As someone old enough to remember the 1980s, I pondered a question while organizing my thoughts before putting figurative pen to paper to write this article: In our age of social media, would today’s youth be able to comprehend J.R. Ewing of the old Dallas series? (Hint: Think Billy the Kid in a board room, only less ethical.)
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To look at the news about Instagram last week you’d be forgiven if you didn’t think it also is a tool for business, particularly suited to small communications shops. The rapper Nicki Minaj, who hinted all week she was about to do something big, posted a photo of her sitting on a small bed in what appears to be a tiny bedroom. True to Instagram’s acceptance of informality, the photo seems far from the highly stylized, professional picture of a celebrity that the public usually sees. The photo’s lighting is spotty, Minaj isn’t centered and the bed is disheveled. Still, it’s a very effective photo. Clad in six-inch heels with tassels, wraparound shades, bikini bottom and nothing else, Minaj makes an arresting subject. Quickly the post had in excess of 10,000 comments and thousands of likes.
You might think a small or a 1-person communications department would be unable to make use of Instagram to humanize its brand and raise awareness. Wrong, a pair of communicators who make use of user-generated content say. Here’s how they do it.
Have the efforts of Wells Fargo’s PR, communications and marketing teams shifted the conversation about the brand away from the bogus credit card scandal of early September? We asked TrendKite to crunch the numbers.
We gathered select members of PR News’ Social Shake-Up Conference board of advisors for a roundtable on social trends for PR News’ premium PR News Pro (and offered to you for free). We also asked about best practices for social storytelling, how to spend little and get a lot from social and how to surmount obstacles to social media in regulated industries, all topics related to sessions on the agenda for the Shake-Up (May 22-24 in Atlanta, socialshakeupshow.com).
Although Twitter has been around for a decade, never in its history have 140 characters had the power and influence they’ve enjoyed since Nov. 9. Sure, when the Pope began tweeting, it made headlines but it didn’t move markets the way @realdonaldtrump has in the last few months. One outlet estimated that one 140-character screed about Lockheed Martin cost the company $28 million per character.
Fundamentally our profession is about people—understanding how they feel and behave, what they want and where their concerns and interests lie, and adapting the organization accordingly. It’s almost counterintuitive that cold, unfeeling data can help us engage more authentically and effectively with humans. But evidence literally is all around us.
At a time when American policymakers are looking closely at healthcare costs and questioning the future structure of the Affordable Care Act, their checkbooks remain open to new health/tech ideas that reduce cost, improve institutional efficiency and patient care. Healthcare communicators need to understand the business of healthcare now more than ever.
Fake news headlines fooled American adults about 75% of the time in 2016, according to a survey by BuzzFeed News. Google and Facebook were faced with acknowledging what was termed a fake news epidemic and sought to enhance controls to mitigate future occurrences.
At the end and start of the year we ask communications pros to prognosticate about the coming 12 months. In our last edition of 2016 we heard predictions from communicators about data security, authenticity and brand ambassadors. For this first edition of 2017 we offer part II of our predictions series. Happy New Year.