Far be it from me to buck a fashion, so here is my annotated list of the top ten posts or articles on corporate reputation, managing intangibles or navigating social media dynamics for 2007:
- PR Disasters Lurk in Web 2.0 Chicanery by Roger Dooley if only for its warning that online community administrators can "sniff out bogus posts very quickly most of the time".
- Issue Management and the social web - black or white or shades of gray? by Brendan Hodgson, and not because he is a colleague but because of his cautions about companies or organizations over-reacting to reputation assaults in social networks. The social web is often "self-policing", says Brendan
- Managing Country Reputation - Not Easy by Leslie Gaines Ross because frankly it shows just how far even the smartest PR pundit (Dr. Gaines Ross among them) sometimes stretches reputation research to find a single nugget of purported insight. Take this for example . . . "Leading a large multinational company might be a complex and challenging task, but global business leaders believe that heads of state have a much tougher job than they do when it comes to managing reputation." Gee . . . who would have guessed?
- Strumpette's Encore: 10-Headed Hydra Eats PR Biz because any self-aware communications professional who considers social media strategies as part of the new reputation management tool kit needs to hear from such apostates to counter evangelical hype. How can you not like a post that throws out this kind of challenging system of belief . . . "Hierarchies are socially natural and necessary. But today we are rapidly tearing down those institutions and replacing them with a system (the Web) that doesn't vet information well and certainly does not learn. Is that so bad? Indeed it is. History has shown that societies built on moral and informational relativism are poor, inequitable and DANGEROUS!"
- Eleven lessons learned about blogging, so far by Marc Andreessen because he is a high profile CEO and entrepreneur and he is still blogging six months later. And for added measure here is what Mark Rose (of PR Blog News) has to say about it.
- Shakespeare and the Art of Reputation Management by me because it was fun to write and contains a few bon mots from the master dramatist.
- Social Media can be a Boon or a Bust for your Business by Lewis Green which has the merit of containing a ridiculously simple framework for assessing whether an organization should should engage in social media.
- The Clash of Advertising and PR - Part 2 by Douglas Walker and its predecessor (which actually appeared in 2006 so doesn't really fit my criteria) because he is not afraid to identify the limits of his own profession and, by doing so, adds great value to the discourse on effective corporate communication in the 21st century.
- Putting a Price on Reputation by Lloyd Kurtz who blogs infrequently at SRI Notes because as a finance professor he is willing to accept that there "are still plenty of people in the financial profession who are somewhat dismissive of the impact of reputational effects, despite many cautionary examples."
- Finally this post by Kami Huyse at Communication Overtones called Top Ten Risks for Corporate Blogs because, well, there is a symmetry to ending a top ten list with another one and moreover she assigns a value to each of the risks, with complete subjectivity. Combine this post with number seven above and you have a decision algorithm of sorts for your organization.
If you want to send me links to your favorite posts on corporate reputation or public relations and social media, perhaps I can do a top ten list next week of the "tangible" (maybe) PR ideas I should have tagged. Of course, I won't hold my breath . . . this is a blog and not a newspaper column after all.