For everything to stay the same, everything may need to change
No other prize has anything like the stature of a Nobel. In scientific circles it is known simply as “the trip to Stockholm”. But some do whisper the question, “for how much longer?”
The Nobel brand may thus be in danger of erosion, as the foundation itself admits in its most recent annual report. This says that “ensuring the importance of the Nobel prize in the long term continues to pose a significant challenge”.
For reputation is a funny thing. Scandal can destroy it overnight, of course, and the foundation’s trustees might fairly argue that their cautious approach has avoided that fate. But reputation can also slip away, unnoticed, as the world’s attention shifts elsewhere.
Mafalda Correia's insight:
In reputation, you’re never too accomplished to rest on your laurels.
One day all the PR agencies in the world disappeared. With no press release or target tweets to announce the profession’s demise, we could only speculate that PRs had either flacked themselves into oblivion or vanished up their own arses. The world did not immediately miss the 80,000 bespoke brand storytellers or the constant churn of hype.
For many, the thought of expressing themselves creatively really is frightening. And this isn’t especially surprising, since creative work is a collision point for numerous deep-rooted fears: of ridicule, of social rejection, of discovering you lack talent – not to mention the fear of stirring up emotions you’ve been expertly repressing for years.
Hang-ups about creativity reach far back into childhood: parents can all too easily squelch a child’s imagination, and research indicates that teachers generally dislike more creative pupils, however much they claim otherwise. Indeed, some neuroscientists argue we’ve evolved to distrust creative ideas: except in a crisis, there’s little survival benefit to trying something new.
The real question, then, is not whether creativity provokes fear, but what to do when it does.
The Global Risk Management Survey by AON is out for 2015. I always look forward to learning what is keeping 1,400 global risk management professionals up at night. This year, damage to reputation/brand is number one, having moved up from number four one year earlier.
The report lists several reasons why reputation harm is so high on the list of these professionals –“product recalls, data breaches, offensive language on apparel and in customer communication, fraud investigations, money laundering charges, inappropriate remarks or behavior by company executives, and supply chain disruptions.”
That is a whole host of high profile reputation risks that befell organizations in the past year and are probably boosting concern around reputation loss. The fact that reputation damage is now #1 and cyber risk has now moved into the top 10 risk list is no coincidence. We have seen several major Fortune 500 companies lose reputational status in the past year due to data privacy issues and cyber hacking. The convergence of digital exposure and reputation could not be higher.
In-house PR practitioners don’t have it easy, in general. Sometimes they have to deal with a lack of understanding and appreciation for the work they do. (Did I say sometimes?) Sometimes they get recognized internally only when something goes wrong that needs to get fixed, now. Sometimes they’re asked to wear so many hats and expected to be masters at media pitching, crisis management, Facebook, Twitter, speech writing, SEO and measurement dashboards that they run to webinars and conferences to boost their skills, only to be frozen by anxiety when they see how much they have to learn.
Sometimes these in-house PR practitioners—and their senior leaders—need to enlist a PR agency to combat and defeat all of this fatigue and anxiety. What an agency offers is not the brand and reputation of the agency itself—that’s beside the point. It’s the unique mix of skills and experience that an individual agency practitioner can offer that really matters.
Journalists, and the public relations people who work to sway them, deal in a jargon of their own. Before you wade into the world of the press, either via a chat with a reporter or the hiring of PR help, it would probably help to get a feel for this vocabulary.
Below, we’ve gathered eight terms that you’ve probably heard before but only vaguely understand.
Ironically, PR often gets a bad rep. Although PR professionals see themselves as “reputation managers”, the truth is that some of their own have let the side down badly over the years.
Alastair Campbell was portrayed by many as a manipulative spin-doctor; crazy fashion PR Lynne Franks was satirised in Absolutely Fabulous; while Andy Coulson, David Cameron's former communications director, had a spell in prison (albeit as the result of his journalistic endeavours, not his later PR days).
So it is refreshing that celebrity PR Alan Edwards - who has advised David Bowie and David Beckham - is curating a rare exhibition dedicated to public relations at London's V&A Museum this spring.
Entitled Print the Myth: PR and the Modern Age, the exhibition sets out to explain and celebrate PR's role in shaping popular culture and politics in modern Britain.
Mafalda Correia's insight:
Great idea! And one more reason to return to one of the greatest european museums.
"Reality Show President: Inside the White House PR Machine" was produced by Todd Krainin and was released on May 9, 2014. Here's the original write up:
I am who the media says I am. I say what they say I say. I become who they say I've become."—Barack Obama, The Audacity of Hope, 2006.
"Let me say it as simply as I can: Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."—Barack Obama, 2009.
Which Barack Obama is telling the truth here? Writing as a U.S. senator from Illinois, Obama laments that there will always be a barrier—the independent media—between him and the people he serves. As a public figure, his identity will be created by reporters and critics that he cannot control, distorted by the lenses of photographers who don't answer directly to him.
Only three years later, as commander in chief, President Obama took a far more trusting tone with the media. In his earliest speeches, he promised an administration of unparalleled openness, access, and integrity. Indeed, he asserted he was running "the most transparent administration in history" just four months before Edward Snowden spilled the beans on the National Security Agency.
"The White House has effectively become a broadcast company," says Michael Shaw, publisher of Bagnewsnotes.com, a site dedicated to the analysis of news images. Shaw explains how strategically composed photos, taken by official White House photographers, travel from social media sites that are controlled by the administration to the front pages of newspapers around the world.
Facebook is piloting an enterprise solution that helps employees collaborate, sources tell CNBC.
The company plans to keep the At Work experience totally separate from the rest of its tools, an acknowledgment that people see Facebook as being primarily for personal communication and may not want any crossover.
All the info within the Facebook At Work experience will remain there, and won't be transferred over to your personal Facebook timeline, sources said.
For now, Facebook isn't making any money off this. It's not putting any ads on the pilot program, nor is it charging the pilot companies. Though it's early in the test, the new product will likely be rolled out in the next couple of months, sources said.
Mafalda Correia's insight:
As there are so many colaboration tools already available, will FB be able to offer a better solution?
Nasceu uma revista de automóveis digital à séria. Está disponível em versão web e app, para ser lida em qualquer pc, mac, tablet ou telemóvel. Sem códigos de acesso ou assinaturas. É só entrar e desfrutar...
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -- George Bernard Shaw
Communication is a core part of the human experience. And yet, we still struggle with it. Despite the explosion of communication technology, under-communication remains a major challenge at work. It prevents organizations, and employees, from reaching their full potential.
A 2014 survey from About.com found the top three reasons why people do not like their jobs — accounting for 62 percent of responses — were communication related. The biggest issue, a lack of direction from management, was followed by poor communication overall, and constant change that is not well communicated.
The method used to improve the manufacture of washing powder can teach us a lot about the methods we should use to improve our communications strategies.
The Unilever example is a great illustration of the power of trial and error, but in reality few business problems are solved purely from testing random variations. Instead, they are best approached through a combination of “top-down” expert thinking and “bottom-up” trial and error – that is, combining existing opinions and assumptions with a system of feedback and adjustment.
Corporate communications, being a complex field, will benefit from the same approach. There are plenty of expert opinions in the field, but what is the most efficient system of feedback and adjustment?
Studies show that people are becoming more and more reluctant to believe top-level executives who often serve as the public faces of organizations,[...]people believe experts and normal employees twice as much as they do CEOs. This is problematic because the CEO is the most public face of the company.
Driven by fear that they will lose their clients, many agencies are giving away their services for free – and it’s damaging for all
There are two reasons agencies need to stop giving away their time. The obvious one is the detrimental effect it has on the business itself. Employees will work more than they should, giving less time to new business which is necessary to help the business grow. Other clients may also get less time leaving you with a risk of losing their business. As we all know, rumours spread quickly in the industry and it doesn’t take long for an agency to become known as a sweatshop.
The second reason is the agency employees. These are the people who are expected to work long hours and be contactable 24 hours a day. If they are flat out working on certain clients to keep them happy, they will then have to pick up other work or new business afterwards, meaning days become longer, work-life balance isn’t balanced, salaries do not increase, motivation drops and the worst part of it all: negativity increases. We all know that negativity spreads like wildfire.
Every press release. Every event invite. Every media alert. Everything.
Like most of the journalists I know, I spend about a third of my workday writing articles, another third making bad jokes on Twitter, and another third deleting press releases. It's not that I’m unappreciative of the PR people who score me interviews and pass along stories—it’s just that there are so frighteningly many of them, and for every inbox blast that’s relevant to me, there are four or five more that may as well be from a Nigerian prince.
But what if I’m missing something? What if I’m turning my back on the next great American cookbook or home appliance chain or photos of LeAnn Rimes’s latest outfit? I resolved to find out. Inspired by New York magazine’s “I Talked to Strangers for a Week, and It Did Not Go Well,” I set about engaging with the digital strangers who pop into my inbox every workday. In brief: I replied to every PR email I received for an entire week, regardless of the subject matter or sender.
The creative process– from the first drop of paint on the canvas to the art exhibition– involves a mix of emotions, drives, skills, and behaviors. It’d be miraculous if these emotions, traits and behaviors didn’t often conflict with each other during the creative process, creating inner and outer tension. Indeed, creative people are often seen as weird, odd, and eccentric.
Over the years, scientists have attempted to capture the personality of creative people. But it hasn’t been easy putting them under the microscope. As psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, who has interviewed creative people across various fields points out, creative people “show tendencies of thought and action that in most people are segregated. They contain contradictory extremes; instead of being an “individual,” each of them is a “multitude.”
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