Unfair and Egotistical?! – Inside PR 525

A couple weeks ago, Joe talked about his dismay at the social media communications from his local power company during a more than two day power outage in Ottawa following a devastating tornado. Well, you listened, and you told us that we (at least Joe) was being too demanding in what he expected of communicators in a crisis. We received some thoughtful feedback which we read and react to on this week’s episode. Thank you Chip Griffin, Sean O’Driscoll and Shannah Hayley. Your comments made us think twice about our expectations of social media.

We also discuss Twitter’s release of the Tweets from foreign Trolls trying to influence the US election. It’s clear that the mischief makers are constantly revising their approach, presenting a moving target for researchers and members of the public who are trying to protect themselves form their influence. The bottom line: they targeted the most active people, presenting extreme positions on both sides of wedge issues, with the intention of undermining trust and pushing people into extreme positions.

Finally, we look at reports that Twitter soon will provide greater transparency about whether a tweet was removed voluntarily or was in fact taken down for a violation of the platform’s terms of use. Displaying a notification that a tweet has been removed because of a violation of the terms of reference will provide even casual readers with a visual cue about the quality of an account. A small move, but one that will make a contribution to our ability to spot trollish accounts.

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Thank you to the people behind Inside PR.

Our theme music was created by Damon de SzegheoRoger Dey is our announcer. Inside PR is produced by Joseph Thornley.

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Unfair and Egotistical?! – Inside PR 525 by Joseph Thornley, Gini Dietrich, Martin Waxman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Crisis Communications Unrealistic Expectations? (Inside PR 522)

On this week’s podcast, Gini, Martin and Joe talk about privacy and the continuing interest of government legislators about what the social networks and search engines are doing – and not doing – to protect it. Privacy is not just about the personally identifiable data. It’s as much about the metadata that flows from it.

We also talk about how realistic it is to expect agencies and organizations to respond to individual people during a crisis. The case is Joe’s over-two-day return to the dark ages when he and 250,000 other Hydro customers lost their power following a tornado in Ottawa. Is it good enough for organizations to simply publish general information – or should they attempt to respond to individuals and communicate information that would be useful to specific groups, such as neighbourhoods.

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Subscribe to the Inside PR podcast

We’re trying to be wherever you want us to be. So, you can subscribe to Inside PR on the most popular podcast apps.

It’s your turn.

We’d love to know what you think about the topics we discussed as well as your suggestions for questions you’d like answered or topics for future shows.

Please rate us on Apple Podcasts

We hope you like the podcast as much as we like making it for you. If you do, we have a favor to ask: If you like this podcast, please rate us on Apple Podcasts.

Thank you to the people behind Inside PR.

Our theme music was created by Damon de SzegheoRoger Dey is our announcer. Inside PR is produced by Joseph Thornley.

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Inside PR 522 Unrealistic Expectations by Joseph Thornley, Gini Dietrich, Martin Waxman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Inside PR 407: PR generalists versus specialists

Martin here and it’s a jam-packed episode this week. But first a milestone: it’s been nine years since Terry Fallis and David Jones started Inside PR and we want to give Terry and Dave a big congratulations and bigger thank you! And thanks to all of you for sticking with us. If you’re interested, head to the archives and listen to IPR #1.

Back to 2015…On today’s show, we talk about three things:

1. When to hire a PR firm – and when you should wait
Gini wrote a post about a startup client whose product wasn’t ready when they hired her firm, so any traffic the Arment Dietrich team drove to the site led to customer frustration since the business wasn’t ready for…um business. Moral: sometimes entrepreneurs need to put the brakes on their PR efforts until they have something to show, solid goals and can afford it.

2. PR generalist or specialist – where is the industry heading?
According to the Holmes Report Card, in recent years PR agencies have been hiring specialists over generalists, similar to the way things operate in the ad and marketing industries. However, data now shows the generalist may still have a role, especially as it pertains to developing strategy. Thanks to Shel Holtz for suggesting this idea.

3. LinkedIn buys Lynda.com – are jobs posting now going to be linked to skills training?
LinkedIn’s become a publisher, job source, networking space and virtual rolodex and now it’s moving into training with its $1.5 billion purchase of training site, Lynda.com. See a job you want but lack some of the skills. LI may have a training program for you. Thanks to Alison Garwood-Jones for suggesting this topic.

What do you think?

We’d love to hear from you.

Send us an email or an audio comment to [email protected], join the FIR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Facebook group, leave us a comment here, message us @inside_pr on Twitter, or connect with Gini DietrichJoseph Thornley, and Martin Waxman on Twitter.

And we have a favor to ask: if you like this podcast, please rate us on iTunes.

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Thank you to the people behind Inside PR.

Our theme music was created by Damon de SzegheoRoger Dey is our announcer.

Inside PR is produced by Ashlea McGrath.

Inside PR 400: The Social Media Mob

Just a little more than a year after Justine Sacco sent the ill-fated, “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m White!” tweet, The New York Times Magazine wrote an in-depth piece on her (and others who have suffered the social media mob) to see where she is now and how this has affected her livelihood.

There has been a lot of subsequent coverage on the topic:

It’s an interesting look at the social media, whether the crime fits the punishment, and how we might all need to chill.

Jon Ronson, the article’s author, even researched how long it has been since society allowed public shamings in much the same way we ridicule online (the 14th Century).

The conversation turns from the social media mob and online lynchings to how we can use humor in our social media efforts without coming across as clueless and insensitive as the Sacco tweet.

Her point was that the tweet was so ridiculous, she couldn’t imagine anyone taking it seriously. She was making a satirical remark on the bubble we live in in North America. But what she learned is, unless you’re Louis CK or South Park, satire doesn’t work so well in 140 characters.

It’s an interesting world we live in. Many business leaders are scared of what happens when an employee doesn’t think and sends a tweet like this, or when a customer is unhappy and doesn’t get his way. There are, of course, ways to deal with critics, but Joe poses the question, “Does it make sense in some extreme cases to go completely dark?”

What do you think?

Send us an email or an audio comment to [email protected], join the FIR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Facebook group, leave us a comment here, message us @inside_pr on Twitter, or connect with Gini DietrichJoseph Thornley, and Martin Waxman on Twitter.

We’d ask one favor of you. If you like this podcast, please rate us on iTunes.

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Thank you to the people behind Inside PR.

Our theme music was created by Damon de SzegheoRoger Dey is our announcer.

Inside PR is produced by Ashlea McGrath.

Inside PR 390: Throw Away Your Crisis Communications Playbook

You didn’t think we’d not do a show about Jian Ghomeshi, did you?

Though he was a CBC Canadian star, his crisis evolved beyond the borders and certainly hit the United States as we all watched in wonder to see what would come of it all.

If you are like me and have never heard of him, the story goes that he was abusive to some former girlfriends in the bedroom. His story is that it was all consensual. The side of the women is that it wasn’t so much, particularly when he punched one of them in the face.

There, of course, are always three sides to a story (his side, her side, and the truth), but what has been interesting to watch is how Ghomeshi has handled the crisis, from a communications perspective.

The moment he was fired from the CBC, he wrote a long explanation to his fans on his Facebook page. Then he filed a $55 million lawsuit against the media company. Because he was a union employee, he cannot file a lawsuit, but speculation is he did it so he could tell his side of the story in legal documents that couldn’t be held against him later.

Then things got really hairy. His high-profile crisis firm dropped him and he “fled” to California. The case is ongoing and it certainly hasn’t died down because he stopped being vocal.

We discuss how he and his team framed the issue, what they did extraordinarily well, but also what they forgot to include, based on the flamethrowers on social media. Joe brings up a good point about how this also relates to Gamergate and how, in social media, people begin to define the issue themselves.

We’d love to hear what you think about how crisis should be handled in 2014/2015 versus 1990.

Send us an email or an audio comment to [email protected], join the FIR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Facebook group, leave us a comment here, message us @inside_pr on Twitter, or connect with Gini DietrichJoseph Thornley, and Martin Waxman on Twitter.

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Thank you to the people behind Inside PR.

Our theme music was created by Damon de SzegheoRoger Dey is our announcer.

Inside PR is produced by Ashlea McGrath.

Inside PR 375: During a crisis, don’t leave your customers in the dark

Martin here.

On today’s show, it’s Joe and me. Gini will be back in a couple of weeks. And throughout the summer, we’ll be having a few more two-handers when one of us is away – but we’ll keep recording!

We start off discussing the recent DDOS attacks on Feedly and Evernote that happened just before we recorded.

And we remark on how the two companies took different approaches when it came to communicating their situations to customers.

Feedly posted notifications on its Twitter feed and blog but nothing on Facebook.

Evernote updated its Twitter feed and used the same content on Facebook. But the company did not post on either of its two blogs.

Here are a few suggestions for communicating during a crisis that came out of our conversation:

  • Use your owned property – your blog or newsroom – to break the news and continue sharing regular updates there.
  • When posting updates on Twitter, link back to your blog to add details and context to the situation.
  • Personalize your message. Record a video or short series of videos to let people know what happened and the steps you’re taking to fix it.
  • By all means post on Facebook, but if you’re not buying ads, know that not as many people will see your news as on other sources.
  • Take a page from MSM and be consistent with your communications. Let people know when they’ll hear back from you. That way people will know you’re on top of things and more news will follow.

In the second part of the show, I offer my take on the 2014 IABC World Conference that was taking place in Toronto. One highlight was a talk by Leslie Quinton on the human side of crisis communications and how important it is to always remember your moral compass; that is, continue to ask yourself if what you’re doing is the right thing to do.

I also caught up with Shel Holtz who, if you haven’t seen him speak, is always a sharp, insightful and engaging presenter. He talked about visual storytelling and presented a strong case for why all communicators should move in that direction.

If you haven’t been to an IABC World Conference, it’s worth looking into because it offers you an opportunity to meet and learn from communicators around the globe. Next year’s conference is in San Francisco, June 14 to 17, 2015.

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We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Inside PR is part of the FIR Podcast Network.

Send us an email or an audio comment to [email protected], join the FIR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Facebook group, leave us a comment here, message us @inside_pr on Twitter, or connect with Gini DietrichJoseph Thornley, and Martin Waxman on Twitter.

Thank you to the people behind Inside PR

Our theme music was created by Damon de SzegheoRoger Dey is our announcer.

Inside PR is produced by Ashlea LeCompte.

Inside PR 366: Kelly Blazek, LinkedIn Connections, and Proper Communication

Martin Waxman is back and we are grateful because he is much better at the intro and closing than Joe Thornley and me.

We kick the show off by talking about the Kelly Blazek crisis situation that happened a couple of weeks ago.

As a quick refresher (or the story, for those of you who missed it), the 2013 Cleveland Communicator of the Year received an email from a young professional who is moving to Ohio and searching for a job.

Because Blazek runs the 7,300 member marketing job board for the Cleveland area, this young woman sent her a LinkedIn message, explaining who she was, her business expertise, and what kinds of jobs she could do. She then asked to join the jobs board.

What she received from Blazek, in return, was both unprofessional and … strange … for a communicator.

Kelly-Blazek-Response-to-Diana-Mekota

While we don’t beat this horse to death, it did create an interesting conversation about LinkedIn and how we each use the tool.

As it turns out, we have three different uses for it: Ambivalence, referrals, and contact management, which makes it an interesting look at how there really is no right way or wrong way to use social media. Except to not take your bad day out on someone asking or help.

Martin also mentions he hates the generic LinkedIn requests. You know the one. The, “I’d like to add you to my professional network” with no mention on how you know the person or why you’d like to connect.

He also talks about his pet peeve, which is people who have never worked with you asking you to write a recommendation.

After you listen, we leave the floor to you. What are your personal rules about LinkedIn connections?

P.S. While Terry Fallis’s new book, No Relation, doesn’t come out until May, as is his modus operandi, he is podcasting it for you ahead of time. Check it out!

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We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Inside PR is part of the FIR Podcast Network.

Send us an email or an audio comment to [email protected], join the FIR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Facebook group, leave us a comment here, message us @inside_pr on Twitter, or connect with Gini DietrichJoseph Thornley, and Martin Waxman on Twitter.

Thank you to the people behind Inside PR

Our theme music was created by Damon de SzegheoRoger Dey is our announcer.

Inside PR is produced by Kristine D’Arbelles and Ashlea LeCompte.

Inside PR 3.52: Buffering an online crisis

What would you do if you discovered your site had been hacked and your community’s data had been compromised? Would you hide and hope the situation would quietly fade away? Let users find out about the issues themselves on social networks? Or proactively inform your users?

It’s hard to believe how many organizations might opt for – or at least consider – the first two options.

With the speed of social media, we all know how quickly issues can turn into full-blown crises if not dealt with immediately and honestly.

And social media platform Buffer chose the proactive approach to deal with the crisis they faced on the weekend when they found a security breach on the site.

This week, we discuss some of the things Buffer did to fix the situation and restore their customer’s trust and the company’s reputation. Their approach is almost a case study in best practices in crisis communications 2.0

Here’s a recap of their actions:

– Buffer apologized and took responsibility early and often. They assumed a leadership role.
– They didn’t make excuses.
– They informed people about the situation with regular emails and posts.
– They spoke candidly about what happened, what they’re doing to correct things and what users needed to do.
– The communicated back to customers often, issuing ongoing updates and status alerts and using email, their blog, Facebook and Twitter.
– They were transparent.
– When things were fixed, they provided instructions about what to do to get reconnected.
– They continued to issue genuine apologies.
– They were focused, well organized and first and foremost paid attention to the needs of their users.

From many of the comments on their blog, it seems as if customers appreciated their honesty and straightforward approach.

What do you think? Are you a Buffer user? How do you think they handled the crisis? Would you have anything else to suggest?

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We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Send us an email or an audio comment to inside[email protected], join the Inside PR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Facebook group, leave us a comment here, message us @inside_pr on Twitter, or connect with Gini DietrichJoseph Thornley, and Martin Waxman on Twitter.

Our theme music was created by Damon de SzegheoRoger Dey is our announcer.

Inside PR is produced by Kristine D’Arbelles and Ashlea LeCompte.

Inside PR #126 – Wednesday, August 27, 2008

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Comments? Send us an email at [email protected], call us on the comment line on 206-337-0727, visit the Inside PR Blubrry site, or leave us a comment on the Inside PR show blog.

This week on Inside PR, Terry Fallis and David Jones discuss crisis communications and revisit Inside PR #33.

Show Notes

00:25 Terry opens the show.

01:39 Dave talks about the Age of Persuasion. The Age of Persuasion can be heard on CBC Radio One , Saturdays at 11:30 am and may be found in podcast form. The show is produced by Pirate Radio and Television and is owned by Terry O’Reilly.

04:17 Terry introduces the idea of pulling out old discussions.

05:21 Dave introduces the main topics of discussion; crisis communications and the cases of Sunrise Propane and Maple Leaf Foods.

07:59 Dave talks about the bad form of reviewing communications strategies from the sidelines.

12:24 Terry talks to crisis planning and communications strategy.

13:00 Dave introduces the crisis communications clip from IPR #33 on November 14, 2006.

13:35 Issues management and crisis management are defined.

15:07 Dave talks about the distinction between a crisis plan and a crisis communications plan.

17:28 Terry references the Tylenol crisis.

19:27 Dave talks about speed to communications.

21:17 Terry talks about owning the crisis.

22:14 Dave discusses repairing images in a time of crisis.

26:27 Terry talks about the use of SM in crisis communications.

26:52 Terry talks to training.

28:50 Terry wraps the show.

Our theme music is Streetwalker by Cjacks and is courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network; Roger Dey is our announcer.

This episode of Inside PR was produced by Janna Guberman.