Posts Tagged ‘Neville Hobson’

Corporate reputation put on notice in Edelman Trust Barometer 2013

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013 by Jon Clements

A crisis of trust in organisational leadership and corporate reputation – nothing less – dominates the latest Edelman Trust Barometer 2013.

And the responsibility of business to rebuild trust and reputation couldn’t be more urgent.

The general population polled across 26 countries showed an average trust level of 49 in government, business, media and NGOs – where the most trusting populace (China) scored 70 and the least (Russia) bottomed out at 30.

But when it came to those trusting the business community less year-on-year, a cumulative 50 per cent cited “fraud, corruption and wrong incentives driving business decisions”; an unholy trinity of unethical slurry if ever there was one.

The banks and financial services, unsurprisingly – as covered widely before on PR Media Blog – bring up the rear among trusted sectors, polling only 50 per cent trust apiece. And nearly 60 per cent of the failings leading to such a poor trust rating for banks lay with the institutions themselves; theoretically within their control; though – seemingly – not practically (Libor fixing and PPI mis-selling, please stand up). As the Brand Builder blog writer, Olivier Blanchard says in his commentary on this year’s Trust Barometer: “Leadership and corporate culture are cited as the primary causes of corporate wrongdoing. (And rightly so.)”

For leaders at the top of their companies, the news doesn’t get much better: while academics, company experts and a “person like you” ranked highest for trustworthiness, CEOs came lowest in the corporate hierarchy. A mere 18 per cent of Edelman’s research sample trust business leaders to “tell the truth, regardless of how complex or unpopular it is”. To paraphrase punk poet, John Cooper Clarke, nobody has a good word for it, but Olivier Blanchard does: “execrable”.

Art can mirror life, and the consequences of a trust-fuelled crisis are played out well in the Danish drama, Borgen, currently lighting up Saturday night television in the UK.

In a recent episode, the character Amir – Climate Minister and Green Party member in a coalition government – who is causing aggravation for the Cabinet by his intransigence to relaxing environmental policies, so scuppering a broader policy agenda – has something of an anti-green skeleton in the cupboard.

The “gas guzzling car imported from Cuba” he owns for the occasional weekend pleasure drive does nothing for his environmental credentials, reputation and ability to instil trust in his motivation to impede the government’s social agenda for the good of the planet.

And his hypocrisy – however innocent – plays directly into the hands of his opponents and the media, labelling him a “big, fat liar”. Ultimately, he ends up, in the words of another character, “cornered” and immersed in the “worst experience of his life” at the hands of the media.

Similarly, companies with dark secrets should take to heart one of the lessons for leaders distilled by Edelman’s Trust Barometer 2013: “Trust is fragile and perceived behaviours are an anchor”.

As communicator and blogger, Neville Hobson, opines in his summary, “Edelman’s latest research adds a significant layer of credibility to the broad premise that the system really is broken and does need fixing.”

Here’s the full study from Edelman:


About Jon Clements

Jon Clements is a Chartered PR consultant specialising in B2B PR, corporate and marketing communications and is the founder of Metamorphic PR. Connect at: JonClements ''

First the Twitterati, now the Twitter IT

Thursday, September 18th, 2008 by Rob Brown


Recently I wrote about the rise of the Twitterati and how Twitter was becoming a way for celebrities to engage with their fans.  Incidentally after a few days of silence Andy Murray is now microblogging again.  

Today social media pioneer Neville Hobson used Twitter as a quasi IT department.  On discovering that his website had vanished, Neville or ‘Jangles’ as he is know in twitterville, turned to the fast growing online community for help.   Shortly after 8am GMT Neville posted a cheery hello followed a couple of minutes later by the following; “Whoa, looks like my blog disappeared. Someone else there instead. Wtf?”.   Just three minutes later Neville was getting advice from fellow users of the Twitter service, notably from 6consulting.  Throughout the day Neville was updating on his progress and the lack of a response from hosting company Dreamhost.  Given that Neville has over 1,700 followers on Twitter that’s a real PR issue.  By tea time the site was back up but I wonder at what cost to Dreamhost, who according to the tweets still hadn’t contacted Mr H.

With user numbers growing 422% year on year, Twitter is a phenomenally simple idea that provides seemingly limitless possibilities.  Yes it’s a social network, but you can use it as a social search tool, a promotional mechanic, a news feed or a micro diary or even for IT support.  I wonder, did anyone suggest to Neville that he switched it off and on again? 

About Rob Brown

Rob Brown has worked in PR for over 20 years and for over fifteen years held senior PR positions within three major global advertising networks; Euro RSCG, McCann and TBWA. He launched his own business ‘Rule 5’ in MediaCityUK, Manchester in November 2012. Rob is the author of ‘Public Relations and the Social Web’ (2009), blogs for The Huffington Post and is joint editor of 'Share This Too' (2013).

“I-Brand U-Brand”

Monday, September 8th, 2008 by Rob Brown
Personal Branding on the Social Web


Why, I wondered does Neville Hobson hold his hand in front of his face in the picture on his blog…and on Twitter…and on…hang on a minute.

Is this a subtle form of personal branding?  Social networks; Facebook, Linked-In and microblogs like Twitter are growing fast and individuals are, if not clamouring for our attention, at least aware that there is a lot of noise out there.  If we are going to build an individual online presence it makes sense to follow some of the tradional rules of branding.  Consistency is one, which means using the same image across a range of networks.  Using a strong, stand out and easy to remember image is another.  Pr 2.0 gurus Todd Defren  and Brian Solis  both do this – Todd has a cartoon style image on his Twitter feed and Brian uses an arresting image with his specs in the foreground on his blog.  

Chris Brogan has just published an ebook on personal online branding so it’s a hot topic.  It’s an interesting read and looks at personal branding from a broad prespective.  What particularly fascinates me is the way in which people apply the iconographic rules that have histrically been used by brands totheir own images of themselves.  

This world has created some rules of its own.  Take a look at the picture above of some of the people I follow on Twitter.  These images are tiny, smaller than thumbnails, so making something work at this scale becomes part of the art.  Colin Byrne  CEO of Weber Shandwick and Deirdre Breakenridge author of the book PR 2.0 both use strong purple colours in their backgrounds to make them stand out.  Aleks Krotoski , presenter of The Guardian’s Tech Weekly podcast uses a close up of her fire red locks as her Twitter image (fifth row, left of middle).

I have no proof that any of these individuals have done anything other than post the first image they came across but whether by luck or good judgement they all stand out.  I have to confess I have toyed with the technique myself.  There is a deliberate use of colour in my profile pic and it seemed to me that if social networks use small images an extreme close up might be a good idea.  Charles Arthur Technology Editor of The Guardian didn’t agree.  He thinks I’m trying to hide a dodgy moustache

About Rob Brown

Rob Brown has worked in PR for over 20 years and for over fifteen years held senior PR positions within three major global advertising networks; Euro RSCG, McCann and TBWA. He launched his own business ‘Rule 5’ in MediaCityUK, Manchester in November 2012. Rob is the author of ‘Public Relations and the Social Web’ (2009), blogs for The Huffington Post and is joint editor of 'Share This Too' (2013).