Monday, 28 July 2008


A quick apology to anyone who got a spam post appearing from my old blogspot address (and thanks Mat for pointing it out). Feeds are now reset and the old page blocked from feedburner, so hopefully it won't happen again.

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Social media and reputation

Attended a really interesting session yesterday on social media and privacy issues, based around Ofcom’s new research into social networking (thanks to the PRCA for organising, and to Mat at Porter Novelli for hosting).

The Ofcom research confirms as fact what most people would instinctively know: young kids (many under the 13 age limit) compete for friends, teens and young adults dominate, none of us take privacy issues seriously enough, most people have profiles on more than one site, and so on. But as well as giving numbers, the research gives a really useful and interesting insight into the types of users of networks, and qualitative research into people’s attitudes towards communicating with each other over a social network.

This led to a broader discussion around social media and reputation management. Do most employees under 30 understand the implications of putting up dodgy photos of themselves on their Facebook page? Or that discussions (even between friends) on forums about their company can impact that company’s reputation? This is becoming a bigger and bigger issue for corporate reputation management and one that companies can’t ignore. Most companies will have contractual clauses saying that employees shouldn't bring the organisation into disrepute. But how many will have specific guidelines on social media and reputation? The risk of (probably inadvertent) damage by an employee on a social network, or forum is significant. And guarding against reputation damage is PR's remit. We should all start advising our clients on this, and fast.