Thursday, January 22, 2009

Be Careful What You Post

Ketchum employee's Tweet causes client controversy

MEMPHIS, TN: A Tweet by a Ketchum staffer that was visiting agency client FedEx in its hometown prompted an angry memo that reached executives on both sides and the blogosphere.

A Twitter post made by the screen name “keyinfluencer,” which lists James Andrews, VP, director of interactive at Ketchum, as its owner, made the “true confession” that “I'm in one of those towns where I scratch my head and say ‘I would die if I had to live here!'”

An employee of FedEx then wrote a letter to both FedEx and Ketchum leadership that said the comment was "inappropriate” and they were “confident” that “it is enough to expect a greater level of respect and awareness from someone in your position as a vice president at a major global player in your industry.” The memo was posted on the blog of Peter Shankman.

“This is an unfortunate situation and demonstrates very poor judgment by Mr. Andrews,” wrote FedEx, in a statement e-mailed to PRWeek. “The reaction by our employees proves once again that FedEx takes great pride in our hometown of Memphis.

“This lapse in judgment also demonstrates the need to apply fundamental communications principles in the evolving social-networking environment: Think before you speak; be careful of you what you say and how you say it,” the statement continues.

Ketchum also called the incident a "lapse in judgment," in a statement. "We've apologized to our client... We greatly value this long standing client relationship. It is our privilege to work with them,” the Ketchum statement read.

In later Twitter postings, the “keyinfluencer” said he was “Having a great day with my new friends at #Fedex” and apologized. He also posted an apology to his blog.

FedEx concluded that "Mr. Andrews made a mistake, and he has apologized. We are moving on."

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

FPRA SWFL Chapter joins Facebook!

There's a new group out there in Facebook-land for the Southwest Florida Chapter of FPRA. Search for it and join in the next time you log on.

What's that? You don't have a Facebook account yet? Defintely check into it again. These days, it's becoming much more prevalent, and it's a great way to find and network with others who share your interests. Plus with privacy settings and plenty of other options along the way, you can customize who sees what and how much information you share through your profile.

Monday, January 5, 2009

PRU This Friday, January 9 - Register Now!

New Social Media, Economic Downturn, Crises Communications, Natural Disaster Response, Reputation Management to be Addressed at PRUniversity 2009

In September 2007, a University of Florida student was tasered for resisting law enforcement personnel during a presentation by U.S. Senator John Kerry. The incident was videotaped by several people in the audience, uploaded to YouTube, and by the next day more than 500,000 people had viewed the video. Then CNN and the network news latched onto the story and “don’t tase me, bro” had gone viral. How the University’s public relations department handled the viral media storm will be the topic of the keynote presentation by UF associate vp of public relations Joe Hice, APR, at PRUniversity 2009 – Weathering the Storm, Southwest Florida’s premier annual professional development seminar presented by the Southwest Florida Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association.

Other presenters include Sarah Owen, executive director of the Community Cooperative Ministries Inc., recently named by the News-Press as one of the “People to Watch” in 2009. Owen will discuss how a well-planned, compelling, unified message and a new brand identity gained buy-in for the successful merger of three local not-for-profit agencies, each with its own mission, employees, facilities and board of directors.

Chris Gent of the Kissimmee Utility Authority will explore blogs, podcasts, Flickr, instant messaging and other new social media, explaining how they can benefit your business, and when they can be detrimental. With more than 200 local, state, national and international awards to his credit, Gent is on the cutting edge of social media.

To hear these vibrant speakers and other local experts address timely topics from surviving the economic downturn to successful reputation management, register for PR University at The full day seminar will be held Friday, January 9 from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. at Hodges University. The afternoon includes a unique hands-on tabletop exercise, “Coping with Disaster”, which will provide valuable experience in preparing your company for the worse. Several registration options are available, including morning-only, lunch-only and afternoon-only attendance. For more information call PRU Co-Chair Tina Haisman, APR, CPRC at 239-418-1157.