Posts Tagged ‘Tips’

‘Til Death Do Us Part: Your Digital Presence After Death

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

Have you ever wondered what will happen to your email and social media accounts once you die?  Nope, neither have I… but Yahoo certainly has.  While most people who are aging write their wills, decide their final arrangements, and organize their finances, Yahoo seems to take care of the rest.  A new service, Yahoo Ending, has been launched by Yahoo Japan to help their large elderly population manage their digital presence after death.  The service costs about $1.77/ month.

Prior to death it helps users with funeral arrangements by estimating costs and searching for cemeteries. After death it can stop automatic bill payments through the Yahoo Japan wallet service and loved ones can visit a special bulletin-board page for the deceased and post memorial messages.  Yahoo Ending not only conveniently erases all data in email accounts, but also sends a final message to up to 200 people when your death is confirmed.  It all may sound a bit morbid but in actuality- quite convenient.

In an interview with The Japan Times, Yahoo Japan spokesperson Megumi Nakashima mentioned possible greater development in Yahoo Ending’s services, allowing the deceased to manage their post-life affairs on non-Yahoo Japan services.

“For example, we are thinking of partnering with credit-card companies,” Nakashima said, “so that the user can configure Yahoo Ending to tell such companies to close out the user’s account.”

With the advancement of technology in our generation such services may become necessary to all those digitally involved.  By taking responsibility of our online accounts before death we can assure our loved ones will not have to “care“ for our digital needs.  It may seem to be a premature measure just for an email account but it could prevent harmful phishing and identity theft.  Would you invest in this service for less than $24/year?  Or could you care less about your digital reputation post-mortem?  Given this opportunity, it may be beneficial to invest in deleting your online past… before it’s too late.

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Reputation in the Age of the Global Village

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

A modern company can have branches and affiliates scattered all over the world and in some cases, their internal communication structure and strategy is just as scattered. Each of these branches may be organized differently and have a different market focus. This does not mean that their external and internal communications impact your reputation any differently.

We have had many clients come through our doors asking us to help their reputation in the wake of a reputation disaster. So for the sake of argument let’s say that an international company has just faced a massive recall of a brand new product. Millions, even billions in revenue may be on the line. Investors are angry. The public is asking questions. They’ve removed every mention of this product from their website and press materials.Out of sight and out of mind… or so they thought.

What they forgot about was their European affiliate that was very proud to announce this product to the world only a few months ago. Directly under the press page of their website is a plethora of information on the recently recalled product including all the excited introductory press releases and marketing materials.

This makes it very hard for your company to get distance from a product when a simple Google search can easily bring the past back to the public’s attention at any time. It is called the world wide web for a reason. Anyone from anywhere in the world can search for your company and with a little time dive deep into all of its international and national branches. This is why effective internal communications are just as important as external communications. By coordinating the internal communication response throughout your company you can face the public with a new face and a fresh start.

Getting More Face Time with Facebook

Monday, March 28th, 2011

Many businesses must inevitably have the conversation as to whether or not Facebook is a part of their marketing future. Before you dive into the world of Facebook it is a great idea to develop a strategy based around these crucial questions.

What do you want to accomplish with Facebook?

Answering this question is the first and most important step in forming your developing Facebook strategy. Like any marketing technique, without a plan it will be ineffective and a waste of time. .Some have used Facebook as an alternative form of a company website in order to get their contact info out to the public. For some companies this may be enough. Other companies use Facebook as a marketing tool drawing new customers in and enhance the experience for their existing customers.

How will you accomplish this goal?

Now that you have a goal in mind, the next step is implementing it. There are many successful examples of local companies using Facebook pages. Quick Chek, based in New Jersey, has a great example of one.

Quick Chek uses theirs as a marketing tool. They frequently engage their fans with daily questions and reward the best answers with prizes from their stores. They also deliver a great experience for their fans through giveaways and coupons for free coffee and food. They are using their Facebook to drive sales and give their fans a great experience every time they click on the page.  They also have set up a dialogue with their fans, even responding to customer service queries using it. This public interaction with unhappy customers shows everyone that Quick Chek is responsive and willing to help.

Your company, depending on the size and type, can make this type of impact with Facebook. You must be realistic in your goals though. If your company is tiny, it would be unrealistic to expect you to develop a Facebook similar to one used by a large company like Quick Chek. You can still, within your means, create a meaningful Facebook experience for your current customers and help forge a relationship with prospective ones.

Who will be responsible for the upkeep on the Facebook?

The worst thing you can do with Facebook is turn it into a hindrance for your company.  It is very important to have regular upkeep of the page. It looks bad to start it with great ambitions and then stop using it. We have seen many companies using Facebook come through our doors with pages containing wrong addresses, zero current information  or underutilized fan bases. It is very important that you are willing to perform basic upkeep on the Facebook page to ensure that it is still a valuable marketing tool. Imagine how it looks to a prospective customer if their point of contact with you is an out of date Facebook page.  If you cannot find anyone to perform basic upkeep,  maybe Facebook is not for you.

Do you have a social media policy?

You must establish a protocol for Facebook. As you would with any external communications, there must be a policy in place regarding who can use it, when they can use it and what the rules are for use. This will go a long way to protecting you and your company in the case of a mistake or a rogue employee.

Answering these questions will help you develop your company’s Facebook strategy. If you still have questions and are looking for Facebook or other social media marketing strategies, a call to Evergreen Partners, Inc. can answer all of your questions.

Help Wanted

Friday, March 25th, 2011

Must Be Able to Dodge Flying Chairs and Other Chris Brown Related Dangers

Chris Brown’s reputation meltdown that we talked about here opened up a discussion at the Evergreen office. Is he dead in the water? Or can he fix his reputation problem and come out a successful and respected musician once again?

We think he may be able to save his career. Hollywood and the entertainment industry at large are a very forgiving bunch. As long as your talent is preserved and you can still bring in profits, many will look the other

way when you behave in a similar manner as Chris Brown. This forgiveness does have its limits. Charlie Sheen exemplified this recently. He wa

s fired from the cast of “Two and Half Men” after a lengthy period of time committing public acts that would have gotten any non-Hollywood type quickly fired from their job.

Chris Brown is now hiring a new publicist. If Evergreen was hired as a PR firm for Mr. Brown, here is how we would proceed.

Stabilize the client. Obviously Chris is in a strange place right now. His past has been checkered at best. He continues to make PR mistakes that only undermine his attempts to appear as if he is under control of himself. He needs to be stabilized in the sense that he takes a step back from the media and reevaluate his standing. Chris is a young kid caught up in the media and he is clearly not a PR professional and is getting ahead of himself. By distancing himself from everything he can regroup and come back strong.

Remind Chris about the fragility of his reputation. Chris fails to grasp that he has done some extremely bad things in his past. He is lucky that he still has a career following what he did. Chris is trying to forget these terrible acts and it seems he expects everyone else to as well. As mentioned in our last blog about Chris, his reputation is built like a house of cards. Throwing chairs through a window helps to knock the house down. He must be reminded constantly that just because he has distanced himself from his past, the public has not.

Proactive media outreach. Chris needs to respond to the allegations leveled against his character. He cannot hide and pretend that everything is ok or worse yet, lash out more. Chris needs to get out into the press, which should not be a challenge given his recent publicity. Once there he needs to go on the offensive maintaining openness and honesty. He needs to let people know that he took everything for granted and that he wants to change.

Monitor the press reaction and gauge the next steps. As Chris proceeds to engage the media in an honest discussion, our role shifts to monitoring the media and analyzing their response to his actions. Do they believe him? Is there an angle for another story to be told to rebuild his reputation? If the press starts to turn negative towards him, we can make a change in our strategy from there. The key is being responsive and open. Chris does not have enough spare goodwill to hide behind the infamous “no comment”  barrier or to ask people to let him solve his own personal matters. People do not trust him and he must be upfront at all times.

Chris Brown’s lesson can be used by all professionals as a guide for how to resuscitate a reputation on life support. Evergreen has worked on many cases dealing with massive reputation assistance such as this before. Even people who aren’t as high profile as Chris Brown need reputation help sometimes. With the assistance of a highly experienced public relations firm like Evergreen Partners, Inc. even a person in as dire of straights as Chris Brown can save their reputation.

It Isn’t Easy Being Green

Friday, March 25th, 2011

It is impossible to turn on the television today and not be bombarded with advertisements for “green” products. “Green” dish detergent, “green” supermarkets, “green” cars and the list goes on and on. As with any marketing campaign, this new wave of green marketing has the end goal of establishing a credible and successful brand reputation. Green marketing is a relatively new phenomenon in the marketing world and it seems that, for many companies, it is working. Reputation roulette will explore the reasons why and if your company should start thinking about it.

Why does green work?

There are two main reasons for the effectiveness of a “green” reputation.

  • It’s cool. The old playground mentality comes into effect here, “everybody’s doing it.” Just like the cigarette marketing campaigns of yesteryear, people want to feel like they are a part of the hip crowd. Celebrities have gotten on the green bandwagon and a whole slew of fashionable green products have hit the market. As much as people want to wear the newest fashions, they want to be a part of the newest causes. Green is the new cause to get behind and if you aren’t green then you risk being “uncool”, and nobody wants to be uncool.
  • People want to feel empowered. The news is filled with issues that make us feel overwhelmed at times. We lack control of them which leads to a feeling of helplessness. Green products are marketed in such a way that it gives us ownership over this issue. We feel like we are making a change in the world. A consumer wants to feel like they are single-handedly saving the world by using reusable shopping bags. Marketers empower purchasers of green products by letting them feel that their purchases are saving the world, little by little.

Should a business build a green reputation and does it make your product more credible?

Maybe. First of all, your business should build a green reputation only if you have the product base to do so. You wouldn’t try to market a rat poison as green. That just doesn’t make sense. Granted there is no international standard for a green product. So the temptation is there to market any product as such. This can be dangerous though.  Just because you can does not mean you should. Your product does not gain instant credibly from being green, even though it may seem that it would. Like any reputation, a green reputation must be built from the ground up. If you are not willing to put the time into building a brand, then going green will not help your product and may even hurt it.

Is it a surefire way to be successful?

No. The product obviously must be desirable and priced correctly. Take the Chevy Volt and the Nissan Leaf as examples. They are electric cars. It doesn’t get much greener than that. Yet they are not selling. There are many reasons for this; high cost, low range, unreliable technology and public apprehension. These products were marketed as green and tapped into the “cool factor” and our basic need to feel empowered.  Yet they have been flops so far.

Nissan Leaf

As a business owner you must understand that building a green reputation for a product does not cover up a bad product. Do not use a green reputation as a crutch.

Also by building a green reputation and failing you run a risk of disappointing those who fervently believed in the cause.  If you product turns out to be less green then it was promised or the product is not very useful, then you will risk losing the trust of the eco-friendly crowd.

If you are a business owner and are thinking about green marketing to build your reputation, you must think about whether you are doing it correctly. Do not put a bad product on the market and sell it as green with the hopes of that label alone selling it. The key to going green, is selling a quality product and then convincing people that they NEED it to be considered green. What companies have you seen doing green right? What about doing it wrong?