Swimming CEO Nettlefold walks after "ass-inine" comments

With quips, quotes and quick posts frequently becoming the source of modern PR disasters – the latest seemingly involving Swimming Australia’s now departed CEO allegedly asking to be referred to as “donkey” and making jokes about sex toys and condoms – I’m struck by the low levels of emotional and social maturity displayed. While businessmen, celebs and politicians must have hectic lives, not many of them make time (or have the inclination) to work on their self-development. If 45+ yr-old men make ill-advised comments about race, gender, sex etc, I’d venture that their EI (emotional intelligence) quotient may not have not evolved much since possibly school or Uni days. Sure, corporates can invest in media and presentation skills training, yet if not backed by an investment in emotional, social and gender awareness then the professional lives of their Execs can be easily undone – and brand reputation tarnished – by under-developed attitudes and juvenile outbursts.

Social media seminar – where digital PR meets customer service

Sydneyside social media fans might want to consider an imminent (21/22 March), crisis-orientated social media training conference. It’s a “…must-attend for heads of service, consumer affairs leaders, emergency managers with an interest in stakeholder management, managers of contact centres and heads of complaints handling teams OR anyone who is responsible for customer interactions in times of crisis.”

Social media marketing and reputation workshop

IABC (New South Wales) is hosting a workshop featuring online reputation expert and author of “Public Relations Disasters” Gerry McCusker. The lunchtime social media marketing session – at L47, MLC Centre, 19 Martin Place, Sydney – explores how to better control and manage your online reputation via social monitoring. On 13 April, McCusker will show PR firm and in-house practitioners the best ways to create positive digital assets and equity. The rationale for this “media social” event is that anti-corporate and activist publishers are brilliant at promoting bad news in digital spaces. Because their ‘bad oil’ can quickly rise to the top of search engine finds, mis-informing and negatively influencing stakeholder perceptions, organisations need to know how to respond to these PR threats. McCusker answers the question; “What if you could keep negative commentary and coverage off the first few pages of Google? As a canny Scot, McCusker also asks “What if you could do it for free?”