RPPR Industry Roundup – May 2013


Each month, Reputation Partners’ Corporate Reputation Blog summarizes news related to some of the key trends and events that captured headlines. Below are a few of the stories that had us talking during the month of May.

Livestrong logo

After a nine-year relationship, Nike officially cut ties with the Livestrong Foundation to protect its corporate reputation.

  • One of sports’ most heralded franchises, the Chicago Cubs, ramped up its PR push around proposed Wrigley Field renovations that had received backlash from local residents and City Hall. In an effort to gain community support, the Cubs launched wrigleyfield.com, a website that asks visitors to sign an online petition “to save Wrigley Field.” While the website provides detailed renderings of the renovations, along with near- and long-term benefits for the community, local economy, Cubs fans and the team, its main purpose is to encourage engagement between supporters and the parties opposed to the renovations.
  • Finally, after a storied career that spanned more than 50 years, veteran news anchor Barbara Walters announced her plans to retire from TV journalism next summer. The 83-year-old media icon spent 15 years at NBC News before joining ABC News in 1976, where she became the first female co-anchor on an evening news program. Most well-known as the co-host of ABC’s “20/20” and “The View,” Walters has arguably interviewed more statesmen and stars than any other journalist in history.

What recent news headlines caught your attention? Leave us a comment and let us know.

RPPR Industry Roundup – April 2013


Each month, Reputation Partners’ Corporate Reputation Blog summarizes news related to some of the key trends and events that captured headlines. Below are some of the stories that had us talking during the month of April.

  • In other social media news, Northern Trust Company, the conservatively run, 123-year-old Chicago financial services provider, updated its 2013 ethics policy to further address employee participation in external social media sites. Filed mid-April with the SEC, the policy prohibits employees from accessing social media sites during the work day.

    Airports filled with American Airlines passengers nationwide amid thousands of flight cancellations and delays.

What recent news headlines caught your attention? Leave us a comment and let us know.


RPPR News Roundup – October/November 2012


Reputation Partners’ Corporate Reputation Blog continues to summarize news related to some of the key trends and events that captured headlines. Below are some of the major stories that had us talking this fall.

Former Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit addresses the media


A member of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM) strikes.

What recent news headlines caught your attention? Leave us a comment and let us know.

RPPR Industry News Roundup – September 2012


At the beginning of each month, Reputation Partners’ Corporate Reputation Blog will summarize news related to some of the key trends and events that dominated the headlines. Below are just some of the stories that caught our attention during the month of September.

 A touchdown call made by replacement referees during a work stoppage sparked a PR crisis for the NFL

A touchdown call made by replacement referees during a work stoppage sparked a PR crisis for the NFL

What other headlines caught your attention? Leave us a comment and let us know.


Don’t Pick Fights With People Who…Have Internet Access


There’s a story rocketing around the PR agency world this week about a PR firm that finds itself in a very ugly and avoidable fight with a prominent blogger. (NSFW) It’s a great and timeless cautionary tale.

There’s an old saying about not picking a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel.  Of course, this is meant to suggest caution about doing battle with a member of the media.

But with most newspapers, radio and TV news in decline, along with the rapid ascent of bloggers, I think the saying should be updated to the headline of this post.

In this case, the PR firm sent a pitch to a blogger who didn’t care to receive it.  Blogger said so (in typical blogger way) and got a snarky reply from the pitcher at the PR firm.  Blogger (who, by the way, had over 160,000 followers — compare that to the readership of your average daily newspaper!) sent back another typical blogger reply (a bit flip and edgy).

This was followed by a foolish “reply all” from the PR firm (that included said blogger).  Well, after this bonehead maneuver (which nearly anyone could have done), the blogger apparently gave the PR firm VP a chance to walk his NSFW comment back, but, no, instead, he decided to double down on snark.

And, gee, what do you think the blogger decided to do about this whole exchange?  Publish it!


Setting aside how this reflects on the whole PR agency world, it was just plain dumb to think that this firm could do (inept) battle with a blogger and come out a winner.

So, what are the lessons here:

Lesson #1 — Treat respectable bloggers (especially those with six-figures worth of followers!) with at least as much respect as you’d treat a reporter from The New York Times.  If you have an issue with something they said, or wouldn’t include in their coverage, etc., sure you can address it with them, but….

Lesson #2 — Assume that anything and everything that you put in writing to/about a blogger will find its way to said blogger (and everyone who follows him/her…and so on….and so on).

Lesson #3 — Once you’ve done your damage, the only thing left to do is give an unqualified apology to the blogger (and the world), and give your staff some remedial training.

Social Media for Commercial Real Estate


Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to present at the BOMA 2011 International Conference & The Every Building Show at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in Washington, D.C. The topic? Devising and Executing a Social Media Program: A BOMA/Chicago Case Study.

Over the course of two sessions, Edward M. Bury, APR, BOMA/Chicago’s director of marketing and communications, and I shared strategic and tactical advice to commercial real estate executives mulling over the now seemingly “age old” question: can social media work for me and my building/organization/company?

While social media isn’t necessarily appropriate for all industries and companies, it’s at least worth investigating. The following is a step-by-step to getting started. Reputation Partners deployed a similar social media strategy as we helped BOMA/Chicago launch their social networking presence (including the organization’s new blog, The Elevator Speech).

Step 1. Listen
If someone in the marketplace was talking about your company or brand, wouldn’t you want to listen to their conversation? Actively monitoring social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube gives you an opportunity to gauge how your industry, competitors and key stakeholders are utilizing these channels. It’s also key to determining how your company can differentiate its voice amid all the social media chatter.

Step 2. Assess Vehicles
There’s a common misconception that you need to be on every social networking channel to be successful. This is far from accurate. For example, if your target audiences aren’t actively using Twitter, it’s probably not the right vehicle for your company. Consider your overarching communications objectives and how these different vehicles can help you meet these goals. Also consider the staff allocation and support needed to manage these vehicles on a daily basis.

Step 3. Launch and Market
Before you formally launch your social network presence, it’s important to populate the vehicles with content (pictures, video, status updates, etc.) before you officially “go-live.”  This will give new followers an immediate opportunity to view and react to content. Once you’ve launched, it’s equally important to market your social networking presence. Emails, newsletters, website and email signatures, as example, are all effective ways you can spread the word.

Step 4. Engage, Monitor & Track Value
This is the final – and most important – step in the process. There’s one catch: this step never ends.

Engage with your followers and create a dialogue about important developments in your industry. Ask questions. Share opinions.  Interact with people/companies that are both familiar and unfamiliar to you. Build goodwill by congratulating/commending others. Hint: if you’re constantly talking about yourself and your company, you’re probably not engaging enough.

Monitor these sites consistently. They are like small children; never leave them alone unattended for an extended period of time.  Effective monitoring will also aid in both reactive and proactive engagement with others.

As you manage and grow your company’s social networking presence, continually track the value it’s bringing. While quantitative measurement is important, we also make sure to evaluate key items such as: are we engaging with the right influencers? Has this increased awareness about the brand? Is this supporting our overarching communications strategy and goals?

While social media isn’t the solution to all of your corporate communications and marketing needs, it’s an effective tool when used thoughtfully. Based on the turnout at BOMA 2011, we’re encouraged to see that the commercial real estate industry is beginning to embrace the power of social media.



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