Rick Savard, former CEO of netSpend and member of several Boards of Directors, on how communications can help CEOs drive the business forward.

Read more
PulsePoint Group
March 27, 2009

I’m sure you’ve played the telephone game before…one person tells another person something and then it goes through several people, one-by-one, until you get to the end to find out the story has changed. That’s a good game to introduce you to social media.

If you tell one person a story and then try to control every word they pass along to a friend then you’re doing the exact opposite of what social media is built to do. Companies struggle to let go of control, but sometimes that’s where the success lies. Just out of reach from your press release.

I spend hours upon hours on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, blogs, and other social media sites each week, sometimes for work and sometimes for fun, but almost always to plug into the telephone game.

If you’re unwilling to a) share your story or b) have that story altered, social media is

Read more
PulsePoint Group
March 26, 2009

Larry Scott, Chairman and CEO of the Women's Tennis Association, discusses the strategy behind announcing his recent appointment as Commissioner of the Pacific-10 Conference.

Read more

This past week, it seems as though everyone in America from the president on down has a strong opinion about those AIG, Merrill Lynch, and Fannie Mae bonuses. “Outrage” has become the word du jour.

The public’s furor over AIG and the others will subside. But enhanced scrutiny of executive compensation, by regulators and shareholders, may not – even for companies that aren’t imploding or finding the federal government as their biggest shareholder. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is urging companies to align executive incentives with corporate goals, and avoid “mismatches between the rewards and risks borne by institutions or their managers.” And Simon Johnson, a professor at MIT’s Sloan School of Management and former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund recently wrote that “offering guaranteed [retention] bonuses to virtually the entire operation is hardly the way to achieve the desired results. We should not let people think that the best way to guarantee job security is to lose lots of money in a really complicated way.”

Smart boards and CEOs, rather than hunkering down

Read more

Disclaimer: I’m a part of the Wikipedia/Facebook/Twitter generation, and I don’t understand why more companies aren’t using social media strategies as internal community-building tools.

These tools are a part of my daily life. They provide a real way to stay connected to people, issues and ideas I care about. They’re how I gather information, find answers to questions, brainstorm ideas and commiserate. They are a real part of how I exist in the larger world, and I’m not alone. But perhaps more importantly, to people like me, they aren’t something to be feared.

Now, I bet you’re wondering why you should care when you’ve got an ongoing financial Armageddon to worry about. Well, people like me, without impressive titles and decades of experience, are worried. We’re worried about our jobs and our bills … and our companies. And like everyone, we look for reassurance and strength in our communities. Only for us, communities don’t exist exclusively in three dimensions. So why aren’t more companies taking advantage of the realities of social media pervasiveness and building employee communities online?

Read more
PulsePoint Group
March 18, 2009

Ray Jordan, Corporate VP of Public Affairs and Corporate Communications at Johnson & Johnson, on potential reputation management learnings from J&J.

Read more
PulsePoint Group
March 13, 2009

Lisa Ryan, SVP/Managing Director of Heyman Associates, the NYC-based search firm specializing in communications, discusses the job market for communications in today's uncertain economy.

Read more

Originally Published PR Week

How do you keep your people focused, motivated and engaged when their friends are being laid off, their budgets are getting cut, their bonuses aren’t being paid out and the future of their companies is uncertain?

Not easy.  And of course there’s no simple solution.

But to paraphrase white house chief of staff Rahm Emmanuel, every crisis presents an opportunity and it should never be wasted.

And this crisis is no different.

So I asked some leaders in our field how they’d suggest tackling such tough issues.

“Sometimes a reminder is helpful to communication professionals that continuing to advance their own skill sets is critical, even in the midst of an economic downturn or tough business environment,” said Johnson & Johnson’s Ray Jordan.  ?”In the face of reorganizations, I've seen a number of folks who have stepped up to much bigger challenges that might not have been accessible during ‘business as usual’ conditions. Do those engagements always mean bigger inside opportunities?  Not necessarily. But it means the individuals have expanded their repertoire as professionals - and that's a terrific investment in their own futures.”

Read more

As we visit with chief communications officers at Fortune 100 companies, it’s becoming more and more obvious that a confrontation of sorts is brewing over who should "own" the online channel for direct communications with customers and constituents.  Marketing is laying claim, suggesting it is the next wave in efficiently communicating with current and potential customers.  The early attempts by many marketers focused on familiar tactics from traditional media: things like banner ads and well timed "pop-ups" that aimed to capture the consumers’ attention at just the right moments.  The problem is that the people they were trying to engage largely viewed these tactics as commercial intrusions on a sacred social space.  The techniques have evolved greatly over the past eighteen months, as recognition of some of the unique characteristics of the online channel are better understood by advertisers.  Still, even the latest and greatest attempts fail to fully appreciate how to engage consumers in the online channel -- on their terms.

This is where a big opportunity presents itself for the public relations practitioner.

Read more

Pages