Monday, April 2

Covering Hot Topics: First Quarter 2007

Last year, we published a recap of our five most popular communication-related posts, based on the frequency and the immediacy of hits after they were posted. Today, we've decided to keep it simple, covering the top five of the first quarter.

Antonella Barba Buzzes Up American Idol

When photos of the presumably modest Catholic University student and American Idol contestant posing in front of the U.S. war memorial in Washington, D.C. surfaced on the Internet, everyone from the cruel and crude to the curious and complimentary surfed the Web to see what was there or perhaps not. For our purposes, Barba proved to be an excellent case study in publicity gone wrong. Although we were among the first to call the pornographic photos phony, Barba's insistence that she could sing despite some obvious inability, landed her a series of offers that suggests she has different talents. Recently, Star Magazine listed her as more foolish in Hollywood than no-talent American Idol Sanjaya Malakar. We know why. Do you?

Link: Barba

Julie Roehm Sues Wal-Mart For Her Behavior

Maybe it's because some people still think Julie Roehm sports some nude photos too or because "anything Wal-Mart" always seems to command attention. Either way, the suit and countersuit, that reveals scores of ethically challenged e-mails, raises dozens of questions related to business behavior in a new world with social media. Workplace privacy, business ethics, and the pitfalls of second-tier executives becoming public figures are all part of the equation. Perhaps we're oversimplifying, but our interest in this case study is about whether it pays to draw continuous attention to your own shortcomings. Roehm would have been better off leaving things alone than attacking a former employer who is tired of hearing her name.

Link: Julie Roehm

Jason Goldberg Can't Shake Bad Habits

Jason Goldberg, CEO of Jobster, presents the ultimate paradox in social media. In 2006, he used social media to float the rumor of layoffs at his company and everyone from the New York Times to (most recently) Wired Magazine, as reported by Cheezehead, has chastised him for it. Yet, as crazy as it sounds, social media saves him as often as it slays him. So in what has almost become one sequel too many for the story that would not die (much like the Halloween franchise), Goldberg seems to have taken some lessons to heart despite being unable to break bad habits. He has a nasty tendency to hint before taking action as evidenced by the layoffs, his brief 'engagement' of me, and recently, about the fate of much-loved Jason Davis at Recruiting.com, who is allowing his contract to end after Goldberg hinted that changes were in the works (Davis was not fired nor forced to resign). We're adding a post to this living case study tomorrow, hopefully to shed some light on the continuing confusion.

Link: Jobster

Royal Spring Water Dances With Creative Ethics

Although new, Royal Spring Water seems to be gaining traction as another case study to watch. Just a few days ago, we called the company on peddling fear with its anonymous publisher-produced direct mail piece that sold stocks and the end of the world. Hailing water as the new oil, Royal Spring Water seems to be coming under fire for questionable marketing practices, stock valuation, and its product, billed as "structured water." While most of the muck seems buried by a mountain of news releases about anything and everything to demonstrate momentum, we cannot help but to wonder what the future holds for a company headed by former filmmakers.

Link: Royal Spring Water

Blogging ROI Is Real With The Right Measures

We are always a bit discouraged knowing that bad news tends to trump good news in attracting attention (for traditional and social media alike), but one idea surfaced above the clutter this quarter. Although it is only a sliver of a bigger theory we're working on in between servicing our clients, the 5-in-1 tool concept for blogging accomplished its objective: we were hoping executives and communication-related professionals would think of social media as a very versatile tool rather than force cookie-cutter frameworks upon companies. Simply put, appreciating that social media is a tactic and not a strategy, we recommend looking at existing communication challenges and/or opportunities before attempting to apply social media. By doing so, it's easier to establish measurable objectives that can deliver a tangible ROI.

Links: Blogging ROI, Social Media

Those were the top five most read posts for the first quarter 2007. Runners up (no order) included: Julio "Assad" Pino, JetBlue, Social Media Influence, AP Style on Web site, Using The Force.

A special thanks to all those who dropped by, added comments, and continued to help us shape a blog that is hopefully more useful than entertaining, but sometimes entertaining all the same. Thank you very much. Until tomorrow.

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2 comments:

Rich on 4/2/07, 1:20 PM said...

Famous Corrections:

Writing about Jason Goldberg is never easy because the perception he creates and the reality of any given situation are often far apart. I recently learned that Goldberg and Davis had already agreed to end the contract before Goldberg made his hint about changes at Recruiting.com.

So, I guess it really seems to me that some people are still working on message management over at Jobster, which makes tomorrow's headline even more appropriate: Knowing When To Hint.

Rich on 4/5/07, 3:13 PM said...

Hey Terrence,

Thanks for posting, but I had remove your unrelated posting as it was a spam ad. Thank you.

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