Although Twitter has been perhaps the slowest social platform to adopt Facebook’s pay-to-play publishing model, it’s now zeroing in on the biggest boon it offers brands: its role as a news source. Twitter is testing a new feature, Promoted Trend Spotlight, which would appear on users’ feeds as a banner ad when they navigate to the Explore tab of the app, which aggregates trending news.
Employees of several companies, from Silicon Valley stalwarts like Amazon and Microsoft to professional services network Deloitte and its competitor McKinsey & Company, have publicly raised moral objections to the work that their companies conduct with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE), which carries out border separations. The trend presents a question for internal communicators: How should brands respond when employees object to business partnerships on moral grounds?
One of the main themes at Cannes Lions a few weeks ago was the need for brands to reexamine the use of influencers. Craig Greiwe, SVP and head of Rogers & Cowan’s digital group, argues influencers are not the problem, the market is. The solution is relatively straightforward: treat the influencer market the way you do any other: with thoughtful, careful planning, clear accountability and proper creative messaging.
A tenet of internal communications is that whatever you say internally eventually will leak externally. That dictum probably applies to nearly everything that happens in corporate America. Anything an executive says, writes or does is liable to be discovered, savvy PR pros would argue. But what about media training sessions? The Papa John’s case opens a can of worms.
A Nicki Minaj critic recently learned the hard way that bullying on social media is now the norm. Brands will increasingly find it harder to engage in this hostile playground without getting bruised. Here are some best practices your social team can use to keep this negativity at a minimum.
Newsjacking, or piggybacking, on a news story or event about another brand to generate publicity for your brand, is a perfectly acceptable practice in PR. Yet it must be done with care and insight. A soy sauce brand managed to do this well on 7-11 Day. Fear not, though, the brand, Kikkoman, was savvy enough to dis the idea of a soy sauce-flavored Slurpee.
Would you rather your audiences use their smartphones to point and click—or point and buy? Given the pressure on communicators to tie their efforts to the bottom line, we’d wager that the latter is preferable for most. And now, if a rumored Snapchat-Amazon integration is any indication, social media audiences will soon be able to point their smartphones at objects in their native environments and purchase those products directly through Amazon.
Not all crises are created equal, and thus a crisis plan that was effective for one situation may not work well for another. Given how quickly new technologies emerge, news travels and opinions of communications strategies change in 2018, a plan that was crafted five years ago may be woefully out of date for a current crisis. As such, regular evaluation of your crisis strategy is crucial for success during a stressful time.
It’s possible the world has become immune to emissions-cheating scandals. The latest perpetrator, Nissan, hopes so. Still, it’s practicing nearly picture-perfect PR to reduce its chances of a long-term scandal erupting. Little doubt it has taken notice of steps Volkswagen failed to enact when Dieselgate erupted in September 2015.
Twitter has deleted more than 70 million accounts engaging in suspicious and “trolling” behavior throughout May and June, and shows no sign of slowing down in July. This should make the platform more trusted by users and brands, but the effects on its stock price and opportunities for user growth are up in the air.