I’ve fallen behind on my roundups. So, I’ve included 11 roundup extra must-reads (plus a bonus) for digital public affairs practitioners to catch up.

The ‘opt-out’ effect

A new book by Carroll School of Management Professor Jerry Smith examines how consumers now possess the tools that allow them to manage the brand relationship. This puts pressure on brands to be worthy of a relationship with consumers.

5 lessons for communicators from stand-up comics

Good comedians make their living appealing to people through stories and jokes that surprise and resonate with their audience. They depend on getting people’s attention and attracting a wider audience through word-of-mouth. As Ragan’s Cara Jurkowski points out, there is a lot communicators can learn from comedians.

Communications Proves to Be Essential Tool for Preparedness

The South Carolina National Guard public affairs office took to social media immediately after Governor Nikki Haley declared a state of emergency on October 1, in advance of the landfall of Hurricane Joaquin. They integrated public affairs (which was both monitoring and active on social media and with traditional media organizations) with the Joint Operations Centre. In this way, intelligence gathered online could be pushed to the operations and emergency teams, and important information could be shared in a timely manner.

Risk and responsibility in a hyperconnected world: Implications for enterprises

A new report from the World Economic Forum and McKinsey & Company reveals “Despite years of effort, and tens of billions of dollars spent annually, the global economy is still not sufficiently protected against cyberattacks—and it is getting worse.” Which means that in addition to being prepared on the IT side, companies must be certain they build solid online reputations and well-rehearsed crisis communication plans.

Munich Police Face Questions Over False Tweets During Shooting

Police services have a significant challenge in how they communicate during active shooter situations and terrorist attacks. They have to make a very difficult decision about open communication which could cause an increase in widespread panic unnecessarily. Withholding unverified leads could be disastrous if they turn out to be real. The same applies to organizations that find themselves in crisis situations.

Airbnb hires team of former city mayors to serve on advisory board

Companies like Uber and Airbnb have become famous as (arrogant) disruptors of established, regulated industries — industries that have faced little or no meaningful competition. This has resulted in some significant pushback to protect turf. Among the many mistakes these disruptors (and other) have made is their belief they should be accepted with open arms as innovative and timely. As true as that might be, they still need to play within the existing legal framework. Airbnb has decided to hire some former mayors to help them in this capacity.

Uber, MADD, and law enforcement partnered on July 4 in 25 cities

Speaking of Uber, it has been on the charm offensive over the last year. On Canada’s election day (October 19, 2015), Uber offered free fares to polling stations for first time riders (up to $15, which is a good distance in Uber’s structure). On July 4th, US Independence Day, Uber teamed up with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and local law enforcement to offer free rides in an effort to discourage impaired driving.

Do your crisis plans include muzzling your execs?

“Igniyte, a UK-based PR firm, commissioned a study of 508 managers finding that ’40 percent of UK managers surveyed cite their higher management team as the biggest risk to a PR crisis.'”

The Department of Energy Just Launched a Surprisingly Great Podcast

The U.S. Department of Energy just flexed its creative muscles, and played on the popularity of public radio produced podcasts to guide their own podcast and keep the American public informed in an engaging way on the past, present and future of energy, energy technology and energy policy. While it has its eye-roll moments, Direct Energy is worth the time and consideration.

Airbnb and Uber to Democrats: You Need Us

Airbnb played an important role in the Democratic National Convention, housing 7,000 of the 40,000 people in Philadelphia for the convention. The home-sharing service has rented out 3,000 locations compared to the 15,000 hotel rooms. That was part of the story shared by the service during a panel session it shared with Uber as part of the DNC gathering.

Election law needs update to deal with Twitter, Facebook, watchdog says

Don’t get too excited about this news. Elections Canada is more concerned about updating (or reinforcing) ballot secrecy clauses to ensure people don’t post images of their marked ballot on social media platforms.


Canadian Armed Forces warn Pokemon Go users to stay off bases

The problem isn’t with the augmented reality gaming app Pokemon Go. The problem is one of social behaviour/attitudes. If I was smart, I’d start a company that created a database of “off limits” sites like Holocaust Memorials, hospitals, war memorials, womens’ shelters, military bases, etc… that could be mapped into augmented reality apps to prevent the app from working in those areas.

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