The Future of Brand, Tech and Business is Experience

If you’ve never attended the Next Conference in Germany, plan for the next event. It combines elements of SXSW in a festival, city-wide format where people, technology, music and art converge into an experience that’s anything but a conference. I’ve had the privilege of presenting at Next over the years. In 2016, I was invited once again (I think for the third time) and I jumped at the chance. Well, actually, I flew to Hamburg, but you know what I mean. The theme for the event was on point, “It’s me, your digital ego.” In my work, I define the evolution of connected consumers as Generation-C (Connected) where we are no longer bound by demographics but instead by digital, behavioral and emotional psychographics. I also refer to Generation-C as “accidental narcissists” in that technology is conditioning users to expect pretty much everything…now. My plenary focused on the influence of Generation-C
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Protector Needs Protection

It is a blow to reputation when a security company needs protection because malware has compromised its software.  That is what happened to Avast.  Its CC CLeaner for Windows software was harmed when hackers installed a backdoor in it.  More than two million users downloaded the affected program before Avast caught on. The company patched the hole but now it needs to reach the users with the update.  The lesson here is that no one is safe and one must stay on alert all of the time.  Hackers are a fact of life on the internet and they will never go away.  Companies can make it harder for them to succeed but they cannot guarantee a program is tamper-proof.  Security companies, especially, need vigilance because they have set themselves up as protectors.  

For Immediate Release 105: Centre Stage for Credible Sources
For Immediate Release 105: Centre Stage for Credible Sources

Shel and I got together for the September edition of The Hobson & Holtz Report to talk about these topics:

People Forgive (and it’s Wonderful)

forgiveMore often than not, people forgive. Where did this epiphany come from? Well, last week I was popping into Facebook (as we are all wont to do), and noticed that there were some new “join requests” for my #measurePR Facebook group.
“#measurePR Facebook group, Shonali?!” I can just hear your astonished query. “I didn’t know there WAS a #measurePR FB group, I thought it was just on Twitter!”
Well… ya… it was (is)… but then many years ago I decided to extend the community to Facebook. Because there are so many great convos that happen around that hashtag, why let them languish the rest of the month? And so I did. And it was GREAT, to start with. Except then… it wasn’t. Because “life” and “stuff” happened, and I did a crap job of moderating it… and it kinda went nowhere. Except – and this is the astonishing bit –
Shonali Burke
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Credibility Is Everything

Credibility is everything to an auditing firm, and that is why KPMG cleaned house in South Africa as a result of a scandal.  An auditing firm cannot afford to fight regulators or to work through one with headlines detailing progress or lack of it.  Is it unfair to partners if they were not involved?  Yes, it is. KPMG  could have reassigned them pending the outcome of an investigation, but that might look like it was hiding something. It was good for the senior partner to take responsibility since he was in charge, but that doesn't assuage the cost to reputation from the misdeeds themselves.  There is no merciful way to handle a situation like this.  Public perception demands action even if the blade cuts deeply.  

Social Web Recap 18.09.17

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A weekly annotated short summary of significant social web platform developments from the previous week, with links and carping marginalia as needed . . . Posted every Monday morning or thereabouts.


Recode and TechCrunch both report that Twitter is testing an embedded feature that would allow people to draft and publish a 'tweetstorm'. "Hidden inside the current Android app is a way to write out a tweetstorm and see it broken into distinct tweets, then tweet them all at once." Let's hope the puerile U.S. national leader never gets his hands on it, but social activists do.


Instant Articles, the junior article format available on the main app, will no longer show up in Messenger. Instant Articles improves load time but never took off as part of the mobile Messenger platform. A Facebook spokesperson confirmed  that "“As we continue to refine and improve Instant Articles . . . we’re Continue reading "Social Web Recap 18.09.17"

What can PR learn from living with Alexa?

Quite a bit it turns out. We bought our first Amazon Echo just under a month ago and since then I’ve been having fun figuring out how we can use it for the family and thinking about the potential uses of voice interfaces for public relations and corporate communications. Amazon Echo photo Amazon Echo is a voice activated speaker powered by ‘Alexa’ Amazon’s automated digital assistant which competes with Microsoft’s Cortana, Apple’s Siri and Google’s less than imaginatively titled Google Now. I’ve held off buying either an Echo or a Google Home because I’m a big fan of Microsoft Cortana and was unsure about the logic of using two different digital assistants. However, my decision to choose Amazon paid off in a big way just three days later when Microsoft and Amazon announced a partnership to use Cortana on Alexa and vice-versa. It’s not perfect integration as you’ll still have to open the
Alexa app settings screen
Amazon survey screen grab
Amazon customer support chat transcript
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