Feedly: My new tool for reputation monitoring

The relationship between media relations and reputation management is as close as the relationship between a light switch’s “on” and “off” functions. In most cases, media relations ought to be so closely monitoring reputation that it actually flips the switch when a crisis flares and endangers an organization’s brand.


Think about crisis prevention and management like a forrest ranger standing in a fire tower located atop the highest point in a national park. He peers through his binoculars and scans the endless timber below looking for that little wisp of smoke that triggers an action plan. Now, equate a media relations manager (or someone similar) with that ranger, and media monitoring as the scanning of the forrest. You need the right tools to successfully head off problems. Continue Reading

Is your social media marketer prepared to handle a crisis?

Social media marketing is all the rage with companies adding social media strategists faster than most people can hammer out 140 characters and send a Tweet. The rapid increase in available positions is testimony to the effectiveness of social networking in driving business and validates the millions of dollars shifted from traditional marketing strategies to digital strategies. But is the explosion in new hires exposing companies to crisis risk?

Photo courtesy of www.FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I live in the Nashville, Tenn., area and a quick search of several job sites generated no less than 23 positions seeking social media marketing specialists. Only two of those positions were senior level positions like a digital marketing strategist. The remaining positions required, on average, two years or less experience. Translation: Companies are putting relatively inexperienced people in frontline customer interaction positions. Continue Reading

Social media, crises and “Who” (Part 2)

No organization wants to face a crisis, but unfortunately, crises are inevitable. They don’t have to be major events. Anything that potentially casts a brand in a negative light could – and should – be considered a crisis. A reputable brand that took years to build could bleed away like sand through an hour glass in a short,  but sustained,  social media storm. Is your team prepared to respond quickly?

To find out if you are prepared you need look no further than your crisis communications plan. In Part 1 of “Social media, crises and ‘Who,’” I shared the first five of 10 suggested strategies to consider for who should be included in your crisis communications plan from a social media perspective. I advocated that social media must be an integrated part of a unified crisis plan but too often it is a secondary priority; something to get to when you have time during a crisis. That’s dangerous. You must account for it. Continue Reading

Social media, crises and “Who” (Part 1)

Established fact: Social media has seemingly limitless benefit for organizations in today’s socially – and globally – networked world. It can also be the proverbial gasoline on a fire during a crisis. Bad news travels at the speed of a Tweet; and often gathers social momentum like a runaway train. Ten minutes earlier social media may have been a corporate communicator’s dream vehicle to the organization’s audience; now it’s a crisis communicator’s nightmare. Are you ready?

Let’s face it, every organization is going to face a crisis, and let’s consider a crisis anything that potentially diminishes the reputation of an organization. Unfortunately, the range of issues that threaten a brand is endless.

Because of the speed of communication through social media, corporate communicator’s can often find themselves behind in their crisis response before they know it. That’s why preparation is critical so that the crisis communications plan is thorough, and the best place to begin is by asking, “Who?” Continue Reading

Learning social media from Which Wich

I love social media. As a consumer, I love that I can give a public endorsement of a company where I’ve received great service; or I can [respectfully] pencil whip a company for poor service or product. I recently did both to Dallas -based Which Wich Superior Sandwiches.


Sub sandwiches have become a ubiquitous part of our eating culture. There are seemingly dozens of chain stores and mom-and-pop shops slicing bread and layering it with all manner of ingredients. One of the reasons I eat at Which Wich is the avocado. I love avocado and they serve the freshest. Continue Reading

Media training: Four things leaders can learn from David Stern

NBA Commissioner David Stern still doesn’t get it. There is a reason high-profile people need media training, and  Stern proved it again when he followed one poor media interaction with another.

The first and most prominent was a recent interview with sports talk personality Jim Rome, Stern was asked if the NBA lottery was rigged. Stern initially said, “No,” but over the next few minutes became combative, aggressive, insulting and eventually condescending toward Rome before the interview mercifully ended. Unfortunately for Stern, it didn’t end soon enough. A week later he admitted he overreacted. Too late, it was a public relations disaster. Continue Reading

(Corporate) reputation does matter, sorry Joan

Joan Jett may have put another dime in the juke box and sang in the 1980s how she loved rock ‘n roll, but she also sang how she didn’t give a D@%! about her reputation, boasting that if you did care about yours, “You’re living in the past, it’s a new generation.”

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Indeed, it is a new generation, saturated with social media and Internet connectivity, where information – accurate or not – travels the globe at the speed of a click, and you’ll see your organization’s good reputation go up in flames if you aren’t prepared. What you need is a reputation management plant that accounts for the risks presented by social media. Here is a simple four-step process to help you be on guard against those who might wish your organization ill-will. Continue Reading