• People Make The Difference

    European Digital Awards

    September is traditionally the month for the European Digital Awards. Last Friday, I joined my colleagues of the jury in Berlin on the Quadriga University Campus.

    Many great companies and consultancies were present to pitch their innovative ideas for turning a variety of communication challenges into turnkey digital projects.

    The European Digital Awards are not only a great networking platform, it is also a test bed for applying good communication practices in reality. Trying to convince a jury to win the category prize can happen with the right mix of ingredients. Here are some takeaways from my experience:

    1. Selecting the exact right category to compete in, is always a good start. Not too much harm done if not entirely spot-on, but it does make it more difficult to compare and give away points.
    2. Supporting words with good visuals increases clarity. You got to be a talented storyteller to leave those behind.
    3. Bells-and-Whistles multimedia doesn’t always make a presentation more interesting. People definitely do!
    4. Having a good story is key. “What” and “How” are important, but “Why” is so interesting.
    5. Having a good story is half the work. Telling the story is the other half.
    6. Timekeeping is important to get through all the presentations. 8 minutes isn’t much. Better not to squeeze that 5 minute video in those valuable minutes.
    7. Practice makes perfect. The contradiction is that rehearsal enhances the authenticity.
    8. The most interesting discussions & questions arise when the presentation is geared towards the audiences expectations. Know the audience…

    Congrats to the winners of the 2014 European Digital Awards… Well disserved!

    Twitter: #DCA2014

  • Engaging Locally

    WorldMap_900x350

    Yesterday, I tweeted about the findings from a panel on reputation in emerging markets. One of the findings from the panellists was that as companies are expanding globally, the pressures of western business on international markets become hugely apparent as cultural clashes emerge. Therefore, commitment to the local community is key.

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  • Behind the Scenes, Improving Consumer Perceptions

    Ronald McDonald

    McDonald’s have released a video showing its Chicken McNugget production line and how the product is really made. In the U.S., comparable sales were down 0.2 percent in 2013 and revenue was flat. Among other plans, the chain is focused on improving consumer perception of its food by, for example, committing to sourcing (and defining) “sustainable beef.”

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  • Women Taking On The World

    Mary Barra, GM (c) Andrew Harper - Bloomberg/Getty

    As always, great to see influential women in high places helping to balance gender at the top. Interestingly, Mary Barra, who listed as the most influential woman in business, probably got the biggest challenge after GM reported a 22% decrease in profits.

    The 50 most powerful Women

  • Dumb ‘n dumber

    Dumb Starbucks Coffee

    At the end of last week,  a Starbucks popped up in LA. Nothing extraordinary. But this was no ordinary starbucks either. It had the word ‘dumb’ embedded in its name and logo.

    The whole stunt came from Canadian television comedy personality Nathan Fielder whose “For-You” docu-reality series debuted last year on Comedy Central with the Canadian comedian frequently setting up similar real life hoaxes and gags in the public.

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  • Dropping Cigarettes Gives A Reputation Boost

    The Week in Reputation - Newspaper

    Since the pharmacy CVC reported that they would stop selling cigarettes, their reputation has reportedly been boosted. Though they have stated they may face a $2 billion loss, Obama has outwardly praised the company and many have praised the company for showcasing their corporate responsibility.

    A former CNBC reporter stated “It’s not enough to execute a PR campaign. One has to walk the walk and talk the talk” and it’s seems CVC are definitely walking and talking.

    Source: NPR

  • The Week in Reputation

    The Week in Reputation - Newspaper

    Conflicts of interest

    Last week, actress Scarlett Johansson’s starring role with SodaStream’s advertising had to give up her other role as the public face of Oxfam. The charity dropped the star due to SodaStream’s use of factories in impoverished Palestinian territories, as they are opposed to all trade from Israeli settlements, which are illegal under international law.

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  • Executives With A Licence to Clown

    140116-Gerrit-Zalm-FTx320

    Last week, ABN Amro’s chairman, Gerrit Zalm, jazzed up his presentation for the bank’s annual cabaret by dressing up as his brothel-keeping ‘sister’ Priscilla.

    I think just the thought of that needs a little time to sink in… that the chairman of an international bank would be so daring and willing to poke fun at himself all to give his peers a presentation they’ll never forget… But he did!

    Zalm’s presentation provided something his staff will never forget, with the actual message being delivered discussing values such as trust and professionalism, something the bank highly pride themselves in and thus cementing those values into staff more intensely due to the nature of the presentation. It was picked up by international media from the US, Europe and even Australia! Free publicity galore! I guess we can agree that humour proves to have a positive impact on performance.
  • The Week in Reputation

    The Week in Reputation - Newspaper

    Inverted

    French standup comedian Dieudonné M’Bala dominated the news earlier this month with his inverted nazi salute. Earlier this week, a UK football club named “West Bromwich” took the blame in the media due to the same anit-semitic’ gesture performed by one of their players during a match. Subsequently the clubs’ sponsors, Zoopla, released a statement saying they would not be renewing their sponsorship deal.

    Zoopla received a lot of negative criticism for their action; however, they represent a company standing up for their core values regardless of media backlash. Got to be something to admire.

    http://www1.skysports.com/football/news/11698/9125648/zoopla-to-end-west-brom-sponsorship-over-nicolas-anelkas-quenelle-gesture

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  • Going From Complaint to Compliment

    Complaintvertising

    I wrote about this earlier in the rise of complaintvertising.

    How much of an influence do they have? Consumers airing their grievance by advertising (paid or not) through social media. Everyone knows that companies can err. But it is not that one instance that makes up a reputation. A lot has to happen before these kind of stories break across the mainstream media. Not every instance of these will become a company crisis. And public opinion will make up its own mind in terms of downgrading a company’s reputation.

    But what’s obvious, is that social media has gained in importance right across the business environment and is a vital component of any corporate messaging. Consumers are increasingly using social media networks to influence others (including public complaining). Those complaints will not destroy anything (immediately) but they do put pressure on the organisation as such messages become a  management issue. These interactions with consumers are a real opportunity to capitalise on…

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