Belkin blushes after cash-for-comment cock-up

Aussie techster and mate o’ mine Leigh Mannes, flags a techy PR disaster where Belkin was caught ‘incentivising’ favourable blog comment ($0.65 a go). After being outed, the PR response was swift with a Belkin honcho insisting it was an isolated incident. Errm…maybe not says further online digging.

From PR disaster management 101, effectively responding to an incident isn’t just about being swift, it’s about being as accurate as poss in your response. Especially in cases involving suspicious practices, to erroneously address the incident can just look like a further cover up. And that don’t help ‘restore the trust’ President Reynoso. That’s exactly what’s not happending in this not-so-isolated incident it seems.



Best blog job campaign undermined by agency numbnuts?

Nice to be able to report of a really neat bit of PR, instead of the usual blundersCongratulations to the PRs at Tourism Queensland for a corker of a PR initiative. Read comments below!! Looks like Cummins Nitro (the concept agency) stuffed it by faking an eager job applicant!!!!!! Faaaaahhhrrrkkkk! They’re offering some lucky soul the chance to promote the Great Barrier Reef primarily via Social Media tools such as weekly blogs, a photo diary, video updates, plus ongoing media interviews. The PR idea is already (unsurprisingly) generating strong global PR interest. The salary is $150,000 for a six-month stint; interested, anyone?

Talking social media PR disasters with radio 2UE

 I was interviewed by radio station 2UE’s Bill Woods and Deb Knight on their Sunday weekend show. We discussed the potential threats of social networking sites. Identity theft, career and employment impact plus permanent personal reputation damage were a few of the themes looked at. I asserted that the term ‘social media’ was somewhat of a misnomer, as it skated over how these tools can be effectively used for business and commercial purposes. I reminded Bill and Deb how online commentary or uploads can stick to you like a permanent e-tattoo. We touched on how privacy setting can be quite easily compromised and how there’s a real appetite for gossip and hearsay online. We mentioned the superficiality of some online ‘relationships’ or connections, and how you need to be cautious about who you trust in this area. Fairly surface content touched on, much like many social media sites themselves.

Lee Hopkins joins McCusker for a Web2.0 chat

Lee ‘Grumpa’ Hopkins popped into my Melbourne offices to raise a posh pinky finger and swig a few cups of Earl Grey just yesterday. In Melb for a series of academic conferences plus a conference address, Lee and I had a good chat about all things Soc Med. In particular, Lee seemed equally enthused when I introduced him to the delights of the marvellous monitoring tool Addictomatic, as well as Twitter’s excellent Monitter. When I described Omnisio and iPowow, Lee seemed aghast at the reputation damaging potential (its true evil power) but recovered after Aydan fetched him another two gypsy cream biscuits. Hopefully Paull Young will be the next SocMed devotee to visit the Engage Emporium in December!

Bloggers are not equal to 'proper' journalists

Blogger Arpee Lazaro contacts me relating how he was invited by an electronics manufacturer to the launch of their latest line of entertainment devices and gadgets. Upon entry, Arpee fell in line for the registration and before being allowed to register, was accosted by Jayce Perlas (as it says on his name tag) and asked what publication Arpee was from. He answered him “I am a blogger, and gave his URL. He then asked Arpee, “WHO INVITED YOU?” This lead to much humiliation in front of the people in the counter and treated like an arrested shoplifter. Here’s Arpee’s blog piece:

Arpee, look at the positive; don’t think bloggers are held in such high media regard here in OZ!!

Ignorance aint bliss in Social Media

I can’t keep it in any longer!! Speaking at a conference fairly recently, I was asked a question from the floor that near left me speechless…in a room full of PR professionals, someone basically challenged the validity of my assertion that Social Media would become/is becoming increasingly influential in issues and crisis management campaigns. The person said (and I precis) “How is a blog different from a website and why would anyone in business or an organisation bother with one?” I think I bristled and sounded irked when responding. But how can modern comms practitioners not know the whats, whys and hows of the blogosphere????

I welcome any other pearls of wisdom you blogtypes may have heard of late…?


Does China pay an army of astroturf bloggers?

Writing in The Guardian, Malik Fareed claims that the Chinese government is payrolling opinion shapers and influencers 50 Chinese cents or five mao per blog post, to refute and replace negative online coverage about China and related issues (better rates than blogging for Fairfax then?)
While astroturfing is seen by some as ethically dubious, it is still growing in popularity, thanks, in part, to the ease with which web 2.0 technologies – the likes of Twitter, Wikipedia and YouTube all feature heavily – can be employed to sway public opinion using the elusive power of word-of-mouth marketing.