In our regular feature on trends in PR, an Aflac executive whose portfolio includes reputation building discusses how brands are putting increasing importance on reputation and CSR activities. He provides a look behind the scenes of how Aflac improved its reputation scores by expanding perception of its CSR activities.
At some brands, PR and social media are part of the same department. At others, the two mix as easily as oil and water, which is to say almost never. Allen Plummer of Vanguard argues, though, that PR and social media departments need each other to provide optimal return to a business. He provides useful lessons that Vanguard has learned as a result of integrating the two.
Our regular weekly roundup of trends, stories and personnel moves in PR and communications. This week’s stories feature the FTC’s 90 letters to brands and influencers about disclosure, the spin on Bill O’Reilly’s departure and the battles facing internal communications.
How can brands that supposedly lack a visual element create community and engagement on Instagram? One way is to expand the kind of content the brand provides. For example, ForRent.com at its essence is a large search engine for those seeking apartments and homes. On Instagram, though, it offers content about home decorating, entertaining, recipes, fitness and more, its AVP for social explains.
As we know, communications has changed greatly with the rise of social media. It’s the same with crisis management, argues Daniela Peting of Motorola Solutions. Several maxims for crisis management from the pre-digital days may not work as well in the digital era. In fact, they could do more damage than good. Peting explains how listening via social media can benefit your crisis management experience.
In Q4 2016 (Oct. 1 – Dec. 31), consumer engagement, or total actions, defined as the sum of reactions, comments and shares on Facebook, rose 6% year over year for U.S. B2B brands, according to Shareablee data. Video engagement jumped 151%, though. Data were provided exclusively to PR News Pro. Enterprise data integration and management software firm Informatica maintained its top spot on the B2B list that it established in Q3 2016. Consumer engagement with the brand’s posts rose 38% compared with the same quarter last year, says Shareablee’s Nathalie Nuta. Video was just 8% of Informatica’s engagement. Its top post was an image wishing all a happy Diwali, which is the Hindu festival of lights.
Businesses must comply with laws and regulations that demand protective measures for the safety of workers and the public; smart businesses go the extra mile to quickly right customer service wrongs before they become embarrassing public issues; and as sensible, informed adults, we take steps to protect ourselves and those around us, such as ensuring our children are vaccinated.
Sharp Claws: Maybe the biggest beneficiary of United’s woes was Wells Fargo, whose 113-page board report about its 2 million bogus accounts barely registered in the news cycle when it was issued Apr. 10. In short, it fingers a pair of former Wells employees: CEO John Stumpf and community banking chief Carrie Tolstedt. An encouraging note: The two will lose an additional $75 million through clawbacks, the largest clawbacks in banking history. In all, clawbacks will cost Stumpf $69 million; Tolstedt, who did not cooperate with the investigation and whose lawyer challenged its findings, will forfeit $67 million.
PR pros know it’s important to adapt to change. Yet it’s also comforting when some of the basics of PR can be applied to new platforms. Take Twitter, whose newsworthiness President Trump has cemented. We asked Rebecca Matulka, deputy director of digital, U.S. Department of the Interior, about creating engagement and growing a community on Twitter. Before setting out the tactics her organization uses, she noted that goal setting, a key component of nearly every PR effort you can think of, should comprise the start of your Twitter endeavors.
As readers know, media pitching guru Michael Smart advocates taking a personal approach to targeting reporters. Still, Smart explains that there’s a fine line between personalizing a pitch and becoming too personal for a business situation. It’s also crucial to know when and where to personalize a pitch.