The rise of digital

This is my last blog post, I will talk about digital communication.

From 1978 the first internet bullet board has been launched, our life has been changed greatly due to those upheavals the digital technology brings us during the past thirty years. It’s safe to say that we cannot live without those digital communications today, but how exactly the digital communication changes our life? Let’s just unravel this big change in a more specific way.

The ways people get news have been changed

From SPREADING to INTERACTING then to GENERATING;

People learn about news from mass Medias for centuries; newspaper, broadcast, TV set, magazines, etc. But no matter which channels one consumed the news, for the most of time, one can only be the recipient of the news, as a reader or an audience. It’s hard or at least take time to give any feedbacks to the generator of a piece of news.

Things change when digital communication takes charge of the communication process. You can give your comments when reading a piece of news on the website; the size of pictures posted on the website can be modulated responding to your moving finger; it has auto-reply voice service in your iphones and laptops make it possible to interact with almost any digital devices. The interacting happens everywhere and at anytime you needed. What is more exciting, one can generate own news and self publish easily. With mobile Internet devices as iphones, people can camera shooting sudden events any time they want. Everyone can be a journalist, with first hand information generated all by themselve.

From TODAY to NOW;

Another change is the update speed. Instead of news today, we have news updated almost several minutes on the websites, like New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA today, etc. We have latest news for metals even at 3:00A.M during London Olympics; we have stock price index updates every minute on the website. 24hours 7days if you need information, you can get it any second. In short, “if it not a real time it doesn’t count.”

Overload information and Less credibility

Of course every coin has two sites, when we greedily swim in the information ocean; there is something to be worried about. Since it so convenient to publish information and every body’s voice can be spread on the internet, a boundless and anonymous environment, we have overload information than before. Enter a keyword into a search engine, millions unfiltered data pour into your eyes. Fewer gatemen to edit those data, we have to waste our time to find the gold from the dessert. Besides, anonymous environment plus the lack of monitoring, some credibility issues began to resurface. Rumors on the internet not only spread quickly but also hard to eliminate. Millions of dollars may evaporate just because of an internet rumors.

The way people build their social life has been changed

From a limited life circle, to easily build new connections and communities

The social network shows its power on gathering people together. People who share same interests can easily gathered by the network. We can easily “friend” with someone who has the same interests and taste through the facebook or linkin. More connections can be made in a fast and easy way; MSN, QQ and other Instant Messaging tools link friends closely even they are in the different continent.

From a generic individual to a personalize “ME”

We’re putting ourselves in a more transparent way. We show our pictures with friends and family; recommend our favorite songs and books; we highlight our interests so that we can find someone who shares the same interest with us; we record our daily life track on our facebook, etc. in a word, we become a more transparent and personalized “me” instead of a generic individual. At the same time the more transparent we push ourselves into, the more personalized serves we get. When shopping on the Amonzon.com the system record our taste and habits, then the system recommend new books or other stuff we may be interests on a regular basis. Even though this may cause some privacy issues of course, most people always choose to become more personalize and transparent on the internet.

Apparently plenty of changes happening on the digital world, just several main points are covered due to the words limit. In short, although digital communication has some serious problems we need to deal with, we can’t live without the all the convenience and exciting things brought to us.

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The analysis of Pepsi second global campaign

TV adverting: Pepsi Beyoncé “mirrors”

Social media:

  • Facebook: Beyoncé, Pop art inspires me to live for now
  • Twitter: Beyoncé and Pepsi’s use of the hashtag #BeyHereNow to  build up anticipation for the reveal was impeccable.
  • YouTube: “Mirror” commercial

Print advertising: Beyoncé rocks a super blonde wig for Pepsi

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Package: Beyoncé’s face is already on Pepsi cans around the world

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Pepsi and Beyoncé have partnered together for ad campaign. Pepsi will also working with Beyoncé in promoting her upcoming and highly anticipated fifth studio album, along with other collaborative marketing products. When Beyoncé was announced as the soda’s global brand ambassador in December, the deal was touted as a “true creative and wide-ranging global collaboration.” Pepsi pioneer a new way for brands to work with musical talent, “moving from sponsor to partner”

The company featuring the singer’s likeness on a limited edition release of Pepsi soda cans. The cans sold on March. When customers should make a choice among other drinks, the fans of Beyoncé will choose limited Pepsi cans because of Beyoncé.

The new commercial features Bey battling the Beyonces of the past in the mirror, including the “Crazy In Love” Beyoncé, and the Beyoncé of the Sasha Fierce era. It also sends the message, “Embrace your past but live for now.” Reflects the insight that Pepsi fans all around the world desire to capture the excitement of now. The spot will air in 70 countries. The spot launched on Beyoncé.com and will premiere on TV in the U.S. during Monday’s episode of “The Voice.”

Pepsi will start rolling out billboards, TV spots, and other multimedia with exciting new artistic interpretations of Beyoncé partnership, one aspect of a long history of Pepsi’s legacy in pop music sponsorship.

As for the social media, Beyoncé post the Pepsi ad in her Facebook, 212,359 people like the ad and 9,535 share this ad. Many of the comments are positive. They said they like Beyoncé, like Pepsi. In YouTube, the new commercial topped the list.

According to the data from the social media, Pepsi’s Beyoncé campaign attract customers, however, there is no reliable data on whether Britney et al sold anything a decade ago, and no reason to believe Beyoncé will now. May be its benefits are measured in intangibles of awareness, but Pepsi do not have awareness problems, it face immerse challenges of selling global brands in increasingly segmented, discreet, and critical communities.

Facebook’s New Policy Brings a New Chapter into the Lives of Teenagers

Facebook relaxed its privacy policy recently, allowing teens between 13 and 17 years old to share whatever they posted with the general public. This move has raised new concerns about teenagers’ privacy and safety online, but I believe Facebook is definitely doing the right thing. Here’s why.

First, when the free speech confronts privacy right, Facebook refuses to compromise.

While experts are complaining about their privacy concerns, Facebook chooses to respect teenagers’ free expression rights. Should we limit teenagers’ freedom of speech just because of their age? Teenagers are the savviest people using social media; they post their thoughts about the new movies they have watched and interesting events they have attended… Instead of being heard only by their friends, they prefer to share their voices with the general public. Facebook therefore revised its privacy rules to give teenagers an opening door to the real world.

Second, when desires confront refrains, Facebook chooses to channel.

Teenagers are teenagers, as Stephen Balkam – an expert from Family Online Safety Institute-described: “they self-reveal before self-reflect”, Yes, kids are born this way, but does it mean we should solve this problem simply by stifling their innate desires? No one controls a flood by blocking it; instead, we channel it. It’s the same as Facebook. Facebook has been losing its teen user base because of its privacy limits. It means that as a kid, if I cannot express myself on Facebook, I just change to another site. Since mere prevention is becoming more and more pointless, Facebook finally dropped the prevention. Instead of blocking the flood of desires with its privacy limits, Facebook now opens the platform for teenagers to express themselves, adding just two more reminders before allowing posting. A channel of reminders is way cleverer than a block of limits.

Third, when permanence confronts regrets, Facebook provides a chance to retract.

As we make online content across social networks more permanent and searchable, the privilege of “do-over” has become scarcer and more valuable. Not only for kids, everyone who decides to put contents out there has to be aware that it can be replicated and spread to anywhere permanently. Facebook is providing a chance to retract these posts. As with preparing our kids with personal responsibility and digital literacy, it won’t happen overnight. With this retractable policy however, it surely gives our kids some leeway during this process.

Today’s teens grow up in a new era of information; not one of us, not even the brightest experts, has the experiences of growing up under the influence of all-pervasive social media before. Facebook, as the biggest social networking for-profit enterprise, has done nothing more than following the trends and needs. How wrong can it be?

Starbucks need not do anything about the crisis

The 20-minute show, aired on the news channel of China Central Television on October 21, found Starbucks’ coffee to be higher priced in China than in Chicago, London and Mumbai despite lower production and operational costs. Customers “find the price to be ridiculously expensive.” the narrator said, “An ordinary cup of coffee in western countries has become the luxury of coffee in China.”

Then, a picture of a pen with an alpaca-like ornament at its top, posted by Starbucks China on its official Weibo account, attracted a flurry of some 3,000 comments and 40,000 retweets. most commentators interpreted the picture to be Starbucks’ veiled strike-back at a recent TV program investigating its high price point by China’s state broadcaster.  Next day, Starbucks china deleted the attention-grabbing photo on its official Weibo account less than 48 hours after it was posted. Noting that the animal figure was in fact a giraffe, not an alpaca, a statement from the company read “We had absolutely no intention to use this blog post as a response to the recent media attention for Starbucks.”

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It is Starbucks’ crisis, but Starbucks do nothing. It is a rare situation in crisis management.

Actually, nothing but truth. When manage crisis, public relations must have a clear logic base on the fact. The first reason makes Starbucks do nothing in crisis is that China Central Television ignore the relationship between the fact and logic.  The price higher than other countries may reflected costs of training employees, locating ingredients from safe source…however, CCTV just stresses the price and don’t know which factors cause the price higher than any other countries.

Secondly, China Central Television ignore the public’s emotion. Commentaries on Weibo predominantly sided against CCTV.  Today, the continue increasing price of house and gas are the sensitive issue. CCTV as the country level television do not investigate the issues which the public concern, only pay more attention on the price of a small coffee.  The public cannot understand why CCTV do this and think CCTV do not care about their life issues. At this time, the public easily stand by Starbucks and do not blame Starbucks. One Weibo commentator remarried: “[The Chinese] are buying the world’s most expensive houses, driving the most expensive cars fueled by gases with the fastest rising price, eating the least safe food, and ‘enjoying’ a system of healthcare that bankrupts most families with one stroke of serious illness…seeing none of this, you are telling me that the coffee I drink less than five times a year is the most expensive coffee in the world. How interesting!”

I only analyze the CCTV, not Starbucks. Because Starbucks need not to do anything, the public say everything that Starbucks want to say. There is only one thing Starbucks need to do. Try it best to meet the public needs!

 

The Failure of BP Crisis Communication

The petroleum industry has been marked by the largest maritime disaster oil spill in its history known as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. This accident was caused by an outstanding explosion and has resulted in the killing of eleven people. The most considerable damages in the USA form an oil disaster, not only on the environment, but also on economy and on the regional tourism. The BP was facing simultaneously two main issues: the biggest spill oil in the US history and considerable financial and reputation losses. However, BP fail to communicate with its stakeholders and public. The following are the analysis of the crisis communication.

In fact, the deepwater horizon disaster is a tangible proof that prior to the crisis, the BP environment strategy was just a Green washing. BP has never embraced a culture of safety, has never envisaged an emergency plan, was not prepared to deal with a such situation and did not make enough efforts to avoid crises. In particular, it is clear that BP has not prepared a crisis communication plan. As the matter of fact, the former BP CEO Tony Hayward said that BP was not prepared to deal with the intense media scrutiny over the Gulf oil disaster and that he felt he was “demonized and vilified”

BP was neither quick, nor accurate and consistent in responding to the accident, consequently, its initial response and messages generated a lot harm to its image and reputation. During the crisis, stakeholders want to feel informed, safe and connected. Timely and trustworthy reporting as well as regular dialog and communication with all stakeholders should be insured before, during and after the crisis. The company took four days to realize that the well itself was leaking. The company was particularly slow to express concern, compassion and full apology to victims which are most immediately affected by the spill. BP rather tried to blame third parties and abdicated responsibility while it would express concern for the victims and take its responsibility and reassure all the stakeholders.

BP fail to concerns the company’s stakeholders relationship and involvement in crisis management. In fact, prior to the disaster, BP has successfully establishing strong relations with some NGOs. It seems that the company was well aware that establishing such relations could give it more legitimacy as well as more credibility to its environmental discourse. After the Deepwater Horizon accident, some of its members begun to questioning about this  partnership and called to review it.

Lastly, BP fail to refers to collaboration with media. During a crisis, the majority of the information stakeholders collect about organizations is mainly derived from the news media, therefore media coverage is an important feature of reputation management. However, in order to control their exposure to the press, BP tried to censure, to limit and to delay the flow of informations to the public. Many reporters claimed that BP refused access to planes carrying media. BP also included in workers contracts a clause prohibiting them and their deckhands from making news releases, marketing presentation or any other public statement.

Crisis Management – The Analysis of Kickstarter’s Apology

Kickstarter got into hot water when a growing number of people started complaining about one of the projects on its site. The project in question, a “seduction guide” titled, “A Guide to Getting Awesome with Women”, contained material that many found highly offensive. Kickstarter publicly agreed that the material was abhorrent, but declined to remove it. The public were not happy. Their unhappiness was detected and Kickstarter moved to take swift action. Just a day later, Kickstarter issued a formal apology, saying its decision not to pull the project was wrong.

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The crowdfunding site published a blog post titled “we are wrong”, in which the company apologies for not canceling a project that included appallingly sexist material.The title “we are wrong” is rare that those words come so bluntly from a company, but that’s Kickstarter’s message to its users. It’s short and to the point.

The following are the main points, which they manage the crisis in the apology.

They explained the reasoning behind their first statement about the issue.

They expressed their stance on violence against women: “Content promoting or glorifying violence against women or anyone else has always been prohibited from Kickstarter.”

While the page that funded the “seduction guide” has been removed, a record of the page is cached has been linked for “transparency”.  For many companies, their first instinct would have been to delete the offending content and banish it from the Internet forever.  By including the link to the project, Kickstarter is reinforcing its commitment transparency. This shows how they want to be as open to the publics as possible.

They are prohibiting seduction guides:”This material encourages misogynistic behavior and is inconsistent with our mission of funding creative works. These things do not belong on Kickstarter.”

At lastly, they included a plan for trying to make up for its error in judgment. “Kickstarter will donate $25,000 to an anti-sexual violence organization called RAINN.” This shows their social responsibility.

It is also worth checking out the comments below the apology (current 1100 and counting) and the media coverage Kickstarter has generated in the past 24 hours. Based on these comments and articles, it appears that the public has not only forgiven Kickstarter, but actually has an elevated view of the company because of the quality, sincerity and substance of its apology.

The crisis management is commendable. However, they can avoid the situation going worse if they predict the negative reactions when they decline to remove the materials. Once the crisis happen, they should make a prudent response to the public and put the public at the first place.

The Apology in the Crisis Communication – Paula Deen’s Apologies

Paula Deen, a food network celebrity, denied she told racial jokes, but she did knowledge using the N-word. The timeline of Paula Deen’s crisis, we can find at http://www.tvguide.com/news/paula-deen-scandal-timeline-1067274.aspx

Within Paula Deen’s first attempt at an apology, she attempted to blame the discrimination on her southern upbringing and her age, she is “old” and was raised in a time and place where races were socially separated. The statement is “Paula was born 60 years age when America’s South has schools that were segregated, different bathroom, different restaurants and Americans rode in different parts of the bus …”

On Friday, June 21, Deen didn’t show up for her appearance on Today, and later that afternoon, she posted a video statement to address her racial comments. The first, 46-second video features a flush-faced Deen asking for forgiveness. The brief apology features several jump cuts, lacks ant expiation for her “hurtful language” and fails to detail which mistakes she regrets. See her full apology below:

Hours after posting her first video statement, Deen followed up with another video that touched on her career her family, and her work, begging fans to accept her apology.

After her failed attempt at a YouTube apology on Friday, Food Netwook execs opted not to renew Paula’s contract. she’s been a staple for Food Network viewers since the cable channel began broadcasting. One of her long-time sponsors, Smithfield Foods, cancelled it endorsement agreement. The first of many endorsements Deen stands to lose.

During the crisis, Deen bailed out of an initial interview opportunity on the Today Show, opting instead to release a series of apology videos on her YouTube channel. Five days later, she sat down with Lauer but that was five days too late. In order to have a story to fit the 24/7 news cycle, journalists looked for anyone and everyone who has known Deen or worked with her at one time, those people molded the story. For Deen, don’t lie, and take ownership of the story, if the media own the story, you’re on the defensive. You have to make it a non-story. Don’t miss the chance to tell your story in a credible forum.

After you say sorry, you should shifts from the “I’m sorry” to “I am doing … to reform” as soon as possible. However, Instead of shifting on the future Deen gives pointed examples of additional moments in the past when she “may” have used racial slurs and then tries to shift the blame to others by stating the following:  “I is what is and I’m not changing,” she said. “There’s someone evil out there that saw what I worked for and wanted it” In addition, when she said she only used the slur once, that shot her credibility.

Answer every question with a positive spin toward the future, you have to apologized and now you need to move on.  Deen should have gotten out in front of the issue. she should have said,” I realize now what I said could be interpreted as racist.” she should not have portrayed herself as the victim. she thought she was the victim, her dramatics made it uncomfortable for people. During the Today show interview, Lauer tried to end the interview, but Deen repeated that anyone who hasn’t sinned should attack her.

In conclusion, once the crisis happened, you should apologize quickly and sincerely, then accept the blame, and do so whole-heartedly, sincerely and show that you mean it, ensure that people have no doubt of how sorry you are for what you did and immediately control the story by focusing on the future. You can explanations, but excuses are not. Don’t try to defend yourself. Don’t try to make yourself seem the victim.