Archive for October, 2010

October 29, 2010

Crisis management and social media

Call me old fashioned (okay, don’t), but I was VERY reluctant to get involved with social media at first. I might have been one of many to suggest that Facebook can ruin lives. Albeit it your token, nosey nuisance of an aunt, persistently annoying status updates, or the 87th picture post by your most social friend, Facebook and social media like it have tremendous potential to be more bad than good.

But, there’s certainly no denying the power social media can play in the handling of public relations issues and challenges. In a recent article entitled “Why Crisis Management and Social Media Must Co-Exist“, Rob Birgfeld identifies suggestions on how to utilize social media during a corporate crisis.

Without rewriting his entire article, I’ll mention just one point he made that stuck out to me. While companies all too often monitor the return of investment, Birgfeld suggests they too measure the “return on avoiding pain.” If a company is keeping an eye on the blogosphere, the likelihood for dissemination of misinformation can be drastically reduced, or if nothing else, addressed immediately.

I also wonder if social media is an appropriate crisis management tool in any and all circumstances. Do you think the severity of an issue determines whether social media is an appropriate tool to address and remedy the problem?

October 29, 2010

Wisdom from the most unlikely of places.

“Life is just a long journey that is made of a million little road trips” -One Tree Hill

I’m going to go out on a limb and assume a large majority of my readers have never heard of “One Tree Hill”. Essentially, it’s my guilty pleasure. A television drama marketed heavily toward teens and twenty-something women, I like to think I’ve grown up with the show, now in it’s eighth season. And while I certainly hang my head in embarrassment each time I reference it to any of my peers, colleagues or family (“Go out? I’m sorry, I can’t, it’s Tuesday— One Tree Hill night”), I’m not ashamed to admit that it’s a great source of insight and perspective.

I met yesterday with Bob Dittmer, my academic advisor and personal cheerleader, regarding my future. With graduation now well in my sights, I contacted him with a request — I need to borrow some wisdom. After sorting through some practical advice (make a business card, join LinkedIn, etc.), I waited patiently for some of Bob’s best advice.

“Get out there, Lady.”

Simple words, yes. But something I’d been fighting. “Out there” is somewhere I’m very familiar with. You don’t live in eight different states in 24 years without being “out there”. But at this point in my life, on the cusp of it all, “out there” is new, and scary, and uncharted territory. So, in an effort to get “out there”, I came home and sought refuge in, you guessed it, One Tree Hill.

The quote in my header is from a past season (one I can’t even remember, it’s been so long) of the show, but it couldn’t be more fitting. In order for me to “get out there”, I need to start looking at life as a series of road trips. Too often I get bogged down in the destination, and I forget the importance of the journey. I’m detail-oriented, too much of a planner, and too focused, nearly to my own detriment. I forget to enjoy the small stuff. And so, starting today, in my quest to “get out there”, I vow to start enjoying all the small road trips I’m about to embark on.