The Hoggan Blog

On the Phillip Morris Theory of Global Warming

Posted on: October 8, 2009

This is an appearance from the show P3 that talks a bit about the concept of the Phillip Morris Theory of Global Warming. Enjoy:

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Social Media: Moving From Confrontation to Conversation

Posted on: September 29, 2009

An excerpt from Chapter 13 of my book “Do the Right Thing” Social Media: Moving From Confrontation to Conversation in an Age Redefined by the Internet

The emergence of alternative––and interactive––sources of media has forever changed the relationship that would-be communicators have with the ever-more-integrated “public.” Clumsy companies will find this new “social media” curiously resistant to traditional manipulation. Smart companies will find a new and liberating opportunity for a productive conversation with their most important stakeholders.

Social Media: Ending the Age of the One-Way Message

In this past revolutionary decade, Google, Wikipedia, Facebook, and Youtube, as well as blogs and all the other e-mail groups and Internet forums, have emerged as interactive alternatives to traditional media. These “social media” have made it impossible for any business––no matter how powerful––to dominate the news with a single, one-sided message. There are too many independent sources, too many checks and balances. In that light, honesty, sincerity, and transparency––which were always positive PR elements in a public conversation––are now more critical than ever.

World Wide Web-crawling: Finding Friends in Unlikely Places

In the recent past, companies and organizations had only two chances to reach out to the public: They could court media coverage (with its attendant risks) or they could advertise (often at huge expense). Today, a simple (and relatively inexpensive) website can make your point of view available directly to people in every corner of the world – with no worries about how that information will be “interpreted” by reporters. People won’t necessarily pay attention, but if something goes wrong (or something goes right) Google will bring the world to your door. Make sure you are ready.

Search Engine Marketing: Get Good Advice

It’s tempting to think that a beautiful website, alone, will bring the world to your door. But searchbots need help. For example, if your mission statement is embedded in a front page graphic, search engine software won’t be able to read it. So, if you want to be noticed, make sure that your website is designed and written in a way that is easily searched and indexed. Bear in mind too that this is an evolving specialty. You may have to engage an additional consultant to the one who builds your web page.

Finding an Authentic Voice: Speaking the Internet Lingo

The tone and nature of Internet conversation is quicker, more casual, and often more belligerent than in other business or media applications. So if you intervene online using a formal, corporate voice, you risk dismissal or derision. But be careful not to let the casual format lull you into carelessness. You may think you are speaking on a small blog to a bunch of kids, but you could easily hear those words quoted back to you in a boardroom––or in the New York Times. If you are on the Internet, you are on the record.

Honor Your Critics: They Could Become Your Best Friends

Any time you respond effectively to a customer’s complaint, you have an opportunity to build real loyalty. So honor your critics online. Listen for legitimate complaints and respond with temperance and good faith. This can be a challenge because the medium is littered with “trolls,” snarling vandals who take pleasure in getting people riled up for no reason. High-profile sites also attract the attention of trolls-for hire, people who do dirty work for the competition. Avoid the muck, assume most people who comment on your site are legitimate and you will find friends in the mix.

Keep an Ear to the Ground: Internet Drums Can Be Silent When Deadly

Every major corporation monitors mainstream media, but it’s tougher to keep track of the Internet. With millions of blogs addressing millions of issues, you never know when you might become the object of someone’s attention. Try to keep track. Stories originating on small blogs often find their way onto the blogs Daily Kos, Huffington Post, or the Drudge Report, reaching more people than the Wall Street Journal. And sometimes these stories won’t make the leap to mainstream. So someone should be watching, so you can see trouble coming and correct misinformation.

Reasons to Avoid Social Media: It’s a Black Hole Where Time Disappears

The Internet is brimming with opportunity––it’s full of applications that you might use to expand your customer base or your social network. But if some 25-year-old consultant tells you that you should sign up for Facebook, Friendfeed, Flickr, Twitter, LinkedIn, and MySpace, ask why. Each of these applications can consume large parts of your day––in little, hardly noticeable increments. Make sure that every online effort has a sensible and attainable strategic goal.

Reasons to Avoid Social Media: You Don’t Want to Be Dissed as a Tourist

Six weeks before the last election, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper had a website hot-buttoned to every new social media application available. But the PM himself was nowhere to be seen. There were no comments on Twitter. The “About Me” section was blank on MySpace and he had only six friends. His YouTube account linked to four, six month old videos. The result? What seemed like an effort to make it LOOK like the Prime Minister is hip to the Internet, demonstrated instead that he is NOT.

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