Managing Brand and Reputation in a Social Media World

Last week I co-presented a BrightTALK webinar on the impact of social media on branding and reputation for an audience of media and marketing professionals.

The lead presenter was Cathy Pittham, MD of the European arm of global PR company, the Racepoint Group. (Its chairman, Larry Weber, is something of a new media marketing guru and has been writing books on the subject since before most of us knew it was a subject.)

I went to Cathy because I felt she’d have far more practical advice to offer than I possibly could. After all, I was a bit of an outsider to marketing and PR – mainly an observer or a victim, depending on your point of view. So it ended up becoming ‘her show’ with me asking questions on behalf of the audience.

As we went through the preparation, it became clear to me that operating effectively in the social media world requires many of the hard-won skills from the traditional media world. It also needs a cultural shift by all participants towards openness, giving genuine value and two-way engagement.

Nothing new there, I hear you say. Which is true. Which is why the presentation focuses primarily on what good stuff and processes can be nicked or adapted from tradtional PR and Marketing activities.

As we discussed the powerful combination of traditional and social media techniques, I desperately wracked my brain for a suitable parallel. All I could think of was a nuclear chain reaction, which is triggered by combining two volumes of fissile material to make a single ‘critical mass’.

Which is what led to me slipping this final image into the slide deck.


The webinar (BrightTALK calls it a webcast)  lasts a tad under 45 minutes, unless you skip from slide to slide to make it quicker (and jerkier).

The social media world changes all the time but we hope that this presentation will offer you a durable ‘framework’ for your own planning.

4 thoughts on “Managing Brand and Reputation in a Social Media World

  1. After 25 years working together as PR and journalist, this was a fascinating collaboration. Not least because we’re seeing a significant trend towards some of the things we’ve always preached as important (in our different ways) – such as honesty in a corporation’s messaging.
    The Times today reported a comment from PepsiCo’s Chief Executive, Indra Nooyi. (Paywall, sorry – Ed.) Indra, who speaks about corporate responsibility, hosted the fifth annual Dinner for Important Women in New York, where she said, "Corporations operate with a licence from society and we owe society a duty of care … the focus has to be on the stakeholder, not the shareholder." Which was something David and I explored in our discussions and (up to a point), in our webcast.

  2. Ah. Now I know why we are happy to work together. We’re “on the same page” to nick a term from Socialtext (among others).
    The comment from Indra Nooyi about where the focus should be is a good one. If it’s not on the stakeholder then it won’t deliver to the shareholder. But this is one heck of a big jump for many to take. I wouldn’t hazard a guess at how long it will take – apart from the ‘enlightened’, maybe it will need a generation or two to move out of senior positions in the workforce.
    (I deliberately didn’t say ‘move out of the workforce’ because more and more older people are, willingly or not, extending their working lives.)

  3. it’s very well post about social media.. thanks for sharing it. also please i need to know how to use social media sites to marketing for the silica sand and other stones

  4. I think you just made a small start by commenting here.
    If you’re unsure about what to do, then look at what your successful competitors are doing with social media. If they’re doing nothing, and you’re a pioneer, you need to find a genuine social media professional (an individual or a company).
    Be careful to find one that understands marketing in its broadest sense while also having a firm grasp (and evidence to support their claims) of social media. In general, I would avoid anyone who calls themselves an ‘evangelist’.
    I see that your company is based in Giza, Egypt. I’m not sure about the local availability of social media expertise, but it sounds like a wonderful place to be operating from. All that history… Wow. It makes a terrific backdrop to your stories.
    I shall let Cathy Pittham know that you commented. She has the most amazing connections. Perhaps she can add something useful to this conversation.

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