Fake accounts, tweets and 'morons': Could a bot take down your company?ND

Ariel Bogle, ABC News, Wednesday September 12 2018

In June, the CEO of Harley-Davidson Matt Levatich stared down a problem facing many modern CEOs: how can you ensure nobody thinks you called the US President a moron? “It’s shameful we live in a time when people create fake quotes,” he wrote, following a tweet which falsely claimed he had called Donald Trump a moron. The repudiation worked, but for a little while there it looked like a viral tweet could take control of the 100-year-old company’s corporate narrative. The spread of misinformation on social media is now considered a severe socio-political threat, but corporations too are getting hit. In the US, former political strategist Josh Ginsberg has co-founded analytics firm Zignal Labs, which tries to identify networks of fake accounts on social media and alert their clients before a bad story crashes into mainstream media or hits their stock price. Misinformation is a big issue for corporations that is only growing, as a recent study found that fake news spreads quicker and more deeply than real news.

For the full story see: www.abc.net.au/news

Facebook disabled 583 million fake accounts and millions of spam, sex and hate speech postsND

Tony Romm & Drew Harwell, The Washington Post, Tuesday May 15 2018

Facebook has removed more than half a billion fake accounts and millions of pieces of violent or obscene content during the first three months of 2018. Such a magnitude of posts highlights the massive task ahead in cleaning up the world’s largest social network, where artificial intelligence and human moderators have joined forces to fight back a wave of offensive content and abuse. As well as fake accounts, Facebook said that it had removed 21 million pieces of content featuring sex or nudity, 2.5 million pieces of hate speech and almost 2 million items related to terrorism by al-Qaeda and the Islamic State in the first quarter of 2018. Despite such progress however, Facebook still has issues coming from regulators in Europe. In the U.K., Facebook again resisted a request from British lawmakers to testify as part of their investigation into Cambridge Analytica. Facebook said that Zuckerberg has ‘no plans to travel to the UK’ in a statement Tuesday. “If Mark Zuckerberg truly recognises the ‘seriousness’ of these issues as he says he does, we would expect that he would want to appear,” one British MP said.

For the full story see: www.washingtonpost.com

Nordstrom Rack Apologizes to Black Men in St. Louis Falsely Accused of StealingND

Matthew Haag, The New York Times, Tuesday May 8 2018

The president of Nordstrom Rack flew to St. Louis to apologise on Tuesday to three black teenage friends who were falsely accused last week of trying to steal clothing at one of the company’s stores. The friends had stopped into a store last Thursday to look for last-minute deals before a high school prom on Friday night. After being followed closely by employees, they were reported to police. On leaving with the goods they had purchased, police were waiting for them. Episodes such as this can quickly turn disastrous for companies, who because of bad employees in one store risk blemishing an entire organisation’s reputation. In a statement, the company said that guidelines had not been followed and that it “does not tolerate discrimination of any kind”. The company is investigating the actions of its employees during the episode.

For the full story see: www.nytimes.com

McDonald’s Twitter campaign hijackedND

Tim Bradshaw and Alan Rappeport, Financial Times, 24 January 2012

In the latest example of how social media marketing can backfire, McDonald’s recent Twitter campaign was high jacked by opponents whose critical tweets forced the company to shutdown its Twitter account. McDonald’s had bought two promoted tweets from Twitter’s emerging advertising system thinking customers would share positive stories about their experiences at McDonald’s. Instead, most commentary responses were hostile. The company had a contingency plan in case of an event like this and responded quickly by closing the account to minimise increased reputational damage. For more information, see www.ft.com

Big brands can be inept at defusing blog storms over recalls ND

Bernhard Warner, The Washington Post, 7 March 2010

Big brands must be prepared to respond to concerned consumer and media groups as product recall hysteria continues to sweep the US. Traditional issues management approaches, such as hiring professional spokespeople, media coaching executives or remaining silent on an issue are no longer effective in the age of social media and online activism. Companies must use their existing online channels to speak with and respond to their stakeholders. For more information see www.washingtonpost.com

Unethical companies suffer in the long runND

Sophia Grene, Financial Times, 12 October 2008

A company’s share price is negatively affected by bad publicity on environmental and social issues. Companies require more information on the relevant sustainability issues in order to decrease reputational risk. One example is HSBC Global Markets’ climate change research facilitation program, which allows managers to research climate change issues. For more information see www.ft.com

Issues Management : Reading the outlook with an Issues Barometer N

Wayne Burns(Vol. 18 No. 3)

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Preserving corporate reputationND

Nic Paton, Management Issues, 12 December 2007

A study by The Conference Board argues that boards need to discuss and understand the nature of reputation risk within the context of wider risk, its response to reputation risks and create a culture of risk awareness. Accordingly, boards can implement robust programs and initiatives to protect reputation and manage any material event that may affect stakeholder relations. For more information, see www.management-issues.com

Corporate coaches emerge to make some differenceND

Geoff Allen, The Age, 27 July 2006

Geoff Allen, Chairman of the Centre for Corporate Public Affairs, discusses new approaches by business to manage social and political issues. Managers are under increasing pressure with demands for more transparency and voice, growing distrust of business, more sophisticated media, and the emergence of shareholder activists and special interest groups. Businesses have responded by adopting issues management processes, changing thinking and practice around stakeholders, using corporate social investment for deeper strategic purposes and paying a lot more attention to business reputation. For more information see www.theage.com.au

Public affairs at heart of corporate strategyN

Centre for Corporate Public Affairs(Vol. 16 No. 2 )

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Big guns fired up as battle for hearts and minds escalatesND

Tom Stevenson, Telegraph UK, 11 May 2006

The growing public distrust of major corporations has resulted in two types of responses: (1) an attempt to win the hearts of the public by demonstrating corporate values, integrity and highlighting CSR programs (2) fighting back against what Wal-Mart’s CEO calls a ‘constant barrage of negatives.’ Public distrust has been spurred on by films such as Supersize Me, The Constant Gardener and Fahrenheit 9/11, while future releases such as Michael Moore’s ‘Sicko’ has put industries on a pre-emptive defense. Todd Stitzer, CEO of Cadbury Schweppes asserts that business is not truly trusted, stating that businesses ‘only have ourselves to blame’ and that the time has come to communicate the values of the corporation, what they are doing and why they are doing it. For more information, see www.telegraph.co.uk

Slave chocolate?ND

Deborah Orr, Forbes, 24 April 2006

Nestlé faces criticism from opposition groups who claim that the company uses child slave labour in chocolate manufacturing. A lawsuit has been filed against Nestlé and commodity traders Archer Daniels Midland and Cargill for breach of international laws concerning child labour. Nestlé has previously faced public scrutiny over the sale of infant formula, and is a popular target for anti-corporation groups because of its size. While Nestlé won the legal battle over the infant formula issue, the opposition groups gained much publicity. In recent years Nestlé has focused on improving its image, and has implementing programs such as assisting South American dairy farmers to improve yields and providing HIV medication to employees in Africa. Despite this, it continues to face new charges and ongoing lawsuits. For more information, see www.forbes.com

McDonald’s chips away at image as poor employerND

Andrew Taylor, Financial Times, 20 April 2006

McDonalds faces criticism following the release of a book (‘Generation X: tales for an accelerated culture’) that comments on ‘McJobs’. In response, McDonalds UK has launched a poster campaign with the slogan ‘Not bad for a McJob’ to correct the ‘misconception’ about its employer performance. The company hopes this campaign will reduce the gap between the external perception and internal reality of working for McDonalds. In the UK, McDonalds employs 78,000 workers, with 80% of senior workers and 20% of franchise owners beginning their careers at McDonalds as crew members. Working conditions have resulted in the company being recognised by Investors in People, an independent body which sets and measure employment standards, giving McDonalds a profile award last year. For more information, see www.ft.com

Soft drink makers in voluntary ban on advertisingND

Raphael Minder and Andrew Ward, Financial Times, 25 January 2006

Soft drink manufacturers in Europe announced a voluntary ban on advertising to children and undertaking commercial activities in primary schools, following concerns about links between advertising and obesity. The industry had been under pressure to toughen self-regulation or face legislation. Many soft drink companies already had a voluntary agreement in place, though this new code of practice is to be implemented by all members of Unesda, the association of European non-alcoholic drinks. For more information, see www.ft.com

The frustrated will to act for public goodND

Alison Maitland, Financial Times, 25 January 2006

A McKinsey Quarterly survey of over 4,000 executives in 116 countries found that many are dissatisfied with the way companies anticipate social and political challenges. Only three percent say companies are doing a good job at this, while many suggest companies are using the wrong tactics. For example, while half of the executives point to use of media and public relations to manage challenges, only 35 percent consider this to be effective. This is the same with lobbying of government and regulators. One measure both used and regarded as effective is use of industry coalitions. Tactics that are seen to be effective (but not used enough) are implementation of policies on issues such as ethics and the environment, involving stakeholders such as NGOs, and transparency about product risks and processes. For more information, see www.ft.com

Order in the court of public opinionN

Burns, Wayne(Vol. 15 No. 4 2005)

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How to exit from a community partnership: reputation and management issues for practitionersN

Badcoe, Carey(Vol. 15 No. 3 2005)

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Nike out of the blocks after three-year silenceN

Pedersen, Wes(Vol. 15 No. 3 2005)

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Issuing the challenge - naming and framing issues in civil societiesN

Mahon, John(Vol. 15 No. 2 2005)

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Issues Management Presentation by Professor John MahonRP

Presentation slides on Issues Management from a Centre workshop, featuring visiting academic Professor John Mahon, Professor of Management and International Business Strategy and Policy, Business School, University of Maine.
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