We have a fundamental tenet in our Western societies – innocent until proven guilty. The problem we have now is simply that reputation pivots faster via the social Web than can be adjudged in the courtroom.

I have no idea whatsoever whether Dominique Strauss-Kahn did or did not rape or sexually molest the hotel maid. But he has already lost his job heading up the International Monetary Fund. His chances to run for senior government office are dashed. If he's found guilty, then you might say all's well and good, but he is currently innocent until proven guilty, and may never be found guilty. Charges may even be dropped. Where's the "all's well and good" in that?

This trend is significant for reputation management – of organisations as well as individuals.

And yet given the radical and real-time transparency of the social Web, I've been saying recently that 'reality is perception'. I posit that this is a more relevant axiom today than the one that dominated the 20th Century, 'perception is reality'. Am I not, therefore, contradicted here?

Prior to the evolution of proper judicial process, hearsay ruled. Suspect witches were dunked, and were definitely witches if they survived – to be executed. Else innocent – albeit sadly dead! We're witnessing a renaissance of rumour and hearsay, but perhaps only temporarily. The legal beagles need to adjust process as they did before.

We've already seen the first juror jailed for talking to a defendant via Facebook, and perhaps those who govern such things now need a crash course in modern reputation issues. Should, for example, a defendant be seen and photographed and filmed in handcuffs if they are innocent at that juncture? Does that not only serve to send out the wrong signals? Should the courts publish the facts of high profile cases, as they exist and are known, to create a higher authoritative source of information than would otherwise be provided by the media? Should the public be admitted to the court room? Is the jury system still relevant or workable?

If, like me, you think this is a grave matter, perhaps you will think twice now before retweeting, 'liking' or 'plus one'ing' anything until at least checking the validity of the source. Else you are guilty of helping destroy this treasurable tenet.

Best regards, Philip and The Conversation team.


Inform and Guide Customers with Crossmedia Content

by David H Deans of Digital Lifescapes

Today's technology-centric business success often hinges on the ability to inform and guide prospective customers who are entering the buying-cycle for complex products and services. That said, few marketers have mastered this essential skill -- informing and guiding via digital multimedia content -- in a meaningful way.

That said, eMarketer reports that findings from Focus Research indicate business-to-consumer (B2C) marketers are more likely to direct their attention to improving client understanding and retention this year than their business-to-business (B2B) counterparts, who are placing a higher emphasis on filling the sales pipeline. More...


Cannes Recap: PR Makes Strides But Ad Firms Still Take the Spotlight

by Keith Trivitt of Public Relations Society of America

Former Hill & Knowlton U.S. Chairman MaryLee Sachs reports from the 2011 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity:

It was a jam-packed week at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity and I’ve taken in as much as humanly possible, picking and choosing the most interesting speakers and topics to me. The best way to provide a round-up is to impart one key factoid, quote or provocation from each of the presentations I really enjoyed:

British newspaper The Guardian sponsored a seminar with Dr. More...


Web 3.0 and The Internet of Things

by Andrew Ross of Chartered Institute of Public Relations

Last Thursday evening Philip Sheldrake headed up a Social Summer session which created and stirred up debate at CIPR towers.

Philip gave a whistle-stop tour of the web up to the era we now find ourselves in – Web 3.0 or, the semantic web. In a nutshell, we’re at a point in time where we are finding the Web itself understanding the meaning of all the content and participation currently at your fingertips, but you can check out his deck above for the specifics…

One of (the many!) tools Philip revealed was Rel Finder, this ‘extracts and visualizes relationships between objects in RDF data and makes these relationships interactively explorable.’ More...


Can you trust anyone online?

by Graham Jones of Internet Psychology

Tweet Trust. It is fundamental to your private and your business life. Stop trusting your spouse and your marriage is doomed. Stop trusting your colleagues and your work-life is doomed. Stop trusting what you read online and…..? New research from the USA shows us that trust is in short supply these days. According to Gallup who conducted the study, it’s down to the way we feel because of the recession. But that’s just an excuse. The real reason for lack of trust is the internet itself. More...


small business pr: a big opportunity but one size never fits all

by Becky McMichael of Ruder Finn

When I pick up a shiny new top off the shop rail, nothing makes my heart sink faster than a "one size" label. Why? It never fits. You're pretty much guaranteed either your boobs, your tummy or your bum will be mercilessly exposed by a garment designed to be OK for everyone but that usually provides a poor result. And it's usually the one part you want to hide that ends up on show.

I hadn't intended to start with a shopping analogy but hey ho, I am short of time so let's press on.

We've been doing a lot of work recently with small to medium sized businesses and it never ceases to amaze me how many companies just don't get what they need. More...


Reputation Online set to close (mirror copy)

by Stephen Waddington of Speed Communications

Vikki Chowney has announced the closure of Reputation Online. The news follows an announcement by Centaur yesterday that Design Week and New Media Age would close their print editions from this week (both will continue online). That the Reputation Online site can’t cope with the traffic from people wanting to know what’s going on tells you everything that you need to know about the popularity of the community. We’ve mirrored Vikki’s post here about its closure. Please feel free to repost. More...


Reputation is everything as online closes

by Owain Betts of OMB Communications

In our increasingly digital world it seems odd to be writing a post about the demise of an online publication that covers digital PR.

Vikki Chowney, editor of Reputation Online, has today revealed that the site is closing with immediate effect after a sudden reorgansation by owners Centaur. They are also ceasing publication of New Media Age in printed format, instead taking it exclusively online.

I can understand taking NMA online. It makes perfect sense, although as a subscriber I’m yet to be officially told that I will no longer receive a printed copy in the post. More...


Lobbying MPs on the URL copyright tax

by Stephen Waddington of Speed Communications

Meltwater and the Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA) has launched a lobbying campaign to raises awareness of the so-called URL copyright tax amongst MPs. Neville Hobson has the full story and a template letter.

To concisely re-cap: from early 2010, anyone copying and supplying UK newspaper web content to others for a fee (monitoring or press clippings agencies to PR agencies, for instance, and from those PR agencies to their clients) must acquire a license from the Newspaper Licensing Agency (NLA), a body that's owned by the mainstream media. More...


Google+: its prospects and likely implications for PR

by Mark Pack of MHP Communications

With a relatively low-key blog post, Google has announced details of its long-talked about new foray into social networking - Google+.

Google's hit rate with its new projects is fairly low. It knows that if it tries out enough new ideas, the occasional one will be the sort of success that more than makes up for the efforts which went into the flops. Even in social networks, there have been plenty of flops already - remember Google Sidewiki, Google Buzz or Google Wave to name but three?

However, Google+ has three things going for it that make it look, at this early stage, more like a Chrome or an Android - something that is set to become a major success. More...


How data is transforming digital marketing

by Philip Sheldrake of Meanwhile

Digital marketing has come a long way in the past decade, as we've moved beyond putting existing materials online and learned how to really harness the native advantages of digital technologies.

The pace of change continues unabated, and among its most important drivers is data – and the meaning of that data.

Every one of us is going to be producing more data describing our use of digital products and services. This is what I like to call digital detritus. Detritus – discarded organic matter which is decomposed by microorganisms and reappropriated by animal and plant life – More...


2011 is now half gone - 8 creativity tools to help you get the most out of the rest of 2011

by Andy Green of andygreencreativity

Wow! We are now over half way through 2011.

Now is a great time to take stock of your plans – and crucially how you can make the most of the remaining six months to ensure 2011 is another great year in your life.

Here are some great innovation and creativity tools – to ensure you make the most of your situation, talents and opportunities.

Follow these 8 steps to transform the rest of your year.

If these ideas can help transform the remainder of 2011, just think what they can also do to help your work, next campaign, or boost your innovation and creativity skills. More...


Not just another monitoring and analytics tool – PeopleBrowsr launch

by Stephen Waddington of Speed Communications

What the social media industry really doesn’t need at the moment is another monitoring tool.

The market is overcrowded (this wiki lists more than 200 products). Vendors dazzle prospects with data and features rather properly demonstrating their products rather than helping to educate. I'm generalising for effect but I'm sure you've been on the receiving end of countless cold calls.

Tonight a breath of fresh air blew through the streets of Soho in the name of PeopleBrowsr. It held its European launch at the Hospital Club in London. More...


TNT employees Social Media Guidelines: A great example of can-do attitude

by David Meerman Scott of David Meerman Scott

Over the past week, I've talked about the conflict between legal staff and communicators when if comes to real-time media. My post When lawyers stupidly get in the way of marketing kicked off the series followed by my video interview with Vivienne Storey Is social media worth the risk? A lawyer's perspective.

Next up is a terrific set of social media guidelines from TNT. Rather than saying "no," the legal and HR staffs, communicators, and management of TNT have created an environment of "yes." More...


FIR Interview: Bill Calder, Managing Editor, Intel Free Press

by Neville Hobson of NevilleHobson.com

FIR co-host Shel Holtz explores how Intel is taking steps to become a media company in this interview with Intel Free Press managing editor Bill Calder.

According to the About page on the site, "The Intel Free Press is a tech news beta from Intel Corporation, covering technology and innovation stories that are often overlooked or warrant more context and deeper reporting. The stories here are reported and produced by writers employed by the company with a focus on people, technology, events and topics relevant to Intel." More...

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