In the film industry, most producers know that you can have a good script and still produce a bad movie. However, if you have a bad script, you can't hope to produce a good movie. Communication works much the same way.
You cannot spin bad actions into positive perception. You can, however, change negative perception by communicating positive action. Even then, it's still hard work. In fact, it can be extremely hard to change public perception when the communication is grounded in truth and results are self-evident, never mind trying to paint a smiley face on sludge.
Ergo, you can adopt social media and still come up short when the focus is on creating the perception of a following (without actually having one). You can give customers every product choice under the sun and gain nothing more than overstocked inventory. You can attempt to spin away a crisis, but all it does is add more fuel to slipping public trust as the oil washes on up on southern beaches.
Best Fresh Content In Review, Week of May 24
• Social Media in Small Business is Anything But Small.
Brian Solis recaps the Small Business Success Index (SBSI) by the University of Maryland’s Smith School of Business with Network Solutions. The study reveals that social media adoption by small business has doubled in the past year, with an emphasis on social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. The primary reason is to identify and track new customers, but several small businesses are looking to do much more in terms of understanding customers and engaging them.
• Four Reasons Your Social Media Marketing Campaign Sucks.
While small business is adopting social media, it doesn't mean everybody is adopting it right. Dave Fleet pulls together four of the most common reasons social media doesn't always work for business. His list includes investing too little into the effort, scrapping programs too soon, misidentifying the environment as a paid medium, and treating it as a one-way communication tool. He's right. In an effort to establish a presence, businesses assume they can attract an audience too fast with very little effort.
• What Will Top Kill?
At the 36-day mark of the BP oil spill, Geoff Livingston provides a balanced accounting of BP communication efforts. He notes that while its communication improved, much of those improvements occurred too late in the crisis to be effective. The result has been a loss of public trust not only in BP but also the Obama administration, which allowed the company to control most of the communication. Eventually, the administration learned that while the public blames BP, they expected more than oversight from the administration.
• Cut Products, Boost Sales
As someone who writes with a focus on neuromarketing, Roger Dooley frequently hits upon little known facts within the communication and marketing field. While some people are content to attempt to cater to customers by giving them an infinite amount of choices, the science behind the marketing shows the opposite might be true. By reducing the number of selections, sales actually increase. However, Dooley also does a great job in balancing out the analysis. Some low volume products are supported by highly engaged and passionate consumers.
• BP: 2010’s Most Irresponsible Corporate Citizen
After BP claimed it acted responsibly in its attempts to correct the spill, Geoff Livingston analyzes whether or not it can own that statement. Of course it can't. In a virtual repeat of what Toyota did wrong earlier this year, BP was too slow to shore up its crisis communication but too fast in proclaiming a success to stop the problem. Livingston pinpoints seven examples of why the BP communication not only failed but also served to make the public even angrier.