Brendan Hodgson » corporate http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/brendanhodgson At the intersection of yesterday & tomorrow Wed, 14 Oct 2009 12:08:41 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.9.2 en hourly 1 Are we facing a new type of ‘crisis’? http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/brendanhodgson/2009/05/13/are-we-facing-a-new-type-of-crisis/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/brendanhodgson/2009/05/13/are-we-facing-a-new-type-of-crisis/#comments Wed, 13 May 2009 14:33:26 +0000 Brendan Hodgson http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/brendanhodgson/?p=310 Has it already been a month since my last post?

Granted, the last few weeks have been a pretty heady mix of client education, new business development, conference speaking opps and strategy development. At the same time, the month of April was interesting for a variety of additional reasons, not least the events which transpired (Dominos, Amazon) that showcased - in my view – a transformation taking place in two areas:

  1. the changing nature and scope of certain types of crises (generated and propagated largely through social media) that organizations will increasingly face in the future, and
  2. how these new types of crises are changing the way organizations communicate – and are prepared to communicate – as a result.

So what are the common elements defining these types of crises? These aren’t the ‘big’ events such as Swine Flu/H1N1, wildfires, major transportation disasters (USAirways) or instances of large-scale corporate malfeasance. They rarely involve death or injury, damage to property or large-scale economic or financial loss. Rather, these are the events taking place with increasing frequency, that start small (you remember Motrin, or any other number of questionable acts captured on video - willingly or not?), create a burst of noise (typically indignation and outrage), proliferate very quickly (largely through a defined pattern of social and traditional media amplification) but which, if managed correctly, often result in only short-term reputation damage.

Why? For two reasons:

  1. While the event itself captures the imagination of specific segments of the public – that public’s reaction is very often like witnessing the end-result of an accident on a highway: we watch in fascination as we roll past and we might talk about it immediately following, but unless certain elements of the event give it additional legs and exposure, we simply get on with our day. Likewise, and so long as we know that action is being taken (meaning the police and ambulances are either on-site or on their way), we feel comfortable that the right steps are being taken – which speaks to the second reason.
  2. Quite simply, ‘bad things do happen to good companies’ and so long as an organization acknowledges the event or incident, demonstrates empathy with those affected by it, communicates the actions being taken to mitigate it, does not try to bury it, and positions it within the appropriate context (which rarely exists online), the potential for lasting reputation damage can be mitigated. At the same time, organizations must be more prepared than ever to identify potential issues, and move quickly and visibly to respond to such crises.

Is this any different than what we counsel clients in any type of crisis? Not really. What has changed, however, is the importance of vigilance – across all media – and ensuring that you respond with sufficient confidence and speed – with the right messages, via the right channels, to the right stakeholders and influencers.

Undoubtedly, these types of crises will occur with increasing frequency – be it the result of questionable behaviour caught on camera, business decisions that outrage certain constituencies (Twitter?), or poor judgement of employees.

It’s when an organization gets its response wrong, when it sits on an issue thereby creating the perception that it either does not take the issue seriously or feels that it can brush the issue under the table, that the potential for longer term damage arises.

]]>
http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/brendanhodgson/2009/05/13/are-we-facing-a-new-type-of-crisis/feed/ 3
New H&K survey highlights growing impact of digital on purchasing decisions http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/brendanhodgson/2009/01/27/new-hk-survey-highlights-growing-impact-of-digital-on-purchasing-decisions/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/brendanhodgson/2009/01/27/new-hk-survey-highlights-growing-impact-of-digital-on-purchasing-decisions/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2009 18:56:33 +0000 Brendan Hodgson http://blogs2.hillandknowlton.com/brendanhodgson/?p=271 A short while ago my tech practice compatriots – in Canada and globally – released the results of a survey on the information sources technology decision makers (TDMs) relied upon most to drive their purchasing decisions. The results are compelling, and certainly speak to the growing influence of social media on business outcomes.

In an interview with Robert Scoble that took place earlier this month, my colleague and H&K’s global technology practice leader, Josh Reynolds, offered some insightful context around the numbers: that TDM’s continue to place strong emphasis on the credibility and reputation of vendors; that consumer-generated media is becoming as influential as traditional media in shaping reputation; and that purchasing decisions are increasingly being driven by a mix of traditional and non-traditional sources – media, analysts, and (today) bloggers.

You can review a summary of the findings here. I’ve also included my thoughts on what these findings represent:

  1. As Josh explains so eloquently, the evolving communications climate is pushing companies to “shut up and listen”. Without question, listening is vital. But at some point, the decision to jump in and participate has to take place - and yet be done in a way that (as the survey shows) is credible, transparent, and adds value to the debate, discussion, etc.
  2. It’s also interesting to note that while the influence of third-parties (traditional and non-traditional) is growing, a sphere of influencer that might need to be more closely analyzed are those who represent the technology vendors themselves – the subject matter experts such as the engineers, developers etc. who are able to take the conversation beyond “spin” and sound bites. 
  3. This is important, more so given that as many as a quarter of survey respondents indicated that they would not verify facts with a vendor if they read unfavourable information on a blog or elsewhere about that vendor and its products or services (see slide 8-9). Companies must be proactive in addressing misinformation – intentional or not – or else risk decision makers looking elsewhere if negative assertions are left unchallenged / unanswered.
  4. And while it is certainly encouraging to see that a number of Canadian tech blogs are identified as trusted sources for Canadian TDMs, the fact that a sizeable number of these influential blogs are also situated in the US and UK (the usual suspects: TechCrunch, Gizmodo, Slashdot, the Register etc.) raises some interesting issues – particularly for organizations that are headquartered in the US or elsewhere, but have branch offices spread across the world, each with their own marketing mandates. Communications and marketing teams at both the global and local levels will need to be much more closely aligned in light of this increasingly ‘borderless’ information landscape where influence is not bound by geography.
]]>
http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/brendanhodgson/2009/01/27/new-hk-survey-highlights-growing-impact-of-digital-on-purchasing-decisions/feed/ 0
Seattle Post-Intelligencer – A case study in ‘radical transparency’ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/brendanhodgson/2009/01/23/seattle-post-intelligencer-a-case-study-in-radical-transparency/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/brendanhodgson/2009/01/23/seattle-post-intelligencer-a-case-study-in-radical-transparency/#comments Fri, 23 Jan 2009 14:49:00 +0000 Brendan Hodgson http://blogs2.hillandknowlton.com/brendanhodgson/11637.aspx Yeah, I know, it’s a blatant rip-off of my esteemed colleague’s blog title. But it pretty much says it all.

(source image from SeattleP-I / Hat tip to Lost Remote)

When the SeattleP-I announced earlier this month that it was going to shut its presses if it couldn’t find a buyer within 60 days – and potentially move to an all-online P-I, it did as it should and made it a breaking news story (you can see staff here writing the story even as the news is being broken). Moreover, they posted a video of the announcement by Hearst’s Steven Swartz to the newsroom staff (where the reaction of managing editor David McCumber pretty much said it all) and published the letter to employees. 

And they’ve done more: McCumber started a blog called Sixty Days to chronicle this critical moment in the life of the publication, while staff and others created a blog and a wiki to discuss the future of news reporting in the Seattle region and to seek out options to ensure its survival. If nothing else, it is a classic example of the degree to which social media has become permanently entwined into our landscape whether breaking news, commenting on it, or being a participant in it.

I am intrigued by this event for many other reasons, not only those outlined by Swartz as he clearly struggles to deliver his message (Note – it is a must listen re. the reasons behind the downfall). I am intrigued also by how this was communicated to staff and to the public at large. Granted, as a news organization, the SeattleP-I reporters clearly had a responsibility to report this news – and to do so to the best of their ability re. clarity, depth, lack of bias, accuracy etc. I am also intrigued by the words and actions of employees as they respond to this news via Twitter and other online channels – much as many other employees of other organizations have done and are doing during these difficult times.

However, it also raises questions: Is the level of transparency shown by the SeattleP-I staff (both management – willingly or no – and editorial) a model that could/should be emulated more aggressively by other non-media organizations as they handle difficult news that could impact staff as well as other external audiences? Is there value in not only communicating difficult decisions and actions in such a visible format, but also providing staff with the resources and tools to discuss such actions and add their voice to the discussion that would take place regardless if it was in-house or elsewhere on the web? Do the benefits outweigh the risks – real or perceived?

Should HR and internal communicators be looking at this and questioning traditional approaches to downsizing, re-structuring or the complete shuttering of businesses - approaches that often lean toward denial and obfuscation until the last minute, emails and letters bereft of emotion, and external strategies that often pit management against staff in increasingly visible he said – she said’s. In a world where such displays of disappointment and outrage - online and off – are increasing, being seen to acknowledge it, to encourage dialog around it, and to build from it are likely better for any organization’s reputation in the long run than trying to pretend that the world is anything but sunshine and milkshakes.  

As an aside – a sidebar in one of McCumber’s posts caught my eye:

– Just a few minutes ago, this email appeared in my inbox:

Dear Media Industry Professional,
I am writing to ask for your help with the second annual PRWeek/ PR Newswire Media Survey. This survey asks journalists and bloggers about the changing media environment and how it is impacting their specific outlets, job duties, interaction with PR professionals, and more. The survey results will be published in an article in the April 6 issue of PRWeek.

You know, I think I’m going to pass on that one.

I don’t blame him one bit.

]]>
http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/brendanhodgson/2009/01/23/seattle-post-intelligencer-a-case-study-in-radical-transparency/feed/ 0
"A case of one-dimensional data being represented by two-dimensional objects" http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/brendanhodgson/2009/01/22/a-case-of-one-dimensional-data-being-represented-by-two-dimensional-objects/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/brendanhodgson/2009/01/22/a-case-of-one-dimensional-data-being-represented-by-two-dimensional-objects/#comments Thu, 22 Jan 2009 20:18:00 +0000 Brendan Hodgson http://blogs2.hillandknowlton.com/brendanhodgson/11635.aspx As one who is fascinated by the collision of mainstream and social media, imagery and interpretation, transparency and ‘truth’, there’s so much here in this tidbit of a blog post to enjoy and dissect, where even to start?

  1. It (once again) highlights the power of the visual image over the written and spoken word to communicate a message or point of view (no matter how skewed, while further acknowledging that, for the digital native, the web is all about graphics before text).
  2. It nicely encapsulates today’s journalist / blogger / reader relationship (or what today’s relationship should be, meaning mutually respectful)
  3. It reinforces the entertainment value of ’smart’ dialog (and not simply that of the journalist)
  4. It is politely scolding to them’s that tried to ’spin’ it (vs degenerating into the usual orgy of condemnation and holier-than-thou-ishness)
  5. It shows that by admitting your mistake, you will be forgiven (or, at best, ignored)
  6. And nothing here seems to take itself too seriously

It’s like a breath of fresh air… that is, if the bigger issue being represented in the visual wasn’t so depressing.

Hat tip to Inner Diablog

]]>
http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/brendanhodgson/2009/01/22/a-case-of-one-dimensional-data-being-represented-by-two-dimensional-objects/feed/ 0
Dialing the noise up to Eleven… US Airways Flight 1549 and citizen media http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/brendanhodgson/2009/01/21/social-media-and-dialing-the-noise-up-to-eleven-us-airways-flight-1549/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/brendanhodgson/2009/01/21/social-media-and-dialing-the-noise-up-to-eleven-us-airways-flight-1549/#comments Wed, 21 Jan 2009 16:54:00 +0000 Brendan Hodgson http://blogs2.hillandknowlton.com/brendanhodgson/11626.aspx Yesterday, my colleague David Jones pointed to an animation created by Niall Cook, H&Ker and fellow blogger, showing the rapid transformation of Wikipedia’s entry on the crash of US Airways Flight 1549 on Jan 15. By itself, it highlighted the extraordinary speed by which citizens are increasingly able to match and, very often, surpass the speed of media in accessing and distributing new information around the incident.

As a companion to that animation, H&K Canada’s digital team also captured (as the event unfolded) screen caps of key sites – search engines, blogs, social networks, corporate sites, aggregators etc. – that I believe further demonstrates and reinforces the sheer dynamism of the communications environment in which we now exist; as it relates to the speed by which information on an incident is communicated and shared (e.g. via Twitter), the competitiveness as well as the synergy shaping the relationship between traditional and citizen media, and the actions taken by corporations to respond within this new environment.

Not all the timestamps on this slide deck are accurate or absolute, although they are certainly captured within minutes (if not seconds) of the event occuring – particularly during the first hours. Nor is the deck intended to be an exhaustive summary of all activity simply those that we felt captured this landscape, and these new issues, most effectively. Most importantly, these slides are not intended to comment either positively or negatively on the actions of authors, witnesses, posters or organizations involved.

]]>
http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/brendanhodgson/2009/01/21/social-media-and-dialing-the-noise-up-to-eleven-us-airways-flight-1549/feed/ 8
The Virtual Conference Mash-up: An Idea whose Time has Come http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/brendanhodgson/2008/10/03/the-virtual-conference-mash-up-an-idea-whose-time-has-come/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/brendanhodgson/2008/10/03/the-virtual-conference-mash-up-an-idea-whose-time-has-come/#comments Fri, 03 Oct 2008 13:54:00 +0000 Brendan Hodgson http://blogs2.hillandknowlton.com/brendanhodgson/11237.aspx Kate seemed pretty excited when she landed on this. I share her excitement.

The virtual / conference mash-up idea is indeed brilliant (and kudos to the team who thought up the idea). Through applications such as slideshare and Youtube, an increasing plethora of content is being made available from a slew of experts across a variety of fields – including presentations such as this (which I hadn’t seen in years).

I can see a number of different applications for smart enterprises, including those looking to:

  • Educate internal audiences without the associated travel and lost productivity costs. I can see how this idea might allow organizations to package and deliver content in ways that provide a significantly more complete context to the subject matter – be it marketing, social media, crisis communications, sales, engineering, whatever… from a stage-setter, to break-outs on more focused areas, and eye-candy in between.
  • Inform external stakeholders on critical issues by aggregating and presenting multiple points of view from experts around the web combined with content created by your own organization and/or your supporters. Again, if appropriately packaged, the presentation will also provide a much broader picture and context that might ever have been possible previously. In doing so, I would also see a much more engaged discussion as experts and others see their content being mashed-up with ideas they may not support or which might contradict their own.
]]>
http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/brendanhodgson/2008/10/03/the-virtual-conference-mash-up-an-idea-whose-time-has-come/feed/ 0
H&K’s Niall Cook brings Enterprise 2.0 to Canada http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/brendanhodgson/2008/09/29/hks-niall-cook-brings-enterprise-20-to-canada/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/brendanhodgson/2008/09/29/hks-niall-cook-brings-enterprise-20-to-canada/#comments Mon, 29 Sep 2008 14:15:00 +0000 Brendan Hodgson http://blogs2.hillandknowlton.com/brendanhodgson/11219.aspx Author, colleague, fellow Collective Conversationist and H&K’s worldwide director of marketing technology, Niall Cook, has finally realized where the action is and will be joining the Canadian digital team in Toronto on October 7 and Ottawa October 8 to chat about his new book, Enterprise 2.0.

In addition to speaking to colleagues and clients during his brief jaunt through the colonies, Niall will also be shilling his new book… erm, I mean graciously sharing the insights of his research to interested social media afficianados… over beers at Third Tuesday events taking place in both cities - check out the deets for Toronto (October 7) and Ottawa (October 8).

227 words about Niall Cook (in his own words)

I am the Worldwide Director of Marketing Technology at communications consultancy Hill & Knowlton, with responsibility for the agency’s online marketing strategy and internal systems to maximise marketing and new business efficiency. I created the industry leading blogging policy for the firm and set up Collective Conversation, the first blogging community from a professional services company.

I frequently advise the agency’s Fortune 500 clients on the effective use of technology to support internal and external marketing strategy, having recently worked on projects for Allianz, HSBC and LG.Prior to joining Hill & Knowlton in July 2000, I held positions at the online currency beenz.com, Answerthink Consulting Group, UBS and Reed Elsevier. I am also the founder and chairman of Cogenz Ltd, a company providing social bookmarking software for the enterprise.

I hold an honours degree in Typography & Graphic Communication from The University of Reading and live in Suffolk with my wife, daughter, two Hungarian Wirehaired Viszlas, one Tibetan Terrier, two cats and five chickens.

I am a frequent speaker and author on the topic of social media and social software, and was invited to address the Singapore Ministry of Information, Communication and the Arts in 2006. I have also led the Ark Group’s Social Software in the Enterprise Masterclass. Other speaking engagements include the Institute of Fundraising’s national convention and the 2nd Annual Internal Communications Measurement Conference.

About Enterprise 2.0

Social software has taken the Internet by storm, fuelling huge growth in collaborative authoring platforms (such as blogs, wikis and podcasts) and massive expansion in social networking communities. These technologies have generated an unprecedented level of consumer participation and it is now time for businesses to embrace them as part of their own information and knowledge management strategies.”Enterprise 2.0″ is one of the first books to explain the impact that social software will have inside the corporate firewall, and ultimately how staff will work together in the future. Niall Cook helps you to navigate this emerging landscape and introduces the key concepts that make up ‘enterprise 2.0′. The 4Cs model at the heart of the book uses practical examples from well known companies in a range of industry sectors to illustrate how to apply enterprise 2.0 to encourage communication, cooperation, collaboration and connection between employees and customers in your own company.Erudite, well-researched and highly readable, this book is essential reading for anyone involved in knowledge, information and library management, as well as those implementing social software tools inside organizations. It will also appeal to marketing, advertising, public relations and internal communications professionals who need to exploit the opportunities social software offers for significant business impact and competitive advantage.

 

]]>
http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/brendanhodgson/2008/09/29/hks-niall-cook-brings-enterprise-20-to-canada/feed/ 2
Effective digital PR reaches beyond the Comms Department http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/brendanhodgson/2008/06/17/effective-digital-pr-reaches-beyond-the-comms-department/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/brendanhodgson/2008/06/17/effective-digital-pr-reaches-beyond-the-comms-department/#comments Tue, 17 Jun 2008 09:43:00 +0000 Brendan Hodgson http://blogs2.hillandknowlton.com/brendanhodgson/10829.aspx Before jumping on a plane to London last night, I was invited to speak to the senior legal officer of a major Canadian corporation. The point of the meeting was to discuss the impact that digital communications, and social media in particular, was having on organizations as a result of the heightened transparency being imposed upon them - both from within and without.

With thousands of employees potentially speaking on behalf of the corporation through blogs, social networks or other online channels - willingly or not, and appropriately or not - the level of exposure faced by many organizations is daunting.

Which makes our job that much more exciting – if not extraordinarily difficult – as the reputational implications of the social web bleed into other functional areas of the corporation — be it HR, Legal, IT, and the c-suite. It reinforces the need for communicators to become increasingly knowledgeable about all aspects of an organization, not simply communications or marketing.  And it is an area of opportunity that – if approached correctly – will allow PR to extend its reach beyond the traditional grey areas currently being fought over by ad firms, digital shops, and PR consultancies.

As the Arthur Page Society’sAuthentic Enterprise” whitepaper sets out, communicators must now become stewards of reputation rather than owners of it. Which means that tomorrow’s communicators must be trained not only to learn about the craft of communications, both traditional and digital, they must also learn about how organizations function beyond the narrow silo in which we currently operate, and be able to strategically apply their knowledge to supporting the challenges these functions now face. They must be able to guide and shape the behaviours of the organization, recognizing that virtually every employee is now a potential avenue – frightening as it may be to some – to communicate the organization’s messages, and perhaps do so better than the c-suite or PR department ever could.

I often ask organizations if they’re ready to embrace the changes being forced upon them as a result of the social web – but perhaps we need to be asking ourselves that same question.

]]>
http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/brendanhodgson/2008/06/17/effective-digital-pr-reaches-beyond-the-comms-department/feed/ 5
Random notes on online reputation management in 2008 http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/brendanhodgson/2008/05/14/random-notes-on-online-reputation-management-in-2008/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/brendanhodgson/2008/05/14/random-notes-on-online-reputation-management-in-2008/#comments Wed, 14 May 2008 13:45:00 +0000 Brendan Hodgson http://blogs2.hillandknowlton.com/brendanhodgson/10693.aspx Everyday, innovative campaigns and tactics emerge from all sides of virtually every issue. At the same time, it’s encouraging to see corporations increasing their level of experimentation in the digital space around the areas of reputation management.

Here’s just a few recent examples of highly visible campaigns designed to both challenge and reinforce the reputations of leading corporations:

  • Few organizations understand how to trigger a response better than PETA… and their latest MTV-style video campaign is no exception. The campaign – including the site itself - is reminiscent of the recent spate of cinematic gorefests - think the Hostel or Saw series – and, as such, primed for the youth segment that it’s attempting to reach. It reinforces the importance of the “extraordinary” idea (and the power of video) to be heard above the ”noise”, while also effectively demonstrating – as any activist campaign should – how to bridge seamlessly between entertainment, education, and engagement.
  • On the other side, Southwest Airlines has recently taken their already impressive ”Nuts About Southwest” social media campaign up a notch and added a slew of new features – including a Flickr group, video blog, and links to their Twitter feed and Facebook group – to further connect with their massive community of fans and advocates (and to directly address emerging issues as they’ve done with their blog in recent months). 
  • Lastly, in the footsteps of Ideastorm and MyStarbucksidea, American Express has launched Cardmembers Voice as a way to solicit ideas on how to improve their products and services, and to strengthen their engagement with cardholders. [update: Amex is an H&K Canada client]

More to follow in the weeks ahead.

]]>
http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/brendanhodgson/2008/05/14/random-notes-on-online-reputation-management-in-2008/feed/ 3
Because it’s not an either / or proposition… http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/brendanhodgson/2008/03/20/because-its-not-an-either-or-proposition/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/brendanhodgson/2008/03/20/because-its-not-an-either-or-proposition/#comments Thu, 20 Mar 2008 12:48:00 +0000 Brendan Hodgson http://blogs2.hillandknowlton.com/brendanhodgson/10422.aspx When it comes to the inter-relationships between professional and amateur creators of content, the smart folks at Wharton have it right.

“Pitting amateur and professional content against each other makes a good storyline, but it’s misleading to see them as fundamentally opposed,” says Werbach. “User-generated content will never match The New York Times for the overall quality of coverage of the Iraq war, for example, but reading Iraqi blogs, or political blogs about the war, provides some perspectives you won’t get from any newspaper.” And, he adds, “There’s no way a traditional encyclopedia will ever match the coverage of Wikipedia, because there are so many more contributors. On the other hand, while the quality of most Wikipedia entries is surprisingly good, there are times you want the certainty of a reference work that is professionally edited and vetted, or a smaller set of resources that have been pre-selected by experts.”

For PR professionals, understanding the interplay between amateur and professional journalism is critically important. And as we counsel clients, we need to be sure that this interplay is reflected in our strategies as neither should work in total isolation of the other. Each offers a unique value that can further elevated when appropriately integrated. 

Both bring value,” says Kendall Whitehouse, senior director of IT at Wharton, in the article. “The latter brings quickness and a personal viewpoint and the former provides analysis and consistent quality (hmmm?). The world I want to live in includes healthy doses of both categories.” (Amen)

But to think that this is simply about old and new media would be a mistake. As Joseph Turow, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication, states: “The digital environment is putting an enormous responsibility on the consumer.” No doubt. But I would also suggest that this notion of responsibility also touches organizations as well, although less from the consumer perspective of becoming better judges of content, and more from being the providers of authoritative and credible content. In the same way media have, for years, held governments and corporations to account, and as the media themselves are now being held to account by bloggers in terms of ensuring fair and accurate reporting, I wonder if it’s not time for organizations to re-think their own responsibility to their own stakeholders – customers, employees, partners alike – in terms of addressing issues of inconsistency, inaccuracy and lack of context that could flow from traditional and new media alike. 

For example, to assume that 300 words in a newspaper or a 30-second clip on television is enough to provide sufficient context and clarity around an issue of critical importance, no matter how accurate the reporting, is as flawed as putting one’s faith and trust in an “anonymous” blogger. At the same time, many organizations have access to subject experts whose commentary could help bridge the link between these various media in a highly credible way.

And this, in my view, spells opportunity for many organizations who get it. Appropriate and transparent outreach, built on a commitment to authoritative rigour and timely, proactive engagement, can provide organizations with the means to play a more visible role in helping stakeholders and consumers make more discerning judgements on specific issues being discussed in both the mainstream and citizen media.

Update: What do I mean by this? Primarily, strategic use of digital tools to provide deeper insight on specific issues being discussed in both traditional and online media, to reinforce messages through substantiated examples supported by video or imagery, to showcase interviews with subject matter experts posted online, to provide FAQ’s and visualizations that either expand upon, refute or clarify discussions taking place in the traditional or online media, or to support engagement in forums and sites external to the organization itself.

It’s a role that organizations need to be prepared to step up to. 

]]>
http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/brendanhodgson/2008/03/20/because-its-not-an-either-or-proposition/feed/ 2