What’s in a Name?
While Jeff Jarvis likes the idea of the Blog Council, recently formed by several major corporations looking to embrace blogging (including Dell, Microsoft and Coca-Cola), he hates the name. Jeff points out that corporate blogging practices shouldn’t just be about pumping out blog posts, but about engaging with other blogs, becoming a part of the conversation. He argues that if you only think of a blog as a blank space to fill up with content, your content will probably not turn out very well. Only through interaction is success possible, and he suggests a new name: the Conversation Council. “It’s not about them writing blog posts. It as much about them reading everybody else’s blog posts. And, besides, there are all kinds of new tools for the conversation: Twitter, Pownce, YouTube, Facebook, Dell’s IdeaStorm, and more being invented in dorm rooms coast-to-coast.”
Finding the Right Agency
What makes a good agency? In a time when new communications technology is changing the face of today’s PR and marketing agencies, how do you select one that works for your needs, and what can an agency do to ensure your business? In a terrific in-depth analysis, Valeria Maltoni takes on the role of an agency, citing the steps she would take to acquire new business—and keep it. “If I were an agency today I would not take my clients for granted. Even when a retainer or contract is arranged, there is a need to continue to provide value as perceived by the client. It’s human nature to want to go with the flow and follow the path of least resistance, yet the very reason why you were hired in the first place was because the company needed to keep the conversation about its brand fresh and relevant.”
Learning From Mistakes?
FEMA has taken plenty of heat in recent years. From the fallout over the botched handling of Hurricane Katrina to their recent PR gaffe in which the communications team staged a phony press conference (using FEMA employees posing as reporters lobbing softball questions), it seems that no government agency has dealt with more reputation problems. Kami Huyse covers a recent workshop conducted by PRSA for the FEMA external affairs team, and questions what advice you might have for the beleaguered division. “According to the PRSA press release, the agenda included an analysis and discussion of the PRSA Code of Ethics; societal expectations for ethical communications, trust and reputation in the age of new media; response strategies for hostile stakeholder groups; crisis communications management; relationship-building with partners in government; addressing the specific needs of multi-cultural and multi-generational groups; and case study analysis for applying the PRSA Code of Ethics day-to-day at multiple levels of decision-making.”
Notes from the Kiddie Table
I had the pleasure of attending the Society for New Communication Research Symposium on December 5 and 6, which featured numerous terrific speakers and some lively panel discussions. Though I must admit, no table was much livelier than what Doug Haslam refers to as “the kiddie table.” Doug, Chip Griffin, Laura Fitton, Scott Monty, David Parmet and myself parked our laptops at a table up front for an energetic day of Twittering and Seesmic, live-blogging and taking in the conference. Doug posts links to the Twitter back-and-forth, as well as several Seesmic videos. “Today’s SNCR symposium provided a lot of insights, but this is the place for a personal observation: my table, the ‘kiddie table,’ served as social media central- Pistachio, David Parmet, Chip Griffin, Sarah Wurrey & I were constantly sending dispatches all day via Twitter, Seesmic, etc. That’s how events are today in our biz.”