Aristotle, an archetypal wise man, with a bust of Homer.
An elusive force exists that anchors characters, stories and brands deep into the throngs of history. It’s the rebel, the caring mother, the warrior — a backbone of storytelling that spans both longitudes and centuries.
We call it the archetype. Consciously or not, brand builders have been leveraging these archetypes for decades. Continue reading
Something that was once of interest only to digital analytics geeks is now bordering on something of a cultural phenomenon. With its addictive business model in hand, Klout has become the supreme authority in measuring and ranking online influence. Each day it seems that more and more people are checking their Klout scores to see how influential they are among their online circles.
Yet the service has also left some people scratching their heads. Anyone who has peered into their Klout profile to see the “People You Influence” and the “Topics” may be taken aback by the combination of hair-raising depth and daunting precision. For me, Klout has been able to call out my top influencers, one of which I had only mentioned once on social media. Other times, Klout told me that I was an influencer of people I hadn’t engaged with on social media for well over a year.
This left me begging the question: What specific information does — and doesn’t — Klout have access to? Continue reading
Earlier this week, I wrote about how the concept of organizational “transparency” is a dangerously vague one. This vagueness, I believe is the result of transparency’s multifaceted nature, which so often goes unacknowledged.
This graph visually conceptualizes how I think of transparency, and why it needs to be clarified more deeply by those who communicate its use:
Everything in blue is transparent information; the light blue being transparent information that’s pushed and promoted towards the public and the darker blue is information that’s transparent but simply floating around, freely accessible and unpromoted. The brick represents all confidential, superfluous or insider information. The sizes represent the relative proportions of how much of each level is available within each facet.
Please note two things:
- These relative levels change flexibly for each organization (the CIA and MI6 would be mostly brick; WikiLeaks’s vision is of all glass and no brick), in accordance with business goals, values and public demand.
- The facets I have listed are only the ones that came to me off of the top of my head. There are many more; if you have improvements to the list, please add them in the comments below.
As you can see, when organizations focus on “increasing their transparency,” it typically affects only one or two of these facets. However, the public may be expecting increased transparency in a facet other than the one that the organization intended at levels that are unrealistic for business. Thus, it’s important to clarify what specific transparency efforts are being taken, and to what extent.
What facet of transparency does your organization focus on the most, and in what industry?
As PR professionals, we hear it almost every day: We live in a world of “transparency.” In order to survive, we’re told, businesses must become more “transparent.” We hear about how essential “transparency” is to building relationships of trust with the public.
Unfortunately, this noble concept is a dangerously vague one. Continue reading