January 23, 2019

Helping PR pros make smarter decisions

Jumping the Gun (and Other PR Blog Jots)

Jumping the Gun (and Other PR Blog Jots)

**[Jumping the Gun](http://blog.holtz.com/index.php/weblog/ford_black_mustangs_and_bloggers_itchy_trigger_fingers/)**
**A Shel of my former self**
Do we all just need to take a time out? There’s a lot of discussion going on this week about bloggers jumping the gun and putting fingers to keyboard without getting their facts straight first. Shel Holtz uses the issue of Ford allegedly stopping fans from making a Mustang calendar as an example, wondering if a journalist were presented with the same story, if they would have actually spoken with Ford for a response before getting critical. Probably. Unfortunately, bloggers aren’t held to those standards. “But the real issue here is the state of readiness in the blogosphere to pounce on a story without checking the facts. And I’m not pointing a finger at any of the bloggers who jumped on this story. If I were working for a newspaper today, I would still call Ford. If I had opted to blog about this over the past couple days, I would not have. I’m as guilty as anyone else. (And thank goodness I passed on this story.)”
**[Out of Context](http://www.conversationagent.com/2008/01/forget-influent.html)**
**Conversation Agent**
Edelman recently distributed a [white paper](http://technobabble2dot0.wordpress.com/2008/01/16/white-paper-distributed-influence-quantifying-the-impact-of-social-media/) on some of the methods available for measuring online influence. Valeria Maltoni has an excellent summary of the main themes of that paper, and makes some interesting points of her own. She points out that due to the contextual nature of anything the appeals to a wide audience, the spread of a viral may be measured, but it is extremely difficult to predict. “I think the reason why it is so hard to predict patterns is that the context in which we live and operate in by and large very difficult to control. Individual choices are shaped by context as well as the recommendations of others. Which means you can help spread word of mouth so far. Social contagion makes the spreading easier, it does not make it more predictable.”
**[Brands Shooting Themselves in the Foot](http://www.jaffejuice.com/2008/01/mainstream-bran.html)**
**Jaffe Juice**
As previously noted, this has been a rough week for some major brands in the social media space. Joe Jaffe offers a good rundown of some of the problems (also see Todd Defren’s similar rundown [here](http://www.pr-squared.com/2008/01/a_bad_week_for_brands_in_the_b.html)) faced by companies like Ford and Target this week, and wonders if there isn’t a disconnect between corporations and conversation. “One of the first insights or parables into marketing that I was ever taught was that perception is reality. It often doesn’t matter what the truth is but rather how it is perceived. If blogger telephone (a modern day representation of broken telephone) ends up riffing on a pesky fact, it can still be resolved before it snowballs out of proportion, if – and only if – a brand is plugged into the conversation. Otherwise, all bets are off.”

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