Peter Shankman’s manic, hysterical social media road show has messages for crisis managers


Peter Shankman — social media Johnny Appleseed, manic comedian, new economy entrepreneur — memorably brought his act to Buffalo last night.

Barely taking a breath for an hour, Shankman pinged and clicked his way through a talk ranging from Facebook’s future to why Twitter works to Ed Meese. Does anyone remember Ed Meese?

For crisis managers and especially their clients, he had an overriding takeaway that always bears repeating: You can’t get away with lying. No one can fake it anymore. You will be caught. You will suffer.

The positive flip side of that downer of a 45 is to promote transparence. Live by it. The more transparent you are, the more credibility you create and the better your reputation will withstand a crisis.

Some other gems he included [and thanks to colleagues who helped supplement my notes]:

You do not control the direction of your company. Your customers do. Listen to them and give them what they want, the way they want it.

Your audience will tell you what it wants, but you must listen. If you don’t your business will fail.

Fans and likes mean nothing if they don’t create revenue.

Brand the hell out of whatever you produce to keep it yours and keep others from copying it.

Over the next two years, Facebook will become real life. It will follow and mimic connections that are being developed (or falter) in real life interactions.

Good writing remains crucial. But writing today is about brevity. Good writing is brevity. Headlines. Brevity is social media.

Our current average attention span is 2.7 seconds.  Or, one 140-character  Tweet.

Say hi. Touch base. If you haven’t talked to 10 people in your Facebook friends list in a year cut them out.

You must own your mistakes.

Ed Meese? Google him and add “lied.”

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About steveoncrisis

The content is about crisis management and mismanagement in a digital age. It comes from Steve Bell, who spent 30 years as a journalist for the Associated Press and as managing editor and editorial page editor at The Buffalo News. He is now Partner/Director of Public Affairs at Eric Mower and Associates, one of the nation's largest independent advertising, integrated marketing and public relations agency with six offices in the Northeast and Southeast.
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One Response to Peter Shankman’s manic, hysterical social media road show has messages for crisis managers

  1. Jim says:

    I remember Ed Meese.

    An empty suit.

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