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PR disasters! Is social media the problem...or the solution?

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Just about everything that famously goes wrong is now called a 'PR disaster'. What can we do to deal with this new form of digital PR disruption? This presentation was delivered in Canada but includes global cases and international insights.

Published in: Leadership & Management
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PR disasters! Is social media the problem...or the solution?

  1. 1. PR disasters! Is social media the problem …or the solution? 2017.10.18 Presentation for the Albany Club of Toronto
  2. 2. Signal Leadership Communication Inc. § A new social public relations consultancy firm for leaders with images to create, issues to manage, relationships to build, and reputations to protect § A PR firm providing communications counsel for c- level executives that is both strategic and social § Serving clients in Asia, Europe and North America § Partnered with Nanos Research Group § Founded in 2016, now growing fast
  3. 3. Social media seen as most damaging A large majority believe that social media has the capacity to do the greatest damage to an individual or organization’s image. 84% 71% 71% Social Media Online News Broadcast Television 52% 48% Print Newspapers Radio Nanos Research, RDD dual frame hybrid telephone and online random survey, March 31st to April 4th 2016, n=1000, accurate to 3.1 percentage points plus or minus, 19 times out of 20.
  4. 4. Social media negative impact on news Nearly seven out of ten Canadians think social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook are negatively affecting the news. Sixty-eight percent (68%) of Canadians think social media platforms have a negative (33%) or somewhat negative (35%) impact on the news. Eighteen percent (18%) believe the impact is positive (4%) or somewhat positive (14%), while 11% view the impact as neutral – and 3% are unsure. 68% Negative or Somewhat Negative Impact Neutral Unsure 18% 11% 3% How are social media platforms affecting the news? Nanos Research, RDD dual frame hybrid telephone and online random survey, January 28th to February 1st, 2017, n=1000, accurate to 3.1 percentage points plus or minus, 19 times out of 20. Positive or Somewhat Positive Impact
  5. 5. Social media seen driving PR disasters More than half of Canadians (54%) say that social media is a major contributor to PR disasters for companies. Roughly a third of (35%) feel that social media is a minor contributor and five percent (5%) say that social media is not a contributor to PR disasters. Six percent are unsure. Would you say that social media like Twitter and Facebook are major contributors, minor contributors or not contributors to public relations disasters for companies? Nanos Research, RDD dual frame hybrid telephone and online random survey, May 24th to 25th 2017, n=1000, accurate to 3.1 percentage points plus or minus, 19 times out of 20. 5435 5 6 Major contributor Minor contributor Not contributor Unsure
  6. 6. Social media is making PR more key When asked about the importance of PR today compared to 10 years ago, more than three- quarters (76%) feel that PR is more important, 16 percent (16%) say that it is as important while five percent (5%) say it is less important and three percent (3%) are unsure. Do you think that with the rise of social media, public relations, also known as PR, is becoming more important, less important or as important for organizations today compared to 10 years ago? Nanos Research, RDD dual frame hybrid telephone and online random survey, May 24th to 25th 2017, n=1000, accurate to 3.1 percentage points plus or minus, 19 times out of 20. 76 16 5 3 More important As important Less important Unsure
  7. 7. Best way to respond in a PR disaster Just over seven in ten (70%) say that the best way for a troubled organization to respond is to “acknowledge the problem and communicate on social media.” Twenty-three percent (23%) say organizations should “acknowledge the problem but not communicate on social media.” Two percent (2%) said they should “communicate nothing” and five percent (5%) are unsure. When an organization has a PR disaster on social media like Twitter or Facebook, what would you say is the best way for the troubled organization to respond? Nanos Research, RDD dual frame hybrid telephone and online random survey, May 24th to 25th 2017, n=1000, accurate to 3.1 percentage points plus or minus, 19 times out of 20. 70 23 2 5 Acknowledge and communicate Acknowledge but don't communicate Communicate nothing Unsure
  8. 8. The importance of communications skills for leaders continues to increase
  9. 9. Social media is now the most critical communications platform
  10. 10. Alas, many leaders are struggling with social media
  11. 11. Risk-averse bosses are afraid of making big social media mistakes
  12. 12. That’s a problem, because when something goes wrong (and it always does), all eyes go online looking for the leader
  13. 13. The absence of leaders creates an information vacuum that is filled by critics and naysayers
  14. 14. Just about everything that goes wrong in a famous way is now called a ‘PR disaster’
  15. 15. Meanwhile, inside many companies, digital has been taken over by marketers who see social as a way to sell stuff, not build relationships
  16. 16. Companies are now expected to communicate like real people, not like machines or things
  17. 17. The leader is the ultimate personification of the brand
  18. 18. For leaders, social media should be about relationships, custom connectivity and listening with real people
  19. 19. Tuning into people’s emotions, channeling their ideas, sensing their sentiments, rallying them to shared purposes
  20. 20. Communication that prevents PR disaster
  21. 21. “Providing information as we get it”
  22. 22. “This is my worse nightmare”
  23. 23. If they fail to ‘feel,’ leaders will magnify mistakes when inevitable crisis situations occur…
  24. 24. Communication that causes PR disaster
  25. 25. …causing one PR disaster after another!
  26. 26. Next-gen leaders will be social CEOs
  27. 27. The six dimensions of social-media-literate leadership McKinsey Quarterly (2013)
  28. 28. Social leadership comms keys Personal § speaks to the experience of the communicator, aligns it to target audience sensibility Polite § never hurts feelings of others on purpose Direct § cuts to the chase and transmits ‘signal’ Clear § there should be no doubt about the message Timely § ‘now’ is more narrow and fleeting than ever Careful § consider the angles and audiences beforehand Compelling § persuasive and leading Framed § well in advance, there should be a deliberate decision to share within specific content spheres and personality attributes Image conscious § but not vain Other oriented § not ‘me’ and ‘I’ but ‘we’ and ‘us’
  29. 29. Social leadership comms keys Visual § 80% of our 100 billion neurons are for visual processing (University of Rochester 2004) Fluent § free-flowing, smooth, seemingly effortless, easy, natural, fluid Imperfect § perfection = too slick = not credible Inspiring § Communication designed to strike a chord, lay down a pattern, show the way Complementary § Leadership communication should build on and not replace the corporate PR of the company – the two streams should be in concert and well coordinated
  30. 30. Thank you ! @bobpickard @niknanos 2017.10.18 Presentation for the Albany Club of Toronto

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