Marketing Pilgrim's Reputation Channel

Marketing Pilgrim's Reputation Channel is sponsored by Trackur.

Company Blogs Bring Radical Transparency

Business Edge has a great article on how company blogs–especially CEO blogs–can be used to communicate with stakeholders.

The article is packed with valuable insight and pretty much summarizes the benefits–and potential pitfalls–of a corporate blog.

Dell has particularly impressed me with their radically transparent approach to corporate communications. When Dell laptops started bursting into flames, it was Dell’s chief blogger, Lionel Menchaca, that published the video online.

“Our legal people and others were e-mailing and calling and asking me: ‘What are you doing? This is bad. You can’t do that,’ ” Menchaca says of his post on the Direct2Dell blog last August. “But I said: ‘This is what blogs are about. Everything has changed. We have to be transparent and honest. People are talking about this, they’re posting these images, we can’t ignore it. We have to deal with it directly.’ ” With the backing of founder Michael Dell, Menchaca weathered the internal storm and, as it turned out, won accolades not just from Dell customers, but from the business community over how the company managed to stickhandle around a disastrous public relations event.

Rudy Giuliani’s Daughter Supporting Barack Obama?

Whether it was a practical joke by his daughter, or an act of rebellion, Rudy Giuliani’s facing an embarrassing situation. According to Slate, Caroline Giuliani’s Facebook profile indicated she supported Barack Obama for president and not her own father.

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On her profile, she designates her political views as “liberal” and?until this morning?proclaimed her membership in the Facebook group “Barack Obama (One Million Strong for Barack).” According to her profile, she withdrew from the Obama group at 6 a.m. Monday, after Slate sent her an inquiry about it.

While the chatter should fade away over the coming months, it will be interesting to see if this story ends up on the first page of Google. A year from now, Giuliani could lose a few votes if searchers dig up that story.

Online Harassment becoming a major concern in Australia

Many people are concerned that the Internet and Social Media are difficult to control, and an Australian woman, who was a victim of identity theft and harassment online, has spoken out this week.

When men started calling, emailing, texting, and even turning up at her door, Cathy (not her real name) became aware that a bogus MySpace profile had been set up in her name. The site detailed her personal information, alongside suggestive photographs and explicit text, asking anyone interested to contact her.

It’s not clear how often this kind of thing happens (she thought is was her ex boyfriend), but with 3.8 million profiles in Australia alone, it’s likely that there are many more cases like this, though MySpace insists that it does not tolerate this kind of behaviour.

Social Networking is Not Always a Popularity Contest

Now that I have just about every popular social network profile under the sun, I wanted to share an observation: Having a social network is not just a popularity contest.

Sure, the younger you are, the more you may want to be liked and show-off your popularity – that’s part of the reason why MySpace has become so popular. Once you get out into the real world (boy do I sound like my parents), you’ll realize that life is not always about “he who has the most friends wins.”

Take a look at where popularity works and where it doesn’t.

Twitter – there’s no harm in letting countless numbers follow your Tweets, but do you really need to follow the micro-updates of people you don’t know?

Local Businesses Need Online Reputation Management Too!

If you think it’s only large businesses that need to worry about their online reputation, the Wall Street Journal wants to remind you otherwise. They take a look at the effects of negative reviews on small businesses and give an example of a spa owner who discovered she had a 2 1/2 star rating on Yelp.com.

Using Yelp’s email system, she typed out messages to each downbeat reviewer to find out more about what went wrong — and to try to make it right. And she sent a thank you to the happy customer. Then she added to her email newsletter a note encouraging regular clients to get online and share their good experiences. Several stressful months later, the spa’s rating had climbed to an acceptable four stars.

The Effects of Social Media on the Top 100 Brands

As some of you know – and now all of you know – I’m writing a book on online reputation management and a big part of that is about utilizing social media. So, I’m excited to share with you Immediate Future’s “The Top 100 Brands in Social Media” study of which brands are most benefiting from social media.

The study looked at the Interbrand Top 100 global brands for 2006 and then reviewed each for their involvement in social media channels such as:

  • The “blogosphere” as a whole
  • Social networks Bebo and MySpace
  • Video sharing site YouTube
  • Photo sharing sites Flickr and Photobucket
  • Social bookmarking sites del.icio.us and ma.gnolia 
  • Social editorial site Digg

Share of Voice

Have You Set Standards for Using Your Brand Online?

As someone writing a book on online reputation, you can imagine my excitement when I read the headline of the latest e-consultancy article: “Top ten hints on managing your brand online.”

Unfortunately, either I’m just too obsessed with the topic, or e-consultancy didn’t quite get the title right, because the “ten hints” actually refer to managing “brand standards”, that is how and where your brand is used in an online environment.

Ok, so once I got over my initial disappointment, I discovered an article that is actually very useful and on a topic not often discussed. When companies create their brand, they often go to great lengths to document what colors to use in the logo and how to capitalize each word in the company name. A lot of that gets lost when you move to the web – perhaps we feel the web is less strict and so cut a few corners. Regardless of the medium, companies that value their brand should ensure that they use it consistently across all channels.