glorified public relations man…

“All the President is, is a glorified public relations man who spends his time flattering, kissing and kicking people to get them to do what they are supposed to do anyway.”
Harry S Truman

Desirable Roasted Coffee by Allan Jenkins

Allan Jenkins, author of Desirable Roasted Coffee, posted regarding our Leaders section in the most recent issue of the magazine.

Here are his complete answers to our blog questionnaire:

In 50 words or less: what is important to you about blogging, why do you do it?

Blogging lets me talk to peers 24/7; it also lets me talk to people outside who care and worry about how messages are sent to the public.
What specific topics does your blog usually focus on?
Communication in all its forms. The beauty of a map, the false logic in a speech, the use of color in an exit sign, the lack of communication skills in a public official.

What has been your most popular post?
How long has your blog existed?
Since July 2004
Were there previous manifestiation of the blog (i.e. a previous blog ora website)?
I was at Blogspot at the start, but quickly moved to Typepad.

Number of hits/readers that your blog receives monthly?
It’s some thousand unique visitors, but I am uninterested in the number. I am glad they are reading me, but I am most interested in the conversation, not the “hits.”
What sources most often inspire the content on your blog? (i.e. your work environment, online news and information, or something else)?
My profession, quirky news, outrages.

What are the top 3 other blogs you read most often?
I read 900+ blogs. If I had to cut it down, it would be Shel Holtz, The Map Room, and Marbury. This week, anyway.

Thoughts from a few of the top Communications and PR bloggers in Europe

The Leaders section of our upcoming issue includes some of the top Communications and PR bloggers in Europe. Unfortunately due to time and space constraints we were not able to include all those who answered our questions, and even the profiles in the magazine are cropped depending on lengthly the bloggers answered the questions, so -sadly- in the print version we lost some great insight. Over the next few days I will be posting the answers in their entirety from every respondent beginning with those who we could not fit into the magazine:

Name of blog: Blacklineblog.com (and Conversationblog.com)
Author: Philippe Borremans

In 50 words or less: what is important to you about blogging, why do you
do it?
Blogging is my online presence. It is my publishing platform, my website, my image on the web as well as an important part of my online networking efforts.
I blog because I have ideas to share and things to say. My PR professor used to say; “freedom of the press is for those who have one..”, well I have a press and I am using it.

What specific topics does your blog usually focus on?
I focus on my profession, public relations, and how it is being impacted by the web and social media. I cover internal, external and crisis communications and follow developments in the media world as well.

What has been your most popular post?

In the last months my most popular blogpost is “Enterprise 2.0 – FAQ – One answer at the time”. It is the first of a series of posts where I answer one question at the time about implementing social media within the enterprise. The first question I answer is: “What if employees use their internal blogs to post hate speech or pornography, or to harass a co-worker?”

How long has your blog existed?

Blacklineblog was started beginning of this year but I am cross posting from Conversationblog.com which was started on August 8, 2003 and as my second blog at the time…
PS: I am proud to say that I am featured on the PR blogging Timeline as Nr: 21… See the list here: http://www.thenewpr.com/wiki/pmwiki.php?pagename=Resources.PRBloggingTimeline

Were there previous manifestation of the blog (i.e. a previous blog or a website)?

Yes, I started out on Typepad (a blogging platform) in 2001 I think with a blog called “Phil’s Place”.
Then I moved to Squarespace (another blogging platform) in 2003 with Conversationblog and am now cross posting to both Blacklineblog & Conversationblog.

Number of hits/readers that your blog receives monthly?

Between Conversationblog and Blacklineblog I have an average of 11.000 unique visitors/month and have around 500 subscribers; people who subscribe to my blogposts by email or RSS.
Some 70 people regularly read my blog content by mobile phone…

What sources most often inspire the content on your blog? (i.e. your work environment, online news and information, or something else)?

Totally depends on the day… Sometimes it is a real life experience such as speaking at a conference and meeting other professionals, sometimes it are other blogposts, the news or things I really want to communicate with my audience.

What are the top 3 other blogs you read most often?

Difficult to say as I read the RSS feeds and sometimes do not know who wrote the content… However, there are a couple of top blogs for my business & interests;

http://webworkerdaily.com
http://www.masternewmedia.org

And then there is the Online Public Relations feed which collects all the top blogposts of my PR Blogger colleagues around the world.
You can find it here: http://groups.blogdigger.com/groups.jsp?id=85

Name of blog: Blogging PR
Author(s): Christian Bogh (editor), Rikke Halberg, Søren Højlund Carlsen 
In 50 words or less: what is important to you about blogging, why do you do it?
The short answer is - because I can.
Furthermore it's important for me to blog because it's a way for me to communicate with fellow minded across the world.
I enjoy to be able to share my opinion and thoughts with others without the limitations of the traditional media.
What specific topics does your blog usually focus on?
Mostly communications topics and how social media affects the way of professional public relations.
What has been your most popular post?
In Danish it have been a post about a review of a new social media initiative of a major Danish Newspaper and a study of how and if Danish Public Relation agencies use blogs as a communication tool. In English it has been my coverage of the IBM breakdown in Denmark and their lack of communication.
 
How long has your blog existed? Since May 2006.
 
Were there previous manifestation of the blog (i.e. a previous blog or
a website)?
Not really - we have changed blogging platform from Blogger.com to WordPress.com - that's it.
Number of hits/readers that your blog receives monthly? Around 1.000-1.500 unique visitors. A bit more after we have begun writing in English also.
What sources most often inspire the content on your blog? (i.e. your
work environment, online news and information, or something else)?
It varies a lot. But mostly it's online news and information -
including my social media network, primarily Twitter.
 
What are the top 3 other blogs you read most often?
The Blog Herald (www.blogherald.com), PR 2.0 (www.briansolis.com), THINKing (www.my-creativeteam.com/blog/) and then more than 60 blogs in my feed reader.

Communications and PR Blogs…

In the upcoming issue of the magazine we had several Communications and PR Blogs which we would’ve like to include in the magazine, but were not able to. As a consolation I’ll list them here after the layout is complete.

I know this blog has been woefully neglected lately (we’re busy!), hopefully that will change-

cheers,

Paul

Obama speech in Berlin – July 24, 2008

Interesting that an American candidate for president was able to attract tens of thousands of people in Berlin…

Koenraad van Hasselt on Financial Communications…

For Communication Director: 'In the wake of the by now reknown accounting scandals of the past few years, financial communications at publicly quoted companies has become leading for all communications disciplines, both in timing and content. The rules and regulations brought forward by Sarbanes Oxley remind us of the ISO Certification process management approach, only now it is risk management that is at stake, not quality management. At the same time, corporate stakeholders and in particular the investment community require more and more information and transparancy on the company's performance and its governance. This provides, more than ever, a challenge for the cooperation and alignment between corporate communications and investor relations, in particular in media relations and internal communications.'   

Koenraad van Hasselt
Director Corporate Communications 
KPN Royal Dutch Telecom

Question to…

Question to Frank Koster, General Manager of Corporate Communications and Affairs for the ING Group: 

“In the light of financial crises hitting the headlines over the last six months – Northern Rock in the UK, the subprime mortgage crisis in the US, Société Génerale in France – how did financial companies such as ING adapt to the turbulence?”

The turbulence in recent months has certainly applied tight pressure on financial institutions to communicate the impact of the crises on their business performance and financial results. ING is fortunate to have a very limited exposure to troubled asset classes. Thanks to our business profile and risk management, we’ve been able to shield ourselves from the direct impact of the credit crisis.  

But in an environment where many financial institutions are being lumped together – and there was even a period where banks wouldn’t lend to other banks anymore – the presumption of innocence disappeared and the credibility of the whole financial industry was at stake. The burden was clearly on us to communicate our exposure to all of our stakeholders and we aimed to do so in an thorough and consistent manner.

In November 2007, ING released its third quarter results which showed a very limited exposure to asset classes under pressure. However, the results came at a time of heightened skepticism in the market about the accuracy of the results of financial services companies because of the complex nature of the credit crisis. Between November and the release of the fourth quarter results in February 2008, market sentiment towards financial services companies considerably worsened and share prices came under major pressure.  

At a few points in the month leading up to the fourth quarter results, there was much market speculation about ING’s risk exposure. In response to queries from analysts and journalists, they were directed to information in ING’s third quarter results, which said there was limited impact on ING’s results from the market turbulence.

ING’s response was to opt for full and extensive disclosure in its fourth quarter results and not be pressured into making an interim statement before then, which could have appeared defensive. It was also decided that ING chairman Michel Tilmant would take the company’s message of financial stability direct to a large international audience of analysts and journalists by holding press and analyst conferences in London, instead of at the company’s head office in Amsterdam. In his words, he wanted to “look the analysts in the eye”.

ING’s fourth results were generally very well received and the market showed it believed our message by marking the share price up after the publication of the figures. This disciplined communications strategy was successful.