We recently had a U.S. client visit us in Vancouver for planning meetings and media updates. At AHA, we’re very fortunate that we have clients in the U.S. and Canada – on both the east and west coasts. That AHA is based in Vancouver – with our head office in Gibsons (a short 40-minute ferry ride from Vancouver) isn’t an issue with our clients or with media. We communicate on a regular basis by telephone, email, and online chat. The world has evolved enough that where we are based isn’t relevant, the work we do is.
I have had several conversations recently that made me stop at think. Actually, they also made me go back to the AHA PR office and ask what the crew thinks too.
One conversation I had was about the “depth” of commitment of social media followers. My colleague told me about a recent conference in Vancouver where Malcolm Gladwell spoke about President Obama and how he pulled strong support from social media during his election, but is currently facing challenges. (I wasn’t at this conference, so I am repeating what she explained to me.) Apparently, Gladwell was highlighting the difference in supporters. Social media easily allows people to connect with you or your brand and while that’s a good thing, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be moved to action when the going gets tough. It’s something to think about.
When someone becomes a part of your social media network, how do you move that forward into an authentic relationship? Of course, it’s relevant to the specific brand and the campaign or initiative, but it’s a good question and one that might not get enough focus in planning. Social media provides a communicator with an opportunity to connect. Taking that connection and turning it into something deeper takes energy and effort.
Being attacked publicly is one of the main concerns that we hear when we speak with new clients about the potential of using social media as a part of their communications efforts. This is a valid concern and one that needs to be addressed, especially for those organizations that have outspoken critics—critics that understand and use social media and other PR tactics.
The challenge that Nestlé is facing is in the use of palm oil in their products.
You only have to read a few comments on its Facebook page to see that people are angry with Nestlé and while the challenge began with a video about Kit Kat put out by Greenpeace, it escalated into something that has now taken on a life of its own.