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Why Facebook pages are a bust for brands

Why Facebook pages are a bust for brands | PR and The Tech World | Scoop.it
Coca-Cola, Red Bull and Converse are the top three brands on Facebook, combining for more than 150 million fans. It's a staggering figure, but they really can't afford to have any fewer, given that...

Via Cendrine Marrouat - SocialMediaSlant.com
Scott Gipson's insight:

Managing a Facebook page for your brand is not easy and not everyone can do it effectively. This article attempts to explain why Facebook pages along with other obligatory social strategies, have largely been a disappointment for meaningful, two-way interactions between brands and consumers. According to this article, Facebook brand pages are not built to engage more than a tiny fraction of consumers/fans.

            After a brand puts up a new Facebook post, users can “Like,” comment on or share the material. While each one only takes a couple seconds, how much of a real connection can you have to a brand in a matter of seconds? When evaluating engagement, Facebook places the greatest value on comments because they take the longest amount of time to complete. In a recent review of more than 10,000 comments on posts from top brands, the average comment was nine words long. These comments ranged from full sentences to LOLs, smiley faces and completely off-topic responses like, “I like pop tarts.” The fact that people can simply respond doesn’t make it truly interactive, meaningful or effective for brands. You could argue that it’s more publishing than it is engagement.
            When a brand on Facebook posts a status update and asks for “Likes,” shares, and comments it’s essentially saying the same thing at the same time to the same people in the same way. Few, if any, respond. The solution is to speak to consumers directly and in more personalized ways. While brands can’t speak to each person in a one-to-one conversation, brands can share personal communication with their followers through targeting and segmenting posts to users based on individuals’ unique interests, “Likes,” response patterns, and other useful data. This method will most likely result in a higher response rate and reliability. Also, Facebook doesn’t allow brands to send welcome messages or any personal acknowledgement whatsoever. If you join a mailing list, subscribe to a site or do anything with a brand, they’re quick to respond with a thank-you and “welcome aboard.” Facebook ensures no such correspondence occurs, even if brands and consumers would like it to. Therefore, if Facebook prevents the most basic attempts for two parties to start a relationship, it can’t actually be facilitating relationship building.
            Lastly, big “fan” counts are important signals to senior managers and competitors who want to know if you have a presence on Facebook. However, brands know that value is driven from actual interaction and user participation on the page itself. With subsequent interactions not extending beyond a tiny portion of fans, a large fan count is really a signal of just how many people you’ve gathered to ignore you.
            This article ties into Chapter 6: Consumer Relations in our Public Relations Practices book. “If you don’t succeed in attracting and then building continuing relationships with consumers, you’ll be out of business and nothing else will matter” (Center et al. pg. 131). On one hand I agree with the author of this article. Facebook brand pages have become a place where brands collect their customers just to ignore them later, alongside those who just “Liked” their page for a chance to win a free iPad. However, I still think Facebook brand pages are very important for companies. Businesses just need to realize that Facebook brand pages have limited capabilities when it comes to building relationships with consumers. 

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Cendrine Marrouat - SocialMediaSlant.com's curator insight, December 1, 2013 12:44 PM

 

Those who have followed me for a while know how much I dislike Facebook.

 

Whenever I post something on my Page, I don’t expect much beyond a couple of likes and some neutral comments, such as “great”, “bad” or “LOL”. My audience is not really there.

 

And the worst part is: No one sees my updates anyway. The article says 16% but it is an average and a lot of business owners are more in the lower 10%.

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​What will NASA be doing with its new quantum computer?

​What will NASA be doing with its new quantum computer? | PR and The Tech World | Scoop.it
Earlier this year, NASA, in partnership with Google, acquired the world's largest quantum computer. But just what does the space agency plan to do with a device with such revolutionary potential?

Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald, Thomas Faltin
Scott Gipson's insight:

       NASA partnered with Google earlier this year to acquire the world’s largest quantum computer. Quantum computers are different from digital computers based on transistors. While digital computers require data to be encoded into binary digits (bits), quantum computation uses quantum properties to represent data and perform operations based on these data. This article discusses the revolutionary potential of the device.

       Quantum systems have the ability to irrevocably change the way we go about computation. Unlike traditional silicon-based computers, these systems tap into the eerie effects of quantum mechanics (namely superposition, entanglement, and parallelism), enabling them to mull over all possible solutions to a problem in a single instant. According to physicist David Deutsch, a quantum system can work on a million computations at once while a standard desktop PC works on just one. These computers will help us find the most convenient solution to a complex problem. As such, they're poised to revolutionize the way we go about data analysis and optimization which include such realms as air traffic control, courier routing, weather prediction, database querying, and hacking tough encryption schemes.

        "Quantum computing has generated a lot of interest recently, particularly the ways in which the D-Wave quantum computer can be used to solve interesting problems. We've had the machine operational since September, and we felt the time is right to give the public a little bit of background on what we've been doing,” said Dr. Rupak Biswas, deputy director of the Exploration Technology Directorate at NASA's Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley.

        Biswas's team is currently looking at three very basic applications, including one that would serve as a day-planner for busy astronauts who are up in orbit. "If you're trying to schedule or plan a whole bunch of tasks on the International Space Station, you can do certain tasks only if certain preconditions are met," he explains. "And after you perform the task you end up in another state where you may or may not be able to perform another task. So that's considered a hard optimization problem that a quantum system could potentially solve."

        NASA is also heavily involved in developing the next generation of air traffic control systems. These involve not only commercial flights, but also cargo and unmanned flights. Currently, much of this is done in a consolidated fashion by air traffic control. But at later stages, when more distributed control is required and highly complex variables like weather need to be taken into account, quantum computing could certainly help.

       This article ties into Chapter 9: Business-to-Business Relations in our Case Studies textbook. “Tactics in business-to-business relations and partner relationship management help companies build productive relationships with other companies” (Guth & Marsh pg. 194). Considering what I’ve read in this article, so far the relationship between the two companies seems to be pretty productive. 

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Inside iOS 7: Apple's partnership with Yahoo deepens

Inside iOS 7: Apple's partnership with Yahoo deepens | PR and The Tech World | Scoop.it

The relationship between Apple and Yahoo has seemingly expanded in the development of iOS 7, strengthening the bond that has existed between the two companies since the launch of the first iPhone in 2007.


Via François-Xavier Schaeffer
Scott Gipson's insight:

        As stated in Chapter 9 of our case studies textbook, “business-to-business relations are the management of relationships with businesses that have resources that your business needs to achieve its goals” (Guth & Marsh pg.191). When the first iPhone launched in 2007, Apple partnered with two companies to deliver content to users: Google and Yahoo. Fast-forward to 2013, Google is now a chief competitor to Apple and has virtually disappeared from the built-in iPhone software. However, this article examines the growing partnership between Apple and Yahoo.
            Reports first surfaced in April indicating that Apple and Yahoo were in talks to deepen integration of Yahoo's services into Apple's iOS platform. With the reveal of iOS 7 in September, those rumors were confirmed with two key changes to Apple's mobile operating system: a new Weather application and built-in support for Yahoo's Flickr photography service. The new Weather application and Flickr integration verify that Apple and Yahoo plan to collaborate on iOS software and services to an even greater degree than before.
         Yahoo had a hand in developing and designing the native Weather application in iOS 7, and is supplying more than just weather data to Apple. In addition, Yahoo data, such as sports stats, help power Apple's voice-activated "assistant" Siri. Also, when viewing a picture in the Photos app in iOS 7, users can now select the share button and choose Flickr to upload their photos. Yahoo Weather was recently recognized by Apple at the company's annual design awards handed out at the 2013 Worldwide Developers Conference.                    

         Some could agrue Yahoo is a perfect partner for Apple. Unlike Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Facebook, Yahoo doesn’t compete or overlap with Apple in numerous areas other companies do. Yahoo doesn’t build hardware or operating systems, nor does it operate a mobile-app store. The growing partnership between Apple and Yahoo represents a push by Yahoo Chief Executive Marissa Mayer to increase the company's presence on mobile devices. A deeper partnership with Apple, which analysts estimate will sell more than 200 million iPhones and iPads this year, could potentially reverse Web traffic declines that Yahoo has seen on some of its sites and help transform the company into a bigger mobile-software player. “It ultimately means that there is really an opportunity for strong partnerships and that's what we'll be focused on," said Mayer at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
            Clearly, Apple and Yahoo are reaping the benefits from their business-to-business relationship. Each company has something the other company needs in order to achieve their goals and satisfy customers at the same time. The two companies seem to be managing their relationship effectively. 

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Katherine McGehee's curator insight, June 25, 2013 7:35 AM

I wish Apple and Google would play nice.

David Ayad's curator insight, June 25, 2013 1:23 PM

I wish Apple and Adobe will play the same too...

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Citigroup Fined $30 Million for Apple iPhone Analyst Rulebreaking

Citigroup Fined $30 Million for Apple iPhone Analyst Rulebreaking | PR and The Tech World | Scoop.it
The banking group, Citi has been fined US$30 million for misconduct by a research analyst who sent early copies of confidential information about an Apple iPhone assembly company to investors before it was made public.

Via Deepak Pershad
Scott Gipson's insight:

        Evidently, an employee at Citigroup needs to read Chapter 5 in our case studies textbook because he just cost his company a lot of money. The banking group, Citi has been fined $30 million for misconduct by a research analyst who sent early copies of confidential information about an Apple iPhone assembly company to investors before it was made public. The fine is one of the largest given in recent years for faults by a research analyst. The Massachusetts Securities Division alleged that the researcher provided unpublished information to hedge funds and investors applied it. Citigroup analyst Kevin Chang emailed research describing significant iPhone production cuts to SAC, T. Rowe Price, Citadel and GLG Partners ahead of official publication.
            Three of the four (SAC Capital, T. Rowe Price and Citadel) acted on that information, selling off shares between the time they received it and the time Citigroup released it to the broader market. And by doing so, they saved themselves quite a bit of money; Apple’s share price fell 5.2 percent on December 14, the day Chang’s research was published. “It seems that the concept that investors are to be presented with a level playing field when it comes to the product of research analysts is a lesson that must be learned over and over again,” Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin said in a statement. “But it’s important that it should be taught as often as necessary.”
            Following an investigation, Citi has agreed to a $30 million fine, and a number of reviews of its internal procedures to ensure such a breach does not occur again. "We are pleased to have this matter resolved. We take our regulatory compliance requirements very seriously and train all of our employees about these obligations. We are also constantly working to improve, manage and monitor the compliance and controls process," said Citi in a statement. Needless to say, the Citigroup analyst who made the costly error, Kevin Chang, no longer works for the company. It’s another unfortunate stumble for Citigroup, which last year paid a $2 million fine to settle a complaint that one of its analysts improperly disclosed confidential information ahead of Facebook’s IPO.
            This article ties in effortlessly with Chapter 5: Investor Relations in our case studies textbook. “The volatility of the stock markets in recent years has brought turmoil and new challenges to investor relations. Significant among those challenges are corporate scandals and consequent legislation, a fractured relationship with traditional public relations, and the name of the profession itself” (Guth & Marsh pg. 90). The research analyst at Citigroup knew he was emailing confidential information to investors but decided to disregard the rules and regulations anyway. 

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Apple’s supplier relationship with Samsung moving to ‘hate-hate’ terms: Report

Apple’s supplier relationship with Samsung moving to ‘hate-hate’ terms: Report | PR and The Tech World | Scoop.it
The supplier relationship between Apple and Samsung is believed to have been on rocky terms because of the ongoing legal feud between the two rivals, and a new report out of Korea describes it as having moved from “love-hate” to “hate-hate”.

Via EA
Scott Gipson's insight:

      Apple still relies on archrival Samsung for the chips powering its iPhones but not for much longer according to experts. This article is about the business-to-business relationship Apple and Samsung have with each other. As defined in our textbook in Chapter 9, B2B is “the management of relationships with businesses that have resources that your business needs to achieve its goals” (Guth & Marsh pg. 191).

     Apple has needed Samsung’s resources to meet supply demands. Samsung has been Apple's go-to manufacturer for the past several chip generations, most recently producing the A5, the A6, and this year's A7 chip, found in the iPhone 5S. In simple terms, Samsung has been supplying Apple for many years with the powerful processor it needs to power its devices.

      However, the supplier relationship between Apple and Samsung is believed to be on rocky terms as a result of the patent infringement case Apple won against Samsung in 2012, resulting in Samsung being ordered to pay over one billion dollars in damages to Apple.  As a result of the growing tensions, Apple has begun the process of lessening its dependency on Samsung for chip making.

       If Apple were to significantly decrease its reliance on Samsung as a manufacturer, it would have a noticeable impact on the South Korean company’s bottom line. One report from earlier this year suggested that Apple was Samsung’s largest customer, constituting as much as 9% of Samsung’s revenue.

       Apple has already stopped using Samsung screens in its iPhone, and cut back on the number it buys from Samsung for use in the iPad. According to sources, Apple is also going elsewhere for its flash memory. Most recently, Apple signed a deal with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) to produce “some” of the processing chips starting in 2014, so expecting a shift away from Samsung is not far fetched.

     One Samsung insider believes Apple feels threatened. “Apple is threatened by Samsung’s rapid rise. Apple is excluding it from major projects. However, it can’t completely wipe Samsung from its business partner list.”

     Both companies have been battling ferociously around the world with each attempting to block each other’s products in key markets. In an effort to have the billion-dollar judgment reversed, Samsung has challenged the credibility of the jury’s foreman, alleging that he had a conflict of interest because of an undisclosed lawsuit with Seagate, his former employer.

    Apple and Samsung were ideal partners a decade ago, when the two didn't really compete. The business-to-business relationship benefited both companies and involved little problems. But now the two companies compete directly in the mobile-phone market and have spent the past two years suing and countersuing over the look, feel and features of their devices. Hopefully, for the sake of the consumer, the two companies can figure out a solution to continue business with one another. 

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Google crunches data on munching in office - Washington Post (2013)

Google crunches data on munching in office - Washington Post (2013) | PR and The Tech World | Scoop.it

Last year Google had an M&M problem. So as it does with most dilemmas, the Internet giant put its data wizards into action. 

 

Employees were eating too much of the free candy and that, the firm surmised, might hinder efforts to keep workers healthy and happy. So in what could be called Project M&M, a special ops force of behavioral science PhDs conducted surveys of snacking patterns, collected data on the proximity of M&M bins to any given employee, consulted academic papers on food psychology, and launched an experiment. 

 

What if the company kept the chocolates hidden in opaque containers but prominently displayed dried figs, pistachios and other healthful snacks in glass jars? The results: In the New York office alone, employees consumed 3.1 million fewer calories from M&Ms over seven weeks. That’s a decrease of nine vending machine-size packages of M&Ms for each of the office’s 2,000 employees.

 

The titan of Internet data is taking its own medicine, using the data analysis that has helped the company produce $55 billion in revenue each year to improve the morale and productivity of its 40,000 employees. Many tech companies offer perks such as free snacks or cafeteria food. But at Google, almost every benefit is broken down into crunchable, poll-able or graphicable data, including salaries, the length of maternity leave, the size of the plates used at the food bar or even the squishy goal of workplace happiness.

 

Google says it’s too hard to prove that the M&M experiment directly led to a svelter staff or whether employees felt happier... But the Mountain View, Calif., firm often ranks high on best places to work surveys by Fortune magazine and other business publications. And the company credits efforts like the M&M project as a testament to the benefits of science over feel-good ideas or gut instinct that have dominated human resource philosophy. 

 

“Data can be a way at getting to the truth. When people talk about data, it becomes an abstract of machines, robots and terabytes of information. But really, it’s just facts; numbers that describe a reality,” said Laszlo Bock, senior vice president of People Operations, the group overseeing most human resource issues.

 

Of course, the use of data doesn’t negate a manager’s instinct or common sense, he said. In August of last year, Google started giving death benefits because it was “the right thing to do,” Bock said — a decision that was not based on an in-depth data analysis... But too often, Bock said, leaders at other firms rely on what feels right without considering the truths that can be laid bare in the collection of data... 


Via Alexander J. Stein
Scott Gipson's insight:

        This article is about Google and its employees. Evidently, last year Google had a problem that involved their employees eating too much free candy at work, specifically M&Ms. They thought this might hinder efforts to keep workers happy and healthy. In order to fix this problem they conducted surveys of snacking patterns, consulted academic studies on food psychology, collected data on the proximity of M&M bins to any given employee, and then launched an experiment.

       They hid the M&Ms and displayed other healthful snacks in plain sight. The results showed that employees consumed 3.1 million less calories from M&Ms over seven weeks. The company credits efforts like these as a testament to the benefits of science over feel-good ideas that have dominated human resource philosophy.

       “Data can be a way at getting to the truth. When people talk about data, it becomes an abstract of machines, robots and terabytes of information. But really, it’s just facts; numbers that describe a reality,” said Laszlo Bock, senior vice president of People Operations, the group overseeing most human resource issues.

        Google frequently ranks high on best places to work surveys by Fortune magazine and other business publications. Google offers employees free meals, napping stations, massages, death benefits and other perks. In the New York office of Google there are four full cafeterias and 35 “micro kitchens.” The co-founder of Google, Sergey Brin, insists that every Google employee be no more than 200 feet from free food. He believes that food brings people together and new ideas and products could be imagined while meeting at the cafeteria or dining halls.

        Experts are split on the motive behind such perks Google gives to its employees. Some say Google is trying to prove that it cares about its employees and wants them to be happy. “There may be a symbolic importance in the M&Ms, where an employee could interpret the experiment as part of a culture that cares for them, where leaders are connected to its people,” said John Nelson, a career expert and author of “What Color is My Parachute for Retirement.”

        However, other experts are skeptical. “They may have really good motives, but for a for-profit business, the motives are ultimately to make a profit, and everyone is a cog in that wheel for creating the good ideas, useful tools and other things the company is creating.” A spokesperson for Google said they do not use such benefits to keep people in the office.

        In my opinion, I think Google knows exactly what it is doing. While they may genuinely care about their employee’s health and happiness, they also know keeping them healthy and happy while at work is only going to increase the company’s productivity. They realize that positive employee relations will benefit them as a company. This idea goes along with Chapter 3 in our case studies textbook. “The bottom line is that employee communication is no longer a “soft” function but rather a business function that drives performance and contributes to a company’s financial success” (Guth & Marsh, pg.33)

            

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Alexander J. Stein's curator insight, September 2, 2013 2:56 PM

"leaders at other firms rely on what feels right without considering the truths that can be laid bare in the collection of data" >> This also applies to other fields, where what peole intuitively feel is the "right" or "better" solution is given preference over other solutions without looking at the data (or, perhaps worse even, the data is cherry-picked and doctored, i.e. it is not used to guide decision-making but to justify a pre-conceived idea)... 

Sarah VanSlette's comment, September 15, 2013 9:01 PM
Great last quote, Scott. Employee communication was never a "soft" function-- it was always a critical component of success.
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Contrary to public claims, Apple can read your iMessages

Contrary to public claims, Apple can read your iMessages | PR and The Tech World | Scoop.it
Wikipedia Contrary to public claims, Apple employees can read communications sent with its iMessage service, according to researchers who have reverse engineered it.

Via Thomas Faltin
Scott Gipson's insight:

         Everyone knows that you have to take care of your customers. Strong and effective customer relations can be the direct route to long-term success. For the most part, Apple has always succeeded in satisfying their customers. However, this article discusses the recent issue of Apple and its employees being able to read communications sent amongst users with its iMessage service.

         Earlier this year, Apple said: "Conversations which take place over iMessage and FaceTime are protected by end-to-end encryption so no one but the sender and receiver can see or read them. Apple cannot decrypt that data." But Quarkslab, a Paris-based security firm, disputed those claims at a Hack in the Box conference in Kuala Lumpur earlier this year. Quarkslab claimed, on its blog: "Apple can read your iMessages if they choose to, or if they are required to do so by a government order. There is end-to-end encryption as Apple claims, but the weakness is in the key infrastructure as it is controlled by Apple: they can change a key anytime they want, thus read the content of our iMessages."

         Hackers could not read the messages, as they would require physical control of the device and the installation of malicious software such as fake certificates. However, Apple employees would not need this and could control the infrastructure without tampering with the device.

         Apple made their claims about security encryption in June, following information leaks by National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, who classified information about the agency's practices. An Apple spokesman said: "iMessage is not architected to allow Apple to read messages. The research discussed theoretical vulnerabilities that would require Apple to re-engineer the iMessage system to exploit it, and Apple has no plans or intentions to do so."
         The good news for Apple consumers is that QuarksLab researchers said that exploits against the iMessage infrastructure would require so much effort that they could probably be carried out only by three-letter agencies, and even then only under limited circumstances. But they went on to say there's no technical measure stopping Apple employees, working under a secret court order or otherwise, from performing the same kind of attack and making it completely transparent to the parties exchanging iMessages. Unlike third-party attacks, these insider exploits would require no tampering of end-user devices. iMessage contents are encrypted with a random AES key that's encrypted with an RSA key belonging to the recipient. A separate ECDSA key is used for authentication. The payload is sent to one or more Apple servers and ultimately delivered to one or more devices belonging to the recipient. Since Apple controls the entire infrastructure, there's nothing preventing company employees from swapping out the proper keys with ones controlled by Apple or other parties.

           This article ties into Chapter 8: Consumer Relations in our Case Studies book. The goal of consumer relations is to build positive relationships with customers. The assumption is that the more positive relationships with customers will result in higher sales for the company. Clearly, Apple is dealing with some friction in the consumer relations category. However, I think they have responded quickly and directly to dismiss the claims being made against them, much to their benefit. 

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Why Facebook pages are a bust for brands

Why Facebook pages are a bust for brands | PR and The Tech World | Scoop.it
Coca-Cola, Red Bull and Converse are the top three brands on Facebook, combining for more than 150 million fans. It's a staggering figure, but they really can't afford to have any fewer, given that...

Via Cendrine Marrouat - SocialMediaSlant.com
Scott Gipson's insight:

Managing a Facebook page for your brand is not easy and not everyone can do it effectively. This article attempts to explain why Facebook pages along with other obligatory social strategies, have largely been a disappointment for meaningful, two-way interactions between brands and consumers. According to this article, Facebook brand pages are not built to engage more than a tiny fraction of consumers/fans.

            After a brand puts up a new Facebook post, users can “Like,” comment on or share the material. While each one only takes a couple seconds, how much of a real connection can you have to a brand in a matter of seconds? When evaluating engagement, Facebook places the greatest value on comments because they take the longest amount of time to complete. In a recent review of more than 10,000 comments on posts from top brands, the average comment was nine words long. These comments ranged from full sentences to LOLs, smiley faces and completely off-topic responses like, “I like pop tarts.” The fact that people can simply respond doesn’t make it truly interactive, meaningful or effective for brands. You could argue that it’s more publishing than it is engagement.
            When a brand on Facebook posts a status update and asks for “Likes,” shares, and comments it’s essentially saying the same thing at the same time to the same people in the same way. Few, if any, respond. The solution is to speak to consumers directly and in more personalized ways. While brands can’t speak to each person in a one-to-one conversation, brands can share personal communication with their followers through targeting and segmenting posts to users based on individuals’ unique interests, “Likes,” response patterns, and other useful data. This method will most likely result in a higher response rate and reliability. Also, Facebook doesn’t allow brands to send welcome messages or any personal acknowledgement whatsoever. If you join a mailing list, subscribe to a site or do anything with a brand, they’re quick to respond with a thank-you and “welcome aboard.” Facebook ensures no such correspondence occurs, even if brands and consumers would like it to. Therefore, if Facebook prevents the most basic attempts for two parties to start a relationship, it can’t actually be facilitating relationship building.
            Lastly, big “fan” counts are important signals to senior managers and competitors who want to know if you have a presence on Facebook. However, brands know that value is driven from actual interaction and user participation on the page itself. With subsequent interactions not extending beyond a tiny portion of fans, a large fan count is really a signal of just how many people you’ve gathered to ignore you.
            This article ties into Chapter 6: Consumer Relations in our Public Relations Practices book. “If you don’t succeed in attracting and then building continuing relationships with consumers, you’ll be out of business and nothing else will matter” (Center et al. pg. 131). On one hand I agree with the author of this article. Facebook brand pages have become a place where brands collect their customers just to ignore them later, alongside those who just “Liked” their page for a chance to win a free iPad. However, I still think Facebook brand pages are very important for companies. Businesses just need to realize that Facebook brand pages have limited capabilities when it comes to building relationships with consumers. 

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Cendrine Marrouat - SocialMediaSlant.com's curator insight, December 1, 2013 12:44 PM

 

Those who have followed me for a while know how much I dislike Facebook.

 

Whenever I post something on my Page, I don’t expect much beyond a couple of likes and some neutral comments, such as “great”, “bad” or “LOL”. My audience is not really there.

 

And the worst part is: No one sees my updates anyway. The article says 16% but it is an average and a lot of business owners are more in the lower 10%.

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Microsoft Ends Competitive Employee Rankings

Microsoft Ends Competitive Employee Rankings | PR and The Tech World | Scoop.it
Anyone who pays attention to the CopyPress blog knows how much emphasis we put on company culture. Can you blame us? A company’s internal structure accounts for its successes and failures almost as much as its product.

Via Thomas Faltin
Scott Gipson's insight:

         It can be said that a company’s internal structure is just as important as the products it creates. Apparently, Microsoft realized they needed to make a change to their internal structure because of tension amongst co-workers. The company recently announced they would be ending their competitive employee ranking system. Analysts have pointed to the decline in Microsoft market shares due to their employee ranking system.

         Microsoft had a stacking system that rated employees on a curve. What this means is that a certain amount of employees were labeled as best performers, good performers, average performers, and poor performers. If everyone met their goals, but some employees went above and beyond, those who didn’t do extra were still treated as if they hadn’t met their goals. Basically, they were fast, but not fast enough. This ranking system is what determined who was promoted and fired.

         The ranking system created an environment of competition. It didn’t matter if you were doing well; you needed to being doing better than everyone else to avoid getting fired and to receive any promotions. Essentially, there was no “teamwork” or “everyone is a winner” in this system.
           Due to the increased competition factor, employees started sabotaging one another. People withheld information from each other and actively campaigned against their coworkers to make sure they would get rewarded and others would get fired. It was all about the rankings. It also affected the team building process. Stronger employees would pick weaker teammates so they would look better and get ranked higher. Imagine LeBron James playing with high school players so he would look ten times better, that’s basically what they were doing. As you can imagine, that’s not a very healthy company culture.

         Fortunately, they decided to do a way with it. The Microsoft Human Resource department recently sent out a memo to all employees explaining the new emphasis on teamwork and unity. Three main points were covered in the memo. First, employees will be reviewed on their own performance, along with their ability to accept input from others and offer input to other people. Microsoft wants employees to start asking each other for their opinions and reviewing their peers’ work to see what can be improved. Second, Microsoft wants to focus on the knowledge and growth of its employees. In the previous system, employees were reviewed every six months. The problem was that each department was on a different timeline. The new system will take the cycles of each department into consideration and build unique plans for employee reviews around them. Lastly, the bonus and reward systems will stay in place, but won’t be doled out on a curve or ranking system. Now bottom employees won’t have to fight to make sure they’re not last and the top won’t worry about getting dethroned.

         This article ties into Chapter 3 in our case studies textbook quite well. “If poor employee relations practices are disastrous, the opposite is also true: Excellent employee relations significantly benefits organizations, including the bottom line” (Guth & Marsh pg. 32). Luckily for Microsoft and their employees, the company has started to realize this concept and make changes accordingly.

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Facebook builds housing near offices, like the old 'company towns' of a century ago

Facebook builds housing near offices, like the old 'company towns' of a century ago | PR and The Tech World | Scoop.it
Facebook is working with a local developer to build a $120 million, 394-unit housing community within walking distance of its offices. The development conjures up memories of so-called company towns at the turn of the 20th century.

Via Color-Art
Scott Gipson's insight:

   One of Facebook's corporate goals is to take care of as many aspects of its employee’s lives as possible. I would say they are doing a remarkable job. Here’s why.

    Facebook recently announced it would be partnering with a local developer in San Francisco to build a $120 million, 394-unit housing community within walking distances from its offices. The 630,000 square-foot rental property will feature the following amenities: café, convenience store, sports pub, bicycle repair shop with onsite storage, pet spa with doggy day care, pet walking services, a dog park, resort inspired pool, spa, and cabana, indoor/outdoor wellness, yoga, and training facility, and a rooftop entertainment deck with three-themed areas. The new housing community will be completed in about two years.

    A Facebook spokeswoman said employees had inquired about places to live near the corporate campus due to the housing shortage. "The beauty of this thing is that it's extremely close to our campus," said John Tenanes, Facebook's director of real estate and an architect involved in the planning. "It's a five-minute bike ride" along a dedicated path that runs along the San Francisco bay, he said. "You don't even have to put on the brakes."

    Facebook already has a 56-acre headquarters, which it moved to in December 2011. The company’s headquarters was designed to feel like a college campus. During the workday programmers bond with advertising product developers over free lattes or ice cream. There is also a company game day, where employees participate in three-legged races and other activities. At night, employees can watch movies on a giant, stadium-style outdoor television screen that appears over an open plaza in the middle of the headquarters.

            Lauryn Hale, a Harvard Business School graduate who was hired by Facebook in 2010, said all the amenities take some stress out of the daily job and allow her to think more creatively. Her favorite thing to do is have a "walking meeting" with another employee, but only after grabbing a frozen yogurt at the sweet shop. "I probably love that too much" she says.
            This article ties in seamlessly with Chapter 3 in our case studies textbook in regards to employee relations. “Today most companies realize that employees are one of their more important publics, often most essential to success. Effective employee communication improves morale, enhances employee retention, and increases the financial value of the organization” (Guth & Marsh pg. 36 & 37). Clearly, Facebook understands the importance of employee relations. 

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Tom cockburn's curator insight, October 8, 2013 3:51 PM

plus ca change plus la meme chose

Sarah VanSlette's curator insight, October 28, 2013 2:12 PM

My student Scott Gipson informed our class about this new project by Facebook, and while the housing sounds very impressive and luxurious, I wonder if employees will tire of always being around their coworkers. Don't we all need time to distance ourselves from work and how can we do that if we are living and mingling with our coworkers 24/7?

Rescooped by Scott Gipson from I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.
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Apple CEO Tim Cook's Uninspiring Style Is Pushing Employees Away

Apple CEO Tim Cook's Uninspiring Style Is Pushing Employees Away | PR and The Tech World | Scoop.it

Despite chief executive Tim Cook's generally pleasant demeanor, the overly corporate culture and general feeling of stagnancy at Apple is spurring employee departures.


Via Riaz Khan
Scott Gipson's insight:

            This article is about Apple and its employees. While most of us may think Apple is a great company, apparently its own employees do not agree. It turns out there is a growing level of dissatisfaction amongst executives and employees, causing many to depart from the company.

              A recruiter with ties to Apple told Reuters that he is "being inundated by LinkedIn messages and emails both by people who I never imagined would leave Apple and by people who have been at Apple for a year, and who joined expecting something different than what they encountered."

              Who is to blame for this mass exodus of employees? According to this article it is Apple CEO, Tim Cook. Cook took over the company in 2011 after Steve Jobs resigned because of health issues. Even though Steve Jobs recommended Cook to take over as CEO of Apple, many believe he doesn’t have the same emotional investment in the details of the products as Jobs did. Other critics also point to the lack of innovation or revolutionary products created since Cook took over as well.

             There’s no doubt in my mind that the corporate environment of Apple shifted once Steve Jobs was no longer in charge. You can’t just replace a guy like Steve Jobs. In 2012 he was named as one of the 20 most influential Americans of all time by Time magazine, placing his name with iconic historical greats such as George Washington, Alexander Graham Bell, and Albert Einstein. "Some worry that Cook's changes to the culture have doused the fire - and perhaps the fear - that drove employees to try to achieve the impossible," reports Reuters.

             Quite frankly I don’t think Tim Cook is the sole reason Apple employees are leaving, but I’m sure his uninspiring style isn’t helping to keep them either. However, according to this article there is at least one thing Cook has in common with Steve Jobs: being mean. He recently fired the man responsible for the Apple Maps debacle, Scott Forstall. Forstall had worked alongside Steve Jobs since 1992 and at the time of his firing was the senior vice president of iOS software for Apple. If Steve Jobs were still alive, many believe Forstall would have no been fired.

             This article ties in perfectly with Chapter 3 in our case studies textbook in regards to employee relations. “But if employees are to help their companies succeed, that success must mean something to them. Employee relations practitioners must share the vision and the values that unite the organization and shape its goals. In the barrage of surveys cited in this chapter, employees have spoken clearly: They want to trust their organizations, they want to communicate with their supervisors, and they want to be part of the team. They want to help create success. Tell employees the truth, tell them often, and tell them what they want to know” (Guth & Marsh, pg.37).

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