Aussie Ad Agency creates social media PR disaster

Here’s a guest post by Peter Hawkins of Tribe Count on the George Patts/Defence Force social media bungle; I saw Peter’s comments on a recent Mumbrella story, and thought he made good sense while many Ad types overlooked the PR implications and impressions, preferring to brush the issue aside. Peter writes:

“GPY&R recently found themselves in the middle of a PR meltdown when a News Ltd paper investigated the online behaviour of members of its social media team.  The agency had been charged with reviewing the social media policy of the Australian Defence Force ( ADF)  after a recruit secretly filmed himself having sex with a fellow trainee and airing it to colleagues via Skype. The News Ltd article and the prime time television news bulletins that followed highlighted comments the social media team had made on Twitter and on their own blogs. The agency’s Facebook page also features images from a drunken staff party and provides links to the Facebook and Twitter accounts of staff, including the social media manager. The episode raises several issues.  Firstly, the need for every  organization to put in place staff policy on social media activity  that protects the company’s image and reputation. Continue reading

Hill & Knowlton Aussie GM slates client biz via Twitter

A marketer who jumped into a senior PR role 10 months ago seems to have displayed what might be described as a “lack of stakeholder awareness”. Mumbrella reports that H&K’s Fergus Kibble questioned the validity of a client-related business activity; not just once, but several times over a few weeks. Being skilled repu mgmt experts, H&K seems to have hunkered down; Fergus has blocked off his Twitter account, the CEO is not available and when chased by a Mumbrella sleuth, Dr Mumbo was told the entire PR team (for the related account) was out. Blog commentary seems divided whether Fergy did anything wrong.

Mumbo reports: “Ironically, last September Kibble gave a presentation on the best ways for brands to use Twitter in which he told delegates”: “In this space in particular we tend to go towards the negative that something terrible’s going to happen, but also really good things can happen as well.”

Cash-for-comment paid to Aussie citizen journos

Traditional media is getting all hot under the collar about Channel Ten(s unnamed new media advisers) paying SocMed pioneers cash-for-comment to talk up interest in TV shows. Now, Mumbrella scribe Tim Burrowes suggests it’s the tip of a grime-stained iceberg.

I’m fatigued having to write this one up, suffice to say these practices lie somewhere between ‘any publicity is good publicity’, ‘controversy management’ and ‘unethical citizen journalism relations’. To the corps involved…YOU’RE LAZY for not building cit-journo relations yourselves, to the Web2.0-spruikers – compromising your professionalism is probably a myopic game.