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andres.pngThat’s a snippet of a five hour Google chat I had until 3 a.m. because of the kindness of Andrés Bianciotto, a friend I know through social networking. He generously and skillfully helped me recover from a spam attack by PR Week and their email consulting firm, Adicio and PR Week offered excuses that are lame and lamer, but I still had to get my corrupted computer running.
But this isn’t a post about why PR Week sucks or why sucks. It’s a post about the real impact of social media on corporate reputation. And about the cluelessness of the PR industry in general about social media, and the inability — or maybe it’s the refusal — of corporations to believe that consumers really do have the tools and the power to influence brand reputation and sales.
I keep the social network Twitter on my desktop all day, checking in regularly, like nearly a million other people, including the digerati, popular bloggers, top marketing consultants, journalists, some actually very sharp PR people, and a few corporate types who are trying to figure out this new media thing.
Corporate CMOs, CEOs, CFOs, listen up – what is said and done in Twitter and other social networks has more to do with your brand reputation than anything else you are doing to sell your goods and services. That’s where I chronicled my nightmarish experience with PR Week and Adicio. That’s also what caused several people around the globe to call, email, and direct message offers of help.
Twitter has become one of the main places where I get news, learn of interesting websites, events, ideas, people, and places before they hit mainstream media – usually long before. It’s also where I have established a solid and growing network of successful, smart, often funny, kind, interesting and prolific colleagues, like Andrés Bianciotto. Anyone who doesn’t fit those terms, or who tries to use Twitter for heavy-handed self-promotion or sales, is blocked, over, gone, doesn’t exist anymore.
Are we early-adopter social networkers scary? Only if you fail to understand that we also are open to listening to you, to working with you, advising you, and friending you if you act like a human and not pimp your sales message 24/7.
PR Week and Adicio, I just want you out of my life. But before you go, PR Week and, I want you to do two things:
o refund the $161 I paid to buy Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac after your “incident” corrupted my Microsoft identity database and rendered Word and Entourage unusable.
o send me one of those iPods you talked about in those thousands of emails in your “incident”
PR Week and this post will soon be in the top search results for PR Week and
An aside: When I burst into tears while telling this story to the tech folks at Tekserve, they handed me one of the tissues kept at every station because “almost everyone who comes in here is crying.”Posted by BL Ochman
UPDATE: PR Week editor Julia Hood just called me to say that they will meet my demands and are FedExing me a check for the cost of Microsoft Office 2008 and of the iPod that was the prize in the errant emails. As blog coverage noise rises, I’m moving forward, but I don’t think PR Week or Adicio have heard the last on the issue.