Posts Tagged 'PR'

United Airlines PR nightmare

The airlines industry is an easy subject to pick on, to bash and to trash. Of course they don’t help the situation when they have to deal with PR nightmares. Check out the video that currently has, 388,659 views, and then read the whole story at the jump.

Dave Carroll is a musician who makes a living with his guitar.

Check out the comment from a spokesperson with United Airlines after the video went viral:

“This struck a chord with us,” said Robin Urbanski, spokeswoman for Chicago-based United. “We are in conversation with one another to make what happened right.”

It struck a chord? Ya think?

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Is it really about being transparent?


In Business, I don’t really have a hard time saying “I’m sorry”, I just don’t like saying it, because it constitutes either failure or the inability to “do” something. It conveys that perhaps you did not hold up your end of the bargain. And yet, a lot of people cannot say it or do not say it, or, do everything in their power to avoid it. That makes things worse.

I don’t like saying “No”, because it means I can’t or won’t do something for you. I am refusing to do something for you. Some people do not like to hear No, or in some cases won’t take No as an answer. Others, instead of saying No, agree or say yes, when they really shouldn’t. That’s not a smart thing to do.

I don’t like saying ‘Goodbye”, because it signifies that our current engagement is ending or over and sometimes you don’t want it to end. Other times saying goodbye is exactly what’s needed a “good” bye. Sometimes, it’s just time.

In life, and in business,  some things are painful to do. We don’t want to do them because they hurt or we fear that we will lose business.  The three things that I mentioned above are all communications issues aren’t they? But in each scenario, its a form of communication that is often times necessary but avoided. Which again, makes things worse.

Sometimes we do have to say No.

Sometimes we do have to say I’m sorry.

and Sometimes we do have to say Goodbye.

What happens to the marketing person, the social media specialist, or the PR pro that decides to incorporate those three words into their lexicon?

They get Respect. Street Cred. and probably more business. Is this about being transparent?

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The Microcosm of social networks

One of things I love so much about what I do is how fluid it is. Not only personally, but as a whole, the industry and space  I swim in, is very fluid.   But within that fluidity are small pockets of conversations, networks and  silos of brewing relationships that enhance one’s ability to “be fluid”. As of late, I have noticed a lot of really interesting discussions that have bubbled up based on these principles of micro-networks and our ability to flow in and out of them.

David Armano who is all about micro-interactions, adds to his  growing volume of work, which I respect very much, with this  preso titled, “The Micro-Sociology of Networks.”

Slide#36 struck a nerve for me in which David says that Micro-social economics are Niche. For me, I picture the relationships I have in social networks, the relationships I have offline and the one’s I might have in a large stadium, Each has it’s own dynamic and niche quality.

Valeria Maltoni, another person who brings fresh thinking to everything that she touches, did the following post a while back titled Micro Interactions in PR In which she states that:

Public relations is the discipline that gets to the single interactions, the relationships, more closely.

The single interactions and or the relationships.  It’s as simple as this-Is it easier to develop a more intimate relationship with one person or 2 or 3 or 40? Every time you add another person to the conversation, divide the conversation, the relationships and the signal exponentially.

This  exponential division reminded  me of a tweeted conversation I had awhile back with Robert Scoble, in which I asked him, “Now that you have 70,000 followers, what is the percentage of “actual” conversations you have with your followers/or those he followed?”  His answer? When he was only being followed by 20,000, he spoke to 25-35% of them-meaning more than one tweet. Conversations. As the number has risen, it is now less than 10%. In Scoble’s case, I believe it’s always been more of a macro-interaction, but it works for him. But I think he would be the first to admit, that any value that he derives from Twitter, would still be on a personal micro-interactive level.

Recently, I was reading a post by Bernie Borges titled… The Lifecycle of Interaction in Social Media in which he discusses the collective wisdom and influence of communities, and I started to think about the “microcosm of a community” no matter how large or small.

On the one hand one might not think of a community as a microcosm, yet niche communities are in essence, reflections of larger less fluid communities, aren’t they? There is the chance that you are in this or that niche community, because of the rigidity of the larger network. You are, in a sense, a microcosm of a larger group. And because of the possible lack of micro-interactions, you chose to find one that met your needs.

Quick definition here from


human beings, humanity, society, or the like, viewed as an epitome or miniature of the world or universe

The fluidness of  online networks now allows us to be a part of many networks and create many realtionships. Sounds very reflective of the offline world doesn’t it? So it begs the question: Aren’t all online social networks, microcosm’s?  Subsets of society played out online?

In conclusion, as I’ve said, I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately, and the thoughts might be disjointed but as my friend Mack Collier mentions, I’m  removing the perfect filter from this post and throwing it up.

7 Social Media Visual Representations

I’m a visual person, so I want you to be too. With that being said, I think it’s interesting to look at the many different types of graphical examples of the social media space. The first graphic I want you to see comes from Lorna Li’s post on 6 Steps for Creating a Social Media Marketing Roadmap & Plan It’s interesting to note that her bubbles do not connect. They merely float around each other. Does that work for you?

The next is from Susan Scrupski’s post Circles of Expertise in 2.0 for Biz I like hers since they are interconnected, but I think that in some instances, that perhaps they should bleed over more.


Then we have Brian Soli’s Conversation Prism which is pretty cool since it doesn’t appear to have left out much. It reminds me of the NBC peacock though.

Next is Scoble’s Starfish Very accurate except for the sickly starfish. It looks more like a mutant glove.

Then there is my simple explanation of how the hot dog could be the center of the universe from a social networking standpoint. Chew on that, if you will. No comment on the  public bathroom shade of blue I used.

And lastly, this one is pretty cool from Touchgraph Go there and type in “social media” to see a larger view.

Of course we could really dumb it down to a scrawled spiral and draw it on a napkin as well

Here’s one more submitted by one of my Twitter frinds, this one titled the new marketing ecosystem from Mullen Though it does look a bit like a Christmas ornament or some type of dangerous coral.

Which one works for you? or maybe there’s a better one? Flippant sarcasm aside, the point is that social media’s influence is far more reaching than anyone could have ever expected and the exciting news is that it’s only going to grow in depth and breadth.

10 social media blog posts to read this week


Here’s a good midway point of the year article by Jim Tobin from Ignite Social Media on what the future of social media might bring. How many of these do you agree with? My 2 cents is that #4 will be more portable in regards to social media being more mobile rather than portable.

I haven’t had a chance to check these guys out Ecairn, but let me know if you do.

I’ve written about this in the past in regards to whether your online identity is alligned with your offline identity and Dan Thornton’s article takes it one step further. Check out his post, Is your online indentity in your control?

Richard at Dell has a nice compilation post from yesterday of things you should check out, not the least of which are The Blog Council, which I’m still on the fence with, and Feedly, which I have not checked out yet.

I love Mike Manuels’ post about measuring social media as well, since I sat in a bar last friday night and talked essentially about the same thing with Jason Breed from Neighborhood America. The bottom line and Mike’s post back it up. Very few companies have a clue about how to monitor their online engagements with social media as well as their online personas in general. You have to have a way to monitor your web traffic but then if and this is a big if, you are monitoring your social media interactions, what is the data that you are wanting to pull from it? What are your goals?

Read this post on Stowe Boyds blog,  How we are made great and then lastly on Jason Falls blog, KatFrench has a great post on social media specialists chucking their backgrounds that basically asks the question, who’s running the ship for social media?

Social Media is not…Part II

As if having over 60 ideas, suggestions and observations of what “social media is not” was not enough, I now add an additional 25 responses from Linkedin and Twitter.

Social Media is Not

65. Your free answer generator if you run out of inspiration. After receiving this reply I responded that the person could do better than that and thus I received the following:

Social Media is not about individuals, it only is about its own gods and half gods. Since I am not a half god nor a god, it is quite obvious people would not know me. Social Media is also not definable since it is everything you want it to be and everything anyone else wants it to be. People who like to catch it in a few lines do not understand Social Media, since Social Media is more than some definitions and words alone it is a journey that never ends.

66. … A one way thing.

Be prepared for lots of criticism and people who have a lot of time and every motivation to make sure that what you are is accurate and true. If it is not… well we have all seen the examples.

Accept that any company/ product/ person that ventures into social media will be scrutinised and critisized.

While some shy away from social media for this reason exactly increasingly there is a realisation that abstaining is not a risk – free strategy. Getting out there and being honest might be scary but it certainly gains you a lot in terms of engagement and reputation.

67. … A substitute for a real social life.

68. …Doing much other than seriously turning everyone into a marketing expert to our global detriment.

When I mentioned that I would like to have him expound on this, and suggested perhaps he look at it differently, I received this heated response that diverts into a global political rant..

I’ll look at it as I please, thanks.

Anyone who tells me “you need to look at it like this” needs to look at, well, that kind of language and is a function of that culture.

The only reason I “need to look at it like this” is because your professional reputation depends upon the success of social networking. Otherwise what I said wouldn’t be such a threat to your well-being. None intended, but that’s what drives a statement like that.

True, social networking is not all bad, and they’re not all great either.

Where is all this communication getting us? It is a bourgeois pastime, a distraction from crippling debt, anti-intellectualism, fake dionesianism, and while on the surface, available to everyone for low-low rates, is yet another competition for time and energy towards things that really matter, like democracy and true personal freedom.

Our world is entering what appears to be an even greater period of vapid leadership than ever before. Why? Because MySpacers can’t see that Mr. Obama needs a team of 300 economic advisors. Bill Clinton could argumentatively engage that number in a blind-chess-tourney. All they see is a well-tailored marketing message.

Our present democratic contender is a direct result of the attitudes arising from social networking. He provides a message that is well tailored, yet inappropriate for our circumstance (he got prominence from unenlightened religious/political leader Oprah Winfrey, won the nomination on an anti-war platform, and having won it and being confronted with the economy, he’s got nothing. Nada. Zippo.)

We need a seriously deep, connected technocrat/intellectual to undo the ravages of this prior administration. This generation is going to continue to fail to see that all that glitters is not gold, and not all that’s being sold is worth buying. Unfortunately we’ll be worse off than with Hillary because they don’t know how to identify with what’s needed on a basis of principle over personality. And that’s the big, big problem.

At that point, I wished him well in his future endeavors!

69. The greatest thing since sliced bread, and it gets just as stale over the course of a few days. 🙂

70. The only internet marketing strategy.

71. An avenue to “push” your product.

72. A replacement for all marketing strategies and tools like ad, pr, print, tv, radio or other methods for a company.

73. Is not a replacement for good customer service or a good reliable product or product support.

74. Is not going to directly reflect $$ at the cash register in a short term– nor can it always be quantified in terms of dollars but actually name, brand, product recognition. Just as a tv ad might not reflect in significant sales, the social media should be dealt with in the same manner.

75. Is not static. It’s going to evolve so staying only on isn’t the only place. There are other options that can employ social media within the context of the marketing strategy tools.

76. Is not just about the number of friends on whatever site you choose to be part of– you actually have to participate and you actually need to have a great product to deliver. It’s not just about the sizzle, you need to have the steak that goes with it. (as in show me the beef)

77. … Is _not_ a mass media

78.  … Something you can do in your spare time.

79. …Addictive

80. … Going to make you any money this year. Or next year. Or the year after that. Or the year after that, or the year after that, or even *gasp* the year after that — unless you’re kin to Rupert Murdoch.

81. …A goal in and of itself.

82. …new.

It’s something you and your organization are already doing, only without applying the “social media” tag to it. It’s using <insert platform here> to make it easier for people to reach each other.

The concept is ancient both from conceptual and technological aspects. What’s new is the shiny implementations popping up… and actual mainstream acceptance. It’s now officially cool to be connected.

83. …Owned by marketing, nor PR, nor advertising.

84. …A destination, it’s a tool.

85. … Accurate and qualitative enough to trust.

86. …Is not a solution to every communication or PR problem

87. …Is not just for kids

88. …Is not a replacement for developing a solid strategy and should not stand alone as a tactic

89. …Is not a new way of thinking, it’s a new way of doing.

As you can see, the perceptions sometimes do not mix with reality. I engaged in some really lively discussions on this topic and will cause me to create an interesting slide presentation on the subject. I’m amazed as well at how skewed and actually how misinformed some of the respondents were. You can also see, where some are completely fed up with even talking about social media anymore. Their loss I suppose. In the end, as I was telling someone earlier, in a few years, we might not even recognize the monolith that is social media as it evolves into iterations that we haven’t even thought of yet.

Twebinar #2 review: Who owns your brand? We do.

Yesterday Twebinar #2 brought it on home. Huh? What I mean is that, though the first one was good, the second one was great! For those of you who are wondering what the hell I’m talking about, this is what a twebinar is and was.

The twebinars are a series of  mashups in which Chris Brogan and David Alston have assembled the best and brightest from PR, Marketing, and Social media into a series of video interviews, live sound bites, and live video, into a massive twitter round table. What occurs is this healthy discussion on a certain topic, in this case the brand, and more specifically, who owns your brand. The discussion is rapid fire, the tweets even faster, and this is something that has gotten better, and not only combines the best and the brightest as a focal point, but really what makes it work so well, is the conversations that occur with stars in their own right from companies far and wide. 

I was amazed at the depth and breadth of the tweets. Combine this with Chris Brogan moderating the stream of videos, the conversation with some live guests via web cam and phone such as Richard Binhammer, as well responding to questions via twitter and you have this organized chaos of free flowing discussion about a very poignant and hot topic at the present moment. Your Brand.

I have to give props to how quickly things have evolved from the first twebinar. Given the improvement and the depth to which they took constructive criticism to heart from the first twebinar, this bodes well for the next, which means that we will be seeing more of these in the future. For me, the twebinar produced 18 new followers in twitter, which is very cool.

What I would like to see for the next session is a way for a lot of us to be able to see the videos and the flow of discussion at the same time. I was using Summize-recently bought by Twitter. I was also using Twhirl too, which had some latency issues, which caused me to use Twiiter as my main client, So I toggled from the videos to Summize to Twitter. It worked for me since I was listening more than I was watching. But ultimately it worked.

What I took away from the mashup was simply that brand management is as important as anything that a company might do, and yet sometimes the brand gets ignored through complacency, smugness and ignorance. Often times, when this happens, it’s too late to try and grab marketshare back.

Yet, the companies that do value the customer, and who ultimately realize through an epihpany sometimes, that the customer is the one who defines the brand, are the ones that realize that YES they(the customer) are the brand as much as the company is.

Bottom Line, the twebinars give marketers, social media champions, PR peeps and N00bs all a chance to voice some very valuable opinions and thoughts and what it tells me is this. There are soooo many superstars out there who DO get it. I want to connect with them as much as I want to connect with the true superstars in the space.

For those of you that did participate yesterday, what did you think? What did you take away from it? and how will use what you learned? What should happen in the next Twebinar?


The Deets

Marc Meyer is a Digital and Social Media Strategist at DRMG. This is my personal blog where I share observations, thoughts and opinions that are all my own.


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June 2018
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