I have not written recently since I have been traveling throughout Asia Pacific for my book and meeting Weber Shandwick clients. Media interviews are on the agenda as well. One of the side effects of my visit to AP, unexpectedly, is that my own perceptions of Weber Shandwick grows brighter and brighter every day. Although I often feel that I understand the depth and breadth of the firm, I see now that not until you visit the network do you truly understand. As a visitor for just a day or two in each market, I also get to meet my colleagues en masse in internal staff meetings. Without a doubt, my Weber Shandwick colleagues are WOWing me. Everyone is enthusiastic, client-focused, smart and generous of spirit. Little did I realize that as I talk about building corporate reputation at luncheons and events, I myself would personally be so impacted by Weber Shandwick’s reputation and its future. Definitely a big return on reputation for me.
So far, I have visited Sydney, Singapore and Hong Kong. Off to Shanghai and Beijing this week and then back to NYC next weekend.
I was catching up on my reading this morning when I learned about presidential candidate Barack Obama’s newest web site. Talk about taking a lesson from corporate America on handling myths and rumors! My blog has previously referred to Starbucks and Coca-Cola having designated areas on their sites that let them refute rumors. Well, Obama now has one and it is worth visiting. It is called Fight The Smears. The YouTube generation is sure shaking up the entire presidential election. Obama’s YouTube Channel has nearly 1,200 videos. More than 50m people have apparently watched Obama’s videos. The advocates are turning out in numbers for this unusual presidential candidate. We are learning that reputation-building online is infectious.
On another subject, am listening to BBC while posting and heard that more confidential documents were left on the subway by someone. The information reveals data on money laundering, drug trafficking and terrorism. Since this is the second such incident in a week, embarrassment is an understatement. The reason I raise this is that our 2006 research found that “security breaches” and “data losses” are among the top five triggers of reputation loss. Fairly prescient I might say.