The following seven articles spanning the last week are must-reads for digital public affairs practitioners.

Brands reach out to Fort McMurray

Some brands exploit crises to sell their products. Others step up and selflessly give needed support. One is cheap and invites long-term reputation damage. The other is a selfless gift that helps where help is needed. Both reveal corporate (often human) values. Labatt and WestJet are among the companies that lead by example, putting people first. It’s an approach that redefines corporate social responsibility.

The New Gatekeepers: Are The Facebook Bias Accusations Just the Start?

There are two main gatekeeping forces that give pause to the nature of the content we’re seeing on social networks such as Facebook: algorithms that create the conditions for birds-of-a-feather and myopic rather than wider awareness of news; and, humans who are part of the operational machinery of the networks and participate in approval process for sponsored content.

Of Course Facebook Is Biased. That’s How Tech Works Today

Most social tech company decisions are driven by the goal of increasing user interactions, dependency and money. The trick is to understand the biases and constraints and figure out how to best use them for your own interests.

West Point controversy grows as social media fans the flames

The photo was either misunderstood as a graduation celebration or a group of young women in uniform showing support for a political movement. Regardless, West Point’s “crisis communications have been almost nonexistent.” How come organization’s haven’t yet figured out inaction and lack of preparation courts public relations disaster in the age of social media.

Foreign firms have unfair advantage over Cancon, committee hears

A parliamentary committee is hearing arguments that American internet giants are eating up the already shrinking pool of advertising dollars used by media organizations to provide local coverage — and they don’t invest the money back into the communities or in quality Canadian content.

Justin Trudeau’s social media skills catch eye of White House

Social media success, even in politics and public affairs, is driven by personality, relatability and relevance. Both the person and the content have to appeal (at some level) to any audience. With any luck, it’s your intended audience.

Lost and Found: More Fun with Campaign 404 Pages

Most website error pages (named 404 pages because that’s the assigned standard error number) are dull and functional. Few organizations exploit them as opportunities to get additional attention through creative content. Even fewer have a goal-supporting call to action. This post includes some recent political examples.

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