Companies should look to PR to ensure strong characters before crisis hits; just ask Sony and Uber

Brands need PR to solidify high-integrity culturesA brand’s reputation can rise or fall based on how it reacts to unplanned events. Having a crisis plan in place is a good start, but it’s not enough. The right response has to be part of the organization’s character, part of its DNA.

Two companies have hurt themselves and eroded their own reputations with woefully tone-deaf responses to events. As these cases are analyzed in the days and weeks to come, crisis planning will undoubtedly be invoked. In both cases, though, all the planning in the world wouldn’t have stopped these businesses—Uber and Sony—from reacting based on their core nature.

When an unbalanced gunman with a long… Read More »

Friday Wrap #129: High court’s Facebook free speech case, Uber app isn’t malware, Amazon activism

Friday Wrap #129
Flickr photo of wrapping a turkey in bacon courtesy of Jennifer Morrow
A very Happy Thanksgiving to my American readers; I hope you enjoyed warmth, family, and turkey yesterday. Here’s an abbreviated Friday Wrap (since there wasn’t much news published yesterday or today); I’ll be back with a more complete round-up next week. In the meantime, be sure to follow my link blog to stay on top of all the items I collect, from which I select stories for the Wrap and for my weekly podcast.

News

Free speech on Facebook goes to the U.S. Supreme Court—On Monday, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a case that will decide when the First… Read More »

Friday Wrap #121: Protesters and social media, Microsoft’s Sway content service, selfies as ads

Friday Wrap 121
Flickr photo by Michael Coghlan
Welcome to the Friday Wrap, my weekly summary of stuff I have found in the last seven days that didn’t grab the big headlines but is still important, interesting, and/or worthwhile for communicators and marketers. I collect these on my link blog, which you’re welcome to follow.

News

Social media front and center in Hong Kong protests—China’s leaders weren’t worried about much of the 2003 Hong Kong protests spilling into international media coverage, but social media has changed the game during the current demonstrations. The rate of government-imposed censorship on Weibo is reportedly double that of… Read More »

Here’s why your company could suffer terrible PR if it doesn’t narrow the CEO-worker pay gap

Income Inequality
Flickr photo courtesy of mSeattle
The importance of a genuine commitment to corporate social responsibility is growing more and more clear. Study after study finds consumers are making conscious decisions to avoid doing business with bad actors and greenwashers, and to spend their money (and make their investments) in companies that are sincere about trying to do well by doing good.

Several companies are taking the new reality seriously, incorporating their CSR efforts into their annual reports and taking other steps to make sure the public is aware of their activities. It’s not enough yet, though, to change general public perception of… Read More »

Why the Sacco saga will drive more people to ephemeral and private messaging services

Ephemeral messaging app Leo should bet a surge in subscribers following the Justine Sacco affairJustine Sacco’s saga has been reported, analyzed and dissected more than most breaking news stories. While there is no excusing the message she tweeted, the reaction has far exceeded her transgression. Steve Martin (who himself apologized recently for a racially-insensitive tweet) once proposed the death penalty for parking violations. Death threats for an insensitive tweet seems a lot like that.

(If you’re scratching your head wondering who Justine Sacco is, you can get up to speed with this Los Angeles Times coverage.)

People who know Sacco don’t believe she’s racist. Writing in the Huffington Post, journalist Jeff Bercovici… Read More »

Friday Wrap #80: Sales from social, Instagram direct messages, controversy sweet spots, print lives

Friday Wrap #80

(c) Can Stock Photo
I don’t usually start the Wrap with a commercial, but I want to let you know about an eight-week, interactive, online workshop I’m presenting with my friend and colleague, Thornley Fallis CEO Joseph Thornley. For the third year, we’re offering the course on strategic social media through IABC. Each week, you’ll work through a multimedia learning module created using a state-of-the-art online learning program. There are opportunities for discussion on a closed Facebook group with other workshop participants and Joe and me participating.  And each week we host a conference call to review key points and address… Read More »

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