10 Crucial Things Organizations Need to Consider before Embracing Social Media

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Social media has become the main platform that companies, organizations, and brands are capitalizing on to engage their respective audience. Whether the purpose is commercial, social,  or promotional, social media is emerging as a primary tool for success in such a difficult/competitive business environment.

Furthermore, the rise of Social Media, coupled with high consumption by users, where the average monthly hours spent engaging through social media reached a staggering 10.7 hours in Argentina and 7.6 hours in the United States (statisticbrain.com), rushed corporations and organizations to join the carnival,  each trying to claim their supremacy in engaging their audience and flexing their social media muscles through the “most likes” and”best followers”.

Apparently, observing the social media landscape, it seems that grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Forbes newspaper reported “American small business owners are turning up on the social web in droves. The trouble is, no matter how much time they spend, they’re simply not seeing a return on investment.”. On the other hand, businesses are finding it hard to create their voice in social media sphere, which  in most cases is leading into adopting a futile “tell” strategy versus a thought-after “engaging” strategy.

I am not suggesting secluding social media from the communications mix nor underestimating what a proper digital approach could do for the well-being of organizations. What I am actually advocating for is for organizations to take a pause  and to do their  due diligence before taking the digital leap, through making sure that the below points are taken into consideration:

  1. Brand’s DNA: It makes it easier when you are aware of your organization’s Mission, Vision , Values and Purpose
  2. Audience: Who are your audience, what are their social media habits and where are they  mingling
  3. Social Media Landscape: What are the different platforms, their unique functions, and users’ demographics
  4. Organization Readiness level: To which extent is your organization ready to be exposed and engaged in a conversation among equals
  5. Resources: Assess your human, financial and time resources before indulging in a stretched social media strategy that you can’t maintain
  6. Industry Social Media Behavior: Benchmark and look for behaviors, trends, and best practices
  7. Infrastructure: Is your organization ready technically to integrate social media within other existing communications channels
  8. Data Analysis: Equal to the importance of engaging through social media is the importance of the ability to analyze emerging data and deriving insights. Organizations need to have their measurement tools up and running.
  9. Set a Strategy: It is critical to incorporate social media in the overall communications strategy and have clear targets and expectations. Ad-hoc behaviors will not benefit a healthy social media presence
  10.  Auditing Parameters: Revise your social media presence periodically and have temperature check to make sure that it is aligned with your strategy

@RogerJabaly
LinkedIn

Posted in Communications, PR, Social Media | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

101 Must Read Books for PR and Communications Professionals

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We are witnessing lately a burst in our access to information. Google, Bing, Social Media, Micro Blogging, Digital Media, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit, Tumblr, and Pinterest, among others, are allowing us to access actualities, sometimes even before they occur.

In the midst of this remarkable digital information age, the questions that I have been asking myself lately are:  are we becoming more knowledgeable?; Is the access to such a massive flow of information enhancing our intellectual abilities?; Are we becoming better critical thinkers due to the fact that any information we seek is one Google away?

Irrelevant to what is my stand concerning the above questions, I have a genuine belief that in our quest to be informed, we are finding little time to seek knowledge; Knowledge that is formed through getting exposed to the minds of acclaimed authors (in this case in the field of PR and Communications), reflecting on their writings, and building a knowledge base to become better practitioners.

Lately, and more than ever, I have been asked by different clients, colleagues and friends about my list of the best PR and Communications related books which I always answered with enthusiasm, being a big advocate to the everlasting importance of a book.  This led me to the idea of this post, which is to go and ask my entourage about their preferred reads and compile an extensive list of interesting books that can be considered a corner stone for a knowledgeable PR and Communications practitioner.

I am not claiming that this is “THE” list, nor its uniqueness. This is only an attempt to present what can serve as a base for any knowledge seeker and hopefully challenge his/her intellect to become creative in the field of PR and Communications.

Wishing you happy reading:

A Geography Of Time: The Temporal Misadventures of a Social Psychologist
Levine
A Practitioner’s Guide to Public Relations Research, Measurement and Evaluation
Stacks ,Michaelson
A Rhetoric of Motives
Kenneth Burke
About behaviorism
Skinner
Applying Communication Theory for Professional Life: A Practical Introduction
Dainton & Zelly
Arguing and thinking
Billig
Audiences: A sociological theory of performance and imagination
Abercrombie , Longhurst
Bridges Not Walls: A Book About Interpersonal Communicaton
 John Stewart
Building Theories of Organization: The Constitutive Role of Communication
Putnam , Nicotera
Changing Minds
Howard Gardner
Close relationships
Kelley
Communication and social order
Duncan
Communication, Action and Meaning
Pearce,Vernon
Communications of innovations: A cross-cultural approach
Rogers, Shoemaker
Confessions of a Public Speaker
Scott Berkun
Conducting Interaction: Patterns of Behavior in Focused Encounters
Adam Kendon
Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide
Jenkins
Corporate Communication: A Guide to Theory and Practice
Cornelissen
Counterstatement
Burke
 Creating Effective Groups: The Art of Small Group Communication
Randy Fujishin
Crush It!
Gary Vaynerchuck
Crystallizing Public Opinion
Bernays
Difference Matters: Communicating Social Identity
Brenda J. Allen
Difficult Conversations
Stone,  Patton,  Heen and  Fisher
Diffusion of innovations
Rogers
Digital Strategies for powerfull Corporate Communications
Argenti
Duarte’s Slide:ology
Nancy Duarte
Enchantment
Guy Kawasaki
Excellent Public Relations and Effective Organizations: A Study of Communication Management in Three Countries
Grunig, Grunig, & Dozier
Everyone Communicates, Few Connect: What the Most Effective People Do Differently
Maxwell
Harvard Business Review on Communicating Effectively
Harvard Business Review
How To Win Friends and Influence People
Dale Carnegie
Human communication theory: The history of a paradigm
Harper
 Influence: Science and Practice
Cialdini
Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone
Goulston
Language Shock. Understanding the culture of Conversation
Agar, Michael
Lectures on Conversation
Harvey Sacks
Made to Stick
Heath & Heath
Man-made language
Spender
Manufacturing consent
Noam Chomsky
Mass Communication theory
Denis MacQuail
Mass Communication Theory: Foundations, Ferment, and Future
Baran, Stanley J. , Davis.
Mass Communications: Living in a Media World
Hanson
Mass Media and Society
 James Curran &Gurevitch
Mass media research: An introduction
Wimmer, Dominick
Measure what Matters
Paine
Messages: The Communication Skills Book
 McKay,  Davis,Fanning
Media effects research
Sparks
Mind, self, and society
Mead
Mind, Self, and Society: From the Standpoint of a Social Behaviorist
George Herbert Mead
Mythologies
Roland Barthes
Naked Conversations: How Blogs are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers
Scoble ,  Israel
Pragmatics of Communication.
Watzlawick, Beavin & Jackson
Present Your Way to the Top
David J Dempsey
Presentation of self in everyday life
Goffman
Propoganda and democracy. Cambridge UP.
Sproule
Public Relations Startegies and tactis
Wilcox et al
 Remediation. Understanding New Media
Bolter, Richard
Reputation Rules: Strategies for Building Your Company’s Most Valuable Asset
Diermeier
Rhetorica
Aristotle
Social Behavior: Its Elementary Forms
George Homans
So What? How to Really Communicate what Matters to Your Audience
Mark Magnacca
Speaking into the air: A history of the idea of communication
Peters
Speech communication in the 20th century
Benson
Spin: How to Turn the Power of the Press to Your Advantage
 Michael S. Sitrick
Start with the Why
Sinek
Strategies of Psychotherapy
Jay Haley
Technopoly
Postman
The Age of Access
Rifkin
The Art and Science of Communication: Tools for Effective Communication in the Workplace
Perkins, Brown
The Cluetrain Manifesto
Levine, Locke, Searls ,Weinberger
The Dance of Change
Peter Senge’s
The dialogic imagination
Bakhtin
The Ethics of Rhetoric
Richard M. Weaver
The Face-to-Face Book: Why Real Relationships Rule in a Digital Marketplace
Keller ,Fay
The Influentials: One American in Ten Tells the Other Nine How to Vote, Where to Eat, and What to Buy
Berry, Keller
The interpretation of cultures
Geertz
The Language of New Media
Manovich
The Lost Art of Listening: How Learning to Listen Can Improve Relationships
Michael P. Nichols
The Magic of Dialogue
Daniel Yankelovich
The Media Monopoly
Bagdikian, B.H.
The medium is the massage
McCluhan,Fiori
 The Reality of the Mass Media.
Luhman Niklas
The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life
Erving Goffman
The process of communication
Holt, Rinhart,Winston
The Psychology of Attitudes
Alice H. Eagly and Shelly Chaiken
The psychology of interpersonal relations
Heider
Semiotics: The Basic
Chandler
The Silent Language
Edward T. Hall
The social construction of reality
Berger, Luckmann
The Social Organization of Zen Practice: Constructing Transcultural Reality
David L. Preston
The SPEED of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything
Stephen Covey
The Tipping Point.
Malcolm Gladwel
Theories of Human Communication
Little John & Foss
Six Pixels of Separation
Mitch Joel
 Trust Agents
Chris, Smith
Twilight of Press Freedom (The Rise of People’s Journalism)
Merrill,  Gade, Blevens
Corporate Communications
Argenti
Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man
Marshall McLuhan
Yearning: Race, gender and cultural politics
Hooks
YouTube and Video Marketing: An Hour a Day
Jarboe

Let’s make this list even bigger and why not 1001…tweet, share, or comment your own preferred list and I will update and circulate accordingly…

@RogerJabaly

Posted in Communications, Media, PR | Tagged , , , , , | 22 Comments

Media Goes on the Defensive: What @AP Should Remind Us Of When it Comes to Crisis Management

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Hackers have compromised Twitter accounts of The Associated Press Today, sending out a false tweet about an attack at the White House.

According to the Associated Press, in a tweet that later proved to be inaccurate: “Breaking: Two Explosions at the White House and Barack Obama is injured. “Just minutes later, the AP tweeted out a correction, saying “The official @AP account has been hacked! No explosions at the White House, Barack Obama not injured.”

The false tweet went out shortly after 1 p.m. and briefly sent the Dow Jones industrial average sharply lower. The Dow fell 143 points, from 14,697 to 14,554, after the fake Twitter posting, and then quickly recovered.

This incident, along with the media mess that occurred during the Boston Marathon explosions, urges me to share with you some preventive measures communications professionals need to consider when dealing with crisis management:

1)      Infrastructure audit: To which extent are you equipped to deal with a crisis

2)      Issues mapping: Know your landscape and sources of turbulences

3)      Crisis jump team: People should know their roles

4)      Crisis response system: Who is doing what, where and why

5)      Crisis response stress testing: Will your system hold in the wind tunnel

6)      Issues monitoring: Detect what could develop into a crisis

And since in some cases crises are inevitable, communications professionals need to understand and know what kind of crisis management approach they need to adopt. Among the strategies I can mention:

The Mutual Gains Approach                                Activation of Allies  Stupid and/or Evil? Develop a Vocabulary
Acknowledge concerns of other side Don’t wait for the crisis All crisis response is reducible to this test Understand when to use neutral or “loaded” language
Encourage joint fact finding Quiet the partisans Both can apply Don’t use opponents’ terminology
Offer contingent commitments Citizens more than ideologues Prompts brutal honesty Talk the way people talk, not organizations
Accept responsibility, admit mistakes Emotion not just facts
Act in a trustworthy manner
Focus on building long term relationships

Do you have more interesting points to share? I would like to hear them. Visit my Blog: https://communicationisking.wordpress.com/

If you like my posts don’t forget to register to receive Communication Is King monthly e-newsletter.

Follow me on Twitter @RogerJabaly        Add me to your LinkedIn contacts

 https://twitter.com/RogerJabaly            http://www.linkedin.com/in/rogerjabaly

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Sad for Earth on its Day!!!

Sad for Earth on it's Day!!!

“The global environment crisis is, as we say in Tennessee, real as rain, and I cannot stand the thought of leaving my children with a degraded earth and a diminished future.”
― Al Gore

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Orchestrating Your PR and Communications: 3 Lessons from Ludwig van Beethoven

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Ludwig van Beethoven remains one of the most famous and influential of all composers. His compositions are still resonating throughout out the world, inspiring musicians and pleasing listeners. Looking into the life of Beethoven, I can’t but stand astonished by the fact that by the age of 26 Beethoven gradually began to lose his hearing to become totally deaf by the last decade of his life. Despite this impediment, he continued to compose and many of his most admired works come from this period.

Communicators and Public Relations professionals from all over the world need to reflect on what they can actually learn from such beautiful mind and derive lessons that can improve their ability to become better professionals and true communicators. I personally have deducted many lessons from this great musician, 3 of which I would like to share with you:

1) Cherish Conversation:  Even when fate intervened to deprive Beethoven from communicating with his surroundings, he didn’t give up and looked for solutions. In addition to using a special ear horn to enhance his hearing abilities, Beethoven resorted to his conversation books. Used primarily in the last ten or so years of his life, his friends wrote in these books so that he could know what they were saying, and he then responded either orally or in writing.

2) Purpose Driven: In a letter to his brothers which recorded his thoughts of suicide due to his growing deafness, he announced his resolution to continue living for and through his art. This letter is a great act of perseverance and belief in the purpose of our existence that resulted in Beethoven’s case in masterpieces like the Symphony No. 5 and Symphony No. 9

3) Seek Change: Beethoven debut was at a time where the rules of classical music were engraved through the work of musicians such as Mozart and Handel. Yet with his courage, talent and persistence he was able to change the rules of the game and take classical music towards a new direction that is still affecting millions of human beings on daily basis.

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10 Things to Remember for Your Next Media Appearance

ImageExecutives and communicators are engaged on daily basis with the media in its different forms. As usual, not all people are gifted with the ability to master media appearances. Some may even grow a sort of phobia that will haunt them throughout the process and, in many cases, hinder their ability to deliver their message properly.

Being around for a while, rubbing shoulders with journalists and executives, I compiled a list of 10 things to have in mind before your next media appearance:

  1. Be honest: when you are under the probe, not telling the truth will do you no good.
  2. Prepare, prepare, prepare: One cannot stress enough the importance of knowing your subject inside out.
  3. It is all about WE not Them: Don’t give your competitors airtime, remember this is an opportunity to present your organisation’s point of view.
  4. Show Empathy: Indifferent behavior will get you nowhere.
  5. What you Know only: Nobody is asking you to know everything at all times so do yourself a favor and don’t talk about what you don’t know.
  6.  Get your quote ready: if you don’t provide the journalist with emotional statements that are worth being quoted, then you may not like what appears on the news.
  7. Know your messages: you are there for a mission and this mission is to get your messages across. Don’t make things complicated, maximum 3 messages.
  8. Don’t get defensive: you don’t need to put yourself in the corner.
  9. Make no enemies: there is nothing that journalists hate more than asking them to check a final draft before publishing.
  10. There is nothing called “off the record”: Everything is ON the record, so act accordingly.
Posted in Communications, Media | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Communicators

ImageThis year we will be celebrating 24 years since late Dr. Stephen Covey published the 1st version of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” ,one of the best selling business books, inspiring people all over the world. On this note, I would like to share with you my list of the 7 habits of highly effective communicators and would appreciate to hear your feedback:

  1. Listen: Sway people with your ability to listen actively. One can still show his knowledge with his mouth closed.
  2. Research: Don’t count on what you know and past experiences to lead new projects. Although your baggage is crucial don’t underestimate the power of proper research in the search of excellence.
  3. Share: Your intellectual property will be protected when  openly shared within your sphere. Keeping things to yourself will lead you no where.
  4. Learn: Keep yourself engaged in a learning environment. You can never know too much.
  5. Simplify: Throughout your work keep in mind that you are addressing 6 graders. If 6 graders get it then everyone will.
  6. Engage: no one admires an introvert communicator. Reach out to people and get exposed.
  7. Enjoy: Have fun. There is nothing more annoying than a boring communicator.

Here you go this is my list, what is yours?

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