Strength in Others

Our Community - Courtenay recently had the pleasure of speaking on a panel at WordCamp Houston with Marc Cohen of AIDS Foundation Houston and Chris Valdez of Primer Grey. The team discussed the development of the Positive Outlook Blog for youth living with HIV and AIDS. WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg even sat in on the session (hello, nerves!) and posted a photo to his blog! Social Media - From El Profe’s Blog, the five rules of marrying journalism and social media. Our favorite: Journalism first, technology second. - This Advertising Age article reminded us that social media is just one crayon in the Crayola box, but it is a tool that is helping the PR industry grow, and even flourish, in a down economy. The digital age means that companies are under constant scrutiny, with reputations on the line, while there are also extraordinary opportunities for growing brand awareness – meaning that PR professionals are perhaps the best situated to lead this balancing act. Social Responsibility - With their campaign “Vote to Refresh the Gulf,” Pepsi is earning praise for piggybacking their CSR efforts onto the BP spill in a way that has not been perceived by most as exploitative. The project asks Pepsi consumers to post their ideas on how to aid communities affected by the spill, and visitors to the site are also voting to decide how Pepsi’s $1.3 million commitment will be spent. Crisis Communications - Debate over PR firm’s counsel around Mark V. Hurd’s ousting from the top spot at Hewlett-Packard. What would you have done? - The best article we’ve seen in awhile about crisis communications and how quickly a well-respected brand can become a villian in the public’s eye. A key takeaway (and one that we teach in all of our crisis training courses): BP, Toyota and Goldman-Sachs “worsened their problems by failing to heed established protocol: When the story is bad, disclose it immediately – awful parts included – lest you be forced to backtrack and slide into the death spiral of lost credibility.” Communications Olio - As the internet narrows the distance between notorious frenemies, PR flack and journalists, new services are cropping up to close the gap even further. The New York Times recently covered start-up site NewsBasis, which aims to match business and organizations with reporters seeking topical sources. We’re staying tuned to see if these new points of connections stick around. We don’t claim to know everything — or even have the time to attempt to sift through the vast catalogs of articles and blog posts. So, in the spirit of #SLGT (support local, grow together), we will stand on the shoulders of giants (hello, cliche) each week to pass along links that we find interest, useful or just plain fun. Leave us a comment with your recommendations for what we should be reading and who we should be following.

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