FIR Interview: Melissa Agnes and Gerard Braud debate “going dark” with social media in a crisis

Crisis headlines

Social media has become a standard component of crisis communication efforts.

In an August 6 blog post, crisis communications and media training consultant Gerard Braud of Braud Communications argued that there could be crisis situations in which institutions would be best served by taking down their Facebook page or other social media outposts.

Looking at the flood of negative, critical, and even outrageous comments left to Emory Healthcare’s Facebook page after the hospital began treating an Ebola victim, Braud concluded, “Sometimes in a crisis, you may find that it is in your best interest to rely on conventional crisis communications tools. It may be better to take your social media sites down completely until the crisis is over. If people need information, they are smart enough to find it on your primary website.”

Melissa Agnes, president and co-founder of Agnes+ Day, a crisis intelligence consultancy, took exception in a response on her own blog. “Social media presents so many powerful opportunities to communicate and build trusting relationships with your audiences,” Agnes wrote. “Just because people may vent and lash out against your organization is not a reason to hide and refuse to communicate on the channels that demand communication these days. Doing so will only hurt your organization’s reputation.”

Braud and Agnes engaged in a very professional conversation in the comments sections of their posts. In this interview, FIR co-host Shel Holtz talks with both crisis experts about their points of view, where they agree and where they differ, the role of social media generally in a crisis, and how that role could vary depending on the nature of the organization and its social media presence.

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About our Conversation Partner

Melissa AgnesMelissa Agnes, President and co-founder of Agnes + Day Inc., has developed an international reputation for crisis management, planning and training. Her client list includes government agencies, Fortune 500 companies, the healthcare industry, the oil and gas industry and a wide range of public, private and not-for-profit organizations.

A sought-after speaker on the topics of crisis and issues management in this digital age, Melissa travels the world speaking to audiences including NATO, GCC, Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Ministries of Defence, Oil and Gas Associations and more.

Melissa is the editor of the highly-acclaimed Crisis Intelligence Blog, and the host of the globally-recognized Crisis Intelligence Podcast.

Gerard Braudgerard_braud is a 20-year veteran in the field of crisis communications. Prior to that, he spent 15 years as a journalist.

He prides himself not on the crises he’s managed after they went public, but through the vast number of events that never reached the crisis level. His strategy is to help organizations write an effective crisis communications plan on a clear sunny day so they can communicate at their best on their darkest day.

Gerard is author of a crisis communications blog.

  • Reach Gerard on Twitter at @gbraud.

FIR Community on Google+Share your comments or questions about this podcast, or suggestions for future podcasts, in the online FIR Podcast Community on Google+.

You can also send us instant voicemail via SpeakPipe, right from the FIR website. Or, call the Comment Line at +1 415 895 2971 (North America), +44 20 3239 9082 (Europe), or Skype: fircomments. You can tweet us: @FIRpodcast. And you can email us at fircomments@gmail.com. If you wish, you can email your comments, questions and suggestions as MP3 file attachments (max. 3 minutes / 5Mb attachment, please!). We’ll be happy to see how we can include your audio contribution in a show.

Check the FIR website for information about other FIR podcasts. To receive all podcasts in the FIR Podcast Network, subscribe to the “everything” RSS feed.

This FIR Interview is brought to you with Lawrence Ragan Communications, serving communicators worldwide for 35 years. Information: www.ragan.com.

Podsafe music – On A Podcast Instrumental Mix (MP3, 5Mb) by Cruisebox.

(Cross-posted from For Immediate Release, Shel’s and my podcast blog.)

The Hobson and Holtz Report – Podcast #769: August 18, 2014

FIRNew FIR interview coming this week with Gerard Braud and Melissa Agnes, authors of posts with conflicting views of using social media in a crisis; FIR Podcast Network host Chuck Hester appeared on TWiT’s The Social Hour as a LinkedIn expert; alert to IABC members: servers suffered a cyber-attack, no passwords or credit cards compromised, make sure your virus protection is up-to-date asks Executive Director Carlos Fulcher;

Quick News: Marking ten years since episode one of Adam Curry’s Daily Source Code and the beginning of podcasting, Snapchat is more popular than Twitter amongst 18-34 year-olds in the US says comScore, embeds of Facebook posts up 50 percent since the launch of Facebook Newswire, if you think robots can’t do your job think again; Ragan promo;

News That Fits: The absence of common sense among some PRs (and others) in the wake of Robin Williams’ death; are we paying enough attention to “dark social”?; the Media Monitoring Minute with CustomScoop; listener comments from the FIR Podcast Community on Google+; UK audience for digital news are shifting to mobile says Ofcom; Igloo Software promo; the past week on the FIR Podcast Network; marketing lessons from the #IceBucketChallenge in support of #StrikeOutALS;

Music from Pretty Visitors; and more.

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Messages from our sponsors: FIR is brought to you with Lawrence Ragan Communications, serving communicators worldwide for 35 years, www.ragan.com; Save time with the CustomScoop online clipping service: sign up for your free two-week trial, at www.customscoop.com/fir; Igloo Software, providers of an intranet you’ll actually like, delivered securely with our cloud platform: learn more at www.igloosoftware.com/fir.

For Immediate Release: The Hobson and Holtz Report for August 18, 2014: A 95-minute podcast recorded live from Wokingham, Berkshire, England, and Concord, California, USA.

Links to websites, blog posts and other content we discuss in the show are posted as Delicious bookmarks to facilitate your connection with the discussions and sharing of that content.

FIR Community on Google+Share your comments or questions about this podcast, or suggestions for future podcasts, in the online FIR Podcast Community on Google+.

You can also send us instant voicemail via SpeakPipe, right from the FIR website. Or, call the Comment Line at +1 415 895 2971 (North America), +44 20 3239 9082 (Europe), or Skype: fircomments. You can tweet us: @FIRpodcast. And you can email us at fircomments@gmail.com. If you wish, you can email your comments, questions and suggestions as MP3 file attachments (max. 3 minutes / 5Mb attachment, please!). We’ll be happy to see how we can include your audio contribution in a show.

To receive all podcasts in the FIR Podcast Network, subscribe to the “everything” RSS feed. To stay informed about occasional FIR events (eg, FIR Live), sign up for FIR Update email news.

So, until Monday August 25…

(Cross-posted from For Immediate Release, Shel’s and my podcast blog.)

FIR Live: Language Translation for Communicators

I speak your languageLanguage translation has bedevilled communications and PR practitioners forever, but the rise of digital media has complicated the situation in a number of ways.

The requirements for producing content right now have led to a need for almost instantaneous translation while access to the internet has introduced languages spoken in regions that weren’t previously participants in the economy.

Joining FIR co-host Shel Holtz in this edition of FIR Live on August 14, 2014, were…

  • Renato Beninatto, chief marketing officer for language translation company Moravia. He is the co-founder of the first market research company focusing on language services. He was president and currently serves as an adviser to the European Language Industry Association and is a board member of Translators without Borders.
  • Iris Orriss, head of localization for Facebook, is also a board member at Translators without Borders. Formerly director of the business platform division international team at Microsoft, she brings more than a decade of localization-related engineering and managerial experience to her work.
  • Sherrilynne Starkie, VP Content Marketing and Social Media, Thornley Fallis Communications (Ottawa office).

You can download the MP4 video file for local viewing.

Get FIR:

Messages from our sponsors: FIR is brought to you with Lawrence Ragan Communications, serving communicators worldwide for 35 years, www.ragan.com; Save time with the CustomScoop online clipping service: sign up for your free two-week trial, at www.customscoop.com/fir; Igloo Software, providers of an intranet you’ll actually like, delivered securely with our cloud platform: learn more at www.igloosoftware.com/fir.

FIR Community on Google+Share your comments or questions about this podcast, or suggestions for future podcasts, in the online FIR Podcast Community on Google+.

You can also send us instant voicemail via SpeakPipe, right from the FIR website. Or, call the Comment Line at +1 415 895 2971 (North America), +44 20 3239 9082 (Europe), or Skype: fircomments. You can tweet us: @FIRpodcast. And you can email us at fircomments@gmail.com. If you wish, you can email your comments, questions and suggestions as MP3 file attachments (max. 3 minutes / 5Mb attachment, please!). We’ll be happy to see how we can include your audio contribution in a show.

To receive all podcasts in the FIR Podcast Network, subscribe to the “everything” RSS feed. To stay informed about occasional FIR events (eg, FIR Live), sign up for FIR Update email news.

FIR Interview: Outbrain’s Jeff Pyatt on Outbrain, Content Marketing, and Native Advertising

Outbrain

Among the various classes of native advertising as defined by Edelman’s Steve Rubel, you’ll find “paid syndication,” in which “sponsored posts, articles, videos, slideshows and information graphics from corporations appear within the news section.”

Rubel includes Outbrain among the examples of companies that “sprinkle sponsored links into a company’s earned or owned media in the footer of related news articles.”

Indeed, that’s precisely Outbrain’s approach. With dozens of algorithms that analyse user habits, Outbrain delivers a list of recommended links at the end of stories appearing on sites like CNN, Mashable, and Slate.

Outbrain claims its links appear on 100,000 websites. The company serves over 150 billion recommendations and 15 billion page views per month, with a reach that extends to over 87% of the U.S. online population, not to mention international readers.

In this FIR interview, co-host Shel Holtz spends half an hour with Jeff Pyatt, head of Outbrain’s PR initiatives; he also addresses direct response clients. In this wide-ranging talk, Pyatt explains Outbrain’s value to PR practitioners and the kinds of content PR agencies generally pay to promote.

The conversation also covers the ethics of native advertising, among other topics.

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About our Conversation Partner

Jeff LyattJeff Pyatt is the Head of Global PR Initiatives at Outbrain. In this role, he leads Outbrain’s content discovery business across all industries with a special focus on public relations. As such, Jeff has become an advocate for the PR industry within the company. He is passionate about the power of good storytelling and content-based journalism to develop brand loyalty.

Prior to joining Outbrain, he worked in publishing and politics, including editorial and business development roles at RealClearPolitics, Yahoo! News and Health Central, and communications roles in the office of Sen Harry Reid and Sen. Jim Webb’s winning 2006 campaign.

Jeff’s a vocal advocate for expanding the role of the PR in brand journalism and believes they will win at content by leveraging their best asset: journalists and great communicators.

FIR Community on Google+Share your comments or questions about this podcast, or suggestions for future podcasts, in the online FIR Podcast Community on Google+.

You can also send us instant voicemail via SpeakPipe, right from the FIR website. Or, call the Comment Line at +1 415 895 2971 (North America), +44 20 3239 9082 (Europe), or Skype: fircomments. You can tweet us: @FIRpodcast. And you can email us at fircomments@gmail.com. If you wish, you can email your comments, questions and suggestions as MP3 file attachments (max. 3 minutes / 5Mb attachment, please!). We’ll be happy to see how we can include your audio contribution in a show.

Check the FIR website for information about other FIR podcasts. To receive all podcasts in the FIR Podcast Network, subscribe to the “everything” RSS feed.

This FIR Interview is brought to you with Lawrence Ragan Communications, serving communicators worldwide for 35 years. Information: www.ragan.com.

Podsafe music – On A Podcast Instrumental Mix (MP3, 5Mb) by Cruisebox.

(Cross-posted from For Immediate Release, Shel’s and my podcast blog.)

The Hobson and Holtz Report – Podcast #768: August 11, 2014

FIRFIR Live on August 14 with a panel to address language translation; Outbrain interview on August 13;

Quick News: Why the demise of Justin.tv marks the end of the bedroom vlog, Pinterest introduces messaging via pins, up to 100 brands to go as P&G declutters, can we stop stressing about Facebook’s Messenger permissions?; Ragan promo;

News That Fits: Are you making the most out of Tumblr?; Michael Netzley’s Asia Report: is Beijing punishing foreign companies, how big brands are succeeding in WeChat, and more; Hans Kullin’s expose of Okay App and fake LinkedIn profiles; the Media Monitoring Minute with CustomScoop; listener comments in audio and from the FIR Podcast Community on Google+; MIT Media Lab’s reimagining of news could have implications for content marketing; Dan York’s Tech Report: why Skype is forcing an app upgrade, SSL, and more; Igloo Software promo; the past week on the FIR Podcast Network; influencer outreach in India with created content: the example of the Mary Kom movie;

Music from The Powergoats; and more.

Listen Now:

Get FIR:

Messages from our sponsors: FIR is brought to you with Lawrence Ragan Communications, serving communicators worldwide for 35 years, www.ragan.com; Save time with the CustomScoop online clipping service: sign up for your free two-week trial, at www.customscoop.com/fir; Igloo Software, providers of an intranet you’ll actually like, delivered securely with our cloud platform: learn more at www.igloosoftware.com/fir.

For Immediate Release: The Hobson and Holtz Report for August 11, 2014: A 90-minute podcast recorded live from Concord, California, USA, and Wokingham, Berkshire, England.

Links to websites, blog posts and other content we discuss in the show are posted as Delicious bookmarks to facilitate your connection with the discussions and sharing of that content.

FIR Community on Google+Share your comments or questions about this podcast, or suggestions for future podcasts, in the online FIR Podcast Community on Google+.

You can also send us instant voicemail via SpeakPipe, right from the FIR website. Or, call the Comment Line at +1 415 895 2971 (North America), +44 20 3239 9082 (Europe), or Skype: fircomments. You can tweet us: @FIRpodcast. And you can email us at fircomments@gmail.com. If you wish, you can email your comments, questions and suggestions as MP3 file attachments (max. 3 minutes / 5Mb attachment, please!). We’ll be happy to see how we can include your audio contribution in a show.

To receive all podcasts in the FIR Podcast Network, subscribe to the “everything” RSS feed. To stay informed about occasional FIR events (eg, FIR Live), sign up for FIR Update email news.

So, until Monday August 18…

(Cross-posted from For Immediate Release, Shel’s and my podcast blog.)

FIR Live: The challenges of communicating in multiple languages online

FIR Live

  • What: A 60-minute panel discussion
  • When: Thursday August 14, 2014 starting at 11:00 EDT | 16:00 BST | 17:00 CET
  • Where: Google+ Hangout On Air via the FIR Events page

The web demands speed in publishing content, but if your markets include multiple languages, translation can keep you from posting quickly. Among the many problems technology has tackled, translation remains one that still requires time and expertise.

If you have specific questions about language translation in the PR and communication contexts, be sure to share it on the FIR Podcast Community on Google+, or leave it as a comment to this post, so we can raise it during the discussion.

We’re still working on fleshing out the panel, but so far our guests include…

  • Renato Beninatto, chief marketing officer for language translation company Moravia. He is the co-founder of the first market research company focusing on language services. He was president and currently serves as an adviser to the European Language Industry Association, and is a board member of Translators without Borders.
  • Iris Orriss, head of localization for Facebook, is also a board member at Translators without Borders. Formerly director of the business platform division international team at Microsoft, she brings more than a decade of localization-related engineering and managerial experience to her work.
  • Kevin Watson is a research editor for MultiLingual Computing and Technology.

FIR Live will be broadcast via Google+ Hangouts on Air. You can watch on the FIR YouTube channel or our Events page. After the panel, the episode will be posted as both audio and video files.

The live panel will begin at 11:00 EDT | 16:00 BST | 17:00 CET on Thursday, August 14. See you there!