Tangible Knowledge from Social Media

There are a million "stories" online, and some of them say a lot about the different attributes that now constitute reputation:

Relentless PR, which I guess is a competitor of sorts, each month thanks people who have contributed to the 'conversation' on its collective blog. Because it features a former colleague, Leo Bottary, I have paid more attention to it than I might otherwise . . . and have even commented on posts. But the very fact that my name is included in the list boosts my willingness to put in more time on the blog.

Politeness evidently builds reputation.

The Chicago Tribune featured a piece on Monday about the use of Twitter and other social media tools during Hurricane Gustav. (Hat tip to Mark Shadle for this.) According to the Tribune, "Bloggers said their fascination with the possibilities of using online networks to track the storm and help others was fueled by new technology available to them as well as lingering frustration over the response to Hurricane Katrina three years ago."

People trust those with whom they share social networks, even if they are not "friends" as traditionally understood.

Gerald Barron at Crisisblogger points to a top notch analysis of the impact of social media on corporate reputation and customer behaviour. Michael Hyatt, president and CEO of Thomson Nelson Publishers, blogs about how quickly a brand can be damaged through viral criticism online. In particular, Hyatt talks about how Twitter was used to spread a specific example of poor customer service and uses that as a jumping of point for offering seven lessons for defending a company's reputation and brand in our digital age. The lessons are commonplace (no offence meant Mr. Hyatt.) But the fact they are coming from a CEO might cause others in the C-suite to pause as they consider reputation management strategies.Two lessons that stand out: Respond quickly and admit your mistakes.

As Gerald Barron observes,"The old Chinese proverb needs to be updated: 'It takes a lifetime to build a reputation, a single tweet to destroy it.' "

And below is a nice image from a post (no attribution of the image is given) by Jay Thompson that captures it all:


CSR Communication: Web Reporting

Lessons in Crisis Management (2)