This melted my non-Valentine’s Day-celebrating heart. Fellow info-junkies everywhere, rejoice! With this infographic, a new engagement proposal trend is born.
*Photo courtesy of Mashable
Another Win for PR?
I think so!
The Holmes Report just revealed that Twitter has selected public relations powerhouse Edelman as its first PR agency to carry out consumer-focused projects. You can read more about what this entails here, but my main interest is what this means for public relations as it pertains to social media and vice versa.
As many of you know by now, I have always been a firm believer of social media (or rather, digi-social communications) as a function of public relations, and as such, I view social networks as potential (in some cases, sole) drivers of public relations initiatives. It can be argued that at its core, social communication is public relations carried out in a new and expansive (and ever-evolving) way that focuses on multi-way, multi-channel and real-time communication.
Essentially, I see Twitter’s hiring of Edelman and its recent welcoming of Sean Garrett as its VP of Communications as a step toward solidifying my position. As far as I’m concerned, this is a win for those of us who believe in the essence of public relations and respect the principles on which the profession was founded.
Congratulations to my former colleagues at Edelman for this fantastic win – a result of what I’m sure was an incomparable pitch!
What are your thoughts? How do you view social media as it pertains to communications or vice versa?
The Social Media Revolution: What It Means for YPs
Today, I had the pleasure of speaking at a professional development luncheon organized by the Okaloosa/Walton/Bay Counties’ Young Professionals group - YP @ THE Beach.
While I’ve given other social media presentations in the past, I adapted this one to include information on the role of social media in the professional advancement of YPs. That is, what does it mean for the way we maintain relationships, do business, present strategies to the C Suite? It was an interesting research process and an immense joy to get to share it with so many of my friends and colleagues here in Northwest Florida.
Thank you again to all of you who attended! I hope you found it worthwhile, and I look forward to hearing your thoughts and any additional questions.
You may view/download the presentation here.
With social media here to stay, how do you think it will continue to affect the way YPs conduct business? What do you think this means for non-Millenials? How will that divide be mended in the years to come?
I will be speaking to my local Young Professionals (YP) chapter about social media on July 20. If you’re in the Emerald Coast area, please RSVP. Friendly faces in the crowd always help.
Note to self: don’t be a Weiner. What other social media topics should I share with YPs?
Presentation: Public Relations in the Age of Social Media
Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) - Northwest Florida Coast Chapter Professional Development Luncheon: January 18, 2011
I was so honored to be in the company of my wonderful colleagues and friends. Thank you to everyone who attended and made up many of the friendly faces in the crowd!
You can access my presentation by clicking here.
How do you feel about social media’s impact on our industry? How have your strategies changed in the past couple of years? What do you foresee becoming crucial as public relations practitioners move forward into 2011 and plan for 2012?
To Fire or Not to Fire - What is the Answer?
Can you fire an employee over a Facebook post?
By Matt Wilson
Not if the National Labor Relations Board has anything to do with it. The group will argue in court that such postings are protected. What do you think?
Think you can keep employees from grousing about their bosses online? You might find out otherwise when just such a case goes before a judge in January.
The National Labor Relations Board, the independent, quasi-judicial body that settles disputes over labor practices, especially those concerning collective bargaining, issued a complaint last week from its Hartrford, Conn., office alleging that a Connecticut ambulance service illegally fired an employee over a Facebook post. It’s the first such action of its kind.
“An NLRB investigation found that the employee’s Facebook postings constituted protected concerted activity, and that the company’s blogging and internet posting policy contained unlawful provisions,” the press release about the complaint states.
The company, American Medical Response of Connecticut, had a policy that included prohibiting employees from bashing the company or talking about the company online at all without permission, the press release says.
The company claims the firing wasn’t just over the Facebook post, but was a response to a number of behavioral problems over time.
An administrative law judge is scheduled to hold a hearing on the complaint Jan. 25.
So what does that mean for companies crafting policies about how employees can use social media?
“You’d better be sure that the provisions and policies can be supported in court,” says Shel Holtz of Holtz Communication.
Though this particular case applies to “concerted activity” among a number of employees—the employee who was fired only posted the initial statement, which was followed by comments of agreement from other employees—and a company that participates in collective bargaining, that doesn’t mean companies without unions are free and clear, Holtz says.
“While the NLRB won’t be the one after you, necessarily, it doesn’t mean the policy you have can’t be challenged on the basis of freedom of expression,” he says.
The solution? Give employees the carrot rather than the stick, Holtz says.
“It’s better to offer guidelines than policies,” he says.
Molly DiBianca, an attorney with Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor, LLP, says she hopes the complaint — which she stresses is only a complaint for now—won’t scare companies off of social media policies.
“For those employers who have implemented social-media policies or guidelines, those policies should be reviewed to make sure any prohibition or requirement is tied to a specific business reason,” she says.
The policy shouldn’t be made up of broad rules that give an employer carte blanche to fire employees using online activity as a pretext, DiBianca says.
“Instead of prohibiting employees from any discussion of the employer online, the policy should prohibit specific conduct,” she says. “For example, posting, uploading, or sharing confidential company or client information or trade secrets. Also, comments regarding other employees, including supervisors, that would violate the employer’s policies on anti-harassment, anti-discrimination, respectful workplace, etc., also can be prohibited. “
Bruce E.H. Johnson of Davis Wright Tremaine says the complaint seems to be a straightforward extension of protections of other types of speech.
“Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act, since the 1930s, has protected employees from retaliation for concerted activities for mutual aid or protection,” he says. “The act has no electronic exemption that would protect employee letter-writing or picketing, but would allow companies to punish employees for online complaints. A company’s social media policy cannot contravene the protections of the act.”
Still, Marshall B. Babson, a former member of the NLRB, told The New York Times that there are still some legal grounds under which an employee’s Facebook posts could get him or her fired. It depends on whether the statements are factual and business-related, he says. Personal attacks or defamatory allegations not supported by facts probably wouldn’t be protected.
Twitter: Mass Culture Barometer?
So argues Marco Della Cava of USA Today. USA Today! To see Twitter featured as the cover story of one of the largest national newspapers certainly sums it up for me. But as an avid Twitter user (and a die-hard believer in its power), I agree with Della Cava’s opinion that there’s a lot more to Twitter than once met the eye. Since its launch in 2006, the social media network (for lack of a better, more accurately descriptive term) has evolved from a relatively misunderstood communication tool, to a business and pop culture phenomenon. There are few products out there, tangible or otherwise, that can claim such a broad market reach – not to mention, an indisputable level of engagement, trust and influence. I’m not so sure even Facebook can compare at this level.
Think about it: Twitter has allowed CEOs, celebrities, entrepreneurs, bloggers, journalists, struggling artists and average Joes and Janes alike to share a common space, lead and participate in conversations and ultimately reach out to one another regardless of any physical or social boundary. It has empowered consumers and brands alike and significantly propelled an understanding of the need for corporate transparency. On the same token, it has allowed less-prominent figures to serve as their own publicist and distribute their message(s) from a first-person account.
As a public relations practitioner, I find it imperative to constantly be in the know. I receive news alerts on my iPhone, check the NY Times website religiously, sign up for Google Alerts, and comb various websites in search of what’s happening here and now. Over the past year, I’ve found myself using Twitter more and more as a search engine. It allows me to gauge my brand’s penetration, as well as the messaging put out by competitors and influencers within the industry. Moreover, I’ve also learned of breaking news through Twitter – both national and local – more quickly than on Google or CNN. For someone like me, Twitter has truly become the quintessential communications tool.
How do you use Twitter? And how do you think such use will evolve in the next year or so?
To borrow a question from Della Cava, if something isn’t tweeted, did it happen?