Tag Archives: reputation

Has PR Become a ‘Lightning Rod of Mistrust’?

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Lightning © by veggiefrog

Lord Tim Bell, head of the U.K.-based PR firm Bell Pottinger, thinks so.

That’s what he told a crowd gathered in Dubai for the recent IPRA Public Relations World Congress and reiterated in an excellent interview with The Holmes Report.

Lord Bell is asked why he feels that public relations has become a “lightning rod for mistrust.” His response is intriguing inasmuch as it provides a nuanced view of a much broader issue afflicting the profession: its reputation within business and society.

Lord Bell sees “no solution to [the] issue,” of public relations’ reputation challenges, he tells The Holmes Report’s Arun Sudhaman, believing that “We [have] become the lightning rod for that mistrust. It is something we have to learn to live with. That makes us an easy target for the media.” Continue reading

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The Persuasive Power of … Uncertainty?

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I recently listened to a fascinating, but somewhat counterintuitive, interview on the powers of persuasion via the Harvard Business Review podcast. In it, Stanford marketing researcher Zakary Tormala details findings of his recent study on influence and persuasion from experts and non-experts. What was of particular note was this eye- (and ear-) catching finding: experts who offer a degree of well-timed uncertainty when trying to persuade or influence others are often more successful in their impact than those who bloviate or come across as all-knowing.

Interesting . . .

As Tormala explains it, when someone who is considered an expert, whether that be a newspaper movie critic, a restaurant reviewer or even a CEO, displays a degree of uncertainty or humility in their speech or writings, people often listen to them more. It’s part of the surprise factor, Tormala notes, and it works, despite being counterintuitive to almost everything we think about persuasion. Continue reading

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Seeing Opportunities in the Face of Fear

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Businessman working alone in boardroom, crying, portraitI want to take a moment to step aside from some of my previous discussions about the technology behind what is guiding us into a new era of communications and my ruminations on why I can’t stand the term “blogger relations” to discuss something far more personal to me: fear. Specifically, how my fears shape and alter my personal and professional goals and convictions. Continue reading

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Ummm, I Totally Liked Your Avatar Better

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Girl with a bookHave you ever followed someone just because you liked their avatar? Call me shallow, but I follow a lot of people based on that factor. Then I realize that I actually like what they tweet about and I’m glad I was so superficial. It’s kind of like how I shop for books; if the cover is sweet, i buy it, and 8 out of 10 times it is a pretty good book. (BLAH, BLAH I KNOW THE SAYING, DON’T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER, I’M NOT DUMB)

Sometimes though, if you’re lucky, there is that slight feeling that you get where your mind says, “Wow I really like chatting with this person, and their picture is pretty nice…maybe there is something there?” So you decide to move your @ tweets to DMs, then maybe to GChat, and then if you’re really ready to venture out of the safe haven of the chat bubble you may even Facebook each other. Continue reading

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