Archive for the ‘Interactive PR’ Category

Your online reputation defined

July 3rd, 2012

Manage Your Online Reputation

Mark Twain’s often quoted admonition that a lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes is one way to describe the power of the Internet and the delicate nature of online reputations.  Indeed, when your personal reputation hits your online radar screen, you can bet, nine times out of 10, it won’t be a positive opportunity, and the truth may never see the light of day.

Unfortunately, many senior executives and business owners who acknowledge the influence of the Internet for business needs discount the Web when it comes to their personal and professional reputations. Most Fortune 100 executives know about Facebook and Twitter, but surprisingly, few actively engage with these or other social media channels.  Fewer still understand what matters and why when it comes to understanding and addressing online reputation concerns.

To help you navigate and understand your online reputation we’ve developed this White Paper detailing how to evaluate, understand and address managing personal and other brand reputations on the Internet.  We take this a step further and provide insights into the major online reputation management services’ offerings and what you can expect from them.

Click here to read and download our Online Reputation Management 2012 White Paper.

Did a 15 year old define your multi-million dollar brand online before you did?

April 16th, 2012

By Jay Byrne

In the first weeks of 2009 a St. Louis area 15 year old using the screen name Marcus_Qwertyus launched his career as a Wikipedian and new media influencer.  In less than six weeks Marcus (aka, Mark William Schierbecker of Webster Groves, MO) entered more than 500 edits for Wikipedia articles working at a pace only a teenager with free time over winter break might maintain.  In his first year this prolific social media participant made some 7,000 contributions to the Wikipedia online encyclopedia of stuff.  By 2012 contributions for this now high school senior have risen to more than 25,000.

Wikipedia Pinterest profile edits

His editing interests range in diversity of topics from hand grenades to mobile phones.  He caught my attention because on August 22, 2011, Markus created the first entry for the current social media phenom Pinterest.   I wondered how the folks at Pinterest allowed a teenager the first shot at creating the most potentially influential description of their brand and product offering online – a full year after they launched their product in 2010 and a week after Time Magazine listed them in an article about the 50 best websites of 2011.  Anyone who follows social media had to anticipate their brand would be the focus of interest online by the Wikipedia community.

Our youthful Wikipedian clearly got on Pinterest’s radar quickly.  Early contributor tracking for Pinterest’s new Wikipedia profile page reveals that an editor who offers to help brands online immediately petitioned to have the teen-created profile page deleted; however, our prolific Show-Me state editor responded.  Armed with effective use of Wikipedia community standards and tactics and enlisting the support of other community editors, his definition-setting article for this now emerging social networking powerhouse new media brand stands today.

While our teen editor Markus continues to be the major watchdog and influencer over edits to this page, the now well-massaged profile for Pinterest. with scores of edits and revisions,  is likely not a problem for the brand and its backers.  What’s most intriguing is how savvy Internet entrepreneurs with well versed new media financial backers missed an opportunity to define who they were first and at this critical early stage of their brand development.  Getting into Time Magazine and the buzz that was generating around Pinterest clearly suggests they had access to professional marketing and public relations support – this support apparently put some social media influence behind that of other traditional outreach in their plans.

We frequently come across organization brands which meet the qualifications for inclusion in Wikipedia, but whose management still aren’t sure about venturing into social media to engage and help define themselves.  Wikipedia engagement remains highly elusive and fraught with perils for most.  Executives are often wary of spaces where 15 year olds can yield equal or greater power over their names.  Community standards and engagement practices create challenges for traditional public relations and marketing professionals, but the influence of Wikipedia dictates that we surmount those challenges and embrace the opportunities therein.

An organization’s profile and references within Wikipedia, should they be created and maintained, will be found when people search for your brand and form opinions about you.  What’s included in this information will be cited and sourced in other discussion threads.  It will frequently serve as a starting point for journalists, analysts and other key influential stakeholders linked to your organization’s interests.  The first to move and create a profile sets the tone and framework for how others in Wikipedia will engage around your brand.  While you cannot own your brand on Wikipedia, leaving how it appears to fate and the whims of others, be they a savvy teen, critical activist or competitor, would be a gaping hole in any online brand and reputation management plan.

Executives or investors who are surprised and have to react when someone else defines your interests online, be it in Wikipedia or other influential social platforms, should reevaluate the sources of their marketing and public affairs counsel.

Jay Byrne is president of v-Fluence Interactive, an agency offering digital research and strategic communication support for online reputation and issues management.  v-Fluence provides clients with customized brand and product research, white papers, best practice guidelines and execution support for engagement across new media platforms.

Social Media Week 2012 Success Model

February 24th, 2012

by Jay Byrne, v-Fluence Interactive


Packed attendance at MSMW2012

While Social Media Week 2012 conferences were held in various locations around the globe, Malaysia can tout one of the most interesting and dynamic events.  The Malaysia Social Media Week 2012 (MSMW2012) conference held in Kuala Lumpur February 13-17  brought in diverse speakers from across the globe to interact with the country’s robust blogging and new media entrepreneur communities.

From political bloggers (Malaysia ranks among the highest per capita in the world) to regional new media application developers, participants were given a unique opportunity to engage with a diverse blend of high ranking business leaders, government officials and journalists. The event was sponsored by the Social Media Chambers, a regional NGO dedicated to facilitating dialogue, best-practice training and social media advocacy.

A panel of International journalists including Asian Correspondent publisher James Craven and Asia Provocateur writer Andrew Spooner engaged with Malaysian journalists on the evolving social media impact on politics and free speech.  Social media experts like South Africa’s Dave Duarte,  India’s Pradeep Chopra and Murray Newlands from San Francisco shared best-practices and research insights informing more effective use of new media tools.  And, all of us were introduced to Malaysian social media leaders and their experiences using new digital channels to share and export information on local food, entertainment, travel and other societal and cultural aspects of the region.

High ranking government officials participated and listened throughout the conference as both local and international bloggers, politicians and activists discussed the challenges and opportunities presented by social media.   Elected officials and candidates from multiple parties and opposing viewpoints shared panel sessions and openly discussed the good, the bad and the ugly aspects of social media’s influence on Malaysia’s political system (experiences, worth noting, which are not unique to Malaysia).   I participated in numerous panels discussing regulatory, political and business challenges and opportunities where government ministers, business leaders and political party representatives engaged in real dialogue on contentious issues.

Diverse and opposing views were openly but civilly aired – a very positive sign at at time when such interactions and engagements are often rare or non-existent.  This, in particular, was a refreshing contrast to political blogging conferences in the United States (e.g., CPAC and Netroots) where typically only those with shared  ideologies sit with one another presenting escalating and one-sided attacks on those who oppose their views.   Australian Green Party and former Senator Andrew Bartlett, an MSMW speaker, noted the critical importance of bridging divergent political philosophies and the opportunities social media engagement offers to achieve real and positive movement benefiting people throughout the region.

The MSMW 2012 created an important opening and potential example of positive engagement for other countries grappling with political, commercial and societal issues which are arising from rapid adoption and new accessibility to social media tools.  Further, it helped enlarge the view into other positive social, cultural and environmental aspects of Malaysia that can help inform and engage audiences outside the country with shared interests in travel, food or entertainment.  Such topics and shared interests can help transcend often polarizing political discourse which too often dominates online dialogue and mainstream media.

This positive engagement should be noted and encouraged for the openings it is creating by groups researching and evaluating democracy, free speech and social media issues.   MSMW 2012 can serve as a model step forward for others navigating the challenges and opportunities presented by ever increasing social media adoption and opening of new communication channels both inside and outside their countries.

Jay Byrne presentation to Malaysian Social Media Week World Bloggers Conference

February 13th, 2012

On February 14, 2012 I had the pleasure of presenting on new media strategies and effective communications at the Malaysia Social Media Week 2012 in Kula Lumpur.

My presentation slides are available at the link below and here are some links to the local news coverage of the conference.

The Sun Daily – Social Media Experts to Address Bloggers Meet in KL by Neville D’Cruz.

Jay Byrne presentation: IABC Southern Region Conference

October 18th, 2011

On October 14th Jay presented background and case studies for  Online Research & Tactics for Digital Reputation & Issues Management to the IABC Southern Region Conference in New Orleans.    A copy of his slides are available here:

Jay Byrne IABC Southern Regional Conference 2011 (Adobe PDF – 3MB)

National Advocay Summit – Digital Health Care

May 18th, 2010

Jay Byrne presentation to May 2010 National Advocacy Summit gathering of health care and patient advocacy groups on digitial trends from blogs to beyond into the cloud.  A copy of his presentation materials is available by clicking here:  Digital Health Care 2010

The Cable Show 2010 – Social Media Panel

May 11th, 2010

In a panel presentation sponsored by the Association of Cable Communicators entitled “Social Media as a Mainstay of the New Communications Mix” I shared brief slides and comments along side of New Media Minute moderator Daisy Whitney, Pam Slay of the Hallmark Channel, Alex Dudley of Time Warner Cable, and Rob King of ESPN.  A PDF copy (1MB) of my presentation slides is available here.

Healthcare “Apps” Exploding in Mobile, Are You Ready?

March 5th, 2010

Does your online monitoring cover new mobile app spaces? If so, you’re seeing what we are: i-Tunes’ Health & Fitness or Medical categories now contain more than 6,000 apps for iPhones. As of January 2010, there were more than 1,700 medical applications; all together, they’ve been downloaded by more than 1 million users.

Among these, there are hundreds of applications that reference virtually every major pharmaceutical brand name, offering services from basic prescribing data to “cost-saving” generic or over-the-counter alternative options. These have been developed by medical publishers, pharmacies, payers, hospitals, advocacy groups, alternative health promoters, health care professionals, litigators, government agencies and others. Virtually every therapeutic area is already represented with growing offerings for disease management. For example, Virginia Commonwealth University recently announced an application for physicians and patients to monitor daily asthma treatment routines.

Late to the game but starting to appear are apps from the pharmaceutical industry. When it comes to pharmaceutical company-branded apps, most are free of charge, while the costs of general healthcare-related apps for the iPhone range from free to $299. More specifically, 23 percent of all medical and health applications are available for free; the median price charged for the remaining 77 percent is $1.99.

You can read the rest of this article on

Turning mobile consumers into food safety inspectors, clinical diagnosticians and more

July 24th, 2009
Using a Cellscope

Using a Cellscope to Check for Diseases.

The latest whiz-bang application for mobile users, CellScope, comes to us from researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, whose tool enables cell phone cameras to be used as fluorescent microscopes. This means that mobile devices with cameras, like the iPhone, can be adapted to collect and transmit images from blood and sputum (snot or spit) to diagnose the presence of malaria parasites and tuberculosis.

While this fluorescent scope device currently requires a plug-in component, we’re not so far away from software or camera upgrades that would make this adaptation accessible to any iPhone or android device user. Similar applications could easily include the detection of E. coli or other bacteria in food. Imagine that your ground beef smells a little off. Take a snap with your cell phone, and learn if you’ve got a contaminated Big Mac. How about H1N1 (aka, Swine Flu)? Sneeze, and snap a picture; diagnosis and links to related information, services or therapeutic products could be delivered in real time.

The possibilities that these types of mobile applications afford, which inform decision-making and influence behavior at the point of consumption, are endless. Are we ready for mass access and control over food quality or disease diagnostics, like the examples noted above? It won’t matter if we’re ready or not, it’s coming. I’ve written before on the demise of the PC being driven by mobile applications; this is just the latest nail in that coffin, which extends mobile’s reach well beyond where anyone could have predicted.

Continue reading the full post at the v-Fluence Company Blog

The Death of Print

April 2nd, 2009

What’s really endangered about newspaper publishing?

Predictions of the death of the American newspaper are appearing with greater and greater frequency, along with the actual demise of several well known dailies. The Rocky Mountain News recently ceased publication altogether and the Christian Science Monitor will move to an all-online publishing platform next month. The Web is the accused assassin and cause of this mainstream media crisis. It also is the primary driver behind traditional media’s search for a sustainable way to exist profitably online.

What many newspapers don’t realize is that they have yet to perfect the basic mission of successful Web publishing: Link relevant content with relevant audiences for increased ROI opportunities for relevant advertisers. When they do, they may staunch their current hemorrhage and – gasp – perhaps make money online.

Time Magazine has taken up the apparent demise of print journalism with a cover story and recent report predicting the potential demise of eight to 10 of the most endangered papers in the country. Time suggests these once-powerful media mainstays are close to shutting down or moving to online-only publications. But will just a shift to online publishing save them?

Continue reading the full post at the v-Fluence Company Blog



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