April 2010


“I’m learning to fly, but I ain’t got wings.”
– Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

The original mouse of danger

From the “Dang, how did I miss this memo?” file, this 2008 article highlights the apparent dangers of bluetooth devices – including computer mice – to planes. I came across this in a FaceBook post from a public relations colleague who was ordered to unplug the mouse she was using with her MacBook in mid-flight (her touch pad was malfunctioning). When she (a road warrior) protested that she had never heard of this ban before, the flight attendant directed her attention to four-point type in the in-flight magazine detailing this regulation.

Son of a gun!

Posted via web from Finding the Rhythm

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“I don’t give a damn ’bout my reputation.”
– Joan Jett

Our hero

To quote the ever erudite Homer Simpson,  “Doh!”

A new study from The U.S. Reputation Pulse found that having a strong reputation in 2010 translate into a strong financial performance. Check out this excerpt from the organization’s news release on the report:

Having a strong reputation in 2010 yields more recommendation, more benefit of the doubt and more purchase behavior than ever before. In comparing the Top 10 to the Bottom 10 measured companies, the general public is:

– 300% more likely to verbally support or give the benefit of the doubt;
– 200% more likely to consider products; and
– 350% more likely to purchase products of highly regarded companies.

Should anyone still doubt the value of investing in an integrated public relations strategy, quite frankly they deserve to work alongside Homer at the nuclear power plant.

See more news releases in: Publishing & Information Services, Surveys, Polls and Research

Posted via web from Finding the Rhythm

Study Shows Quantifiable Drivers of Corporate Reputation and Links to Bottom Line Results

NEW YORK, April 20 /PRNewswire/ — Johnson & Johnson takes the top spot for the second consecutive year as the most reputable U.S. company on Reputation Institute’s 2010 U.S. Reputation Pulse. Kraft Foods, Kellogg, The Walt Disney Company, PepsiCo, and Sara Lee rounded out the top tier of U.S. companies in 2010, all with excellent reputations. AIG, the beleaguered financial services firm, continued to dwell at the bottom of the list, finishing 150th out of the 150 companies included in the survey. PepsiCo and Microsoft moved into the top 10 from last year along with newcomers to the study Kellogg, Dean Foods, and Sara Lee. The Reputation Pulse measures the corporate reputations of the largest U.S. companies based on consumers’ trust, esteem, admiration, and good feeling about a company while also gauging perceptions across seven rational dimensions of reputation.

Strong Reputations Lead to Lucrative Bottom-Line Results

According to the U.S. Reputation Pulse findings, Corporate Reputation has an increased impact on business results — a company’s reputation score has a positive and direct link to consumer attitudes and behaviors. Having a strong reputation in 2010 yields more recommendation, more benefit of the doubt and more purchase behavior than ever before. In comparing the Top 10 to the Bottom 10 measured companies, the general public is:

  • 300% more likely to verbally support or give the benefit of the doubt;
  • 200% more likely to consider products; and
  • 350% more likely to purchase products of highly regarded companies.

“In today’s tough economic climate, corporate reputation is critical to sustaining and growing business,” said Anthony Johndrow, Partner & Managing Director, Reputation Institute North America. “This year’s results illustrate a direct correlation between how well a company manages its reputation and how likely consumers are to recommend or reject the company. A good reputation is not just a nice-to-have; it’s a bottom-line business imperative.”

It Pays to Communicate

Respondents who indicate they have bought a company’s products or utilized a customer support service tend to rate those companies higher, indicating that direct experience has the greatest impact on corporate reputation. Third party messages, from the media, online or other people, tend to have a negative effect. Reputation Institute’s findings show that respondents who were reached by companies’ corporate actions and/or communications initiatives scored them 3 points above the U.S. mean.

In fact, a consumer who has encountered a company’s marketing, branding, public relations or social responsibility efforts on average rates the company higher regardless of their reputation ranking—even companies with weak reputations can gain from telling their side of the story.

How to Tell Your Corporate Story

The Reputation Pulse study proves that excellent reputations are built across seven dimensions: Products/Services, Innovation, Governance, Workplace, Citizenship, Leadership and Performance. In the U.S., statistical analysis shows that each dimension accounts for over 12 percent of reputation.

Johndrow sums up the key insight from this reputation driver analysis: “We all know that people care and talk more than ever about the companies behind the products and services they use and they are talking about them. Join this conversation and tell your corporate story to create the support needed in tough times. Corporations can create deeper connections than products can alone, essentially deploying who they are as a company to drive business results.”

Drivers differ by industry, country and stakeholder group. In 2010, across all U.S. companies, Products/Services, followed by Governance, then Citizenship are the most influential dimensions.

Additional Highlights from 2010

  • 10 companies (Chubb, McDonald’s, Archer Daniels Midland, SunTrust Banks, ExxonMobil, AutoNation, Humana, Marathon Oil, CITGO and Staples) increased their reputation scores by seven points or more from 2009
  • U.S. consumers feel the most respected and reputable industries, as measured by the reputations of the biggest companies are: 1) Food Manufacturing, 2) Consumer Products, 3) Transportation & Logistics, 3) Computers, 4) Industrial Products, and 5) General Retail.
  • With mergers, bankruptcies and bail-outs, financial industries suffered the most with the greatest negative individual company changes in reputation. Paradoxically, utilities and communications companies improved as a whole.

Global Reputation Pulse – U.S. Top 25

Rank

1

Company

Johnson & Johnson

Global Pulse Score

85.82

2

Kraft Foods Inc.

84.84

3

Kellogg

82.78

4

The Walt Disney Company

82.11

5

PepsiCo

81.20

6

Sara Lee

80.04

7

Google

79.31

8

Microsoft

79.28

9

UPS

78.93

10

Dean Foods

78.79

11

General Mills

78.46

12

Apple

78.36

13

Publix Super Markets Inc.

78.27

14

Caterpillar

78.07

15

Colgate-Palmolive

77.99

16

Eastman Kodak

77.73

17

Staples

77.70

18

FedEx

77.59

19

HJ Heinz

77.46

20

3M

77.15

21

Amazon.com

76.94

22

Hewlett-Packard

76.92

23

Intel

76.88

24

The Coca-Cola Company

76.86

25

Whirlpool

76.81

Accessing the Global Reputation Pulse 2010 Findings

For more information about the U.S. Reputation Pulse findings go to www.ReputationInstitute.com to view a video of Reputation Institute Partner & Managing Director Anthony Johndrow discussing key conclusions from the 2010 results and download a PDF of the top line report which includes the full 150 U.S. ranking.

About the Global Reputation Pulse 2010 Study

The Global Reputation Pulse 2010 was conducted online in January and February 2010. A Pulse score is a measure of corporate reputation calculated by averaging perceptions of four indicators — trust, esteem, admiration, and good feeling — obtained from a representative sample of at least 100 local respondents who were familiar with the company. Scores range from a low of 0 to a high of 100, Pulse scores that differ by more than +/-0.5 are significantly different at the 95% confidence level. The U.S. mean for all 150 companies included in the study was 67.38. Top line reports on the 2010 Global Reputation Pulse findings can be downloaded at www.ReputationInstitute.com.

About Reputation Institute

Reputation Institute is the world’s leading reputation consulting firm. As a pioneer in the field of brand and reputation management, Reputation Institute helps companies unlock the power of reputation. With a presence in 30 countries, Reputation Institute is dedicated to advancing knowledge about reputation and shares best practices and current research through client engagement, memberships, seminars, conferences, and publications such as Corporate Reputation Review. Reputation Institute’s 2010 Global Reputation Pulse is the largest study of corporate reputations in the world, identifying what drives reputation and covering more than 1,500 companies from 32 countries annually. Reputation Institute provides specific reputation insight from more than 15 different stakeholder groups and 24 industries, allowing clients to create tangible value from their intangible assets.

Visit www.ReputationInstitute.com to learn how you can unlock the power of your reputation.

Contact:

Adam Shoer, Reputation Institute

(212) 495-3855 x307, ashoer@reputationinstitute.com

SOURCE Reputation Institute

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http://www.reputationinstitute.com

The latest and greatest from the continuing saga of the App store and its capricious, inconsistent decision-making.

So let me get this straight: An app featuring every episode of Stephen Colbert’s “The Word” is fine and dandy (and I do agree with that), but an app featuring Fiore’s Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoons is not??

Yep, there’s a word for that app: hypocritical.

Posted via web from Finding the Rhythm

1. Use the “site:” operator to limit searches to a particular site. I use this one all the time, and it’s particularly handy because many site’s built-in search tools don’t return the results you’re looking for (and some sites don’t even have a search feature). If I’m looking for WWD posts about GTD, for example, I could try this search: GTD site:webworkerdaily.com.

2. Use Google as a spelling aid. As Rob Hacker — the WWD reader I profiled last week — pointed out, entering a word into Google is a quick way to see if you have the right spelling. If it’s incorrect, Google will suggest the correct spelling instead. Additionally, if you want to get a definition of a word, you can use the “define:” operator to return definitions from various dictionaries (for example, define: parasympathetic).

3. Use Google as a calculator. Google has a built-in calculator — try entering a calculation like 110 * (654/8 3). Yes, your computer also has a calculator, but if you spend most of your day inside a browser, typing your calculation into the browser’s search box is quicker than firing up your calculator app.

4. Find out what time it is anywhere in the world. This one’s really handy if you want to make sure that you’re not phoning someone in the middle of the night. Just search for “time” and then the name of the city. For example, try: time San Francisco

5. Get quick currency conversions. Google can also do currency conversion, for example: 100 pounds in dollars. It only has the more mainstream currencies, though — if you’re trying to see how many Peruvian nuevos soles your dollars might buy, you’ll be out of luck. If you would like to convert minor currencies, be sure to be specific about the country. So, if you want to find out how many nuevos soles your dollars might buy, you could try: 100 dollars in Peruvian nuevos soles.

6. Use the OR operator. This can be useful if you’re looking at researching a topic but you’re not sure which keywords will return the information you need. It can be particularly handy in conjunction with the “site:” operator. For example, you could try this search: GTD OR “getting things done” site:webworkerdaily.com

7. Exclude specific terms with the – operator. You can narrow your searches using this operator. For example, if you’re looking for information about American Idol but don’t want anything about Simon Cowell, you could try: “american idol” -cowell

8. Search for specific document types. Google can search the web for specific types of files using the “filetype:” operator. If you’re looking for PowerPoint files about GTD, for example, you could try: GTD filetype:ppt

9. Search within numerical ranges using the .. operator. Say, for example, you want to look for information about Olympic events that took place in the 1950’s, you could use this search: Olympics 1950..1960

10. Area code lookup. Need to know where a phone number is located? Google will let you know where it is, and show you a map of the area, too. For example: 415

What are your favorite Google search tricks?

Copyright 2010 GigaOm. All Rights Reserved.

GigaOm is an independent blog network. Read More »

Geez. All these years of using Google and I’d never heard of half of these. Worth bookmarking.

Posted via web from Finding the Rhythm

“I read the news today, oh boy.”
– Lennon & McCartney

Hoping this isn’t an April Fool’s joke (dateline April 1), I’m heartened to see results from this McKinsey study showing adults under 35 have increased by nearly 20 percent their consumption of news since 2007. Moreover, a greater proportion of them “profess a growing interest in getting news from print newspapers.”

As the spouse of a print journalist and a long-term believer in the value of: (a) the value of local/state newspapers in democracy; and (b) the value of being able to hold something of a decent size in your hand (as opposed to my beloved iPhone) whilst eating breakfast in the morning, this news about news butters my bagel, indeed. Until medical science cures how human eyesight changes with age or the iPad becomes reasonable enough for everyone to have, hold and carry around with ’em, print newspapers should be a critical part of our lives. I love the Web and am a techno geek, to be sure; but until Web news can support the kind of journalism that keeps citizens informed about local school board decisions and tax rates, ferrets out corruption and serves as an objective watchdog of government, business and society, the continued health and well-being of newspapers in our democracy must be a societal priority.

Posted via web from Finding the Rhythm

McKinsey Survey: Some Hope for Newspapers in Greater News Consumption by Young

By Mark Fitzgerald

Published: April 01, 2010

CHICAGO A new survey of news consumption in Britain should comfort newspaper publishers everywhere, according to McKinsey & Co. Adults under the age of 35 have significantly increased their consumption of news in the past three years — and they profess a growing interest in getting news from print newspapers.

The McKinsey survey, reported by Philipp M. Nattermann of the consulting firm’s London media and entertainment practice, says average daily news consumption in the U.K. increased to 72 minutes from 60 minutes three years ago — “an increase driven almost entirely by people under the age of 35.”

There’s also more urgency to get the news first in this group, McKinsey found, with about 40% saying they needed to be the first to hear breaking news. This need for immediacy is reflected in younger news consumers’ choice of media: they overwhelmingly prefer to get their news from television and the Internet,” the report says.

But newspapers remain the most trusted medium, with 66% of respondents describing the paper as “informative and confidence inspiring.” That compares with 44% for television and just 12% for the Web.

“This suggests that newspapers have further scope to go beyond news, to drive reader interest and advertising revenues at the same time,” Nattermann writes.

And “interest” in getting news from newspapers has grown, the survey found. Among people aged 16 to 24, interest in newspaper news grew to 64% from 53% in a 2006 survey. In the 25-34 cohort, interest grew to 61% from 51%.

There is an on-the-other-hand, though. This survey finds what countless others have: Little enthusiasm for paying for newspaper online content.

“We found that while there is modest potential to increase online revenues, they will be insufficient to compensate for the decline of print,” the report says. “Indeed, even in a hypothetical scenario where online-only versions of existing newspapers and magazines cost 75% less than the print versions, only 14% of news consumers said they would pay for the online content.”

McKinsey’s advice is for newspapers to use that trust factor to find revenue in transactions.

“The combination of editorial content, ads, and selected commercial offers — while clearly separated — benefits advertisers and is of practical use to readers,” the report says.

Mark Fitzgerald (mfitzgerald@editorandpublisher.com) is editor of E&

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“When the whip comes down.”
– The Rolling Stones

"Whoa, Nellie!"

Question:  In 2010, how many buggy whip manufacturers were there in the Fortune 500 list?  How about the Fortune 1000 list?  Heck, I’ll spot you another 1,000 and bet my Beatles collection you can’t find one there either.  Why?  Because buggy whip manufacturers knew that things like Twitter and Facebook were just silly fads that would soon wear out their welcome.  And besides, those new companies were only for teenagers and other such unrefined persons.
Okay, that might not be exactly what they said, but the end result was the same.  Those captains of industry refused to recognize or respond to the massive shifts in consumers’ needs, desires and behaviors that swirled around them.  For whatever reason – whether they were blind, scared and just too set in their ways – they refused to believe that Hank Ford’s Tin Lizzy might just catch on with folks.

Oh and one more thing.  Split Enz, a 1980s band out of New Zealand that later morphed into Crowded House, once sang: “History never repeats, I tell myself before I go to sleep.”  I wonder what the buggy whip titans 100 years ago told themselves at bedtime.

We may shake our heads in wonder at their naivete today, but might we – or our clients – be guilty of the same thing?  I vote yes.  We need only look as far as our laptops and iPhones for confirmation.

Quite frankly, any company that serves consumers and doesn’t believe it needs to monitor and provide customer service through channels such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and others deserves what it gets.  In 2008, such a perspective may have been understandable.  In 2010 with the very public and very painful lessons we’ve seen, such a perspective is unbelievable (and unfair to its employees, shareholders and customers).  Attached below is a great post I came across in Business Week that explains this better than I ever could.  Take three minutes and give this a spin; it will be time well-spent, I can assure you.

Defeating the Dark Side of Social Networking

Companies can’t rein in the conversations happening on social networks and blogs, but they can respond to their most vocal customers

By Joseph Hughes and Chris Boudreaux

For all of its blessings, social media Web sites are vexing lots of companies. The instantaneous sharing of information and opinions about products on Twitter, blogs, and other sites is compelling companies to try to influence these conversations through technology and new ways of thinking.

Businesses don’t really need to worry any longer about losing control of what consumers are saying about them on the Web; that control is pretty much gone. Many companies are being victimized by social media rather than capitalizing on it because they’re too slow and ill-equipped to react to negative comments that can damage their brands. For example, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) in 2008 had to apologize for an online ad for its painkiller Motrin after a backlash of comments from mothers in the blogosphere who objected to the advertisement’s tone.

To be sure, companies can generate sales leads and gain market share by promoting themselves through tweets and blogs. Dell’s (DELL) IdeaStorm site, which lets consumers suggest enhancements and fixes to products, is one prominent example. Nearly half of Internet users say they value information from other consumers more than information supplied by companies, according to Forrester Research (FORR).

Companies Slow to Respond

For the most part, though, companies are too slow to respond to the online flood of information being published about them by consumers. Since it’s easier than ever for customers to tell each other when service is bad, responding quickly is critical. Repeat buying is usually driven by positive customer service, not price, Accenture’s (ACN) research shows.

But many organizations can take weeks or months to react to negative conversations, leaving far too much time for damage to set in. Even worse, some companies don’t respond at all.

Let’s look at some examples of vendors that have taken the initiative in sorting, analyzing, and responding to the data pouring in through social media. These companies are taking steps to combine the sort of free-form information flowing in from blogs, e-mails, and tweets with data stored in traditional database software, in order to make judgments about where customers’ concerns lie.

Software maker Attivio is developing the ability to analyze both those kinds of data to help companies detect the social media buzz about them. Then its software helps companies feed that information into their customer management systems to react to those findings. Clarabridge, a maker of “text mining” software, makes tools that combine linguistic rules with machine learning techniques to help companies categorize customer comments and sentiments so they can react to them.

Note: This post originally appeared on Forge Ahead, the blog from Forge Communications.

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