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Hey, Brands, Stop Talking About How Great You Are

Let me tell you about an energy company I know called EnergyX. They are a real company, but EnergyX isn’t their real name. You’ll see why so enough. They are a public company with about $400 million in revenue. They employee 800 employees and have technology products that can only be described as cool. It’s […]

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Facebook is Broken, Editorial Standards Can Fix It

Why do people “like” Facebook? Simple: It’s the content. I use it to find content I like: articles, cartoons, and videos. All recommended by friends. I use it to debate, quip, and joke with friends. I used it to see what friends, co-workers and neighbors are doing. I use it to circulate my own content. […]

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“Oh, son of a…! That’s gonna leave a mark!

The headline of this post is a quote from the 1995 comedy “Tommy Boy.” But it could have been the shouts of frustration emanating from the offices of JPMorgan’s communications team yesterday. In a move that has many people scratching their heads, JPMorgan, the largest investment bank in the United States, decided to hold Twitter […]

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Authenticity on Social Media Will Get You Killed

Why? Because people don’t really want brands, celebrities, and people to be authentic. They want them to conform to their own impressions of authenticity. But deviate from the “brand message” and you will suffer the consequences. Ridicule. Boycotts. Finger-pointing. Reputation damage. Those are the consequences of being “authentic.” Just ask Tampa Bay Devil Rays starting […]

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Hey Madison Avenue, PR is the New Advertising!

They gathered last week in the city that never sleeps. Their goal? Figure out how to clog up our social media channels with more advertising. Who were these people? Advertisers. Last week was Madison Avenue’s annual conference in New York known as Advertising Week. As expected there was lots of hand wringing about the state […]

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Reputation Can Be Lost in an Instant on Social Media

Here was the right answer: “We feature families who love pasta in our commercials. That’s because we make the best pasta in the world. Anyone who loves pasta – no matter your color or sexual orientation – has a home with Barilla.” Here was the wrong answer: “For us, the sacral family remains one of […]

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6 Ways to Fix Online Commenting

Popular Science has closed off commenting on its website. The reason, according to The Guardian, is trolls and spam. The sheer magnitude of it. Popular Science also cited a study that says commenting can change a readers opinion or perception of an article. Which, according to Popular Science, is bad for science. Especially when the […]

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Chipotle “Ad” isn’t an “Ad”

Everyone is crowing (sorry, bad pun) about the new Chipotle ad. Except for one thing. It’s not an ad. Ads are 30 to 60 second spots that appear on television. Or 10-15 second spots that pop up when you are web browsing. Their purpose – generally – is to sell you something. The Chipotle “ad” […]

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National Tragedies Are For People, Not Brands

Here’s the definition of a no-win situation. A brand using a national tragedy to engage with fans on social networks. The opportunity to offend is very high. Yesterday, on the 12th anniversary of 9/11, several brands decided to weigh in with their thoughts about the terrorist attacks on that fateful day, including a diaper company, […]

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3 Reasons Why Social Media is Dangerous

Lots of brands are afraid of social media. That’s why they do it poorly, or why they don’t do it at all. Unfortunately, ignoring a communications trend is not a recipe for success – especially when the trend turns into an actual best practice. So if you’re a brand and you aren’t doing social media? […]

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