Over the past two months, the #MeToo movement has sparked a long-overdue national conversation around sexual harassment. And now, one of the nation’s biggest companies is moving beyond talk to action. Microsoft has announced that it would end the common corporate practice of “forced arbitration,” which requires victims of sexual harassment to settle cases privately rather than through a court of law. Will other companies follow its lead?
The fires in California have brought devastation to people, property and animals in the Golden State since the beginning of the month. While some fires continue to rage, those in the area of the Ojai Valley Inn have been contained. Faced with a large clean-up, the Inn refused to cut corners and instead will remain closed into 2018, resulting in a large financial loss as it will miss prime holiday weeks. Its decision to remain closed is firmly rooted in its brand promise.
Communicators and marketers know brands must impress customers and employees. A new study shows there’s a gap between the image that brands portray to the public and what their own employees think of the brand based on their work experience.
Over the weekend, four brands announced they would not advertise on Sean Hannity’s Fox News program, but none felt the backlash quite like Keurig, as videos of people smashing its machines lit up Twitter. The violent response underscores the tricky situation brands are in when caught in the crossfire of a politically charged controversy. Keurig first faced backlash for its inaction. When it took a stand, it faced another angry wave of protests.
It’s no secret that audiences respond more readily to their peers’ brand engagement than they do to messaging that comes directly from brands themselves. But what can communicators do to convert those engaged users into brand advocates?
Stacey DePolo, who manages social media and advocacy at domain and business services provider GoDaddy, considers that question often. She works daily to build GoDaddy’s community of brand advocates, which she defines as “a group of people who are passionate about a brand, product or cause that promotes their community either in person or online.”
The opening of PRSA’s International Conference featured a bevy of technology exhibitors, a plethora of PRSSA members and the wisdom of filmmaker and storyteller Morgan Spurlock. The super-sized presentation from Spurlock was highly entertaining and contained several good tips about content creation.
Maryland Transportation Authority Police dragged an uncooperative passenger off a Southwest Airlines plane. Public sentiment indicates sympathy for Southwest in this case, which could easily be due in part to the reputation the airline has built for itself through its efforts at transparency, customer service and good deeds.
Reports that Facebook’s self-service ad-buying tool may have been used by Russian agents during the 2016 election—as well as allowed anti-Semitic groups to target like-minded individuals—has damaged the brand’s reputation and raised questions about federal regulation of social media ads. The revelations have also raised questions about transparency, integrity and crisis management. When should a company withhold information it knows will damage its brand, and for how long?
Pop-up ads, TV commercials, ad-blocker-blockers, sponsored posts: How many of these messages have annoyed you in the past day alone? Consumers are faced with interruptive marketing tactics at every turn, and the fierce resistance to this messaging bombardment is a common barrier for many brands—maybe even yours. In his book “Friction: Passion Brands in the Age of Disruption,” Jeff Rosenblum argues that it’s imperative for brands to escape such “Mad Men”-era aggressive marketing and find a new way to stand out, build loyalty and win evangelists.
Sometimes you hear about a change being made in the name of optics and think “wow, how has that escaped an update for so long?” Such is the case with a section of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” ride at Disneyland Resort known as the “Wench Auction,” which features animatronic women characters tied together to be auctioned off for marriage to lusty buccaneers.