At the heart of social engagement is building lasting relationships with customers and influencers that impact your brand. Most companies are pros when it comes to consumer engagement, but some make big mistakes when it comes to decisions about transparency and disclosure. And what about all the other groups: bloggers, stakeholders and even your shareholders? Where do they fit into the bigger picture of social-business planning?
This week’s PRSA “Friday Five” post — an analysis of the week’s biggest PR and business news and commentary — explores the dos and don’ts of social engagement, with a special focus on influencer groups that are building corporate culture and reputation across the industry.
The Updated Ogilvy Social Media Engagement Code (Ogilvy 360 Digital Influence)
Ogilvy has had a social media-related ethics code in place since 2005. At that time, it was the Blogger Outreach Code of Ethics. It helped the company decide what was “best-practice” and what wasn’t. The updated code covers more contemporary circumstances, like Facebook and Twitter and other new social media platforms and focuses on five main areas: disclosure, transparency, relevancy, value exchange and privacy. The goal of addressing these areas within a code of ethics framework is undoubtedly to forge great relationships built on trust. The latest generation of their engagement code leads the way to better defining marketing and communications effectiveness.
The Rot at Apple’s Core Could Sicken Consumers — and Its Business (Advertising Age)
A 4,000-word essay last month in AdAge began by asking readers to Google the search term “I love Apple,” and then be bowled over by the 3.27 million search results. As AdAge notes in this follow-up piece, most consumers base their affinity for a brand on engagement, product and the company’s innovation potential, an outside-looking-in relationship. Once on the inside of a big corporation there’s no telling what you will find.
A series of New York Times stories and a segment on “This American Life,” by monologist Mike Daisey, painted a picture of Apple that consumers weren’t used to seeing. The Times depicted overseas manufacturing job where laborers worked long hours for frighteningly low wages. Mike Daisy’s monologue presented cases of inhuman dormitory conditions, brutal shop-floor hazards, child labor and a huge net dangling over the shop floor to avoid incidence of worker suicide. Here is a clear example of a consumer-driven company that fell short in areas of transparency, value exchange and disclosure. As we have noted previously in this blog, in the digital age, once the secret is out it’s difficult for companies to regain consumer trust.
Dx3 Presentation: Blogger Relations – Getting the Insiders Onside Blogger/Influencer Engagement (Dave Fleet / Conversations at the Intersection of Communications, PR and Social Media)
With all this talk about social engagement, it’s important to remember your etiquette when gauging the interest of a potential influencer. Dave Fleet recently presented a revised approach to blogger relations at the inaugural Dx3 Canada digital trade show. His approach was simple, when pitching a potential media source (print, broadcast, blogger) you must focus on building a relationship.
Here are some of the key elements from his presentation:
- The first time you reach out to a blogger should not be to pitch them — the process should start with listening and engagement.
- The pitch should be the middle of the process, not the end — follow-up to ensure questions are answered and feedback is given in both directions.
- The LEAF framework (listen – engage – activate – follow-up) summarizes an ongoing relationship-focused process.
- Shifting to this approach means taking a new approach to budgeting and planning outreach programs that involves more time, different people and a longer-term commitment.
An Influencer Approach to Stakeholder Engagement (Edelman Digital)
In last week’s “Friday Five,” we shared some key insights from the 2012 Edelman Trust Barometer report. Among those insights was a plan for how businesses can earn the license to lead, not just operate. To do this, businesses need to start looking at how they create more stakeholder engagement. Most companies have mastered consumer engagement, but what about everyone else who has invested in your company? According to Edelman Digital, 2012 is the year for businesses to turn influence into business value. This requires corporations to engage influencers in every stakeholder group that drives the culture and perception of businesses.
Will the Facebook Masses Demand Their Shares? (Bits / The New York Times)
New York Times’ reporter David Streitfeld dug a little deeper to see what Facebook’s mega IPO means for the pockets of loyal Facebook enthusiasts. The Times reports that Zuckerberg indicated that the reported $28 billion he will make off the IPO would not go to his head or affect the work ethic that lays the foundation for his company.
Nicole Castro is the public relations associate at the Public Relations Society of America.