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I recently had the pleasure of meeting Stephen Waddington over breakfast in London. Currently the Digital and Social Media Director of Ketchum Europe, he is a leading light on the emerging discourse around reputation management and a driving force for change in the PR industry through his role as President of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR). Stephen is also the co-author of two excellent books on the emerging dynamics around online reputation attacks and defensive strategies. For those who have not come across these titles yet, I highly recommend looking up Brand Anarchy and Brand Vandals. Continue Reading…

At the invitation of Accenture’s Global Mining Executive Council in London, I recently had a discussion with those at the head of some of the world’s largest mining companies. Our topic of conversation was the difficult relationship between the mining industry and social media, a somewhat forced relationship brought about by increased stakeholder pressure through these channels. Due to the very real and growing threat that such pressure poses to mining projects, social media is now an unavoidable terrain in which the industry must engage to defend the value and benefits of its projects to the public. Continue Reading…

In the course of my work, I have often been asked if it were possible to rapidly assess the ambient levels of online reputation risk around various brands or industrial projects. As this seems to be a common first step for those seeking to evaluate their needs and take action to participate in online exchanges, I have put together a light and efficient framework for analyzing online strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for corporate and institutional clients.

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As opposed to the B2C marketing world, where the online revolution has driven quantum leaps in consumer communications these past few years, the B2B industrial sector and especially the resource sector, is still playing catch up with traditional PR and public engagement strategies that are already outdated. The fact is that these companies hardly ever had to communicate with the public at all in the past until organized interest groups started blocking their license to operate (a relatively recent phenomenon). Now, there’s a race to acquire traditional communications capacity, even though the current cultural and political playing field demands breakthrough approaches, rather than tired old recipes. Continue Reading…

I recently gave a talk on PR and stakeholder engagement to folks in Canada’s energy sector. Most of my presentation on this subject involves the challenges of defending resource projects at a time when the public is more vigilant concerning their social and environmental impacts. This more vigilant populace is now also empowered to seek and share information and mobilize against projects at breakneck speed. Continue Reading…