Is a quiz that inspires kids to become engineers unethical just because ExxonMobil paid for it?

Last September, as one small part of an outreach program aimed at getting schoolchildren interested in engineering, ExxonMobil paid for one of those BuzzFeed quizzes. You know the ones I’m talking about: Answer a series of questions in order to learn whether you’d be Belle or Aurora if you were a Disney princess.

In this case, the answers determined what kind of engineer you should be. Readers were presented with nine multiple-choice questions and statements, like “What was your favorite part of summer camp?”, “What do you look forward to most on a road trip?”, and “Pick a cell phone case.” (I undertook the exercise. I’d make a great… Read More »

Friday Wrap #131: Agency settles with FTC, Instagram overtakes Twitter, employees expand reach

Friday Wrap #131
Flickr photo courtesy of Retis
The Friday Wrap is my weekly collection of articles, posts, and reports that may not have risen to the top of your news feed but still can add value to your work as a communicator. I collect all the items I find interesting on my link blog, which you’re welcome to follow. The link blog is my source for items to appear in the Wrap as well as those I’ll report on in my weekly podcast.

News

FTC settles with agency whose staff tweeted about clients—It’s a standard practice in PR and marketing agencies to ask agency staff to support client activities with tweets, Facebook posts, and other missives in their own… Read More »

Friday Wrap #126: Facebook bans like-gating, Disqus adds sponsored comments, public WiFi explodes

Shrink-wrapped Atlantis space shuttle
Flickr photo of shrink-wrapped space shuttle Atlantis courtesy of Robert Neff
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

No more “like our page” campaigns for Facebook—One reason the total number of Facebook page-likes you’re earned is a terrible metric is that a lot of people who liked your page may well have done so in exchange for a coupon, not out of a sense of genuine affinity. That won’t be a… Read More »

Will your intranet get Known?

Social media has a place in the enterprise. Study after study confirms that employees who are able to engage with each other over social channels are more productive, more engaged, and even lead to improved market share and revenue.

But it has been a struggle to adapt social media to the enterprise. Most efforts involve a bolt-on, such as Yammer or Chatter added to an existing intranet. These can be made to work; companies like ConAgra, Pitney Bowes, and TeeKay Shipping have made these messaging systems into rock-solid tools for employees to find and engage with colleagues who are involved in similar activities. The deeper sense of… Read More »

Communicating to achieve results is anything but frivolous

In the business world, communication plays a big part in engaging employees. There is ample research that proves companies that communicate well are four times more likely to have engaged staff. This matters because engaged employees are more efficient and productive. Turnover is lower among engaged employee populations. Motivation levels are higher.

In the business world, that’s worth the cost because the payoff is so much greater. In government, apparently employees are just supposed to engage themselves.

That, at least, seems to be the thinking behind an attack by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-California) on the internal communications at… Read More »

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