Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category

Worth Reading: Lukaszewski on Crisis Communication: What Your CEO Should Know About Reputation Risk and Crisis Management

 

 

However far I may be able to see, it is because I stand on others’ shoulders.  And there’s no set of shoulders that has allowed me to see as far and as well as Jim Lukazewski’s.

Crisis Guru Jim Lukaszewski

Crisis Guru Jim Lukaszewski

I’ve had the good fortune to know and work with Jim for more than 25 years.

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Worth Reading, Sept 24, 2012

Worth Reading, Feb 27, 2012

We’re back from a Presidents Day break last week (and, well, for me from being very under the weather as well).

Worth Reading, Feb 6, 2012

From Facebook’s IPO to the Komen/Planned Parenthood crisis to the biggest television event of the year, it was a full week.

Worth Reading, Jan 30, 2012

It’s hard to believe, but January 2012 marks the fourth anniversary of this Logos blog, with our first blog post published by my colleague Fred Garcia on January 2nd, 2008.

In the last four years, we’ve all posted at various times, although the overall speed and frequency of the blog has slowed quite a bit in the last two years. All of the usual culprits are part of that reason, but the biggest culprit has been time (or lack thereof). While we’re thankful that the last four years have kept us busy, our blogging has seen a definite downward trend as a result.

Today marks the start of a new weekly series on this blog: “Worth Reading,” a collection of notable reads from the previous week (or so). We’ve had a more sporadic “Worth Reading” series for some time, but this weekly series aims to fill a request expressed to us to more closely follow what we’re keeping up with in quicker, more consumable bites.

These weekly updates will be a compendium of various topics that touch on a range of our work, and we look forward to more frequent updates in 2012.

SXSWi Speakers Wrap-Up: Clay Shirky

Clay Shirky by Joi

Clay Shirky, NYU professor and author of Here Comes Everybody, was another highlight of my time in Austin. His talk, “Monkeys with Internet Access: Sharing, Human Nature, and Digital Data,” touched on a number of themes and was grouped in three parts:

  1. Buses and Bibles
  2. Monkeys and Balloons
  3. Lingerie and Garbage

Part One: Buses and Bibles

Shirky began with a discussion of the inefficiencies of modern cities, and how many of the solutions people present to address the inefficiencies are engineering solutions, but that a new approach treating inefficiencies with information solutions may provide a better alternative.  For example, in Canada an approach to congested roads is a ride share network – sharing information about who’s going where when. This approach is better for almost everyone BUT bus companies, who filed suit against the company offering the service.

Key point 1: “Institutions will try to preserve the problem to which they are the solution.”

Shirky calls that kind of sharing “jackhammer sharing — sharing that’s powerful enough that it actually destroys existing things in the environment.” That kind of sharing “doesn’t happen very often, but it sometimes does around media revolutions.” He connected this idea to Gutenberg and the printing press.

Key point 2: “Abundance breaks more things than scarcity. When things become really abundant, the price goes away. The things that were previously thought of as scarce that are now available to everyone change the world. [E.g. Scribes vs. printing press.] We generally know how to manage scarcity, we don’t know how to manage abundance.”

Part Two: Monkeys and Balloons

This section began with a background on Napster, and Shirky argued that Napster changed the motivation around sharing, which wasn’t a new motivation, more of a bringing back of an old one. Shirky discussed three modes of sharing from the book Why We Cooperate.

Key point 3: There are three different types of sharing: 1. Sharing goods; 2. Sharing services; and 3. Sharing information. Sharing goods is the hardest, sharing services a little easier and sharing information is the easiest of all. “Napster took the world of music, where music was always shared as goods or services, and made it possible to share as information.” We’re programmed to share information – it gives us a positive feeling.

Part Three: Lingerie and Garbage

Here, Shirky gave a number of examples of institutions, groups or initiatives that centered around sharing information that creates a kind of civic value (e.g. UshahidiPatientsLikeMe). We now have tools that swing the way we share information with each other.

Key point 4: “Intrinsic motivation and private action was just an accident. Now we can do big things for love, not just private things for love. We’re moving from doing little things for love and big things for money, to doing big things for love.”

On Presenting

Shirky is a master presenter. No tools, no technology, no (visible) notes. Just a man in a three wolf man t-shirt, a well-crafted story and an astute sense of his audience. (I haven’t yet been able to find good video of his talk at SXSW this year, but you can see one of his TED talks here.)

[Note: This post is cross-posted on my personal blog.]

SXSWi Speakers Wrap-Up: danah boyd

I’m back from Austin, slowly catching up in the office and working on synthesizing my thoughts from SXSW Interactive 2010. This was my second time attending, and there were a few things that I did differently and that were different in terms of the conference than in 2009. The SXSW experience contains many different parts, so I thought I’d break them down into more manageable bits versus one big overview post. I’m planning to break the pieces into the following parts, and if meaty enough a particular speaker or discussion might have its own post:

  • Part One: Solo Speakers
  • Part Two: Panel Discussions
  • Part Three: Technology

Part One: Solo Speakers

From my experience last year, I found that I get a lot from the best solo speakers as SXSW, and that panel discussions can be a bit more hit or miss. There were both keynote speakers each day and multiple sessions daily of what they called “featured speakers.” I arrived a bit later than anticipated Friday afternoon and stayed till Tuesday morning, but was able to fit in a lot of content between Saturday — Monday.

danah boyd

Danah Boyd theme chart by jdlasica

danah boyd delivered the Opening Remarks for the conference, and she was someone I was really looking forward to hear speak. She’s with the Harvard Berkman Center for Internet and Society and Microsoft Research New England, and her research into social media (and youth & teens in particular) is something I’ve shared in both my consulting and teaching work. Her talk at SXSW, “Making Sense of Privacy and Publicity,” centered on a few themes, and what I think she did particularly well was to shed light on the nuance of the debate around privacy online, which too often devolves into two extremes.

I took five pages of notes, but I’ll try to paraphrase what I saw as the main points from her talk:

  • Privacy is about control of information flows. When people feel like they don’t have control of their information they feel like their privacy has been violated. This includes the opt-out versus opt-in debate.
  • Technologists assume that the most optimized system is the best one, but forget about social values and social rituals. (e.g. discussion of Google Buzz launch)
  • Merging worlds. Just because someone puts something online doesn’t mean they want it to be publicized (difference between public and publicity). There’s a security in obscurity – most people online have very few followers. Making something that’s public more public can be a violation of privacy.
  • By continuing to argue that privacy is dead, technologists work to make data more public and things public that were never meant to be. We’re seeing a switch to public by default, private through effort.
  • With privilege, it’s easy to take for granted things that not everyone gets to experience, and with privilege comes a different value proposition – what one person may gain from publicness, another person may lose. This affects not only groups sometimes thought of as marginalized (immigrants, victims of abuse, LGBT community), but also groups like teachers – they have more to lose by public information online. Public by default isn’t always a democratizer.

Her full unedited talk is available on her site here. I urge you to spend the time reading it, as I’ve captured only a small sliver of a very wise discussion.

[Note: this post is cross-posted on my personal blog.]

Delta/NWA and Flight 253: A Failure to Communicate

Like many people today who are back in the office for the first time since before the holidays, I’ve been spending the day catching up, including going through my Google Reader. I subscribe to a number of corporate blogs, and as I got to the Delta Air Lines blog, I expected to read something – even a short post – about the attempted bombing on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 as it made its way to Detroit on Christmas Day.

But there was nothing about the incident on the blog, an incident which caused a ripple effect of newly enacted security measures and massive disruptions in international air travel around the world.

I went to the Delta Air Lines website, found the News section of the site and one very short official statement, “Delta Air Lines Issues Statement on Northwest Flight 253.” The official statement described a passenger who “caused a disturbance” on the flight and was restrained. The description of events is vague enough to apply to any number of types of potential “disruptive” activities, and wouldn’t necessarily lead one to believe that an attempted terrorist act had been committed. While directing “additional questions” to law enforcement, the statement goes into no additional detail about what happened, even though some of those details were already being reported by the media.

So, I checked Delta’s Twitter account, to see if additional information or context was being provided there. There’s exactly onetweet specifically about the December 25th attempted bombing:

Delta 12/25 Tweet

Now, the Delta Twitter account appears to have sat dormant from June 17th till December 22nd of 2009, when traveler outcry over U.S. domestic travel delays due to various winter storms was reaching a fever pitch. But the one tweet about the 25th simply redirects back to Delta’s website, where no additional statements about the incident have been provided since the 25th. There have been additional tweets on @DeltaAirLines advising travelers to expect delays due to new TSA regulations, but nothing specifically about the incident on the 25th.

I’d guess that there were at least three factors working against Delta’s communication efforts:

  1. The attempted bombing occurred on Christmas Day, one of the very few days of the year when almost no corporate employees are in the office. But in today’s age, it’s inconceivable that “the world’s largest airline,” a company responsible daily for hundreds of thousands of people’s lives, wouldn’t have some kind of chain of communication in place to deal with an event like this, even on Christmas Day.
  2. Delta and Northwest have been in the process of merging in the last year, and just in the last week were given government permission to fully complete the merger. There’s some confusion (for an average reader) in the company’s statement, with Delta as the company issuing the statement and the flight branded/operated as a Northwest flight. I can imagine that there’s still confusion in corporate communication operational role clarity as well. I know, as a frequent Delta/Northwest traveler, there has still been confusion on the ground. Again, I can’t imagine that a company of this size and complexity wouldn’t have negotiated a crisis communication response process as part of the merger details.
  3. From this and other articles, it appears that there’s some behind-the-scenes dissatisfaction between the Delta CEO and the government agencies responsible for airline safety. But “inside baseball” talk isn’t what the average member of the public needs or wants to hear in the aftermath of this kind of event.

Also, what I find unfortunate in this communication situation is that Delta had the two social media channels – its blog and its Twitter account – already established, had an audience eager for more information, and provided only the scant minimum of content or context. What I find particularly disconcerting about the blog is that there have been two posts since the 25th about totally innocuous content, which in the wake of the serious events of the 25th read as even more out of touch. (I imagine they were probably scheduled to post in advance, but again, when crisis happens sometimes the response calls for suspending business-as-usual activities.)

Other companies have used their social media channels in the wake of attempted terrorist attacks despite restrictions on detailed disclosure due to ongoing legal investigation. For example, look at the heartfelt message on the Marriott blog after one of its hotels in Pakistan was the target of an attempted attack in 2007, which lead to the death of a hotel employee and severe injury of another.

Thankfully, Northwest Flight 253 landed safely and disaster was averted, due in large part to the response of the flight crew and other passengers on the flight. But what a lost communication opportunity for the company to provide context, as well as show some humanity and thankfulness, for what in the end was as good an ending as could have been expected.

*Note: I’m a very frequent Delta/Northwest flier, but other than being a long-time customer have no professional ties to the company.

This post has been cross-posted on my personal blog.

The FDA and Social Media

Today and tomorrow, November 12-13, the FDA is holding a historic public hearing regarding the “Promotion of Food and Drug Administration-Regulated Medical Products Using the Internet and Social Media Tools.” This is the first time since 1996 that the FDA has examined the role of technology in pharmaceutical and medical device communication and advertising.

The FDA is looking at five questions, as stated in the Federal Register notice about the hearing:

  1. “For what online communications are manufacturers, packers, or distributors accountable?
  2. How can manufacturers, packers, or distributors fulfill regulatory requirements (e.g. fair balance, disclosure of indication and risk information, postmarketing submission requirements) in their Internet and social media promotion, particularly when using tools that are associated with space limitations and tools that allow for real-time communications (e.g. microblogs, mobile technology)?
  3. What parameters should apply to the posting of corrective information on Web sites controlled by third parties?
  4. When is the use of links appropriate?
  5. Questions specific to Internet adverse event reporting.”
Two days of more than 75 presentations will attempt to cover the five questions. Speakers come from a range of categories: pharmaceutical, technology, research, advertising and others, as well as patient and consumer representatives. (For more background and updates on the hearing, follow NPR’s health blog Shots or the Wall Street Journal Health Blog.)


What’s also interesting about the hearing is how much the average member of the public can access within social media and on the Internet. There’s a live webcast of the hearing. A Twitter hashtag, #fdasm. A great site, http://www.fdasm.com/, compiled by Fabio Gratton of Ignite Health (@skypen on Twitter), which pulls together a live Twitter feed of the #fdasm hashtag and also includes robust information and links to additional resources such as a Google Docs spreadsheet with links to speakers’ materials.


Reporters and live updates are not allowed in the room (no reporters allowed, and no cell phone or wifi signals available), but in many ways, participating through these various social media channels allows a viewer a more robust picture and the ability to view the hearing and also to view and participate in the commentary about the hearing.


And there’s a lot of commentary about this event. For a few additional resources & people to follow online, check out:
Disclosure: Logos works with pharmaceutical and other health care companies.

Coca-Cola and Personal vs. Corporate Brands: A Note of History

Coca-Cola Cover of Time, May 15, 1950 (wwz.time.com)

Coca-Cola Cover of Time, May 15, 1950 (time.com)

I was in Atlanta last week for work (and a little fun), and happened to stay in a hotel across the street from the Georgia Aquarium and the World of Coca-Cola museum. With a little extra time one day, I managed to fit in visits to both.

I’m a reader at museums, so as I was picking my way through the historical information in the various exhibits at the World of Coca-Cola, I came across a cover of Time magazine from the 1950s. There was a note next to the cover, with a little fact stating that the Coca-Cola glass bottle was the “first commercial product” to appear on the cover of the magazineTime had wanted Robert Woodruff, the charismatic leader of the company for more than 60 years, to appear on the cover, but according to the note at the museum, he declined, saying the company and its product came first.

This fact of history caught my attention because of the way the tensions between corporate and personal brands are being played out online. While the issues are thorny, sometimes (often?) history can be illuminating.

(For more on the subject of personal branding, here are a few blog posts from others I’ve saved on delicious.)

Note: This has been cross-posted on my personal blog.