December 11, 2017

Helping PR pros make smarter decisions

Radio Roundtable: Facebook changes (again), the spaghetti hits the fan, and Twitter as a mood ring

Radio Roundtable: Facebook changes (again), the spaghetti hits the fan, and Twitter as a mood ring

This week, Doug Haslam of Voce Communications (a Porter Novelli company) joined me to discuss the latest round of Facebook changes, The Ragú Incident of 2011 (featuring C.C. Chapman), and Mark Story’s post about a study that basically says Twitter is the online digital equivalent of a mood ring.

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This week’s show is 33 minutes long.

  • First, Doug and I delve into the latest round of Facebook changes–and peoples’ reaction to them. Doug points out that changes usually do result in complaints, so it shouldn’t be unexpected that changes to Facebook will spark complaints. Doug has the new profile, and likes it–I, on the other hand, am not so sure I want Facebook to be an easily-searchable online journal of my existence. Doug does question the way that Spotify is treated on Facebook, with the “frictionless sharing” causing every song one listens to to show up in friends’ feeds. I ask if the potential volume created by “frictionless sharing” will detract from the value of Facebook–one of the things I really like about Facebook is the curated content that my friends post–I don’t want to see everything they do: I want to see the stuff that they find most interesting and worthy of sharing. Everything is too much, and too much content leads to disinterest.
  • Next, we talk about the Ragú Twitter program, which got under C.C. Chapman’s skin. (For those who need a catch-up (Ketchup? Heh. Tomato joke.) check out C.C.’s posts here, here, and here.) The direct spam @ through Twitter is one issue–I ask Doug if it’s bad research, bad targeting, or bad branding–or something else. Doug points out that reinforcing stereotypes is likely going to offend someone, and that research should have indicated that this would not be a program that C.C. would respond to in a positive way. Doug says that the worst thing about the program is that it’s boring. He lists as an example of a good program the Cheech & Chong’s Magic Brownie Adventure, which took a topic that might have been a little edgy and controversial and made it fun–a net positive for the brand. I point out that social media is allowing dads to respond to mass marketing stereotypes, particularly the way-overdone trope that dads are dolts. It’s pervasive in commercial television, and Arik Hanson posted earlier this summer his annoyance about dads being marginalized.
  • Finally, we discuss Mark Story’s post about a Cornell study that concludes: Twitter reflects our moods. Shocking! If we still had print media, the shout would be “stop the presses…” All kidding aside, Doug points out that even studies that reinforce the obvious have a role in supporting cases being made to the C-suite, for example. And, every once in a while, the results run counter to the obvious, and we learn something then too.
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About The Author

Jennifer Zingsheim Phillips is the founder of 4L Strategies, and has worked in communications and public affairs for just over 20 years. Her background includes work in politics, government, lobbying, public affairs PR work, content creation, and digital and social communications and media analysis.

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