contentgrrl

I am conTENT. My work is CONtent.

Posts Tagged ‘public relations’

LinkedIn Does A Better Job of Communicating

Posted by contentgrrl on January 23, 2012

OopsSurprising phrase in an email from LinkedIn:

We could have done a much better job communicating about this change, so we want to clarify what this may mean to you…

This was the second message I’ve gotten about its changing feature set for displaying Twitter feeds.

The first alert had left me wondering if my Tweets would still update my LinkedIn status stream. This second message clarified that this service was still intact and unaffected by the change.

Now, Alsup’s Number 8 of 18 Immutable Laws of Corporate Reputation is to recognize your shortcomings. “We could have done a much better job of communicating” rang very loud about the faux pas. Think for a minute: LinkedIn might have been a little quieter about their previous oversight. But if they had left out that statement, the message would have come off as a high-handed afterthought, as though the audience was too dumb to realize the previously unspoken detail.

So that statement:

  • Brings LinkedIn down a notch
  • Keeps their reputation friendly and self-deprecating
  • Fulfills that rhetorical appeal of Ethos, or character. Kudos!

Ideally, when alerting customers about a change in services, you include a little disambiguation from the get-go. A good writer knows to anticipate and define terms the audience may find confusing. The writer’s challenge is to select details that will clearly support the purpose of the alert, while assuaging their biggest concerns and promoting a positive reputation for the organization.

In the first message, LinkedIn could indeed have done a better job of distinguishing the Twitter feed box being discontinued from a related feature that automatically integrates Tweets into your LinkedIn status updates.

But they freely admitted their oversight. Bonus, they successfully communicated the difference, while educating members about a feature that many might not have known was available.

It’s good public relations, too. If you want to temper bad news where you must take something away from your customers, come back to admit an oversight and highlight something great that you offer for free!

I may steal this trick sometime in the future. Shhh…

Two questions for discussion:

  1. What did you think of LinkedIn’s decision to remove the Tweets box from member profiles?
  2. What other examples have you seen of companies turning bad news around?

Posted in community, heroes, persuasion, writing | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

10 tips for do-it-yourself public relations

Posted by contentgrrl on November 10, 2007

If you want to make news, do something newsworthy.

I’ll bet you know to stay away from scandal no matter how much press it gets! ;^) But here are some suggestions for positive spins:

  1. Conduct a survey of your clients, and report results of their opinions on a timely topic that’s getting some press lately or chronically in your industry. Oh, do reporters love statistics! And quotable quotes from real people! And expert conclusions! NOTE: Get written permission to use their quotes in your report!
  2. Submit your work for an industry competition (and, well, you have to win or at least have honorable mention).
  3. Write a white paper on the best way to do something, ten tips, ten things to avoid, and so on, where you have extensive expertise.
  4. Partner with a client or another company on a big project, and write a report showing massive ROI (return on investment).
  5. Merge or acquire.
  6. Volunteer to your senator or representative to contribute some research or analysis on a topic that lends itself to current or upcoming legislation.
  7. Scan the U.S. code of federal regulations for your industry, and volunteer to contribute research or analysis on regulatory changes going on in the industry.
  8. Keep an eye out for court cases in your industry, and talk up lawyers on key cases, and confer about serving as an expert witness.
  9. Do something phenomenal for a charity.
  10. If you are a good speaker, consider podcasting on various 5-10 minute topics.

Focus especially on the local news, trade magazines and journals that you like to read, and the organizations where you are a member. But also consider PR Web.

Posted in marketing, persuasion, publishing, reading, writeroll | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »