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Friday, 17th May 2013 at 8:01am
The value of your company and products’ reputation should not be underestimated. Reputation should be treated as an asset. Reputation is everyone’s responsibility. A good reputation buys you the benefit of the doubt when things go wrong.
The toughest lesson is to learn that sometimes it’s not what has happened that is the issue – it’s what people think has happened. Perception is everything.
What is an issue that can affect an organisation’s reputation?
“A condition or event, internal or external to the organisation, that if it continues will have a significant effect on the functioning or performance of the organisation or on its future interests”.
- Staff dispute
- Shortage of stock
- Supplier goes out of business
- Negative comments published online
- Computer virus
- Change in working hours for staff
- Health and Safety
Sign up to relevant Google alerts around your organisation’s name. If appropriate use other software available that will help you monitor mentions online. Be prepared to respond to comments if needed but you must be straightforward about who you are and never let emotional language influence what you are saying.
Do you know who your organisation’s stakeholders are? If not, find out. Stakeholder groups can include employees, clients/customers, opinion formers such as trade associations and professional bodies, your local community, investors in your organisation and key media who will act as commentators on what you are doing.
Don’t wait until there is a problem to engage with people; be proactive wherever you can. This also means getting together with colleagues in other departments to share and help identify potential causes for concern, even if an issue does not actually materialise.
You can gather information to help identify and manage risks via:
- Staff surveys
- Industrial relations
- Customers’ feedback
- Product development teams
- HR and Legal teams
- Health and Safety audits
Think about developing a crisis plan – you may need to get in expert external help. At least have a record of people/agencies that can help you if needed.
What threats can you anticipate? What do you know based on past experience? Do you know how to handle journalists, or who is the nominated person in your organisation that looks after this? This all goes back to having regular dialogue with your colleagues in other departments too – not just when the problem has happened.
Five core tips to get you started:
1. How much access during work time do your employees have to engage with social media and company data?
Blocking access to the internet or certain sites is often seen as the domain of the IT manager, but in today’s workplace this goes beyond merely the computer at your desk.In our networked environment people can access content and store information and data via their phone, tablet or laptop at any time of day. Therefore the rules are changing and your organisation needs to adapt.Expert Jamie Claret (www.amazingsupport.co.uk) suggests for starters you need think about:Good antivirus softwareSimple blocking systemsAdvanced blocking and monitoringPreventing sensitive data leaving your businessThe impact data leakage and wasted time during work hours versus empowering staff with access to these sources.
2. Does your organisation have a clear social media policy?
Social media encompasses a broad range of online activities, all of which can have a marked impact on the credibility, perceptions and awareness of an organisation. Outside the workplace rights to privacy and free speech can protect online activity conducted in someone’s personal social network with that person’s personal email address. However, the inevitable connections that can and are made with someone’s workplace can blur the boundaries. What is your organisation’s policy on this?
3. Have these policies been communicated to all staff?
Are they part of your induction programme?Your policy and procedures need to be communicated – don’t just rely on a document that sits in the drawer. Building this into your employee induction programme or at a team update meeting brings this to the forefront of people’s minds.Are your employees aware of the potential negative impact that online comments can have? Where social media interaction is not used exclusively for business, it is important to provide reasonable guidelines on online behaviour if any reference is made to the workplace. Furthermore you may need to draw attention to matters regarding confidentiality as they relate to your organisation or business, and how this can also cover photos or images posted online for example.
4. Are you aware of how other stakeholders might be looking at your organisation through social media?
Media management is likely to rest with either an external agency or your in-house communications team, or for smaller enterprises with a nominated employee or manager. The press have increasingly turned to social media channels not only regarding breaking news, but also to uncover more intimate details about an organisation.This can also be true of any stakeholders. And content posted online is hard to have removed… therefore you need to be as aware of what is being said about the organisation online, as others will be. Do you have any mechanisms in place to facilitate this?
5. Are you ready to act if something potentially negative happens?
You need to have a contingency plan; whether it’s customers commenting on a faulty product or poor service, or a disgruntled employee out to stir up some reactions or actually carrying out some form of deception. How will you react? Who needs to be aware of a problem as and when it occurs and importantly who should be tasked with sorting it out? Do you have an issues management team and plan? Does this plan map onto the online world?
Monday, 29th April 2013 at 12:50pm
From the company that brought you 'the man your man could smell like' comes a new kind of banner ad. Old Spice, which is becoming renowned for its crazy ad antics has produced the internet's first scratch-and-sniff banner advert.
Unlike Google's April Fools joke, this one won't have you pressing your nose up to the screen, instead you fill in a form and they will send you 'the smell of the Internet'.
This is another clever and amusing campaign from the brand, promoting their Wolfthorn line of products.
Take a sniff for yourself here or see it in action over on the Onion's Sport Page.
Tuesday, 5th March 2013 at 9:32am
The interactive map allows you to go through the entire range of cars they have made since the company was established in 1937 and it's plant operation began in 1938 (the first cars were released in 1936).
The timeline covers the lives of different cars they have developed and allows you to search through it based upon year, body type or model.
The spots on the tree have pop-up images of the vehicles, which are click-able, and allow you to look through the different generations of a model of car like the Land Cruiser or Avensis.
Their 75 Years of Toyota landing page also has a clever scrolling timeline which focuses on the company and it's growth over this period.
Take a look through the vehicle lineage here.
There is also a lineage page for engine type here.
Saturday, 29th December 2012 at 4:57pm
We think that everyone will recognise the annoying sales tactics that online retailers now employ but surely this is the pot calling the kettle black?
The clips encourage web site owners to use Google Analytics to learn more about their customers habits. The only reason is to target products at customers and thus sell more - exactly what the clips are ridiculing.
Are we missing something here? If so, please enlighten us.
Tuesday, 20th November 2012 at 5:06pm
Start viewing the universe and zoom in to see individual solar systems and stars - click on the star to read more.
Monday, 5th November 2012 at 9:45pm
Then click here to receive an 'Emergency Compliment' that will help to improve your day.
Go on, feel good about yourself.
Wednesday, 5th September 2012 at 5:41pm
"Mitsubishi Unpretentious" analyses the content from your friends' Facebook pages to see which are your most pretentious friends and then runs them over with a speeding 2013 Outlander Sport.
It does not always get it right but it does most of the time.
Combining marketing with interactive online apps has become a great extension to consumer product launches, getting people to engage with products in a fun and interesting way.
Whether encouraging people to run down people they don't like is questionable but fun anyway.
Click here to get the app.
Sunday, 15th July 2012 at 8:29am
If you're a fan of jigsaw puzzles then this is the website for you.
With hundreds of images to choose from, simply click on your favourite and watch as it separates so you can put it back together again.
Hours of fun if that's what rocks your boat.
Click here to get puzzling.
Thursday, 24th May 2012 at 9:26pm
The Think Tank PR team has been discussing ‘Earned’, ‘Owned’ and ‘Paid for’ media. This came about as we saw a quote in PR Week from Freud Communications’ chairman, Matthew Freud, saying that: “The basic model for media and marketing is broken”.
While media fragmentation has long been talked about we thought it was interesting that it is the interactive marketing space which is helping use define new universes.
Although full definitions may vary, the basic premise is that ‘Owned’ media is the channel you control such as your website, or partially-owned, your company Facebook page or Twitter account.
‘Earned’ media covers press coverage, however the term has evolved to cover the word-of-mouth that is being created through social media channels.
‘Paid for’ media does what is says on the tin, and covers advertising in its many formats online and in print, and extends into paid search for example.
Categorising your media in this way helps to identify the roles they can play in delivering your communications; understanding their benefits and challenges can be a critical next step, and of course that they work best together.
But of course the real test is what you say, not just how you are delivering your message, and increasingly how you are then listening, engaging and responding is key in this new ‘networked’ age.
Sunday, 20th May 2012 at 3:05pm
Get your football boots ready for Euro 2012 with this interactive video by Nike Football.
Featuring some of Europe's biggest football stars, look out for the hidden videos to interact with from the Nike Barber Shop to training with Ronaldo.
Get you kit on for a high energy ride!
Click here to view
Tuesday, 17th April 2012 at 11:24am
We recently found a very interesting article in AdAge by Kathryn Koegel looking into measurement of online advertising and calls for definitions to be changed when an ad is viewed.
Making Measurement Make Sense, or 3Ms, is an initiative backed by the Interactive Advertising Bureau, 4A's, the Association of National Advertisers, the Media Ratings Council, MediaLink and Bain Consulting and calls for a whole new definition of an ad, based on whether anyone actually saw it.
According to a recent study by ComScore in the US of 18 campaigns from advertisers including Kellogg's, Allstate, Ford and eTrade, up to 31% of online ad impressions served were never viewed, even though they counted as impressions in the campaigns.
This is because whether an ad is viewed or not is based upon whether the ad technically loaded on to a page rather than whether someone had the opportununity to see it.
IAB Senior VP of Research, Analytics and Measurement Sherrill Mane commented, "We want to put display-ad units on an equal footing with other media. The adoption of viewable impressions will ... give the media community comfort and security for brand advertisers to move forward."
Linda Abraham, CMO of ComScore commented, "Typically, top-of-page placements command highest prices, but research shows that in many cases these are overlooked in favour of in-content or below-the-fold placements - it all depends on the type of content and how people consume it. What's surprising is how little of these publishers know and use."
"As an example, recipe sites actually have higher viewability rates of ads below-the-fold than top of page placements and we're now able to 'unearth the gold below the fold'."
This may be US focussed but an interesting article on measurement of online advertising and how it is being addressed.
Read the full article here. And you can find out more about 'making Measurement Make Sense' and their five principles here.
Tuesday, 20th March 2012 at 7:54am
According to ECMOD (Every Channel Mastered Optimised Delivered), 'The Awards have spearheaded the recognition of business excellence for organisations engaged in direct-to-customer retailing across traditional and newly emerging channels. With categories designed for those targeting sales to businesses as well as for those selling to consumers, these unique awards also seek to celebrate the achievements of businesses of all scales and at all stages of development.'
Well done and good luck in the awards on 27th March.
Monday, 19th March 2012 at 11:08am
The 'Size Matters' study was carried out in the UK, the US, Europe, Australia and South America over a period of almost two years and collected data from 770 campaigns.
The results showed that billboard formats outperformed other online advertising including more recent display formats such as wallpaper and half page, as well as the more traditional ones, such as MPU, banner and skyscraper. Formats were analysed according to five criteria: aided brand awareness, online ad awareness, message association, brand favourability and purchase intent.
The Billboard format performed significantly better across some criteria, scoring three times better in terms of ad awareness and twice as better for brand favourability than wallpaper, the second best format of those measured.
The Wallpaper format offered the highest brand awareness against all other formats and was five times better than the average in terms of message association.
However, not to be left out, the Skyscraper format was the most successful in the purchase intent metric.
Tim Elkington, IAB director of research and strategy, commented, 'The industry can only benefit from the new large display formats, as both brands and consumers seem to be excited by them. The findings from the Size Matters study highlight the advantages of formats like billboard and wallpaper.'
To find out more about online advertising you can find interesting insight on the IAB's website however some of it is only available in full to members.
Sunday, 18th March 2012 at 8:36am
The report, which is produced in association with Circle Research, provides a comprehensive insight into the trends, attitudes, metrics and investment in email marketing by B2B brands in the UK.
The research polled 250 client-side marketers on methods of email marketing that provided the best results to boost the performance and success of emails.
Joel Harrison, editor of B2B Marketing, said, “Despite the growth of social media and concerns over inbox overload, our latest benchmarking report has found that email still continues to be a critical weapon in the armoury of B2B marketers.”
Results found that the three key factors that influenced success were Subject, Subject Line and Data.
The research looked at various areas including usage and frequency of email marketing, email marketing budgets and allocation, database relevance and accuracy, ROI and measurement as well as use and performance of email marketing.
You can download a report summary by clicking on the link below or click here to go to B2B Marketing to puchase the full report at a cost of £150 - it looks like invaluable reading!
B2BM Email Marketing Benchmark Summary.pdf (1461 kb)
Saturday, 18th February 2012 at 3:47am
He cites how many brands are still unsure how to tailor their messaging for the small screen, thus available ad slots in apps and on mobile websites are often left unsold.
At the same time City AM reports that Apple has shot past Samsung to “nab top smartphone spot”. Around 427 million smart phones were sold in 2011, up 50% on 2010. Apple sold 35.5 million in the fourth quarter of last year.
One company which seems to have done some smart thinking on this is Domino’s Pizza UK & Ireland and says it has seen a “breathtaking surge” in online sales… yes, you guessed it, after the launch of two new apps last year which let customers chose a pizza via their smartphones or iPads, and which helped drive a 43 per cent rise in orders over the internet.
The FTSE 250 firm has 726 outlets in Britain, Ireland and Germany, and its franchisees created 1,800 jobs the company claims through the opening of new outlets.
So mobile can also mean a neat “pizza profit” (piece of profit) it seems.
Wednesday, 11th January 2012 at 1:04am
There are some great case studies here as well as a free 25-page book looking at how Social Media is affecting Sales, Marketing and Customer Service.
Click here to see more
Monday, 9th January 2012 at 8:02am
It is essential reading for anyone operating in or thinking of entering the online retail space.
Please note: This does include profanity so please do not continue if you may be offended.
Click here to view in full
Wednesday, 9th November 2011 at 10:15am
Underestimating influence/impact of your social media critics at your peril.
Kryptonite is the business school case study here, but loads of brands since – from Target telling the blogosphere they don’t rate Nestle telling off eco Facebook protesters – have failed to understand that bloggers/Tweeters and Facebook protesters may not be The Guardian or The Times, but they do hold plenty of weight.
Giving the online community flashy marketing message when they just want simple, straightforward detail.
These days, companies can get into big trouble for issuing fictitious glowing reviews or trotting out seemingly genuine testimonials by paid actors. Even before these consumer protections were put into place, L’Oreal paid a higher price – it got burned by vigilant bloggers.
Facebook is not just a forum for fans and “Likes.”
Burger King, Nestle, and BP, to name just a few have seen their Facebook pages overwhelmed by critics who want to expose dodgy company practice. Greenpeace has had great success mobilising its followers in a series of corporate Facebook pressure campaigns. BK quickly caved to the demands to cheers. Nestle, on the other hand, shouted back, inviting more opposition.
Culture of unresponsive/uncaring customer service fuels recurring gripes, becomes a PR headache.
Dell learned the hard way that Jeff Jarvis’ customer service gripes were not an isolated issue; a massive backlash was brewing. It just took one well-connected critic to put his finger on it and the avalanche ensued.
For all the fresh money pouring into social media, we would expect the number of errors to rise before companies really get the message that social media investment means more than crafting a just a slick campaign. It means two-way dialogue, transparency and, ultimately, learning from your mistakes.
To read more visit SocialMediaInfluence.com
Thursday, 6th October 2011 at 10:00am
The topic created great interest at the conference and stimulated many questions.
To view the full presentation, which includes some interesting insight into digital advertising, please click on the link below.
Paying for Digital Advertising.pdf (829 kb)
Tuesday, 18th January 2011 at 5:33am