IABC World Conf; great, but too much SocMed?

I thoroughly enjoyed presenting my ‘Why CEOs are scared of Social Media’ session at IABC’s San Fran shindig (thanks for the pesonal compliments y’all); even my punk rock and dog poo analogies translated well (and into laughter) for the audience. Saw a good sesh from Gerard Braud, and heard one standout quote from Jerry Stevenson’s (Buck Consultants) session I really want to share now:

“Technology doesn’t solve communication problems; great communicators do”

Web2.0 might be have lots of technology and accessories, but so does a science lab; it’s chemists and doctors who administer the solutions that get the job done. Also, over several dinners, heard a few whispers of discontent that there was too much focus on SocMed – maybe worth noting, as clearly Web2.0 should be one of the ingredients, not the whole formula (he said with white science coat still on). And finally; MAN, I can;’t shake this darn jetlag!!

 

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Slick banking PR 'smokescreened' financial crisis

Any wonder journos are so sceptical of PRs??
Over in the UK, a seminar entitled “Why Did Nobody See It Coming?” has concluded that slick financial PRs helped obfuscate the truth, while the media struggled to accurately report the nature and scale of global financial problems. A few choice quotes from the assembled luminaries included: 

The press has found itself up against an unnerving banking PR machine – whose job it is to dissemble, lie if you like, to put you off the track.”

”…we came up against the financially powerful City PR lobby, with considerably more resources...”

 

Alleged top Aussie blogger spams PR Disasters

I just got, well, spammed; a press release about a hairdresser-turned-software developer plopped in my email box with this simple intro…Hope this story might be a good fit for your blog. Regular PR Disaster readers might know I’m not big on covering hairdresser/software tales, unless their PRs are lazily spamming me. Cet slice de petit carne-dans-un-tincan came from a contractor working for an Aussie publicity outfit whose web proclaims they’re “…not just at the cutting-edge of public relations practices, but also insists they’re “…laser-focused on helping entrepreneurs build their companies through public relations and publicity…LISTEN UP…SPAMMING CITIZEN JOURNOS WILL GET YOU NOTHING BUT NEGATIVE COMMENTARY FOR YOUR CLIENTS (who I will refuse to name in this instance). You need to understand topics bloggers are passionately interested in, and approach them in ways that don’t waste their time. I phoned the PR spammer for an explanation; seems she simply got/bought a list of 50 top Aussie ‘business bloggers’ from an outfit called O-Desk (??), and she (obviously) sprayed the stuff out hoping for some pickup. She seemed not to sense this wasnt quite kosher. But feeling my ire she said sorry. Word to the wise, guys, your online PR “laser’ needs a cleaning cloth. And as an Aussie blog pioneer…surely your team should desist from sending citizen journos like me completely irrelevant media releases?  Online or off, that’s PR 101.

Can Social Media help struggling Aussie retailers?

Stateside blogger Kevin Dugan flags suggestions from Twist Image’s Mitch Joel on how (Yankee) retailers can harness/leverage Web2.0 smarts to help them handle recessionary times. Thing is, the distilled notes work just as well for service and other orgs as it does for retail biznissez: Tips include; creating ‘tribal’ web-based communities/forums (relatively cost-effective/do-able in online environment); integrated marketing isn’t really integrated if it doesn’t have a SocMed component; see Web2.0 engagement as a long-term commitment rather than short-term campaign (just like PR, folks!!); brace for “warts ‘n’ all” conversations; age, as R.Kelly sleazily claimed, ain’t nuthin but a number – Web2.0 talks to cross-generational groups, not just skater-types with ill-fitting drainpipes; AND finally (the inevitable consultants catchcry) get (sic ME) involved sooner rather than later.

Ta to Kevin and Mitch for the thought starters.

Social media not cheap, nor a joke

As a contributor to (Aussie) Marketing magazine, the following story piqued my interest. A CMO Council survey of 400 executives had 56% admitting their companies have no programs to track or build positive word-of-mouth, and 59% don’t compensate any employees based on improvements in customer loyalty or satisfaction. The (overall) message for marketers, according to CMO Council, is that by creating a corporate culture of listening, learning and limiting hassles, companies can “improve product uptake, reduce market friction, increase customer responsiveness and identify new monetisation opportunities”. But if they don’t resource this, then they ain’t gonna pay for it are they?

This kinda dovetails with some recent experience of pitching to clients, some of whom expect all digital activity to be dirt cheap, yet highly effective. Client organisations must never overlook the thing that makes ‘social media engagement’ work, is the dollar value of the intellect that advises you how best to engage in this fast-evolving arena; praps to some extent Social Media exponents are being undone by the myth of e-DM; that it’s an easy design job, followed by repeat running of e-lists. It ain’t!! The skill is considered engagement, and that’s the result of developed expertise and (to me) seasoned PR judgement!! Am I grumpy or is it just hot in Melbourne??

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?