Crisis Management in the Midst of Change

admin | January 21, 2011
Resource Friday

Once again, the YDOP crew returns with more insights and topics that we’ve learned about in the past week. Today’s lunch, for the culinarily inclined, was black bean and brown rice burritos. Yum!

Metrics: Off With Their Heads! Well, off to the side, really.

Jeff Burkholder, Inbound Marketing Analyst

Jeff BurkholderThis week, the tech world saw two important shifts in leadership among high profile companies. First, sandwiched between the massive amounts of hype involving the Verizon iPhone and an astronomically stellar earnings report, Apple CEO Steve Jobs has announced that he’s taking another medical leave. Conventional wisdom is that Apple could not have handled this situation better, with Jobs still retaining the title of CEO and pledging continued involvement, but letting COO Tim Cook keep things running on a day-to-day basis. Investors are satisfied, the technorati are excited, and all wish Jobs well through his downtime.

The other big shift was in Google’s leadership. For years, the triumvirate of Eric Schmidt, Larry Page, and Sergey Brin have been ruling Google since 2001 (when cofounders Page and Brin brought veteran Schmidt in to help guide the then-nascent company). Amidst a similarly stellar earnings report, though, Schmidt announced he was stepping down as CEO, and handing that title over to Page. Schmidt remains Chairman of the Board, and Brin, with the official title of “Co-Founder”, will continue to focus on new product ideas.

In neither case is the man-in-charge walking away from their massively successful and profitable company; instead, they’re both stepping a bit to the side to let someone else take the reins for a time; Jobs on a temporary basis, Schmidt in a more permanent setting. Apple’s been through this before and weathered things quite well; Google’s change may be more substantive, but it hardly seems that it will be disruptive to its practices, either.

In the midst of this, Google today renewed their commitment to fighting spammy entries in their search results. Whether this reflects a significant change in their algorithms (which may or may not include more user-generated reviews?), or is merely a PR stunt to respond to recent allegations that spam has increased in results, remains to be seen.

Design: Back To School

Astrid Salim, Creative Director

Astrid SalimDesign Shack gathered and showcased 50 of the best and worst university website designs, which I shared with the team today. Some of my favorites are: Washington State University for their bold, aesthetically pleasing layout, University of Alabama for their nice use of photo galleries, and University of North Carolina for their attention to details. Unfortunately, some other university websites are not so hot. So it is important to consider updating your website, since it’s the face of the company online.

Leadership: Crisis and Competition

Steve Wolgemuth, Principal

Steve Wolgemuth, owner and founder of YDOPSince Resource Friday is intended to be a time for sharing with the team what we’ve learned that week, I talked about Jack Welch’s book, Winning, as it relates to handling a crisis and how to react to competition. With regard to crisis management, it isn’t likely that YDOP will get involved in any trouble soon, but it is a safe bet that some of our clients will, and perhaps within the next year. Welch details the importance of gathering facts immediately and ruthlessly (my words). This is a key role that our company will likely play for our clients, particularly using our social media monitoring tools and capabilities.

Regarding competition, Welch brings a strong reminder to not become complacent with any market position that your company may hold. He warns that it is tempting to believe that other brands aren’t able to evolve, learn, hire and change. Fortunately, in our industry of Internet consulting and services, the demand is growing at a tremendous rate as businesses are feeling the need to participate effectively online, and as they are pulling monies from print media and branding budgets.

Social: Updates for WordPress, Flickr, and Facebook.

Daniel Klotz, Social Media Strategist

Daniel Klotz“Ultralight” blogging platforms like Tumblr and Posterous have captured my interest and imagination lately, as our review of success stories shows that building good websites must be a thorough and even tedious process, while creating timely content must be dead simple. Today I shared with the team a WordPress framework that makes it super simple for a team of people to keep a short-attention-span-friendly blog alive and active. It would only be appropriate for about five percent of blogging situations, but it’s a great option to have in our tool belt.

Flickr is now allowing users to sign in with their Facebook login, another instance of the trend of social networks consolidating and collaborating rather than splitting and propagating. What it means right now is that Flickr is easier to access for tons of users, and that it’s easier than ever for users to upload photos to Flickr (which has the better system for handling photos) and seamlessly share them with their Facebook friends.

Last night Facebook began rolling out out a new feature that allows page admins to see detailed, real-time stats about individual status updates: number of impressions, number of users who saw the update, how many “likes,” comments, and clicks the update received, and the overall click-through and engagement rates. This kind of feature is awesome, as it gives solid feedback in real time, essentially teaching all of us how to craft updates that are valuable to our customers and supporters.