Is all press good press?Read More
Ignite X specializes in helping technology startups grow their market visibility and brand. We bring expertise, connections and tenacity to helping brands break through the noise. Here are some of the things we've learned along the way.
Filtering by Tag: Bad Public relations
Yesterday's some of the social media biggest barometers were off the charts. Why? Facebook essentially chose to pull the rug out from under its users with a highly questionable Terms of Service (TOS) change. Almost 6000 people have dugg Facebook's move on Digg and on Twitter yesterday both TOS and Facebook were top 5 trend topics all day and into the night. I think it was a bad PR move that could have been handled differently. Was there only one option for Facebook to make here? I understand, as I think all users of social networks and other social media sites, that increasingly the web is opening up so sites can share data more easily with each other. When a user chooses to share their data publicly, it no longer distinctly belongs to them. However, the mistake that Facebook made was that they originally told their users that they were free to delete their account and with that account deletion, their data went with them. Then without any warning or grace period, Facebook pulls an about face (pun intended) and reneges on its own TOS with users, basically telling all 100+ million of them, guess what? We changed our mind and your data, it isn't yours any longer, it's ours and we can do whatever we want with it, whenever we want. Period. Instead of following their lawyers' advice, perhaps Facebook ought to have followed their PR's advice and taken a different approach instead. I'm surmising here that this is how things unfolded but too often companies follow the legal advice (say no comment) instead of taking better control of the situation and having less fallout. Right now, Facebook has created a tremendous amount of bad will and that is unfortunate. It is a hard lesson that others may want to remember and avoid.
By now many have heard about Christian Bale and his very unprofessional melt down captured and shared among millions on YouTube, which spread like wildfire into a top 5 topic on Twitter. The following Twitter meltdown unfolded today. Thankfully, the exchange was not at all as brutal as Christian Bale's outburst but, nevertheless this could have been avoided. To set the stage, the Twitter melt down involves a male and female, one a reporter and the other a Marketing/PR representative.
The following exchange captures the f-bombs and tweets going back and forth between the two parties. April, the PR rep, wasn't naming the reporter directly when she posted a tweet, venting her frustration, just as many of us do on Twitter (yours truly included). The reporter clearly had a bad day, noticed the PR rep’s tweet and followed up in a highly abusive way with her. After the Twitter throw-down, it seemed like the reporter wanted to forget about the whole exchange and consequently tried to erase his tweets. Unfortunately, the public journo/PR fight got retweeted and suddenly it was all over. Lesson to be learned here. Before you go dropping any F-bombs via a tweet, digg post, IM, blog comment, facebook post, etc., do remember you can't erase what is out there on the ether. A public record exists and there is no turning back.
Cision, an online database provider of media contacts aimed at PR professionals, is planning to add journalists’ Twitter handles. Many members of media have joined the ranks of bloggers who are actively leveraging Twitter for its ability to amplify their reach, so the move by this contacts vendor isn’t all that surprising. In fact, analyst firms, with the exception of Jeremiah Owyang and Forrester, are just starting to awake to this new powerful and growing channel. At Ignite PR, we use Twitter to communicate internally and externally with peers, follow breaking news, discover interesting data, spot emerging trends and meet or follow interesting people. Twitter’s most important value is its inherent nature around organic participation and the meaning and connection behind one’s network. On Twitter, one can engage with other interesting individuals who have similar interests, share great content, and are just interesting people in general. Twitter along with other social media channels, such as Facebook, Digg, YouTube, FriendFeed, etc., provide a simple and interactive way for people to engage in conversations with a wide array of individuals and expand or build a new network of interesting contacts.
Cision’s move raises a red flag however. When other database vendors start selling off Twitter names/handles, they stand to benefit at the expense of others. So far, PR folks actively using Twitter early on seem to be using it in a way that is not causing friction and we wholeheartedly applaud their practice-to-date. Yet there is still cause for concern when PR folks are using Facebook to actively pitch reporters and bloggers. One can easily see novice PR people blasting press release links or pitches aimed at Twitter users, namely press and bloggers, because they aren’t investing the time in understanding the do’s and don’ts of using Twitter. Thankfully Twitter’s management does a good job of shutting down spammers, but if database vendors are going to be selling lists of Twitter users to willing buyers such as PR agencies, then they both need to be responsible for understanding and underscoring acceptable practices for using this growing new channel. It’s critical that PR people embark on a real effort of self-policing how they use new social media channels to reach members of media or the blogsphere. Just as social media tools and channels are ushering in a new way to reach and communicate with one another, PR should seize the opportunity and turn a new page in how they use this new channel in an acceptable way.