Category Archives: Reputation

Women asking for violence on Twitter: Chatting to friends or gross stupidity?

Twitter throws up some sad reflections on society.  This one is about domestic violence.  But the worst thing is that the tweeters were ENCOURAGING it.

Chris Brown appeared at the Grammys last night, 3 years after he was arrested for domestic abuse allegations against Rhianna, his girlfriend at the time.

But the comments on Twitter about him just beggared belief.  Here’s a link from Buzzfeed with several unbelievable tweets whilst the show was airing, plus a couple I saw from Toney and kmoney saying the same sort of thing..



I’m baffled.


There is enough domestic violence and abuse going on already.  Why on earth would a woman publicly ask for a beating? What is going on?

Twitter seems intimate enough when you’re chatting to your friends from your mobile device or iPad.  This sense of ‘intimacy’ might make us share more than we intended to.  What seems like an ‘in joke’ between friends can be taken totally out of context in an unemotional Twitter search.

Perhaps we need to re-educate Twitter users on the reach of the product.  This is not secure BlackBerry Messaging.  This is an open platform that can be read by anyone. 

Perhaps this in naivety, perhaps it is innocence.  Perhaps we need to spend time responding to the originator of the messages and remind them that what they say stays on the Internet… somewhere….


They might one day regret their boasts…

Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.


Appreciate and value your high performing teams


imageIt seems really logical.  If you appreciate someone they will perform better for you.  In sport, business and in personal relationships, positive affirmation bring great returns.

If you care about someone, and show that you care, then that person demonstrates this at work

Towers Watson asked the question: do you believe that you can positively impact the quality of an organisations products and services?

88% of engaged employees said yes, but only 33% of disengaged employees said yes


Positive feedback and encouragement works in an organisation and it’s really important to do this if you’re trying to change corporate culture.

Leading respectfully means empowering and recognising the achievements of the team.  Demonstrating respect gives teams a great boost. 

The Harvard Business review sums the positive feedback loop into 4 points:

  1. Do no harm
  2. Practice appreciation by starting with yourself
  3. Make it a priority to notice what others are doing right
  4. Be appreciative

I’d add a 5th point here… Pay it forward.

If someone lets you know how much they appreciate you, remember how that feels.  Remember how much more energised you felt.

Now go and pass that good feeling on to someone else in the workplace.  A kind word, even a ‘Thank You’ will make someone’s day. 

And hopefully they will pay it forward and make someone else’s working day just that little bit more bearable…

Credit: Enokson

Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

Banned from the cafe that does not exist yet

imageSometimes the comments on a blog are better than the blog itself.  This is a fantastic example of small business PR gone horribly wrong.

Brian Ward received some PR asking him to write about a new cafe opening in the area.  They offered him a free coffee card.

Brian declined the coffee card and blogged about the opening

The cafe was slow in opening so Brian blogged about it.  The owners of Stencil cafe started a diatribe in the comments section of the blog.

Brian re-iterated that he doesn’t accept freebies – not even free coffee.

Now he has been banned from visiting the cafe – when it opens.  Here’s the email:

Hi there,

The team here at Stencil have recently had a discussion about your article and poor behaviour regarding it. As a result of this we have decided to place a 6 month ban on you coming into the cafe when it opens up the road from the original planned location in just under a month’s time . However, you can work to over turn this ban with positive press on your blog. But as it stands it will be 6 months of not being allowed into the cafe or getting someone else to come in on your behalf so you can blog about it. Once the ban is up you are welcome to come in and PAY for your coffee or check out some of the fantastic artwork.

I trust this clears things up and I will notify you when the ban is up.

Kind regards
Phil and Christine
Stencil Cafe Team

The Stencil cafe team are still trolling in the comments to this blog post – and there are a fair few comments.  They don’t seem to realise that he doesn’t accept free coffees.  He doesn’t accept freebies…

He makes it really clear.  He doesn’t accept freebies

Are the owners of the Stencil cafe naive or clever?  All this trolling back and forth is a lot of free publicity for them.  All PR is good PR right?  the brand is getting mentions.  Awareness is growing pre-launch.  After all, the big brands do this to get attention.  It certainly seems to work here.

Or perhaps they are naive – expecting that bloggers will accept free stuff in exchange for a mention on their blog.  It happens to all of us.  Some of us decide to accept the offer, others don’t. It’s a personal choice.  Perhaps you have limits.  A cup of free coffee might be ok, but a free meal would be over the top.

But I think that someone needs to go back to PR school and learn some fundamentals of PR.  Don’t upset the customer.

Especially before you open your doors for business…

Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

Image credit: Flickr

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Bank of America gets its online branding strategy wrong

Bank of America have a Google + brand page.

So that’s good right?  You can search for them and find them on Google+


Unfortunately, it appears that they have been brandjacked by pranksters or users intending to cause harm.  Only a few days after Google announced that Pages were being made available for brands, companies such as this are being impersonated. Ed Bott  over at ZDNet, discovered their fake page earlier today – and it still hasn’t been removed as these screenshots of the page show.


The Google plus page for the brand has been created by someone who obviously isn’t the Bank of America.  rather it’s owned by someone who has created the page, populated it with images of senior members of the bank.  The About page introduction states:


I think the biggest issue at the moment is that Bank of America don’t seem to have taken any steps to remove the page.  Not enough people have clicked on the link and reported the page as impersonating the real Bank of America brand.  Representatives from the Bank haven’t contacted Google directly to have the page taken down.

So why is a reactive online branding strategy wrong?

As part of the online strategy at the bank, they should have ensured that they have created profiles on all social media sites.  If they are not currently using these sites, the brand page should be in place and be there as a placeholder until the outbound communications strategy was in place.  The bank already has an active set of Twitter accounts which are updated regularly.  They have a Facebook page – of sorts -  that has gathered thousands of fans.  Other brands would love to have that many Facebook fans, with no investment in Facebook and no activity from the brand itself.

But Bank of America seem to prefer not to communicate using all social media channels.  It seems like all online marketing, relationship marketing and brand perception are delivered using more traditional mechanisms.  But in order to stop malicious users impersonating you, it’s important that you claim all of your online personas to stop others getting there first.

Brand perception changes at the speed of a mouse click. 

Through their inaction and delay in getting the page removed Bank of America haven’t done themselves any favours.  I now wonder if they have the same sluggish response to their customer issues and service requests.

Be being reactive, then now appear to be inactive.  Not a good place to be in our real time web world…

Eileen is a social business strategist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.