Tag : crisis communications

wowOwow and enough is enough

Here are a few of items from my guest blogging duties today over at the Word of Mouth Marketing Association blog.

wowOwow on crisis communications and much more

How to respond when your reputation is under attack? Writing in the fabulous new online community wowOwow, Leslie Stahl offers this advice: “The best way to respond when your reputation has been sullied is to get real LOUD. Go on offense with a noisy, unrelenting, niggling, persistent, bellicose warrior’s attack. If you’re swinging and kicking, that’s what people will see (and the press will cover). And the besmirching of you will fade like an old scar.”

Check out more from wowOwow, now in beta, and featuring conversations among cool women celebrity professionals like Candice Bergen, Whoopi Goldberg, Joan Juliet Buck, Peggy Noon, Joni Evans and Lesley Stahl.

Measuring online community success

Generating word of mouth is the reason many organizations start online communities, but they find much more additional value once the community has been up and running, like lots of new ideas from the community members. That’s an early finding of a new industry study on measuring online community effectiveness. To share your experiences — and get a free copy of the results in April, check out www.communityeffectiveness.com

Rude is rude, enough is enough

Some of the biggest buzz this week was around the audience heckling during Mark Zuckerman’s keynote at SXSW in Austin. A big round of applause to Michael Rudin for his post about the event over at Marketing Profs, “Enough is enough. It’s time that we as a community — especially the A-listers who get quoted everywhere as so-called “experts” — stand up and call it like it actually was: rude and unacceptable.” Go Michael.

PS: Beyond Buzz + Made To Stick honored

One other highlight of the week: Beyond Buzz was selected one of the best business books of 2007 by Library Journal. Beyond Buzz and Made To Stick by Dan and Chip Heath were the editors’ top picks for marketing and branding books. Nothing like a little award news to jump-start the weekend. Enjoy all.

Cyber crisis communications in Estonia

 Crisis communications has taken a whole new meaning in Estonia in the past couple of weeks. I’m not talking about the PR kind of crisis, but a new type of cyber crisis that happens when a country’s Internet systems are attacked by another country, bringing down government systems.

Last year while speaking at a marketing conference in Estonia, several Estonians explained to British PR strategist and professor David Phillips and I that there was a great deal of tension about a Soviet war memorial statue in the center of the capital of Tallinn. The Estonians wanted to move it as it represented a symbol of Russian occupation. The ethnic Russians in Estonia ardently opposed the move, saying it was a tribute to Estonia’s liberation from Nazi Germany. Robin Gurney of Altex Marketing took David and I to visit the statue and we shared some opinions on how Estonia might diffuse the growing tension based on our public relations experience.

But I never envisioned what has happened.

The Estonians moved the statue. Rioting broke out between thousands of Estonians and ethnic Russians. And then, worst of all, cyber attacks were made on Estonia’s state Web sites, allegedly by computers linked to the Russian government, as well as by individuals’ computers from around the world.

In covering the situation this week, The Economist article, “A Cyber Riot,” underscores the magnitude of the crisis:

“To remain open to local users, Estonia has had to cut access to its sites from abroad. That is potentially more damaging to the country’s economy than the limited Russian sanctions announced so far.”

“The alarm is sounding well beyond Estonia. NATO has been paying special attention. ‘If a member state’s communications center is attacked with a missile, you call it an act of war. So what do you call it if the same installation is disabled with a cuber-attack?’ asks a senior official in Brussels.”

If the Internet is used as a weapon, just how should countries and NATO respond? This is a situation worth watching.