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Even CSR efforts have unintended consequences

Do you own a pair of Toms Shoes? If you do, you probably knew about the company’s one-for-one business model before buying those shoes; maybe that even explains why you bought them. In case you aren’t familiar, Toms Shoes gives away a free pair of shoes to someone in need for every pair of shoes a customer buys. Sounds pretty great, right?

As the Wharton School points out, it might not be that simple. According to Andreas Widmer, a social equity expert who gave Toms Shoes an award a few years ago:

“The unintended consequence is that, of course, there is a local cobbler who actually makes shoes and sells them. Can you imagine what happened to that guy the day the truck showed up with Toms shoes? Why would you go buy something if you could get it for free? And then,…

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When mega trends collide – how digital media became part of global expansion

Digital this, and global that.

When is the last time you saw anything that wasn’t about digital or global something or other?

Obviously, digital and global are two of the biggest technology and business trends in the world, and their convergence is changing how communicators go to market.

But one place you have not seen them together is digital media. Until now.

When digital news media emerged – starting with The Huffington Post – these were dismissed by mainstream media and ignored by business organizations.

But digital media are increasingly successful – some of them wildly so – with stories that outpunch those in mainstream media as far as popularity, stories that get shared on social media around the world, stories that are even changing how mainstream…

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Twitter-Google combination could spell trouble in 140 characters

While details of the plan to connect the Twitter firehose with Google are still emerging, it appears on the surface that it could have a significant impact on organizations in the middle of an online crisis.

Essentially, it appears tweets are now going to show up in Google whether someone is on Twitter or not. That means that anyone doing a routine Google search will now see damaging tweets, as opposed to only those folks who are actively following news on Twitter. Negative information would have shown up before, but it will be a lot more real-time under this arrangement and could potentially cause even greater reputational damage than in the past.

Here’s one illustration. Data breaches such as #AnthemHack, which trended strongly last week, would of course still…

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Socrates & Social Media Workshops

“The unexamined [social media strategy] is not worth [executing].” – Socrates [and me]

By now, most B2B organizations have at least dipped their toes into the world of social media. But many are struggling with how to make the most of what they’re doing. Programs stall. Or they’re too narrowly – or widely – focused from an audience perspective. Or departments outside of communications or marketing want to take a different approach. (And sometimes that approach is “no approach.”)

No matter the issue, I’d argue they all point to a fundamental question: What is your company’s social media philosophy? If your B2B organization is struggling with establishing – or amplifying – its social media program, it’s important you can answer that fundamental question. But how?…

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A one-minute read on writing a one-minute talk

Whether you give speeches, write speeches, work with D&E on speeches or write one yourself before you give it, here is a one-minute read on how to write a one-minute talk – or, frankly, any talk, up to and including the State of the Union. Though that undoubtedly takes more work.

The point is that the fundamental structure of a talk remains the same no matter how long or complex the remarks. Understanding that structure will help you craft and deliver your message effectively.

And isn’t that the point?

Just four rules to remember – plus one image.

Rule Number 1: What’s your message?

Every talk has a message. You speak to leave your audience smarter – from a finding, a report of an event, a warning, making a case or evoking a mood.            

Your message is…

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