Sword and the Script

Social media is NOT that important



by Frank Strong

Social media never sleeps; therefore PR is a lifestyle not a profession.  This pushes responsiveness to the top of the priority list.

In my heart of hearts, I believe this is true, but I’ve also come to believe that social media is entering a period of normalization.  It’s something akin to Gartner’s Hype Cycle, where expectations were exceedingly high — beyond possible — but are now starting to normalize.  And normalization is sorely needed.

The compulsion to respond immediately with top of mind thoughts is slowly ceding to responding in a timely fashion, but with greater consideration.  Social media can wait.

Last week, I just left traffic court (unfortunately, I have a heavy foot, one of my many faults).  I’m stopped at red light that is malfunctioning and traffic is backed up in a serious way.

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Why companies are more prone to social media crisis



 Why would a business deflect the opportunity to speak to customers?

I got an email today, no two, from vendors.  You know the kind…the emails from no-reply@company.com.

Digital River sent me one today that closes by saying, “This email message was sent from a notification-only address that cannot accept incoming email. Please do not reply to this message.”  Likewise, Dominion, who has had social media crisis events previously, wrote “Please do not reply to this message; it is simply a courtesy reminder.”

Companies are full of tactics like this – the endless phone tree mazes of press this number or that number – that customers must navigate in an endeavor to reach a live human being.  It’s a waste of time.  No wonder so many customers turn into social media complainers.

Just yesterday, PR Daily’s Michael Sebastian wrote a post titled, For brands, it’s the Teflon Age of PR disasters.  He begins by saying, “Mini-public-relations crises flare up constantly” – and that’s true, but there’s a cause.  I’m suggesting when companies send emails from no-reply addresses, it’s logical to wager that’s a systemic indication that that company is also going to be prone to online flare ups. Read More…

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PR strategies for dealing with a negative blogger



by Frank Strong

By all indications, we were having a successful technology product launch. We had pre-briefed select media, analysts and influential bloggers and publicly announced an innovative product at a Gartner trade show. The buzz was good…no in fact, the buzz was great.

We had validation from customers and industry analysts — a fact that was reflected in the media coverage, which was both high in volume and quality. “Forward thinking,” “innovative,” has “leap-frogged the competition” were just some of the favorable reactions we saw in the public domain. A PR dream right?

Then after a few days after came one post from a particularly influential blogger, who casts himself as a skeptic of IT vendors and products. His headline flatly accused our company executives of smoking drugs — that our claims and our new product — was a delusion. His post was merciless, scathing and we of course felt, unjustified. He had published his remarks without speaking to us and more importantly, without seeing the product. Read More…

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