Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey

 

By Jennifer Bulotti, SMG Sacramento

At Stryker-Munley Group, we have our share of incredible tech innovators and entrepreneurs. We have worked with Microsoft and Disney Interactive, as young start-ups and well-seeded ideas that led to incredibly competitive companies.

The one question that always comes to the table is: How do we harness, yet encourage, the message and brand of our young <entrepreneur, innovator, technologist, dreamer and leader>?

Case in point. Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey has come out and said “I’m not shaving until my company is profitable.” Wait. What?

This message, shared across all social media and traditional media platforms spurred outrage among investors—and those who trusted in his leadership to protect the platform, but more importantly, guide the company toward profitability.

“What company founder throws a public hissy fit and lays out a challenge to the public and investors in such a way?”

Genius? Or town idiot?

Can you imagine Jack Welch or Henry Ford laying out this challenge and it being met?

Well, in this day of instantaneous “gut reaction” 24/7 media relations, we’d all better be prepared, and prepare our clients for the inevitable moment when a client says something that we all pay attention to at 1 a.m. EST.

Now, more than ever, protocols, messaging and relationships matter. And the framework and counsel for all need to be in place and ready.

• What do we do when an opportunity or crisis hits? Who is the spokesperson? How do we track posts, reporter inquiries and investor challenges?

• What do we say? And when? And by whom? At some point, we need to help clients decide what can be said, and who has the authority to share the message.

• Who do we contact? Who are our first level stakeholders? Those who may be called upon themselves about the issue, or those whose livelihoods may depend upon it. And, most importantly, who can we rely upon in the media, on social media, or within the industry to share the message with clarity to the appropriate audiences?

In an era of automation and technology, these are the human spaces where human judgment and expertise wins. When a PR issue or opportunity arises, who do you want by your side for counsel and advice?

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