« Thoughts on the Berlin Protocol | Main | Time for us to put up or shut up »

June 24, 2009


Linda Ziskind

KD, you raise a very relevant concern for public companies. I believe the answer to the question you pose is: no, classic crisis communications no longer works. In fact I'll go further and say that classic PR doesn't work anymore either.

There are recent examples of crisis comm done wrong and done right. The done wrong example is the Dominos Pizza debacle this past April when two astoundingly stupid Dominos employees posted a video on YouTube showing one of them stuffing cheese up his nose before he used it to garnish a pizza, among other health code violations.

Dominos response was to follow classic protocol and do nothing in hopes of not drawing more attention. As I mentioned in a blog post on the subject (http://mybackchannel.blogspot.com), with no presence or experience in social media, they were sadly unaware that information is no longer controlled by corporations or by the press. Technology has set it free, put it in the hands of the public, and it dances to its own tune these days. There are new rules for corporate communication, and the rules say the conversation is happening, with or without you. If you don't proactively own it, someone else will.

Two days later, after the video had spread like wildfire both online and off, Dominos finally opened a Twitter account and posted a video of its CEO apologizing. But, still not understanding the rules, the name they chose for their Twitter account was @dpzinfo. Huh? By the end of that week, one in which they had gotten the most press they'd ever had, they'd still only managed to round up 1,333 tweeps. And, by the way, that's the week that a 31 year old college drop out, famous for marrying a older women and producing a show about pulling pranks on celebs, pulled in his one millionth tweep.

The two most famous "done right" examples are of course, Michael Arrington's experience with Comcast (http://bit.ly/bp71F) and Ford's Twitterer, Scott Monty, who used Twitter to track and then avert a potential PR disaster.

With the ability to monitor the conversation about their business, companies are turning customer service into customer first response. They're building relationships with people and relationships engender trust. When crisis strikes it's too late to start building that communications network. But if it's already in place, it's a very effective way to communicate and spread your message.


Do you have to do something above and beyond the norm, something proactive, not reactive, that will tell the world that you do indeed stand for the basic human rights of freedom of speech and liberty for all?

What pray tell would you suggest they do?

And what company especially telco-related wouldn't stand for free speech?

I think its safe to bed at night without worrying about Nokia's reputation management practices

The comments to this entry are closed.