Saturday, May 23, 2009

Branding, PR, and Crisis Response in Internet Time

I've got a couple of quick posts to tie together for you tonight. I know, it's Memorial day weekend, and you're probably thinking about a whole host of things that have nothing to do with work -- where you're going to go camping, what you're going to grill, what you're going to say about that blog that just posted a very unfavorable article about you...

The first stop on this journey is a post on Techcrunch, Deny This Last.FM, posted by Michael Arrington yesterday, the Friday beginning Memorial day weekend at around 8pm pacific time. And, in case you aren't keeping up with your tech on the weekend, here's a follow-up, Another Blanket Denial by Last.FM, posted earlier today. This post includes a response from a Last.FM developer, and I'll quote the following comment, "This accusation was made the evening before a three-day holiday weekend in both the UK and the US. Yet again, we were not given the opportunity to respond."

Finally, tied together with those, is this nice little post from John Moore over on Brand Autopsy. This one was posted back on May 5th titled, The 10-10-10 consequences model, referencing a concept from business writer Suzy Welch. In Suzy's model, the 10-10-10 concept she analyzes decisions by taking "a few moments to consider the consequences of a decision that may occur in the next 10 minutes, 10 months, and 10 years." John Moore ramps her concept to look at things in Internet time and how that might affect a brand. Here's a quote:
Except, we need to amp up Suzy’s 10-10-10 thinking to account for how quickly information spreads online. 10 minutes. 10 hours. 10 days. That’s a more workable 10-10-10 consequences model for marketers dealing with issues worthy of explosive online conversation, such as the marketing disaster recently faced by Dominos Pizza.
So if you're with Last.FM, you might be asking yourself -- is this simply some blogger, some 'Magnolia-fan' that thinks that 'Jay and Silent Bob are clown shoes'. Or, framed in the context of the Internet, is this the equivalent of a massive chemical leak at the factory? While John's post is a nice look at the importance of a sense of urgency, I'm not sure that most businesses have response mechanisms that have been engineered (or reengineered) to deal with this pace. The don't have the mechanism to weigh the threats, they don't have the mechanism to measure the response, and they don't have the mechanism to respond at that pace.

Sure, Oprah's on Twitter. And you'll probably find some wired CEOs that are so closely tied to their company that they would be aware of things and prepared to respond to something like the Last.FM issue -- but what about the mechanisms that are supposed to monitor these kinds of things? By the time Monday rolls around, there will have been 72 hours of communication, amplified on a global scale.

Anyway, there aren't really many easy answers to any of this and I know it's a three day weekend, so I'll let you get back to your time off. Enjoy.

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