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Original articles from Kimberly Shrack.
Why All Facebook Page Managers Should Be Terrified
As someone who manages a brand page, I like to stay on top of what other brands are doing to engage their audiences. Developing content for these things isn’t easy — and as a result, you get some posts that are less about engaging and more about harvesting likes (which isn’t engagement, people). Like most things, brand pages come in the good, the bad, and the ugly — and now the satirical.

Lance Armstrong and The Power of Reputation
I was as bummed as anyone when I saw the news on Friday that the USADA was stripping Lance Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles on charges that he used performance-enhancing drugs. Since that announcement, I think we have all seen our fill of phrases like “fall from grace,” “fallen hero,” “disgraced” or other similarly uninspired combinations of the words “fall” and “grace.”

The Social Election: Why the Candidates Just Don’t Get It
Let me start out by saying that I have little to no interest in politics. Yes, I have an interest in how we are governed and the rights our people are or should be afforded, but when it comes to political debates and bumper stickers, I’ll pass. If you try to engage me in a political discussion, I’ll probably ask if you saw last night’s episode of Weeds (that was crazy, right?!).

Perpetuating the 'PR Bunny' Myth
Every now and then when I tell someone I work in PR, typically a male, I get the response, “Ohhhh, you’re one of those.” It’s said in much the same tone as someone talking simultaneously to a contestant in a Toddlers and Tiaras child pageant and as a regular on Girls Gone Wild.

Advertising/PR Collide in Little Baby’s Ice Cream Ad Nightmare
As PR pros, we tend to be very sensitive when people get our profession confused with advertising (admit it, you’ve had the “paid promotions vs. earned promotions” conversation at least 10 times this week). But sometimes the ad is the PR. Such is the case with Philadelphia’s Little Baby’s Ice Cream. Let me preface this by saying I love Little Baby’s Ice Cream. No; I ADORE Little Baby’s.

Why You Should Give a Damn About Your Bad Reputation
No matter how boss the song, companies should not take advice about their reputations from Joan Jett. As it turns out, there are implications to having a bad reputation other than a little gossip and attracting the wrong kind of guy. No, in the corporate world, the implications are a bit more direct — i.e. a big hit to the bottom line. A study out of Weber Shandwick shows that consumers make purchase decisions based on company reputation.

Shining a Light on Wikipedia’s 'Bright Line' Rule
Wikipedia: the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit, anytime, anywhere. Unless, of course, they work in PR. While the site purports to have “no firm rules,” they do seem to have one. According to founder Jimmy Wales, “This is not complicated. There is a very simple ‘bright line’ rule that constitutes best practice: do not edit Wikipedia directly if you are a paid advocate.” And while this “bright line” rule seems obvious to Mr. Wales, the PR community thinks it could use some tweaking. A recent survey of 1,284 PR pros shed some light on the effectiveness of this “bright line” rule — and it isn’t pretty.

Oh No, He Didn’t: Netflix’s Reed Hastings vs. Comcast
Facebook has long been a forum for airing grievances against Comcast. Every day, someone on my news feed is complaining about the cable conglomerate — and after an ordeal involving my phone number being “given to someone else” in the middle of the day (seriously?), I count myself among them. My point is, seeing a tirade against Comcast on Facebook is not something most people would blink at, but when that rant is from Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, it raises a few eyebrows.

I Don’t Like You That Way: What A Facebook Like Really Means
News flash: having a Facebook page does not count as a social media strategy. Especially when it comes to millennials. For every PR pro that tried to explain that having a Facebook brand page isn’t the be-all, end-all to reaching that coveted age group, there is now some data to back it up.

JetBlue’s Flight (and PR Crisis) from Hell
Were I on this week’s JetBlue Airways 191 flight from JFK to Las Vegas, it would have hands down been the most horrifying day of my life. And not just because the pilot busted out of the cockpit screaming “they’re going to take us down.” Yes, this would have been enough to send me into a hot panic — but as a PR pro, the knowledge of the impending communications crisis would send me into a spiral of a**-clenching terror.

Tell It All, Tell It First: Coming Clean During a Crisis
It is a basic tenet of Crisis Communications 101: in the midst of a crisis, an organization needs to proactively release all information — no matter how damaging — rather than wait for it to be uncovered. This idea pervades PR best practices lists, and it looks like it will continue to. A new study has demonstrated that this concept isn’t just an old PR maxim. It’s very true, and choosing to ignore it can have unpleasant consequences.

Sorry I’m Not Sorry: Why an Apology Isn’t Always the Answer
When you’ve done something wrong, or at least not right, there are a number of ways to respond, each with varying degrees of sincerity and effectiveness. There’s the “wasn’t me” method employed by Shaggy; “sorry I got caught” approach used by many a philandering politician; and, of course, my personal favorite, the “sorry I’m not sorry” technique.

A Tale of Two Screens: The Rise of Social TV
It’s a common scene. A search through the TV guide lands you on that show you have been waiting for all week (hello, Parks and Rec) or even all year (Oscars, anyone?). You settle down on the couch, maybe curling up under a blanket to add some coziness to event — it’s been a long day, after all. But you need one final element to make your viewing experience complete. It’s your smartphone. Or tablet. Really anything connected to the Internet. TV just isn’t as enjoyable if you aren’t talking about it online.

Improving Village Life, 140 Characters at a Time
Since its launch in 2006, the people behind Twitter have seen their platform used for everything from simple status updates and photo sharing, to breaking news before the networks and mobilizing international political movements. But one government employee in western Kenya found a new use for this microblogging platform: making his village a better place to live.

#PRDefined: Why You Should Care (and Vote)
There comes a point in every PR pro's life when they have to answer that most difficult of questions: “What is it exactly that you do?” To many, myself included, this question ranks up there with “What is the meaning of life?” in terms of questions you really don’t want to be asked. Not only is it impossible to answer concisely, but everyone has a different definition. The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) hopes to quell some of the anxiety that comes with that loaded question with the Public Relations Defined campaign.

The Lure of the Tweet: Why Social Media is the New Nicotine
What’s harder to resist — a tall, cold beer or a 140-character message? According to a recent study from Chicago University’s Booth Business School, it’s the latter. The study, soon to be published in Psychological Science, asked 205 participants to report their daily desires.

Never Underestimate the Intern: Why PR Needs Reverse Mentoring
If you have a question about high-level strategy and crisis management, you go to a VP. If you have a question about Twitter, Foursquare or Facebook, you ask the intern. This idea of the less-experienced teaching the seasoned vets a thing or two about the Interweb isn’t a new concept. In fact, it even has a name: reverse mentoring. Coined by General Electric CEO Jack Welch, this term refers to a structured workplace relationship in which senior staff are paired with younger, less-experienced workers. These industry newbies are typically more tech-savvy.

The Dude Abides: Lessons in PR from The Big Lebowski
In a not-at-all-embarrassing confession, I have seen The Big Lebowski no less than 100 times. While you may argue that there are better ways I could have spent that time, I disagree. While buried in White Russians and rolling, there are a few PR lessons we can learn from the laziest man in Los Angeles. 1. Shaping an Identity. All of the Dude’s problems stem from a case of mistaken identity — which is ironic, because in terms of PR his identity is pretty strong. Don’t let his laid-back attitude fool you: the Dude’s identity has been carefully crafted to reflect his reality as a man whose only form of identification is a Ralph’s card. Like the Dude, an organization’s identity is the manifestation of how it views itself.


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