Monday, June 9, 2008

Google gets top spot in reputation study

Google claimed the top spot in Reputation Institute's annual Global
Pulse U.S. 2008 Study. The study measures the overall respect, trust,
esteem, and admiration consumers hold towards the largest 600
companies in the world, including the largest 150 U.S. companies.
Governance and citizenship combined account for more than 30% of a
company's reputation.

Other highlights from Global Pulse US 2008 include:
-Six companies posted excellent reputations in the U.S. After Google,
Johnson & Johnson and Kraft Foods ranked 2nd and 3rd, followed by
General Mills, Walt Disney and United States Parcel Service.
-Consumer product companies have the best reputations, followed by
Industrial Products companies led by 3M, Xerox, Deere & Co, and
-Retailers' got mixed reviews. Publix Super Market and Costco
Wholesale earned high rankings while Safeway, Target, Rite Aid, and
Wal-Mart were the weakest in their sector.
-The high-tech sector (computer and electronics companies) has a
strong reputation led by Texas Instruments and followed closely by
Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, and Dell.
-Ten companies improved their reputation scores from last year, while
13 lost significant reputation equity from 2007 to 2008.

Reputation Institute's research model indicates that reputation is
built on 7 pillars from which a company can create a strategic
platform for communicating with its stakeholders on the most relevant
key performance indicators. These dimensions are: Products/Services,
Innovation, Workplace, Citizenship, Governance, Leadership, and


Generation Y far more diverse than baby boomers

Nielsen released a wide range of data about Gen Y in its May 2008 "Consumer Insight Magazine." It said that the typical Gen Y consumer surfed the Internet 22 times per month from April 2007 to February 2008.

The group is very comfortable shopping online. One-half of consumers under age 24 made an Internet purchase between April 2007 and February 2008, according to Nielsen Online. Among 13 to 21 year-olds alone, over $120 billion was spent in 2007.

The US Census Bureau says there are about 70 million Americans who fall into the Generation Y category. It is an ethnically diverse group: 60% white, 15% black (non-Hispanic), 18% Hispanic and 4% Asian. As a point of reference, baby boomers are 72% white, 11% black (non-Hispanic), 10% Hispanic and 4% Asian.


Monday, June 2, 2008

PRSA Responds to CBS Story Challenging Public Relations

The following letter was submitted today in response to a commentary on CBS Sunday Morning by legal analyst Andrew Cohen in which he challenged the integrity of the public relations profession.

Dear Mr. Cohen,

Regarding your commentary on today's CBS Sunday Morning, the Board of Directors of the Public Relations Society finds it imperative to affirm the professionalism of public relations practitioners and to take exception with what we regard as a misguided opinion. The PRSA Code of Ethics, to which all members pledge, embodies a strict set of guidelines defining ethical and professional practice in public relations. Professionals who meet the Code's standards stand in stark contrast to the simplistic, erroneous characterization of the profession you presented.
Contrary to baseless assertions, truth and accuracy are the bread and butter of the public relations profession. In a business where success hinges on critical relationships built over many years with clients, journalists and a Web 2.0-empowered public, one's credibility is the singular badge of viability. All professionals, including attorneys, accountants and physicians, aspire to ethical standards, and public relations professionals are no different, always striving for the ideal.
For public relations professionals, engaging diverse and often skeptical audiences requires top-flight skills in communications, creativity and even persuasion, but a trust once lost cannot be regained. Unemployment, contrary to your opinion, is reserved for the professional who has lost his or her credibility.
Building upon a foundation of integrity, implementation of those professional skills can also yield some very positive and powerful outcomes. Spreading the word about available health services has gotten thousands of infants immunized. Uncovering facts about post-9/11 air quality has helped scores of New York children unravel the mystery of a high incidence of asthma. Creating programs that engage veterans has helped them make the personal and professional transition to civilian life.
Curiously, you also assert that lying is no big deal. To the public relations professional, that is far from the truth. To "try to convince people a turkey is really an eagle" would leave true professionals eating crow, if they could eat at all.
Very truly yours,
Jeffrey Julin
Chairman & CEO

Mr. Cohen provides a blatant example of stereotyping and over generalization, worth studying for its lack of logic. How easy it is to tarnish a whole profession in just one broad stroke. John Fisher

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Washington insights

This week the long anticipated book by President Bush's former press secretary Scott McClellan finally came out. Entitled "What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and
Washington's Culture of Deception," is an expose about his experience in Washington. He said he wrote the book because he felt he had to tell the truth. Here are some quotes from the Wall Street Journal related to how the media operates:

"Washington has become the home of the permanent campaign, a game of endless politicking based on the manipulation of shades of truth, partial truths, twisting of the truth, and spin. Governing has become an appendage of politics rather than the other way around, with electoral victory and the control of power as the sole measures of success. That means shaping the narrative before it shapes you. Candor and honesty are pushed to the side in the battle to win the latest news cycle..."

"The permanent campaign also ensnares the media, who become complicit enablers of its polarizing effects. They emphasize conflict, controversy and negativity, focusing not on the real-world impact of policies and their larger, underlying truths but on the horse race aspects of politics -- who's winning, who's losing, and why..."

"The press amplifies the talking points of one or both parties in its coverage, thereby spreading distortions, half-truths, and occasionally outright lies in an effort to seize the limelight and have something or someone to pick on. And by overemphasizing conflict and controversy and by reducing complex and important issues to convenient, black-and-white story lines and seven-second sound bites the media exacerbate the problem, thereby making it incredibly hard even for well-intentioned leaders to clarify and correct the misunderstandings and oversimplifications that dominate the political conversation. Finally, it becomes much more difficult for the general public to decipher the more important truths amid all the conflict, controversy and negativity. For some partisans, that is fine because they believe they can maneuver better in such a highly politicized environment to accomplish their objectives. But the destructive potential of such excessively partisan warfare would later crystallize my thinking."

See more quotes at: