason Rowley offers is accurate, though, it’s troubling on a number of levels. It’s not… Read More »

Friday Wrap #92: Millennials trust user-generated content, Wikipedia may loosen paid advocate rules

Friday Wrap 92The Friday Wrap is my weekly review of news items and posts that caught my attention. It’s not a look at the big digital and social news of the week; I figure you’ve already seen that stuff elsewhere. As I see these items, I save them to my Tumblr link blog; on Friday morning, I choose from the collection the items that appear here. Please feel free to follow the blog to stay on top of all these items I believe are useful for communicators to know.

Above the fold

Content marketers trying to reach the increasingly influential and valuable millennial market, listen up: people born between 1977 and 1997 trust user-generated content 50%… Read More »

Friday Wrap #90: More of your posts in Facebook news feeds, a 15-second cooking show, and more

Friday Wrap #90The Wrap this well will be shorter than usual. My visit to Copenhagen, Denmark—to speak at the annual IntraTeam intranet event—has occupied most of my time, and my flight home is in just a few hours. There were, however, far too many interesting reports to skip it completely! So, here’s your abbreviated wrap-up of news you may have missed. (On the other hand, let me know if you prefer this shorter format.) You’re welcome to follow my link blog, where I collect the items from which I draw material for the Wrap, as well as for my podcast, For Immediate Release.

The bad and the ugly

Digiday argues that Nestle’s handling of the Hot… Read More »

Four conditions for an effective apology

On Valentine’s Day 2007, an ice storm and some bad decisions left JetBlue passengers stranded in planes frozen to runways. Then-CEO Dave Neeleman took to YouTube to offer an unscripted, heartfelt apology, along with an outline of actions he would take to ensure the situation was never repeated.

The coverage of the apology by both the press and social media kicked off the trend of the video apology. Some commentators anticipated that apologies would become so commonplace that they would lose all meaning. There have, in fact, been some terrible examples of apologies from business leaders, offered up in videos, tweets and blog posts.

Mattel's Eckert apologizesRead More »

Friday Wrap #79: Native advertising, mobile video, sharing competencies, crisis responses, and more

Friday WrapIf you’d rather get the Wrap via email, just subscribe to the Holtz Communication + Technology Update. Now you’ll never miss my weekly review of stories you may have missed; it’ll be waiting for you in your inbox. As always, you’re welcome to review all the stories I collect during the week, which I curate at

Above the fold

Lines drawn at FTC native advertising workshop

It wasn’t a hearing, just a workshop for the FTC to get more acquainted with the surging practice of native advertising (aka sponsored content). The the lines were drawn quickly and clearly, with representatives of the advertising industry… Read More »

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