Jonathan Salem Baskin

Seven Ways Twitter Is Ruining the Olympics

You may have heard that the 2012 London Games are the first “Social Olympics,” as if adding the word “social” to anything makes it different (I think adding “in between the sheets” at the end of a fortune pulled from a Chinese cookie is far more insightful).

So how exactly is Twitter changing the Olympics? I can see at least 7 ways it’s ruining the Games:

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The Post-Advertising Future

For all the talk over the past few years about consumers no longer believing what brands tell them, the shift in content and control away from marketers, and the prevailing power of social interaction as the mechanism for disseminating and using information…isn’t it odd that the only way social technology platforms think they can reliably make money is through advertising?

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Customer Service is Where Brands Meet Truth

A vast majority of American customers are dissatisfied with the service they get, according to a new survey, whether when they’re seeking help with a problem or even simply trying to buy something (80% of respondents said they’d abandoned a purchase process).

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PR is the Tail of a Crisis Dog

I read earlier this week that chicken foods giant Tyson had hired a PR firm (Fleishman-Hillard) to be its “agency of record” for crisis communication and corporate reputation. The article said it was uncommon to retain crisis help on an ongoing basis.

It’s also a misplaced focus of Tyson’s attention.

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Financial Services Don’t Get Social Media

Morgan Stanley is going to let 17,000 of its financial advisers use Twitter and LinkedIn, and Chase is running a promotion (I found it on Facebook) that lets small businesses compete for grant money. Both efforts reveal that these financial services brands don’t have a clue about how to use social media.

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Stop Waiting For Bad News

I know I’m dim, but I don’t understand all the blather about bad news or customer complaints being the chance for brands to earn trust. I think it’s the opposite of how you should look at things; trust comes from a shared understanding before bad things happen.

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Social Faux Pas?

When Toronto’s Globe and Mail newspaper ran a story on drug-addled porn actor cannibal murderer Luke Magnotta a few weeks ago, it used a photo of the guy holding a bottle of Labatt beer. The company objected, issuing a statement that the image was “highly denigrating to our brand” and threatening legal action if it wasn’t swapped for a non-branded shot. A torrent of snarky Tweets ensued and then Labatt retracted its threat.

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Stop Telling Me Stories about Your Brand

I know I’m a dim bulb, but being a liberal arts grad is both blessing and curse. It’s wonderful to see the world in terms of poetic metaphor and meaning. It’s also a distraction that can lead me to overestimate my own skills as a communicator, as well as misjudge anybody’s interest in hearing what I have to communicate.

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Communities of Purpose – Part 2

(part I here)

People have aggregated into communities because of shared purposes since time began. A shared cave to avoid getting eaten by saber-toothed tigers. Walled medieval villages to make silk or conduct trade. Suburbs to avoid cities, and cities to avoid the country. Every community in the real world got together, and stayed together (or not) because its residents needed one another to accomplish something(s).

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Communities of Purpose – Part 1

I speak at conferences and company events, and one of my lines always gets a lot of knowing chuckles: “Nobody wakes up in the morning wishing they had a closer relationship with their toothpaste.”

So why are so many brands working so hard (and spending so much money) trying to do just that?

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