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03/14/2010

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Mike Boehmer

Wow. That is so interesting. I like the idea of putting initials with tweets/status updates from your brand. I have noticed that I get a lot more interaction when sending a work-related tweet from my @MikeBoehmer57 than from @HamiltonCoJFS. You're always on the cutting edge. Glad you shared this!!!

Lisa McLaughlin

"Social media is a commitment not a campaign."
I think this is a very important thing for companies to remember, that their presence on the web should be more than just a one hit wonder during a promotions campaign. This blog did a good job touching on the importance of keeping a sustained presence in order to create a real social voice. As you said, a social voice will not only allow the brand to better identify itself with people but it will allow companies to "humanizing" themselves. I like the point about how using a real person to represent the brand whenever engaging in social media helps reinforce the fact that real people are behind the brand, which is so important in building trust with the customers. Thanks for the great blog!

Meredith Laurie

I am actually following your blog for my message development class and I am so happy that I picked a blog that is useful to understanding my classes as well.

I find the idea that simply creating a single personality to represent a brand can make the brand exponentially more popular to consumers. I actually find it strange that companies didn't think of this sooner, considering the importance they place on emotional connections in their commercials and other advertisements. It would be easy to transfer the personalities from liked commercials, such as the Sprint guy, and move them onto Twitter and facebook. It completes a humanizing circle and builds the trust that consumers needs to stay loyal to a brand.
Thanks so much for these thoughts!

Kevin Dugan

Mike, Lisa and Meredith, Thank you for all of the feedback. It's funny to consider how quickly things change. One of my least-favorite examples is my Twitter handle: prblog. When I first started registering with sites, usernames were typically an alias of some sort. To remain consistent, prblog became my de facto username. In hindsight (circa 2002), it should have been some iteration of my name. It would spare my current branding issue. Some folks know me only as prblog.

And while a corporate blog never brought up the issue of personification, other than signing posts, it becomes a definite issue with Twitter and Facebook.

Meredith - Companies did not consider this sooner because of this rapid evolution. But more importantly, marketing has fought for years to make sure the brand is represented consistently. Brand Voice is a part of this representation. So social voice has thrown a lot of companies for a loop. "How can people be consistent vs. visual identity and brand standards?!" Baby steps!

Sodexo Insider

Sodexo using former CNN reporter to circulate negative propaganda against labor organizations

Gaithersburg, Maryland – Michael McManus, the Director of Public Relations of Sodexo, is being used as a weapon by company to create and circulate negative rhetoric against labor organizations such as the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

In late 2009, Michael McManus, the Washington Bureau Chief and White House Correspondent at HDNews, was hired as Director of Public Relations for Sodexo, the global food and facilities management company based in Paris and the Washington D.C. area.

During his three years at HDNews, McManus handled the day-to-day operations in the Nation's Capitol including the DC based reporting, managing, and the public relations and marketing of the television network.

Prior to that, McManus spent 12 years anchoring, reporting and producing at CNN. During his time at CNN, McManus anchored, reported on, and produced countless major stories, including the Iraq war, the JFK, Jr. plane crash, the 9/11 attacks, TWA flight 800, the Virginia Tech massacre, the Pope's visit to the United States, and the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. While McManus had a stellar career at CNN covering disasters and major events, he was roundly criticized by many labor and environmental organizations for his superficial and often flattering coverage of big business. In fact, McManus had earned a reputation for being a friend of big business and was known as being very critical and dismissive of the concerns and issues of labor.

Originally, Sodexo had stated that McManus would be building the company’s digital presence and heading up its social media strategy. However, some PR representatives at Sodexo have privately indicated that McManus has been mainly hired to attack the SEIU and other labor organizations. As one Sodexo official stated, “the best defense is a good offense.” Given McManus’ history of being a friend of big business, McManus is said to be greatly enjoying his role as “labor attack dog” for Sodexo.

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