Posts Tagged: crisis

The good, the bad and the ugly of social media during Superstorm Sandy

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The good, the bad and the ugly of social media during Superstorm SandyThe devastation of Superstorm Sandy (also dubbed Frankenstorm) is still being felt across much of the east coast of America, it claimed more 66 lives in the Caribbean before making its way to the US, where the death toll is now over 70.  There are eight million homes in 17 states without power and there’s an estimated cost of $50bn.

Although the immediate danger of Sandy has passed, the relief efforts, clean up and re-building will be ongoing for many years to come.

Social media has historically played an important role during crisis and times of natural disaster, and Superstorm Sandy is no different.  The word Sandy has been mentioned in social channels more than 4.8 million times and there are many examples over the last few days of how social media has been used by Government, organisations, brands and individuals for support, information, fun, trolling and… marketing.  Let’s take a look at some of the good, the bad and ugly examples. Read more on The good, the bad and the ugly of social media during Superstorm Sandy…

Trains, blames and auto analysis

Today started happy. I wasn’t headed anywhere on #Eurostar. Then, TechCrunch made me even happier that I wasn’t Eurostar’s agency.

I’m not linking to all of the blog brouhaha because this post isn’t about Crisis Dos & Don’ts. (My employer has better folks for that.) This is a personal ponder on why us agencies preach so much better than most advertisers practice.

TechCrunch usually writes about web 2 start-ups, but you have to assume their savvy editor knows enough about the marketing agency model to understand we cannot do anything on behalf of clients that they haven’t actually commissioned. Yet it seems the age of transparency means being outed for sins of omission. Harsh.

For literally years now, as one micro example, I have counseled clients to claim back their brand-jacked Twitter urls. Even this small step however, falls in the cracks between corporate departments. My own take-away from this latest #fail case is to work harder to jump those divides.

Clients often ask me who ‘owns’ social media. By which they mean, does it sit in the PR, digital, research, or customer service budget? So I draw my little overlapping Venn circles and explain about the hybrid teams needed, but is that a good answer? Oh, it is the right answer. But is it a useful answer? It would be great to get comments from client side people here (or here).

Frankly, this confusion is all our fault. Although perhaps mostly the media agencies’ fault (sorry mates). Since brands first went online (circa Netscape Navigator), agency enabled clients have marked ‘digital’ as just another ‘channel’ in their marketing plan. (I don’t have the strength in this 20th year of the world wide web to explain how whack that is, but probably you already know.) These new applications weren’t built as marketing channels any more than highways were built for billboards.

And here we are entering 2010 with a new, fairly skinny linear line item on that spreadsheet, misleadingly called social ‘media’. It shouldn’t take a crisis to see that that line should instead be a circle around the whole company. But maybe it does.

Please follow me on Twitter in case we get stuck on a train.

Read more on Trains, blames and auto analysis…

Branding utility will save the day. Seriously.

“An extraordinary, almost unimaginable sequence of events” says Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England commenting on the past weeks’ goings on in the global financial markets. Which do you prefer – the culture of blame, or the culture of coping? Weak people immediately point the finger at others, stronger people move on and work out how to make things work, develop products customers need and communication strategies to help consumers realise that’s what they want, and build genuine underlying performance in their businesses.

Read more on Branding utility will save the day. Seriously….