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When blogs and social media rose to prominence about a decade ago, pundits were quick to declare that these innovations would likely spell the end of the news media. After all, the word “media” literally refers to being an intermediary (note the word “media” embedded in “intermediary”). If newsmakers could now reach their audiences directly via the Internet, what use would there be for intermediaries to carry the news? The news media, it was believed, would be one of the first industries to be “disintermediated,” a multisyllabic word for “cutting out the middleman.” Read the remainder of this entry »
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Some people think that B2B and B2C social media are very different. I think they are similar, however. But one thing people often see as the hallmark of B2B social media is actually useful in some B2C situations as well. I am talking about a technique that is missing from many social media playbooks: proving your expertise. Now you might believe that there are lots of ways that proving your expertise can be common between B2B and B2C social media—writing a blog, for example. But I want to tell you that many businesses need this technique no matter who their customers are. It depends more on what kind of offering you have than you whom sell it to. Read the remainder of this entry »
I had several people talk to me about my recent post, “Do you know how to operate in public?” State Farm was embarrassed when a private letter was publicized in social media and mainstream media, all because a diligent employee followed accepted procedure in a situation that might have demanded an exception. Most of my questioners lamented that private conversation is no longer private, but we can’t just pine away for the good old days. We need to live in the here and now. And times have changed. One person asked me how he could know when he is operating in public if private communication is no longer safely private, which is a good question. Every employee now has to think like your company spokesperson.
When that bad story first hits your computer screen, you can be excused for feeling just a little bit panicked. If you’re like most companies, you aren’t prepared for a PR crisis. You might have some action plan in mothballs, but if it doesn’t include social media readiness, you’re not prepared for a full-blown 21st century PR imbroglio. If you haven’t thought through how social media transforms your PR crisis planning, it’s time to do so now.
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I’m still struggling with the whole full disclosure thing from the FTC. It’s not that I disagree with it–in fact, I think I have been following their guidelines all along. But now I feel like I really need to watch myself or I’m going to jail. All this was brought to mind when Mashable featured the work that Converseon client Telstra did to publicize its social media guidelines with an interactive learning module .