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The values thing is big. I'm always amazed at the lightning strikes attitude that people have towards these kinds of moments. Actually, borrowing from the last SpinSucks webinar, the Susan Boyle moment is an example of an issue that doesn't have to turn into a crisis. I think that's what people mess up on the regular, is that when a co or brand completely implodes it's often because there's a core problem in how they do business that's revealed. In the journalism world we often point to photos, videos, quotes, data, etc... that are evocative of the larger problem. Not the case w/Susan Boyle, definitely the case w/Rob Ford.

11 hours, 16 minutes ago on Four of the Worst PR Disasters of the Last Decade

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This reminded me of a conversation I had recently - not about animal crisis comms, because I believe that's never been done before - but about internal communications.

We were talking about a client who is going to do a big launch that'll probably shakeup their industry significantly, and I started thinking about how I'd map out all the different areas...including the website, cust. service, content strategy, etc... and I realized something that new businesses regularly neglect is to really assign someone in charge of internal comms. That's assumed to be the founder or CEO's job, but it often gets neglected quickly.

When launching a co. from scratch, besides founders I'd have: a) product manager b) technologist/developer w/serious execution + strategy experience and c) internal comms person whose entire job was to architect and edit the way people work together...that last person is who I'd put in charge of crisis comms.

All of that to say, people get stuck on the "what will we do in a crisis" and forget the "how will we go about what we do in a crisis" thing, which is nicely illustrated by your post.

1 week, 3 days ago on Crisis Communications Advice from Animals

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FTR, this is an adjusted headline - original piece was titled "Content Millennials Actually Want: The Case for Brand Ethics and Authenticity." I don't think there's a trick to getting millennials or anyone to view content - it requires time, strategy, and hard work...tactics alone aren't sufficient. 

1 week, 6 days ago on Conversation @ http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/236528

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@Andre Harrell For sure. You're also welcome to ping me on the Twitter if you ever want to discuss the topic.

1 week, 6 days ago on Conversation @ http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/236528

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I sort of agree and disagree with you Maura - I think your point about growth hacking being overly hyped is on point. In my experience where it does matter is in early stages when a company doesn't yet have product-market fit. 

To both @ginidietrich and @DanielHonigman's point from below, the most critical thing in early stages is to focus and get useable information that helps you build product / service. That's something that growth hacking can help with...but of course as you say it's not a communications strategy. If the product is poor or doesn't address a real problem, then PR / integrated comms will simply reveal that. For me, this means that a startup has to internally define when it's ready to move from customer & product development and into a larger communications strategy. William Mougayar has some good posts around this topic (http://startupmanagement.org/author/wmougayar/) in particular, this one: http://startupmanagement.org/2013/09/16/hack-your-growth-but-dont-hack-your-marketing/

2 weeks, 2 days ago on “Growth Hacking” – Ignore the Hype

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As you've said in a few comments below Gini, people can call it what they want but there's definitely comms activity for startups early on. I think the challenge that doesn't exist for other companies is that startups that are still finding product-market fit aren't going to have a solidified story of who they are and what their future will be. 

In that context, I tell founders that I talk to that one of the most important things they can do is blog, interact with others in their space, and align inbound channels (similar to the PESO structure you have). In other words, start engaging in integrated comms. 

It's worth thinking carefully about when to hire PR / comms help and the triggers are different for different companies, but you sure get a better conversation about it once the founders and/or early employees have scratched their way into those activities and had a few moments where they looked up at 7pm and realized they spent their whole day doing comms stuff.

2 weeks, 2 days ago on PR is More than Media Relations

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These are great tips Mary Anne - there's so much opportunity for a business of any size. One of the reasons people love Lego, because they live and embody good customer service.

I always find it curious how people talk about scale as some sort of automated "our website does everything solution" ... when in fact a little work on the front end in cust. service goes a long way. If someone has a genuine and good experience, they're going to come back and also advocate for you, probably without your even asking. That's not as easy as setting up a landing page but it's still scaleability. 

Also on #1, even for the risk management / culpability cops apologizing doesn't mean saying we were wrong... it can be as simple as "Hey, we're sorry your experience was a bummer, we understand you're frustrated - what can we do to help?"

2 months, 3 weeks ago on Four Tips to Right Customer Service Wrongs

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Hey Amber it's nice to meet you - interesting perspective on mobile first, I'll have to dig into that more. Can't wait to see the new AD site, too = )

3 weeks, 6 days ago on The Spin Sucks Inquisition: Amber Turner

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I am shocked no one else has asked this yet...but which one of those people in that photo is you?

I think part of what your post illustrates nicely is that if you don't plan, then an issue could very quickly become a crisis. Like when an engine overheats, which is an issue that you can solve, unless you never planned for it in which case it could be a crisis when you are literally dead in the water. And also... when you run into something big and haven't planned for it, the stress levels can become so high that even smart people do dumb things.

2 weeks, 6 days ago on The Importance of the Crisis Communications Drill

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@MackCollier @JoeCardillo Y'know, I have not, I'll have to check that out

2 weeks, 6 days ago on The Spin Sucks Inquisition: Mack Collier

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Great book by Clay Shirky, I picked that up recently. And I like your concise point about spin, not everything needs to be dumbed down / controlled... most of the time it's more important simply to present the truth in all its' complexity and encourage people to ask their own questions.

2 weeks, 6 days ago on The Spin Sucks Inquisition: Mack Collier

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@Eleanor Pierce @JoeCardillo Wow. Fair to say that all parties missed the boat on this one.

3 weeks, 2 days ago on Social Listening Gone Wrong: Southwest Polices Tweets

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Even if they didn't want to extend priority boarding to his daughters, all they had to do was acknowledge his frustration by saying something like "Yikes! That does sound frustrating. Let's look into that and get you a more complete answer on that issue." 

I'm a bit surprised that a co that so actively champions social isn't training their gate and flight crew to handle that sort of thing better.

3 weeks, 2 days ago on Social Listening Gone Wrong: Southwest Polices Tweets

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@Eleanor Pierce @ClayMorgan Both good points...and if the tweet was a threat of some sort (which seems doubtful) then they should have looped in airport police to document and handle. Bad form all around. 

3 weeks, 2 days ago on Social Listening Gone Wrong: Southwest Polices Tweets

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@BobJonesArC @JoeCardillo Thanks! Very much appreciate the offer, Hessie and Amy have both spoken highly of you so I'm sure at some point in the near future we'll get a chance to hang out and/or work on something. 


3 weeks, 3 days ago on Boomers, Busters and Back To The Future

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@Frank_Strong @JoeCardillo Oh no worries - yeah, that's an apt way to look at it, most big co's that crumble rarely do so in quick fashion, even lighting strikes build electricity over time. That may be why the smartest minds in business are the Andreessen's of the world, who are trying to figure out how that sort of value is built and destroyed over time.

3 weeks, 5 days ago on Corporate America Invoking Theft of Time

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@Erika Napoletano @JoeCardillo It does. I guess part of it is getting better / quicker at assessing whether people really see who you are, and love you for it.

3 weeks, 6 days ago on When the Tears Fall Harder and Faster than Late Summer Rain

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What a rad post. Can I ask a question - and please feel free to not answer if it's too personal - but what do you think made you overlook that in the person before? Or same sort of thing but in other people..

I've had a similar experience more than a few times, and I dig the part about someone really seeing you, that's what I put a lot of my time into doing for other people because it means that I get to ask them what makes sense / feels good / is inspiring instead of the less useful, and frankly more boring "here's what I think you should do." 

Also maybe you've run across already, but if you haven't / for other people in the thread... this short, simple thing from Thich Nhat Hanh has some great stuff in it about what it means to look deeply into other people, and by extension, love them: http://www.amazon.com/True-Love-Practice-Awakening-Heart/dp/1590304047

4 weeks ago on When the Tears Fall Harder and Faster than Late Summer Rain

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Hey Bob - really agree w/some of the insights in this post, especially on how generations are more similar than the general trends might make it seem. One illustration of this is that while Millennials don't really look at home ownership as a priority (the economy has a lot to do with it) we still care about many of the embedded values that Gen X or Boomers sought in it, particularly the opportunity to build one's own life and passions.

On the Steamfeed podcast yesterday all 4 of the Millennials (including myself) summed up our most important personal value as the ability to build things we are deeply passionate about, with people we care about. In some ways the bent economy is an advantage in that it has us helping shift values that were always there, just not necessarily in the workplace... I'm extremely appreciative of the ideas and support I get from folks in my generation who say, yeah, why not do what you love, what's the difference when you are nearly starting from scratch? And that has helped me to connect to Gen X, and many Boomers, too.

4 weeks ago on Boomers, Busters and Back To The Future

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Hey DJ - it's funny that we've mostly talked about business stuff, because this sort of thing is way up my alley.

Probably won't be a surprise, but I'm very much with you on this one. It's a relief whenever I hear about parents teaching their kids clear, direct language around human anatomy. The most dangerous ideas/concepts in the world are the ones we refuse to talk about, or use code language for. 

This is particularly true for girls - who unfortunately grow up in a culture that is hostile about their basic human attributes, and treats vaginas, periods, pregnancy, and emotional intelligence as something to fight against and/or hide. Personally I'm psyched on all of those things, because they are part of what makes us human. Also, Kristina sounds rad! Good for her, and for you both for growing up some smart, honest, direct kids.

4 weeks, 1 day ago on Why It’s OKAY To Say (& Write) The Word Vagina

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@ginidietrich @JoeCardillo True. But I'd argue that's most at play when there's a divide between who someone says they are and what they actually do.

1 month ago on Weird Al Teaches PR Pros a Thing or Two

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@LauraPetrolino And isn't it nice to see one of the good people crush it?! Weird Al is a great musician, but he's also just a decent human being and cares deeply about the people he interacts with on all levels.

1 month ago on Weird Al Teaches PR Pros a Thing or Two

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@ginidietrich @JoshuaJLight @Eleanor Pierce YES. Weird Al unplugged is one of the best things that happened in the 90s

1 month ago on Weird Al Teaches PR Pros a Thing or Two

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@ginidietrich @Josh Williams I suspect you'd probably do a great AMA Gini. They seem to go well when they feature someone who is honest, works hard at what they do, and is not afraid to talk about the gritty stuff. All of which you handily qualify for.

1 month ago on Weird Al Teaches PR Pros a Thing or Two

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@hessiejones @JoeCardillo Ah, got it. I'm sorry Hessie, didn't mean to misrepresent what you do. I'll be more precise with my language going forward.

1 month ago on The ArC Story: Success Means Moving Fast and Breaking Things

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@dbvickery Personally, I try to look at it positively - if something I say on a (let's be honest, loosely) guarded social network like Facebook can't be heard and justified publicly, I probably shouldn't be saying it. Having said that, I agree w/your last point because people largely see FB as a personal (even if it's not private) space.

1 month ago on Social Media Privacy: Should Bosses Be Allowed to Friend Employees?

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@ginidietrich @belllindsay Sometimes, this blog feels like a Ziggy cartoon.

1 month ago on Social Media Privacy: Should Bosses Be Allowed to Friend Employees?

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@ginidietrich @JoeCardillo Right? Proves the point that excellent reading, writing, and listening skills are the foundation for any sort of community building / communications task.

1 month ago on Seven Step Process for Media Relations

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Good Qs raised here Frank. One thought and one question for you...

1) Since Millennials are the first digitally native generation, we're inundated with more information, exponentially, than older generations realize. The "give them what they want" and "be relevant when and where it matters to them" set of mantras sounds great on the evangelist speaking circuit, but brands and content / ad serving co's are mostly talking about this and not practicing it. To your point about Comcast, "don't give them what they don't want" is a better catchphrase....because time is more valuable for us than it was for older generations (not in a 1:1 comparison of course, just meant that it's harder for us to slog through info than previous generations).

2) I wonder what you think of push vs. pull - to me, a foundational problem with marketing / advertising from corporate America is that they arrived at web and social channels, looked around, and started treating everything like an opportunity for push - social networks, content marketing, etc...

I do not complain online, but I'm going to make an exception here to illustrate that point: when I call Comcast because I need to check on a problem with my bill, the last thing I want to hear is how I could upgrade my services. The best possible outcome that could happen is the offer for an automated callback as soon as a customer service rep is available to take care of my problem quickly and efficiently. Offering anything else makes me unspeakably angry, especially because I took the time to call them. Contrast to that the call I got yesterday from someone at Comcast trying to upgrade me, I politely declined and wished the rep a nice day. But if I'm on an inbound channel and being held hostage, that's a whole different matter.

To me, that's a huge, unspoken problem on the web - that corporate America doesn't know (or perhaps doesn't care) about the difference between push and pull (I also wrote something about this last week: https://medium.com/@joecardillo/the-difference-between-push-pull-on-the-web-c3f2a171b0f1)


1 month ago on Corporate America Invoking Theft of Time

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Good dude. Cares about all of his interactions with people, dedicated to constantly getting better at what he does. I was reading the early BG and SS posts a while back and was impressed at the quality of ideas, which is what keeps me coming back.

@Mark did you ever write about that unethical boss? Sounds like an interesting situation..  I dealt with something like that a few years ago.


1 month ago on The Spin Sucks Inquisition: Mark Schaefer

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Interesting post Jess - I wish more people thought about these things.

You can't always control all of the variables, but if you're hiring you should care deeply about whether or not someone would be comfortable, motivated, and inspired by the culture and approach of your team/company. Ultimately even if it's not the right fit, coming from that perspective is going to save you time before you hire, or after you hire and are assessing if someone is working out.

1 month ago on Two Big Questions to Foster Social Business Success

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@LauraPetrolino In about 3 minutes, I'm going to get on Google Hangout and tell you a very off color story about French Canadian rave enthusiasts that I experienced first hand while on spring break down in Florida a number of years back.

1 month ago on Four Questions to Ask Before You Complain on Twitter

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@CarrieMorgan @JoeCardillo @ginidietrich @Eleanor Pierce I know...it's not my style either. Even if I think someone did something dumb, or irresponsible, I still want them to be better...and being snarky rarely helps with that.

1 month ago on Seven Step Process for Media Relations

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Nicely written Paula - something of a guide to fair play on social.

A friend just emailed me about a bad experience with United, and I referred her to this. Especially the part about if it can be fixed / what you're trying to get out of it.

A risk of getting outraged on social media is that it's completely public, you really don't know who'll come across it. If they don't know you and this is the only context or one of the few contexts they have for knowing you, they may perceive you negatively.

It's one of the problems of an "Op/Ed Culture" where anyone can broadcast their comments whether they've done their homework or not. To be honest, that plus "is this going to actually do anything" typically keeps me from using the web to register a complaint or problem. 

1 month ago on Four Questions to Ask Before You Complain on Twitter

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Well said - no reason for me to rehash any of it. But as an add, excellent corollary advice + examples of guest post pitching here: http://www.groovehq.com/blog/guest-blogging

1 month ago on Seven Step Process for Media Relations

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@CarrieMorgan @ginidietrich @Eleanor Pierce You should totally do that. In fact, just make up an email template with some sort of hilarious image + link to the post. I've never done it but I bet you could use IFTTT or something in Gmail to auto-respond to certain trigger phrases.

1 month ago on Seven Step Process for Media Relations

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@lizreusswig Agree, this is advice that everyone needs to know before sending emails, not just PR people.

1 month ago on Seven Step Process for Media Relations

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@ClayMorgan @ginidietrich Too many dumb emails received this week Clay? heh = )

1 month ago on Seven Step Process for Media Relations

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@JohnMTrader So well said...and I'm writing that phrase on a sticky note now.

1 month ago on Seven Step Process for Media Relations

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@LauraPetrolino @JoeCardillo @Eleanor Pierce @ClayMorgan Hahh = )

Well I did something like six figure last year on Garbage Pail Kids Consulting, all off of LinkedIn connections. It's not often you get to make up a job title and garner a whole $6.00 in only 12 months. 

1 month ago on Enterprise Social Networks, Fun, and the Creep Factor

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@LauraPetrolino @JoeCardillo Oh good. I was worried there for a second, about those aggressive toddlers. They can be a real nuisance on LinkedIn. 

1 month ago on Enterprise Social Networks, Fun, and the Creep Factor

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@LauraPetrolino I wrote a tangentially related thing on last week's G&T about that... I had this meeting a few weeks ago with someone who mentioned a gal I know who is very successful, and his take was that she was very flirty but wasn't aware of it. I think there's this unfortunate weight towards thinking of strong, smart, awesome women as being flirty when they are often just being, well, good humans. IMHO that's mostly a reflection on the beholder, and not you. Generally if you consider the friendly, inquisitive perspective of many strong women in a different context (like, say, talking to a 3-year old, or an alligator), that misconception gets real obvious. Or maybe you've had 3-year olds and alligators stalk you? In which case I don't know what's going on.

1 month ago on Enterprise Social Networks, Fun, and the Creep Factor

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@belllindsay @LauraPetrolino @RobBiesenbach @Eleanor Pierce Ok ok I'm on it. Jeez. Not enough time in the day. 

And @ClayMorgan don't think I forgot about the @ginidietrich oversight of your judo awesomeness on her inquisition of you last month...that meme is going to happen this year, I just haven't caught up to my side projects yet. =)

1 month ago on Enterprise Social Networks, Fun, and the Creep Factor

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@Eleanor Pierce @ClayMorgan I'd have to agree with both of you there - LinkedIn is definitely going towards the FB model, and it's a bummer. It's almost like they glorify "signal" but then lapse into the same old noise.... hence the endless stream of push notifications. It's like they're the pushiest guest at a party and don't know it!

1 month ago on Enterprise Social Networks, Fun, and the Creep Factor

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Hessie - wonderfully said, and congratulations to you and the whole team. 

I hope you don't mind my saying, but it's both surprising and impressive that ARC has gotten so much traction so quickly. Really there aren't many agencies of any size that are addressing comms & business needs as well and as completely as you do. Lot that talk about it, but not many that do. I would have thought it would take longer to build, but it's a nice sign that maybe businesses really are ready to co-create / build value with their customers.

1 month ago on The ArC Story: Success Means Moving Fast and Breaking Things

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@ginidietrich @JoeCardillo It sort of amazes me how people consider that perspective normal. Makes you wonder how much they're really paying attention when they're not looking for a date!

1 month, 1 week ago on Gin and Topics: Some Inspiration and Some Dog Dubbing

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@Howie Goldfarb @ginidietrich I think a big part of this (and I'm working up a post on it) is that when you go the cult of personality approach (or let other people put you there) you make it more difficult for yourself in terms of figuring out what's real, what works, what matters. Anyone can have an awful idea. Anyone can have a great idea. To your last point, thought leaders are people who have a history of being right. But they're also people who have a history of being good at learning, at figuring out why and how things are happening and not just exploiting tactics.

1 month, 1 week ago on Thought Leaders, Not Organizations, Are Enticing to Publications

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