Norman Ng

Posts Tagged ‘Social Media’

Social Media “Indigestion” – A Tipping Point in Communications

In Public Relations, Social Media on February 13, 2012 at 10:26

Among the constant stream of social media statistics that have rolled out, one particularly stood out for me in 2011/2012 –

“73% of people think employers overshare on social media”

I think we’ve reached a tipping point in enterprise communications, where enterprises become increasingly reliant on social media, where audiences are correspondingly more battered with asymmetrical information, or NOISE, as we call it.

Corporate marketers are jostling for Google Adwords space, PR folks are outwitting one another to run more interesting Twitter Campaigns, Facebook is increasingly crowded with 800 million followers and with advertisers hounding them with more messages. Talk about INDIGESTION.

It’s insanely crazy. I wonder what happened to direct f2f engagements? I wonder if the all too important aspect of direct communications has been marginalised? I hope not, because I know for sure that the time tested principles of Relationships and Stakeholder Experience are most influenced through bread and butter, personal communications.

For enterprises, it’s always important to take stock of where you’re heading in PR & Branding in today’s dynamic communication landscape. Don’t be too razzled when everyone says “social media is great”, because that’s when you know it’s time to reconsolidate and head the other direction when everyone is missing the point altogether.

So as the saying goes, “too much of a good thing never goes well”.

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Can We Tweet Out Of A Crisis?

In Crisis Communications, Reputation Management, Social Media on August 24, 2011 at 14:33

Social Media Communications helps to Avert PR Crisis

Apparently, that was what the DBS and POSBank in Singapore attempted when their ATM machines crashed in July 2010. Reported, as part of its social media strategy to reach out to customers, it leveraged on Twitter to point customers to its website for updates on the issue and was retweeted more than 200 times.

Mission Accomplished? Did DBS / POSBank really “Tweeted” their way our of a crisis? As an engagement campaign to be the first to break bad news, straight from the horses mouth – They deserve full credits. More so for using social media because of its immediacy and mobility. Because when a bad news strikes, its best your stakeholders hear it directly from you, not from the media, not from the grapevine, and certainly not from your competitors.

But I don’t think a crisis was ever averted. In fact, the breakdown was widely publicised and broadcasted, and certainly not excluding forums and blog postings (which are still online). Unfortunately, all you PR / social media evangelists for enterprises who hope Twitter will save the day, in Discovery Channel’s Myth Buster’s terms – This is Busted”.

Nevertheless, hope is not lost. Twitter, like many other social media tools, ought to be framed as means to an end. It is a tool to tell your audience,”Folks, we’re in control of the situation, this is what has happended…we are doing this now…and the buck stops here”. Best still, have a head honcho announce it face-to-face, directly to the press etc. And leverage on social media tools to get it viral.

If DBS / POSBank had shown to the world that it was rolling up its sleeves, boots on the ground, the outcome would probably be much more different. It would possible be read as “DBS means business – it is in control, it is arresting the situation, we feel safe that this is an isolated incident”.

* This article is in response to an editorial titled “Tweet Your Way Out of a Crisis” – Digital Life, The Straits Times, 24th Aug 2011

3 Social Media Syndrome That Will Kill Your Reputation (& Job)

In Public Relations, Reputation Management, Social Media on August 24, 2011 at 12:35

Last month I had the opportunity to speak at The McGraw-Hill Companies on Social Media Branding. And one part of my topic focused on the pitfalls of social media communications. From this, I highlighted 3 “syndromes” that have cost enterprises serious erosions of financial capital, and also the jobs of some employees. Here are some of the syndromes:

1. Split Personality Syndrome: Where an enterprise’s public relation communications starkly differs from its actions. Take the infamous case of United Airlines, where a disgrunted passenger took his unhappiness over poor baggage handling and indifference from the airlines on compensating him on his guitar that was damaged by the airlines. This passenger, who was also a performing artist, made a youtube video that was a No. 1 hit with viewership exceeding 10 million and 50,000 likes. Cost of guitar = $3,500. Cost of Uniter Airlines stock devaluation over 4 days, reportedly due to the incident = $180 Million.

So enterprises should exercise extreme caution when your MarComm / PR folks start ringing the tune of “lets do facebook, youtube, twitter! most Fortune 500 companies are already on it!” Because the enterprise had better get its crisis communications strategy integrated and be ready to respond should a social media crisis occur.

2. Trigger Happy Syndrome: Here’s when muscle memory takes over common sense. A college student tweeted the following,”Cisco just offered me a job! Now I have to weigh the utility of a fatty paycheck against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work”. Needless to say, she got fired even before starting work.

Think about the repercussions, whether you’re an enterprise / employee, especially so when you’re leveraging in Social Media. Because in this example, it clearly demonstrates how the globally interconnected community could pin you down before you can finish reading this sentence. Social media grants us instantaneous communications – but this too, could lead to our downfall. So think carefully, before you type in that 140 character on twitter.

3. Stereoscopic Syndrome: Where too much “insights” into your personal life is put online. Take for instance Kevin Colvin, an intern from Anglo Irish Bank. A reported family emergency required him to take leave of absence, only to find him on facebook during that “family emergency”, with a Halloween costume, beer in hand of course.

So employees, beware of the common ills of social media, after all “its not whether you find social media….but social media will find you…”

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