Reputation on the line


The tips in our lecture for how to fix a reputation are very useful. Many companies think too much and take too long to respond while a situation may be spiraling out of control. The best thing would be to reach out to the person to let them know you’re listening and that will buy a company some time to craft the best response.

Another thing companies should think about when responding is practicing their response as if the person is right there in front of them. Things can be turned into a positive faster when compassion and a human tone are used.

When it comes to the British Airways promoted tweet fiasco, I’m scared. I remember when this happened and I saw tweets that this could become a new normal. That’s scary for companies. I think the customer had a right to do what he did even if it was extreme. It’s definitely pushing the boundaries of being ethical. Many will find it unethical but I’m on the fence with this one. It isn’t clear to me because I can see both sides of the story. If that’s what he wants to do with his money and it makes him feel better, then more power to him.

British Airways shouldn’t have responded with its Twitter hours as an excuse. That was the first fail. Also for a company that is as global as British Airways, it should have people monitoring social media at all times. Unfortunately it had to learn a lesson the hard way. British Airways shouldn’t have to grovel but it should’ve offered a more sincere apology and worked on compensating the man. Not that compensation could erase the damage done with promoted tweets, but it could’ve made for a better story with media in how it handled the situation.

United Airlines faced the same sort of crisis when a YouTube video went viral about breaking a guitar. It ended up apologizing and donating money to a charity like the customer requested. From what I’ve read though, United didn’t do a whole lot in the way of making the public aware of its actions. An amazing amount of people saw the YouTube video so I would’ve thought that United would’ve wanted to promote the remedy more than it did.


Social Media So Fast You’ll Freak


To explain how well Jimmy John’s is at social media I could just fill this blog with screenshots of its posts and tweets. Since that won’t meet the 400 word requirement, let me explain to you why it is so good and show you evidence along the way.

ImageJimmy John’s tag line is subs so fast you’ll freak. I could say the same thing about its customer response time on Twitter. At the time I’m writing this, which is 9:00 p.m. ET, Jimmy John’s has replied to 66 people on Twitter today. It also retweeted seven tweets and included funny messages with them. I’d say that’s a pretty good day’s work for whoever is manning its Twitter account.

People tweet Jimmy John’s because they know someone will be there for them. It uses a tone that makes messages sound like they are coming from your best friend. A super excited, hyper best friend at that. The witty responses used are pure entertainment and really draw people in. Jimmy John’s has created a community where people want to share their love for the product and it does a great job highlighting it.

The lessons for other companies to learn from Jimmy John’s is to be human and engage your audience. Almost all of Jimmy John’s messaging on Twitter revolves around audience feedback. It is crowd sourcing for content without even asking for it.

ImageJimmy John’s uses a tone that is exciting and endearing. It doesn’t just respond with blanket statements. It crafts responses and puts effort into engaging back with its audience. Its audience can see they are important to the Jimmy John’s community and want to help spread the message about how great Jimmy John’s is. The messages that get personal responses with retweets are picked with care. I can tell that the tweets of the day are the best of the bunch and the ones that Jimmy John’s can have the most fun with.

One of the best examples I’ve found from Jimmy John’s is from a recent Twitter Q&A session it did. A college student asked Jimmy John’s for a menu board to make a beer pong table. I bet this student didn’t think that Jimmy John’s would actually just give her a beer pong table if she came to its office to pick it up. Jimmy John’s even had a sandwich and fun apparel waiting for her upon arrival. It’s all about customer experience for Jimmy John’s.

It’s not always positive with Jimmy John’s as I’ve lead you to believe so far. It takes the negative complaints with the positive. I saw plenty of tweets where Jimmy John’s was asking someone who tweeted a negative experience to send a direct message so it could take care of the issue. That’s another lesson companies can take away from this example. You can’t hide from the negative. If you embrace it, you can turn that negative into a positive.


My one piece of advice for Jimmy John’s is don’t take the weekends off. Yes everyone needs a day off but I’m sure there’s someone who can man your Twitter account on the weekends to provide the same great entertainment and customer service being providing during the week.


Still Searching for the Right Voice


KLM made a statement and put themselves high above the rest by providing such great social media customer service. They dedicated the resources to have 24 hours a day coverage of social media requests. I’m not sure I’ve heard of any other company doing that. That is a huge investment on their part and I’m sure it has a lot of benefits.

I agree with KLM that responding to your audience and watching a negative reaction change to a positive one is what makes it all worth it. The social media that I manage doesn’t see a lot of customer complaints but at a previous job I received all the fan feedback by email. I always tried to answer people who had questions or a negative complaint that I could address. I couldn’t address them all but the ones that I could answer I went out of my way to get back to them quickly and in a tone that would help the person change their reaction into a positive. Most of the time it worked and it made it all worth it for me.

Finding a human voice has always been hard for me when managing a brand’s social media. I tend to take a newsy tone, be straightforward and keep it very fact based. This might work for certain brands. The brand I manage now on social media could use a more laid back tone. It’s dealing with sports fans that are passionate and have a lot of energy and our tone should embody that as well. I just find it really hard to execute.

Finding my own personal voice is a challenge as well. My personal involvement in social media doesn’t amount to very much. I have accounts across all the major platforms and utilize some more than others. With Facebook I really only use it to post the fun we have as a family and the same goes for Instagram. The majority of the posts center on my daughter, so the tone is very fun and comes from a place of me being a proud mom. The relationships that I have developed with people revolves around them wanting to watch my daughter grow up. I’m sure I over posted her first year of her life but I always got great engagement with her photos and videos so I must’ve been giving my audience what they wanted to see.

I’m on Twitter constantly but I don’t tweet much from my own account. This is the platform where I’ve had the hardest time finding my voice. What do people want to hear from me? I haven’t really figured it out yet. I also haven’t built up any relationships in that space either. I’d like to start being a social media resource especially in the sports space. My voice would need to match that of a sports fan and come from a place of passion and being upbeat.

To trust or not to trust?

ImageI tend to trust everyone or it seems that way initially when I think about it. It’s always been my nature. I might not be the best quality but it is who I am. I can say that I trust some more than others but am finding it hard to figure the qualities that make some stand out over others. Over time my trust will decline for someone or it may even take on a roller coaster pattern.

On Facebook I don’t accept strangers as friends but some friendships have only been in the online world. That’s not to say that I trust real world friends over those I’ve only met online. I’ve formed bonds with people in this program that far exceed some friendship where I can actually meet with the person face to face.

My trust boils down to how deep a connection I have with a person. That connection is formed by becoming close to people and interacting with them often. If we’ve built up that intimacy then I will have more trust for them than others.

One behavior that stands out in regards to who I trust is that they display a positive attitude. There’s nothing more annoying than someone who only complains on social media. I also want to get value out of those I connect with. If someone is flooding my feed with nonsense then I might ignore most of what they post, even it something may be good from time to time. I also look for people that are caring and helpful. I want to know that someone is being genuine and not just in it for their own benefit. It goes back to the trust formula and how all the good qualities are multiplied together and divided by self-promotion. If you are only on social media for yourself, I don’t see many people trusting you.

The person that stands out to me is Paige Mackenzie. While I know her personally, she is a professional golfer and uses social media to build her personal brand. She demonstrates all the qualities I recently touched on. What makes her a great follow is she’s entertaining. She’s knowledgeable in her sport and provides analysis and tips for other golfers.

Paige offers a variety of different tweets by sharing personal life details or content from others. While leading a busy life playing golf, being on air with Golf Channel and traveling the world, she still finds the time to interact with her followers. She’s engaging and builds up the intimacy level that is need to trust someone.

How does she benefit from my trust? The more followers she has the more it might motivate her to continue down a great path with her social media posts. As I interact with her on Twitter, she can know that people are listening and care about what she has to offer.

Do you find yourself trusting those who have a negative attitude on social media?

Is there a value you can put above the rest when it comes to trust?

Building Blocks of Trust


Trust is hard for me to define. It’s not because of the usual response that people might give that they don’t trust many people. My issue is I trust everyone. I take what people say at face value and don’t question things. That’s why it is hard for me to define why I trust someone when I feel like I trust everyone.

The trust formula presented in our lecture made a lot of sense. The tweak I would have to the formula would be that certain factors weigh more heavily and that I wouldn’t just add them all up together. I’m thinking about building blocks and how certain combinations can add up to trust being built. You might get there using a different combination for each person and the tower of blocks/qualities is different each time you stack the blocks.

I do however strongly agree that self-promotion is what can ruin trust. There has to be a sense of selflessness to earn trust. The person can’t be in it for their own gain. Also helpfulness and intimacy stood out to me more than authority did. If someone is helpful in a genuine way and they are friendly and coming from a good place, then trust goes up.

I really liked how reliability was added in there. If you can’t rely on someone then you probably don’t have as much trust for them. You want someone to be there for you when you need them and not only when it is good for them. The people that embody reliability will always rank high in someone’s trust.

Northern Rail has done a great job building trust. The things that stood out to me were that they had a warm and friendly tone. The came off as human and showed that they cared about the person’s problem. They weren’t dismissing anything as too little to respond which goes a long way. Their responsiveness was off the charts. They simply didn’t apologize and leave messages at that. The person responding saw the conversation all the way to the end and really went the extra mile. It was more about the conversations and making sure they took action than just responding to tweets.

There are many companies that can use Northern Rail as an example. People want to know they are being heard and that their complaint or praise is being taken to heart. That is what will build trust for companies.

Pinterest Terms & Conditions

My love for Pinterest runs deep. It was an easy selection this week to review its terms and conditions. I’m glad that Pinterest didn’t disappoint. Its policies were by far the most user friendly compared to Facebook and Twitter. It also wasn’t a dreadful read like the others were.

Pinterest made this area of its site more user friendly by breaking the policies up into sections with large headings. The font was a reasonable size. The biggest difference was that it included a box next to every section that gave the same description but in layman’s terms. The biggest turn off for reading these types of documents is that not many understand what they are reading.

Pinterest provided the required legalese but then helped the everyday person out by dumbing down the language into something we can all understand. Pinterest has a legal obligation to protect itself with binding language, but it did its users a favor by making a page that someone might actually want to read.

One thing I found surprising was Pinterest requires businesses to have a business profile and not a personal profile. I knew business accounts were available but I didn’t know it was mandated. Shhh don’t tell but I currently run a business account through a personal one. Maybe I need to look into changing that.

Pinterest operates with a copyright policy to protect itself. It’s become a lot easy to take another’s work and claim it as your own and Pinterest knows it has to combat that. It doesn’t want to come under fire for a user posting material they shouldn’t. I’m not sure Pinterest would be able monitor absolutely everything, so this policy and complaint process will help cover the company when copyright issues arise.

Another safeguard that Pinterest has to put in place is not making itself responsible if a questionable or inappropriate third-party site is linked from the platform. Again it boils down to not being able to monitor everything at the rate things are pinned.

Pinterest did a great job explaining how it uses the information it tracks for each user. I do find it a bit unethical that it can track the web pages I visit if that site has a Pinterest feature. But I do give them credit for offering up an option where that off-Pinterest data option can be turned off. The normal user that doesn’t read the terms won’t have any idea that Pinterest does this or that you can turn it off.

It doesn’t seem that the Pinterest terms cover as much as Facebook and Twitter. I did feel that it was lacking a bit in substance but I can’t quite pinpoint what it was missing.


Don’t just check the box

No wonder I’ve never read thImagee terms and conditions for Facebook, Twitter or pretty much anything until today. My eyes are fried from long pages of small text that utilize words and phrases I don’t even understand.

That last sentence explains exactly why many don’t read the terms and conditions. It’s not much fun and you won’t walk away understanding much. They are in a legal language that many won’t comprehend on the first read. If you choose to read things over and over until you understand, you might never make it through the document. Some, including myself, turn a blind eye to the terms because we just don’t care or think that a company would hide something in there that might actually harm us. It’s not a great position to take but I’ve checked far too many boxes agreeing to turn back now and take a read.

I get that companies create these documents to cover their legal behinds but why can’t they figure out a way to be more user friendly. Make it so that someone might actually know what they are agreeing to when they check that little box. Companies probably make them this way so people won’t read them and know what is really going on.

My suggestion would be to make this area of social media sites interactive. Social media screams visual imagery these days, so why not take that approach. Make the text larger, streamline it into more understandable text and have a little more fun with it. Maybe they could have someone on video talking people through the different areas.

Parts of Facebook and Twitter’s terms and conditions did give examples which helped me understand different things. There were points when both would use images to help explain different areas. A complete redesign is needed though for more people to want to utilize these areas.

Like our lecture said, most of the terms are full of what you can’t do and not a lot about what the company is doing. I feel there is a lot being hidden. Facebook is very general and uses the word most far too often. If it isn’t all of something then what is happening to the rest Facebook?

Where my duty lies

Ethics are very gray. The word means different things to different people. Ethics is not the law and there’s no magical right answer when faced with a decision on what to do or not do in a situation.

ImageCase in point, when I was thinking about what I would do in regards to the case study discussed in our lecture, I had a gut reaction but started doubting myself. If I was a journalist having to report on a murder case, would I try become friends on Facebook with the alleged murderer’s friend? My initial reaction is yes. I would ask to be the person’s friend without making it known I was a journalist. My gut reaction stemmed from the desire to get noticed, make my boss happy, and/or receive a promotion or a new job. My duty at first lied with what was best for myself and my career.

As the lecture went on and other scenarios were pointed out, I started to question myself. As it was pointed out that it could be bad for my name, my paper or industry, I was more hesitant than I initially was. But my reaction was always self-centered relating to the egoism theory. My decision was based on how it would affect me and not the victim receiving the friend request on Facebook.

My stance on the person getting the the friend request is that person has to look out for themselves. They have the power to accept or deny me as a friend. They should do their due diligence and investigate prior to accepting.

Do I feel unethical taking that stance? Yes a little. But I also feel that as a journalist it is part of the job to investigate the story.

I think it is extremely helpful to break ethical decision making down into three steps. We each will have a gut reaction but that isn’t always the best decision. Thinking things through and using a process will help us come up with the best solution for ourselves. Again the decision might not resonate well with everyone but we have to decide where our duties lie.

Getting to know Stacy Shanks

My name is Stacy Shanks. I’m a grad student at the University of Florida getting my Masters in Mass Communications with a specialization in Social Media. I also received by BS in Advertising from the University of Florida as well in 2004. When I’m not studying and completing assignments, I’m working full time or being a wife to my husband of five years and a mother to my two-year-old Lily.

At the end of March, I took a new career path. I had worked for the Ladies Professional Golf Association for nine year steering their digital/mobile media strategies and platforms. I loved the golf industry but found myself needing a new challenge. I also wanted to find a position that allowed me to play a larger role in social media.

I landed at the United Soccer Leagues in Tampa as the Director of Digital Media. I’m overseeing the digital strategy for all of its leagues and taking each websites through a redesign. I’m also overseeing the social media strategy for each league as well and doing a lot of the posting. I’m really enjoying being hands on with social media and putting all that I’ve learned to use.

I’m really looking forward to our Social Media Ethics class. We are all going to face an ethical scenario in our line of work and with this class we can become as prepared as we  can be for how to handle situations that arise.

Integrated Marketing Communications Campaign for O.C.D. Experience

What is O.C.D Experience?

Justin Klosky founded the O.C.D. Experience in 2008 with a goal of helping people clear out their lives with organizational practices and disciplines. Klosky brings his own experience battling obsessive compulsive disorder to his company to help others organize their lives. The O.C.D. Experience wants to change people’s perceptions when they think of OCD. In the past six years, Klosky has grown his business immensely. He now operates organizational hubs in Los Angeles, New York City and Miami.  Organizational products are being developed and an organizational guide book is launching in the near future called Organize & Create Discipline: An A-to-Z Guide to An Organized Existence. Klosky is a regular organizational expert on The Talk! and has appeared on Anderson Cooper’s daytime show Anderson. Many high-end clients, celebrities and Fortune 500 companies complete his client list.

The main strength of O.C.D. Experience is the clientele it has built up. It includes very powerful people where a recommendation goes a long way. The O.C.D. Experience has huge opportunities in front of it. A larger audience will be at its fingertips with the release of the new book and Klosky is featured regularly in mainstream media for added exposure.

Target Audience

The O.C.D. Experience has been targeting high-end clients and Fortune 500 companies as well as celebrities. With the book being launched and products being developed, the target audience will need to expand to include people who are looking for organizational tips but don’t have the same budget as celebrities.

Benefits of Integrated Marketing Communications Campaign

Creating a marketing campaign has become more involved now that there are so many communication channels from which to choose. Companies need to know their audiences and the best way to reach them. Once they know what areas to target, a message can be created and carried out consistently through all the communication channels. That’s the key to an integrated marketing communications campaign.

The American Marketing Association says, “The IMC goal is to deliver the right message to the right audience at the right time in the right place.”

Companies want their consumers to see a consistent message no matter where they are looking. Each platform is different and the post will have to be tailored for that channel and audience, but the message can remain consistent. says, “All of these communications tools work better if they work together in harmony rather than in isolation. Their sum is greater than their parts – providing they speak consistently with one voice all the time, every time.”

organize-create-discipline-bookThe IMC campaign goal I would recommend would be to continue down the path of making Klosky the face of the brand. When speaking with Klosky he expressed that he would like to inspire people. The messaging will be less about engaging with celebrities and more about making a difference in people’s daily lives.

The idea I have is to create a campaign called OCD Inspire 31. It relies mostly on an out of the box book tour and social media campaign. The goal is to inspire at least 31 different people at these events as they start the new year off on the right foot. You will take that inspiration, share it on social media and inspire so many more. The exact details of the campaign are described in the full project submitted to my professor.