May 2009

There was an interesting article in BusinessWeek last week about Web 2.0 and managing corporate reputations. I am often asked about the challenges that come with the open conversations created by social media. It’s a valid concern for organizations and one that should be taken seriously.

Some organizations choose to block employee access to social networking sites. That seems to be old paradigm thinking to me and it is a bit like locking the barn door after the horse has already walked out. There are all sorts of ways around being blocked. Think about how many staff members have an iPhone or a BlackBerry and can get online that way (and that number is only growing) or they can use an Internet stick (we use one quite often when we give presentations to organizations). And – there is always time away from the office.

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There is an interesting article in the New York Times about one of the “hot new jobs” – the social media specialist. Social media, emerging media, interactive media or online communication is becoming more and more mainstream. Communication has changed and organizations that want to engage with their stakeholders and community need to understand that and include social media in their strategic planning.

One of the key points that isn’t included in this article is where the social media specialist “lives” in an organization. Is he/she in the communications department, marketing, or sales? And how is social media being integrated throughout the organization? Is it being done in isolation, as an add-on, or “over there” kind of approach?

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Post by: Ruth Atherley of AHA Creative Strategies

It seems the head of communications for the Vatican has embraced social media. In a news release issued yesterday by the Catholics Communications Network, Fr Federico Lombardi SJ, Director of the Holy See’s press office, encouraged communicators to meet the challenge of using the Internet to engage positively to further the Gospel message of the Church.

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Apparently there is an issue brewing on Twitter about Mother’s Day. It seems that some moms didn’t receive the flowers that their loving children ordered from FTD.

The smart people at TechCrunch are all over this and have a great blog post about the issue. They also did a sentiment analysis of the issue using twendz. According to the TechCrunch post, FTD has sent emails to people affected by this and offered them a discount on their purchase.

1800flowers also appears to have had an issue with delivering last weekend. The difference is that 1800flowers is engaging with disgruntled customers via Twitter. I searched and couldn’t find any response from FTD on Twitter and, according to the sentiment analysis by TechCrunch, 1800Flowers is benefiting from connecting directly with unhappy people on Twitter.

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UNDER EMBARGO UNTIL: Wednesday, May 6 – 11 a.m. (EST)

TWU STT logoVancouver, B.C. – Canada’s first unemployment clock will be unveiled on Parliament Hill on Wednesday, May 6 at 11 a.m. The National Unemployment Clock, which will offer a real-time count of job loss in Canada, is mounted on a truck and will travel from Ottawa to Vancouver throughout the month-long campaign. It will make designated stops along the way, providing people across the country with the opportunity to add their support through community events, a petition and other grassroots initiatives. This campaign is focused on raising awareness about the danger of continuing to allow large corporations, like TELUS, to take jobs out of Canada and move them abroad. It was developed to help bring Canadians together in a movement that demands local, provincial and federal governments step in and put a stop to the offshoring of jobs, a practice that is a key contributor to the growing unemployment crisis in Canada.

Telecommunications Workers Union (TWU) is sponsoring this national awareness campaign.

PRESS CONFERENCE DATE: Wednesday, May 6, 2009

TIME: 11 a.m. (EST)

LOCATION: 130 S, Charles Lynch Room, Centre Block, Parliament Hill, Ottawa

SPEAKERS: John Carpenter, TWU Vice President

Peter Julian, Member of Parliament, Burnaby-New Westminster

Hassan Yussuff, Canadian Labour Congress Secretary-Treasurer

VISUAL: TWU Vice President John Carpenter with the National Unemployment Clock.

INTERVIEWS: TWU representatives will be available for interviews immediately following the unveiling of the National Unemployment Clock.

Additional Information

The first official community stop that the National Unemployment Clock will be at is the TELUS Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Thursday, May 7 at 10:30 a.m. at the National Gallery of Canada, 380 Sussex Drive, Ottawa.

Media kits will be provided at the unveiling of the National Unemployment Clock, at the TELUS AGM or can be downloaded at


For further information or to set up interviews with TWU Vice President John Carpenter or TWU Representative Diane Pepin, please contact Paul Holman of AHA Creative Strategies Inc. at 604-303-1052, or at

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