If you can use social media then so can we

I was really pleased to read this article in PR Week this morning – http://www.brandrepublic.com/news/1084208/Met-Police-focuses-dissuasion-strategy-guards-against-riots/?DCMP=ILC-SEARCH

Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand for the last couple of weeks, you’ll know that various forms of social media have been blamed for helping to grow the London riots that started in Tottenham on 6th August – into five-days of chaos throughout several London Boroughs.

It’s inevitable that popular communication tools are used in this way – social media is just a better way to reach lots of people than word of mouth. So it’s nice to see that the Met Police fought fire with fire.

Social media is part of life and it can be used for good and bad – the same as any other communication tool ever has since the beginning of time.

PR Apprenticeships

I’ve just seen this article in PR Week and I think it’s a really exciting step for the industry.

 http://www.prweek.com/uk/news/1082729/Shine-launches-apprenticeship-scheme-school-leavers-wanting-career-PR/

It’s a thought that almost every graduate has had when it comes to reflecting on the degree years, that ,actually, it could have been a better use of three years to get into a company and work your way up. And here are Shine letting people do just that.

Poor crisis response…grrr

So yes… everyone’s talking about it, well lots of people in my office (I sit in the IT section). SonyPlaystation Network – what a shame.

But I’m not here to have a go at them for not doing enough to protect their users’ data (mine included, so I do have a right to have an opinion) this is a PR blog.

No, what I’m here for is to have a go at them for their handling of the matter.

In today’s world of immediate news, social networking and two way communication who on earth told Sony that it’s OK to respond to a crisis situation by responding with ‘No Comment’?!

OK, so they have actually released a bit more information than that now – 6 maybe 7 days later – but it’s too late. The information that they’ve released is so watery that the 70million* users affected don’t know whether to panic or shrug their shoulders….and it’s inevitable that when faced with the option of panic or brushing something off the majority of people will err on the side of caution and start to worry. Worry leads to anger, leads to vocalisation of fears, leads to a hell of a lot of bad publicity – more than enough bad publicity to drown out the weak whispers of we think hackers may have stolen this… we’ll rebuild the network…sometime.

The point is that this is a massive screw up. Yes Sony’s credibility and reputation has taken a huge hit– but peoples’ personal information, not to mention their faith in Sony, has also been abused.

So act like you give a toss about those people Sony, not yourselves.

I think, at the very least, a vague attempt to communicate should be made. Apologise, assure people – firmly and calmly – that you’re doing everything you can and that you will keep people updated as often a physically possible. When the Icelandic ash-cloud grounded hundreds of flights last year, NATS and the Met Office updated their website throughout the day, and told people when they could next get information.

Even if the status hasn’t changed people need to know they’re being talked to. So rather than acting like a wet blanket in order to maintain a shred of pride (which ultimately won’t help you to retain your customers) man up and explain what you’re going to do to win your customers trust back. Honesty and conversation is the only way.

*estimated figure from Sony

Helping to decide where to commit efforts, channelling creativity, connecting the various comms disciplined which must be integrated and interlinked – this is what is crucial to today’s campaigns.

This is a quote that, I think, sums up one of the main difficulties facing people trying to make it in today’s rapidly evolving world of communications.

Taken from Drew Benvie’s blog (managing director, 33 Digital) which you can find here, http://theblogconsultancy.typepad.com/.

I think it goes to show that, no matter what discipline you want to end up in there’s value in gaining as much of a variety of experience as possible.

What the world expects…and why that’s so annoying

Great article that echoes one of my main frustrations in some of the job roles I’ve held.

http://www.b2bmarketing.net/blog/posts/2011/03/31/expect-expected?utm_source=twitter

Written by Neil Taylor I find it really engaging – it’s a good vent and a positive sign that people with talent recognise the difficulties of ‘expectation’.

 

Krishnan Guru-Murthy

The man, the legend;

This interview that the channel 4 journalist carried out with PR Week recently is extremely interesting and enlightnening.

http://www.prweek.com/news/1062949/Big-Interview-Krishnan-Guru-Murthy-Channel-4-News

His observations on the potential uses of Twitter are really interesting – and a really good point. The whole thing about social media is that they’re tools built up by their users; so who sets all the unwritten rules that make you unsure you can use them in a certain way? I suppose the trick is to try it and see, and forget about the fear of getting it wrong.

But only if it’s your personal account and it’s not going to ruin a reputation.

Well now I want to go to Iceland

I can’t believe that this has been around for nine months and I have only just discovered it.

Tourist boards sit up and pay attention – this is how it’s done (although you’ll have to come up with a different creative idea – otherwise it’ll be obvious you’ve copied).