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July 7, 2009 — 1 Comment

from davidalston on Flickr

I had no idea this photo would follow me around

Have you Googled yourself lately? I mean, really gave yourself a deep Googling?

What are people saying about you? What kinds of pictures will your boss, employees or (gasp!) kids discover with a few short clicks? What does any of this mean to your personal brand?

This Thursday I’m co-presenting “The Brand of You in the Digital Age” with Tim Brunelle at an event hosted by the Minnesota Chapter of the American Marketing Association and Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association (MIMA).

We’re going to talk about the changing face of personal brand, why your online identify matters and tips for monitoring, positioning and saving your digital reputation.

Event details:
The Brand of You in a Digital Age
July 9, 2009 | 5:00 p.m.
Grumpy’s Bar – Roseville, MN | REGISTER HERE

Be sure to check out Tim’s preview post at the MNAMA blog.

photo by @tbrunelle

photo by @tbrunelle

On Wednesday, I had the profound pleasure of moderating a Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association (MIMA) event on the topic Digital Reputation Management, a topic that is a core focus of my company (and me personally) in 2009.

A Weber Shandwick proprietary analysis revealed that over three-quarters (79 percent) of the world’s number-one most admired companies lost their crowns over the past five years in their respective industries.

Reputation loss is also on the rise. Nearly 9 out of 10 business executives participating in our Safeguarding Reputation™ survey agree that susceptibility to reputation damage is a growing threat.

Similarly, a sizable 84 percent of global senior executives surveyed by the Economist Intelligence Unit reported that reputation risk increased significantly over the past five years. When executives were asked to choose among 13 risk types, reputation risk emerged as the most significant threat to global corporate business.

As company, brand and product reputations fluctuate and/or deteriorate worldwide, communicators need to proactively engage reputation radar systems to identify, track and respond to approaching reputation threats, as well as find ways to locate and empower brand advocates.

This is definitely a topic which our interactive marketing community needs to be active (especially proactive) in discussing, exploring and collaborating. What a great panel topic!


Our star-studded panel constsited of Tammy Lee Stanoch, VP Corporate Communications for Delta/NWA, Lela Phommasouvanh, Senior Consultant, Search Marketing for FindLaw, a Thomson Reuters Business, and Steve Bendt, Social Technology Activist for Best Buy, Inc.

More than 250 attendees absorbed tips about tracking buzz, making the business case to leadership and the imperative “Set Up a Google Alert for your name and your clients’ names” mantras. If you missed the event, you can stream the archive here.

Gems from the discussion:

  • Be authentic
  • Be transparent
  • Be cautious, but fearless
  • Don’t be stupid
  • Don’t be unethical
  • Trust your employees and your customers
  • Realize you don’t have control, but put forth measures to proactively inoculate detractors and engage advocates

The panel put together a list of suggested reading links on here, and also mentioned the following resources to research, check out, use or peruse:

  • Best Buy Connect (BBY Employee Aggregator)
  • Blue Shirt Nation (BBY’s Internal Social Network)
  • Spy (can listen in on the social media conversations you’re interested in)
  • Twitter Search (Twitter search tool that includes RSS feeds)
  • RipOff Report (central place to enter complaints about companies and individuals who are ripping people off)
  • Yelp (User Reviews and Recommendations of Top Restaurants, Shopping, Nightlife, Entertainment, Services and More)
  • Radian6 (tools for real-time social media monitoring and analysis designed primarily for PR and Ad agencies)
  • Trakur (online reputation monitoring tool designed to assist you in tracking what is said about you on the internet)
  • FlyerTalk (the world’s most popular frequent flyer community)
  • LinkedIn (a networking tool that helps you discover inside connections to recommended job candidates, industry experts and business partners.)
  • ZoomInfo (a Web-based service that extracts information about people and companies from millions of published resources)
  • Spock (the world’s leading people search engine)
  • Cluetrain Manifesto (suggestion from audience that everyone should read it, and I concur)
  • Addictomatic (suggestion from the audience)

I also recommend:

If you have others to share, please include them in the comments.


Steve Bendt has a recap post here.

Tim Brunelle has a recap post here.

Hello Viking has a recap post here.

I’m moderating…

January 7, 2009 — Leave a comment

…the next MIMA event panel on Jan. 21. The topic is Digital Reputation Management.

Event Description:

Remember telephone? Where you’d say “apple” and it would come out the other end as “elbow fireworks”?

Well, these days, controlling your online reputation is akin to playing telephone. You’ve got to speak clearly. You’ve got to listen carefully. And if someone misrepresents your message, you’ve got to speak up. Sound easy enough? It’s not. With so many online communication channels – blogs, social networks, wikis – it’s getting harder to track who’s saying what.

But not to worry! We’re gathering some fine folks to talk through common problems, offer advice and answer your questions. Cool? Cool.

Panelists include:

* Tammy Lee Stanoch, VP Corporate Communications for NWA
* Lela Phommasouvanh, Senior Consultant, Search Marketing for FindLaw, a Thomson Reuters Business
* Dawn M Bryant, Manager, Corporate Public Relations for Best Buy, Inc.

We’ll discuss key issues related to online reputation management, including:

* SEO practices
* Active listening
* Response techniques
* Personal brand
* Customer and employee communities

You’ll walk away with practical tips and smart strategies you can put to use right away. If you’ve got clients, customers and competitors who A) know how to type B) have Internet connections, seriously, don’t miss this discussion.

Register here.

MCAD Students Humoring Me
Last night I spoke to Rachael Marret’s Minnesota College of Art and Design (MCAD) marketing class on the topic of corporate reputation management.

I shared the developing case study of the Motrin Moms campaign crisis, the four-stage reputation recovery model (Rescue, Rewind, Restore, Recover) and an overview of how President-Elect Obama used social media to build a nation of advocates who helped shape his reputation (oh, and help get him elected).

It’s important to remember no reputation is bulletproof, each crisis and recovery has its own rhythm and you can’t just leave reputation up to the roll of the dice.

Also, if you aren’t out there participating in the social mediasphere, you have no ability to help shape your online persona or engage with people talking about your brand.

Here’s what you get if you Google “Greg Swan.” It still bugs me that these three folks are still crowding into my results.

Last night I spoke to Matt Wilson’s MCAD class about music/band marketing. They were a super smart group of students working on projects for STOOK!, The Invincible Kids, Dance Band, Military Special and Kristoff Krane.

My approach to marketing a band is akin to consumer product roll-out and positioning strategies, and I spent a lot of time listening and responding to their specific local band challenges and opportunities using insight from both my day job and music blog.

In honor of the class, I’m going to start a series of indy band tips over at

Read the first post here.

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Today I spoke to 150 marketers, directors, managers and linemen at the Midwest Energy Association’s Annual Operations Conference at Iowa State University.

Titled “When Generations Collide,”  my co-presenter, Kay Augustine, and I gave an overview on the characteristics of the four generations (Millenials, Generation X, Baby Boomers and Traditionalists), areas of clash points between each generation and social media marketing tips for retention and recruiting of Millenials and Generation X.

I’m speaking…

July 15, 2008 — Leave a comment

On a panel at a Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association (MIMA) event this Wednesday, July 16 at 6 p.m. at the lovely International Market Square in Minneapolis.

The panel is titled “Too Much Information? Surviving Data Overload,” and promises to be very educational. I’m planning to learn more than anyone.

From MIMA’s event description:

Juicy blogs. Sweet tweets. Fresh, hot analytics. Today’s Internet is a virtual all-you-can-google buffet. It’s easy to get overwhelmed. Well, no more. Come learn how to manage all your information sources, and sift the gold from hundreds of options out there.We’re bringing together a group of fine folks to dish about how they filter through the onslaught of RSS, email newsletters, Google Alerts and other research to find truly useful information, fast.

Also speaking on the panel is Garrick Van Buren, president of Working Pathways and developer of Cullect; Alisa Coddington, knowledge specialist at Carmichael Lynch; Mike Keliher, Provident Partners PR practice manager; and Tim Brunelle, founder and creative director at Hello Viking.

Register here. If you can’t make it, stream it live here.