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November 12, 2013 Transcript of #CommsChat on #brandvandals

Last week, we featured the authors of the first book to have a hashtag as a title – Steve Earl and Stephen Waddington. The dynamic duo chatted about brand vandalism, crisis management and the abyss of complaints on social media.

Some interesting tweets:

  •  @AllthingsIC A2) Great phrase – ‘caustic criticism’ – key is for brands to be aware of the conversations, both on and offline
  • @mynameisearl T2: Actually moaning can be healthy: gets it off chest/useful feedback. V British #commschat. Normally don’t see #brandvandals coming though
  • @totmac Don’t dismiss people who are passionate because they care about the orgs. brand values and want to see them honoured
  • @NafisaNathani If customers care enough complain social media, will care enough to have conversation allow brands to convert ranters to ravers
  • @wadds A4. I also think we’re impatient. Societal change takes generations, not days or weeks.
  • @wadds Point of #brandvandals is that they’ve always existed. Nothing changes apart from speed and need for PRs to step up

Read the full transcript:

 

 

  1. This is Brittany signing off. G’night all!

  2. Thanks Steve and Stephen for a great . You can pick up a copy of on Amazon. See transcript of the past hour tmrw AM

  3. Simple. PRs need to step up. We’ve never been more relevant. But if don’t we face becoming irrelevant

  4. It has been lovely (ing) with you all, now off to an audience with some stakeholders, publicly 🙂

  5. But it will fade/be forgotten if your experience isn’t matched in store!

  6. A6) I’ve extracted relevant info for IC pros. Yes you still need to read it

  7. . We haven’t quite finished it yet but so far we like it! A great follow up to , well done guys!

  8. Can’t ever see McKinsey suggesting that a client needs to “grow a pair”. Wonder if they have a model for that?

  9. RT : Final thoughts from authors and ? <It’s real. It’s tough. Crack on. Fear no-one.

  10. RT but the speed is unprecedented, which makes it all the more challenging (and exciting)!

  11. Sorry if I missed it, but are malicious in their intent, or simply frustrated and disconnected from brand?

  12. I’ve been doing that all night. Along with T6. That’ll be the next Heathrow terminal.

  13. but the speed is unprecedented, which makes it all the more challenging (and exciting)!

  14. engage with other depts, legal, ops, cust services, make allies internally. the will need it when crisis hits

  15. also available in speech format, a consulting model and there’s documentary in the works

  16. it changed mine… I didn’t know either had attitude. All hail Tesco

  17. Sorry I meant A6. To Q6. Not the type of Audi.

  18. RT Point of is that they’ve always existed. Nothing changes apart from speed and need for PRs to step up

  19. would be interesting to find out! Perhaps Twitter isn’t as powerful as some of us think!

  20. Point of is that they’ve always existed. Nothing changes apart from speed and need for PRs to step up

  21. Only way is engage, engage and engage- treat them like VIPs – it shows to everyone you care about customers in a personal way

  22. A6) I believe there’s a 90 day plan in a certain book….

  23. A5 Be prepared. Review systems and processes. Inject agility. Apply commonsense. Grow a pair

  24. RT with tact, diplomacy, time and honesty

  25. : T5. Listen and then figure out whether to take action. Basic PR best practice. “Agreed.Good PR starts there.

  26. A6) Orgs should deal with by knowing they exist in 1st place (listening), then determine how to respond. Same rules

  27. RT : Last one: How should organisations deal with ? <Buy book/read/act? 😉

  28. I thought it worth capturing via Storify when it happened as had a feeling it may vanish

  29. T5. Listen and then figure out whether to take action. Basic PR best practice.

  30. there’s been a lot written then & since on whether it’s appropriate banter/language. Cust perception? I’m not sure

  31. RT : 1.1 million tweets/day with consumer wine views. listens & turn data into insight for industry <vin-tastic

  32. I didn’t know that another user initiated the whole thing! Brilliant fun

  33. Last one: How should organisations deal with ?

  34. I could see the wicked smile on your lips as you typed that ‘free’ comment and sat back… 😉

  35. very amusing but did it change customer perceptions of these brands?

  36. A5 – One advantage of is the short, sharp shock can prompt a brand rethink and action. Can be avoided though

  37. in a column I did in August, I indicated surprise how activist websites now sometimes being used against co’s.

  38. but even nutters need to be taken seriously – they still have power to disrupt.

  39. 1.1 million tweets per day with consumer views of wine. listens & turn data into insight for wine industry

  40. agree re: expectations. More info and knowledge is a powerful influencer. A4.

  41. +1 RT robust with flexibility is probably the key to handling a crisis successfully

  42. And apart from your time, it’s largely free

  43. A5 Let’s kickoff with an old fashioned bit of listening. Twitter is the largest research group you didn’t commision

  44. XO RT Think it’s worth saying a lot of these ‘brand vandals’ aren’t to be taken THAT seriously–most just nutters

  45. RT : Greenpeace, PETA, nutters? Don’t think so. <Can learn lots from them actually

  46. one way is to be be seen as addressing any issues and engaging with stakeholders (or whatever they are)

  47. robust with flexibility is probably the key to handling a crisis succesfully

  48. Always amazes me I even have the time to be grumpy about lots of things

  49. . don’t forget ! Who can forget their fantastical rap battle…

  50. Greenpeace, PETA, nutters? Don’t think so.

  51. I think increased competition has deepened our expectations for things that are harder to deliver consistently.

  52. RT : A5) “Lack of robust processes in an organisation can endanger it” <Yes. Often overlooked in comms

  53. agree but was disillusion created by faster society or has digital just given more options to act and fight back.

  54. true, social has increased expectations some meet them others slow and fail

  55. RT : T5: How can ire of brand vandals be turned to a brand’s advantage? <Question doesn’t include ‘stakeholder’. Phew!

  56. Think it’s worth saying that a lot of these ‘brand vandals’ aren’t to be taken THAT seriously – most are just nutters

  57. A5) According to a book I read recently (ahem), “Lack of robust processes in an organisation can endanger it”

  58. interesting POV. Do we expect too much?

  59. Equally, many brands/firms still don’t feel ‘answerable’ to regular media

  60. RT I suggest disillusionment isn’t higher, but expectations are. New channels are much more public, too. A4

  61. I suggest disillusionment isn’t higher, but expectations are. New channels are much more public, too. A4

  62. T5: How can the ire of brand vandals be turned to a brand’s advantage?

  63. A4. the mirror of opinion towards brands and business is bigger than it has been before. And maps real time.

  64. Look at as a great example of how the brand is dealing with negativity with humour and sarcasm

  65. Hi Amanda, agreed > RT As well as negativity ppl can say when they are pleased to have issue resolved, and they do

  66. Stakeholders fine with me, reflects world we operate in, particularly in IC. Agreed, their understanding =crucial

  67. Measurable levels higher because it’s simply more visible?

  68. And they do. Critics easily converted to loyal advocates.

  69. or just too much, too fast with often senior stakeholders (oops) not understanding the channel

  70. A4. are levels of disillusionment higher? or is it that people have more ways to express and share what they have always felt.

  71. As well as negativity people can say when they are pleased to have an issue resolved, and they do

  72. A4. I also think we’re impatient. Societal change takes generations, not days or weeks.

  73. A4 All starts within the business. Has to be ‘good’ inside. Can’t expect a slap of make-up to conceal pock-marks

  74. Absolutely! Like during the blackout… an overused example maybe but they made us laugh

  75. A4. Online action rarely translates to real life tangible action. I’m looking for examples

  76. RT : T4: Consumers have opportunity to voice opinion yet disillusionment higher than ever. What’s broken? <The walls?

  77. Disillusionment has always been high- it can just be tracked now. Brands can’t hide from being held to account in every way poss

  78. Q4. A Like, +1, fav is easy. Its mouse click. Real action is hard

  79. A4) Hmm, good question. People always had option to have their say, no permission needed. Disillusionment = more visible?

  80. Q4. This is an interesting issue. Very easy to mobilize a gang online… difficult to mobilize real change.

  81. On complaints: some brands seem to play precious around minor moans in the scheme of things. Sense of perspective & humour go far

  82. yes people complain by social media have been let down by traditional avenues-empathy needed

  83. to be honest… I tailor tags more specifically. Stakeholders generic and assuming

  84. I’m guessing uses something like “my dudes.” 😉

  85. T4: Consumers have the opportunity to voice opinion yet levels of disillusionment are higher than ever. What’s broken?

  86. meh. dissing my use of “stakeholders.” Apparently i’m not “hip” enough a PR practitioner for her.

  87. so what can brands learn from ? Should they try to win them over?

  88. Previous tweet is quote from – it’s level of dialogue that is growing. Positive & negative views always existed

  89. The platforms/channels may have changed , but principles of good communication (and PR) remain constant. Or classic.

  90. anyone with a significant public/network of their own can be an influencer. Bloggers or Twitter/Instagram users

  91. Contrary to rumour and I did not provoke & to brandvandalise each other here over semantics 😉

  92. The cheek! Like keeping things “classic”? This discussion is brought to you by Twitter.

  93. journos are influencers, intermediaries to a public/market

  94. A3) “Engagement isn’t option –it’s necessity. forcing level of dialogue orgs never had to contemplate before”

  95. A3. I’m rather cynical about online complainers. Find most are of the lazy variety with a self-inflated sense of importance.

  96. No one’s mentioned journalists?

  97. Good point! Critics often show they care about an org by taking time to criticize it.

  98. well you go with whatever hipster term you want but referring to stakeholders and publics is Classic public relations.

  99. anyone and everyone. Much easier for people to group around a common cause now. That’s why engagement is v important

  100. RT : If customers care enough to complain, will allow brands to convert ranters to ravers <Yes. Minus glowsticks

  101. yes, we argue that they are the people most likely to become advocates

  102. Well, that would depend as I’m sure it varies from organisation to organisation – customers, councillors, staff etc.

  103. I was being quite serious (ish). I take care with my labels and “stakeholder” is far too dusty and rigid for me .

  104. Agreed > RT A3 Anyone with an interest, good and bad

  105. Interesting RT Don’t dismiss people who are passionate b/c they care about orgs. brand values & want to see them honoured

  106. everyone! We are in an era absolute transparency. Customers, employees, shareholders – we are living world activism

  107. A3) Huge list & growing! Employees, customers, future & ex emp, politicians etc. Various methods bt all passionate & relevant POV

  108. I think stakeholders accurately describes the group referenced, too.

  109. smart orgs will, especially if it becomes a reputational issue.

  110. A3 Anyone with an interest, good and bad

  111. RT : On to T3: Who is holding organisations to account and how? <Funded detractors down to individuals with a grudge?

  112. If customers care enough complain social media, will care enough to have conversation allow brands to convert ranters to ravers

  113. Don’t dismiss people who are passionate because they care about the orgs. brand values and want to see them honoured

  114. there really isn’t any better options, are there? Certainly not “fans.” c

  115. On to T3: Who are the individuals that are holding organisations to account and how are they doing it?

  116. Grads: The other good thing about is that you can pick up lots of interesting PR/comms people to follow.

  117. Saying that “stakeholders” “old hat” one of the saddest things I’ve ever seen in a Twitter chat . Have a STAKE in co.

  118. Join the conversation in progress with by tweeting questions to authors and

  119. A2) I liked the focus in the book on looking on the inside of organisations too – can also be employees

  120. T2: Actually moaning can be healthy: gets it off chest/useful feedback. V British . Normally don’t see coming though

  121. what’s your opinion on the idea that there’s a recent shift of brand focus from reputation to relationship management?

  122. Same terminology I use. MT : from a PR POV I favour “stakeholders” & “publics.” Esp. in 2-way comms.

  123. Yup Audiences SIT & watch theatre or music. Stakeholders/Publics more involved. c

  124. Hi Judy. No, as in caustic is an apt word to describe potentially corrosive comments. Didn’t mention amusement at all

  125. Agreed! Some people are there just to cause trouble and you can usually tell

  126. True – multiple ways to get in touch and air views

  127. Hey is “caustic criticism” a snarky way of saying a subjective POV that is amusing?

  128. T2 part 2: How do you tell whether something is an act of vandalism or just caustic criticism? >By assessing intention

  129. It also has the instantaneous/simultaneous factor about it. I can moan at you online *while* waiting in a queue

  130. SMedia makes previously ‘invisible’ conversations visible. Smart brands are those who are listening via

  131. MT T2. challenge for orgs is they now need to have social embedded through operational areas of enterprise to manage it

  132. Yes from a damage standpoint wheat must be sorted from chaff

  133. Hi Tom, indeed. SMedia makes previously ‘invisible’ conversations visible. Smart brands are those who are listening

  134. A2. Scroll back through the person’s account. If a persistent malcontent, it will soon become obvious.

  135. T2. challenge for orgs is that they now need to have social embedded through the operational areas of the enterprise to manage it

  136. T2 …and some people find moaning on their favourite social media of choice cathartic. Apparently 🙂

  137. A2) Great phrase – ‘caustic criticism’ – key is for brands to be aware of the conversations, both on and offline

  138. T2 Social gives people a new channel. Its easy to tweet a complaint that hang on a phone line for 20 mins.

  139. Agreed. People have always shared their dissent. Social media just makes it more direct.

  140. and they have access to the same tools and they’re also more agile

  141. “I’m not a jam jar so don’t put a label on me.” (From a Harlequin Romance based in Australia.) 🙂

  142. Yes ‘war’ takes on extreme significance on Armistice Day. But if work isn’t war, hardly a skirmish

  143. its a label. Use your noun and verbs of choice

  144. from a public relations point of view I favour “stakeholders” and “publics.” Especially in two-way communication.

  145. A2) Will always be dissenters against brands. Social media purely another option for voices to be heard & views shared

  146. fair play, timing with this tweetchat ain’t great. The book is 9 months work, but the metaphor works.

  147. If not an audience – people? Just a label – important thing is indivduals and their influence/views are recognised

  148. T2 part 2: How do you tell whether something is an act of vandalism or just caustic criticism?

  149. T2 part 1: Is social media mobilising the angry mob or is it merely an outlet for people who moan and bitch?

  150. I am happy to heckle you as well, it’s simply that I “know” better. (Don’t know you at all. Hello!)

  151. question is how many orgs are ready for that? No many in my experience.

  152. RT : How can companies turn into brand advocates? <Using data, delicacy and bravery

  153. I think ‘war’ is an inappropriate word to use, any day, but especially today, Armistice Day.

  154. the internet has completely democratized media. Anyone can publish and build an audience.

  155. Evening all, sorry I’m late. Note to followers: Am taking part in for next 50 minutes. Come & join in using hashtag

  156. Note: I do not like the word “audience.” Sounds very passive. I’m not an “audience” to any brand. (Also dislike “messaging.”)

  157. its good old fashioned crisis preparedness. But there is no time to prepare and anyone can have a go.

  158. I freely admit I’m here to heckle (or at least keep him on his Twitter toes).

  159. All are fair game. Issue is whether they warrant it and how they tackle it/engage whole audience

  160. Its a metaphor and its reality. A comms team mid-crisis has all the hallmarks of a war room.

  161. How can companies turn into brand advocates?

  162. Hi everyone. How prepared do you feel your clients are to face a crisis, if an agency, and as clients

  163. When can it become a war? When a declared or unseen enemy starts plotting sustained/deliberate damage

  164. I think some people see most brands as fair game. Thinking of that WeBuyAnyCar letter.

  165. I’m sure they’ll warm up….We’ve got some great topics on tonight friends!

  166. Not many questions tonight – cat got your tongues?

  167. Good evening all. Tonight’s looks interesting!

  168. RT : T1 is: Is the relationship between org & its audience really a war? How bad can it get? <Not normally. But can be.

  169. hi guys, so everyone remember to use the tag and I’ll chime in from time to time w/ new topics

  170. : looks at all aspects relating to communications, When: Mondays, 8:00pm UK.

  171. I’ll let them intro themselves, but T1 is: Is the relationship between an org and its audience really a war? How bad can it get?

  172. Tonight’s looks interesting. All about brand vandals. Keep an eye on it.

  173. Hello all, Brittany here. Tonight on we’re joined by and who’ll discuss their new book .

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