This week, host Jen Zingsheim is joined by co-host Doug Haslam to discuss Facebook’s communications issues, the fake BPGlobalPR Twitter account–and why BP isn’t asking for Twitter to shut it down, and whether PR is considered a profession (and if not, does it really matter?).
- First, Jen and Doug look at Facebook’s response to criticism of its ever-shifting privacy policies. Doug makes the point that the default of being “open and social” means different things to different people, and that perhaps people are becoming more aware of how much is public as the discussion heats up; simpler settings won’t matter if people don’t take the time to understand and use them. Jen takes issue with the act/apologize/roll back procedure that seems to be part of Facebook’s SOP. Doug points out that Generation Y is more likely to use and be concerned with privacy settings than those who are older; Jen asks if this increasing awareness will limit the usefulness of social networks.
- Next, the two discuss the @BPGlobalPR Twitter account and the more recent @BPCares Twitter account, both of which are satirical accounts skewering BP’s communications efforts and response to the Gulf Oil spill. At the time of recording, BP was both aware of the presence of at very least the @BPGlobalPR account–and was not seeking to have it pulled off of Twitter. Doug suggested that one thing BP could do would be to ask that the accounts be more clearly marked as spoofs, which would satisfy any questions surrounding branding and also avoid the PR backlash that would occur if they went a more aggressive route in asking the accounts to be pulled.
- Finally, the two looked at Bill Sledzik’s column asking if PR is a profession. Doug gets the discussion rolling by suggesting we substitute other professions, such as journalism, to the same standards in question–and suggests that it’s not necessary to check boxes on lists to be good at your job. Jen points out that certifications aren’t always going to guarantee quality, as there are bad barbers out there too–Doug agrees and states that he wouldn’t return to a barber who gave him a cut like Jason Williams of the Orlando Magic.