Transparency, engagement, responsibility: Hospital exec Paul Levy is a role model for CEOs

CEO reputations are already in the tank. According to the Edelman Trust Barometer, used car salesmen have more cred than CEOs and official corporae spokespersons. Those same CEOs should be looking beyond the current economic crisis. A rehabilitated image will be important once the sting of the recession has faded.

Writing on, Dr. Leslie Gaines-Ross pointed out that a CEO’s internal communications stand to have a bigger impact on how a CEO is perceived by external audiences than external marketing or PR efforts. Gaines-Ross, chief reputation strategist for Weber Shandwick, said, “as companies continue to announce… Read More »

How many execs really leave “to pursue other oportunities?”

At one of the Fortune 500 companies where I directed corporate communications, many years ago, a reorganization consolidated some of the company’s business units. In a game of executive musical chairs, one high-ranking exec was left without a job.

The press release the company issued used the typical jargon claiming that the poor fellow was leaving the company “to pursue other opportunities.” I suppose that was true. The interesting he was leaving to pursue was finding a job after being dumped from the organization.

Journalists are wise to this kind of euphemism. A night copy editor at one of the dailies covering the company ran the… Read More »

Don’t give Apple a pass

I was embarrassed today during my presentation at New Media Expo in Las Vegas. John C. Havens, the co-author of my new book , and I were delivering a talk on the the theme of the book, “Tactical Transparency.” When discussing the notion of being transparent about business processes and problems, I used Apple’s Mobile Me as an example, showing a screen shot of the MobileMe Status page on the Apple website.

As soon as I started talking about it, a hand shot up. Allison Sheridan said the MobileMe status page was a terrible example.

I was confounded. After all, the inaugural post to the MobileMe status page made my point precisely:

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Non-threatening ways to get your company started with social media

As organizations seek to expand their communication efforts to include social media, they often find themselves facing the same hurdles that were faced and ultimately overcome by earlier adopters. Efforts to introduce social media have been hamstrung by questions of time commitment, IT issues, and legal concerns.

Usually, blogs are the tactic that face these obstacles (although I have also heard of other challenges, such as a legal objection to the construction of a special-purpose Facebook page). The assumption that blogs must be the company’s point of entry into social media is most likely based on the fact that blogs were the firstRead More »

One message does not fit all

On episode 335 of The Hobson and Holtz Report, Eric Schwartzman shared bits of an interview he conducted with Maureen Kasper, senior director of communication at Cisco Systems. In the interview, Maureen addressed an issue that I’ll be talking about during my session tomorrow at the New Communications Forum: the blurring of the line between internal and external communications.

We did create content that was different—here’s the external face to something and here’s the internal face to something. I don’t think you can do that any more. It’s the same. It’s better communication. You’re not worrying about, “Am I thinking externally or am…

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Brian Solis on Social Media Release

The February “Cafe2Go,” IABC’s monthly podcast, is up, featuring an interview I conducted with Brian Solis about the Social Media Release. Brian is an original member of the Social Media Release working group. He was selected for this interview because IABC members—communicators—are the audience for Cafe2Go, and Brian’s background is in communication. Among the members of the working group, he (and Todd Defren) represents the people who will be crafting such releases.

You may be wondering why we’re talking about the Social Media Release on Cafe2Go. The short answer: IABC is assuming a role in the development of SMR standards. An… Read More »

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