Can we reinvent democracy for the long term?

“The origin of civil government,” wrote David Hume in 1739, is that “men are not able radically to cure, either in themselves or others, that narrowness of soul, which makes them prefer the present to the remote.” The Scottish philosopher was convinced that the institutions of government – such as political representatives and parliamentary debates – would serve to temper our impulsive and selfish desires, and foster society’s long-term interests and welfare.

Today Hume’s view appears little more than wishful thinking, since it is so startlingly clear that our political systems have become a cause of rampant short-termism rather than a cure for it. Many politicians can barely see beyond the next election, and dance to the tune of the latest opinion poll or tweet. Governments typically prefer quick fixes, such as putting more criminals behind bars rather than dealing with the deeper social and economic causes of crime. Nations bicker around international conference tables, focused on their near-term interests, while the planet burns and species disappear.

As the 24/7 news media pumps out the latest twist in the Brexit negotiations or obsesses over a throwaway comment from the US president, the myopia of modern democratic politics is all too obvious. So is there an antidote to this political presentism that pushes the interests of future generations permanently beyond the horizon?

Read entire post Can we reinvent democracy for the long term? | Roman Krznaric | BBC



It’s all in the name: the world’s first International Standard for brand evaluation just published

A brand can be a company’s most valuable asset – yet how do you know what it’s really worth? Measuring the value of a brand starts with knowing what to measure – and how.

No-one wants to pay ‘just for the name’ yet branding power means we often do. One of those intangible but valuable things, branding influences the decisions of customers, financial institutions, potential buyers of the business and more. And some brands are worth a lot. Yet not all measures are monetary and there are many different approaches and methods used around the world, which makes true comparisons and benchmarking somewhat tricky.

ISO 20671, Brand evaluation – Principles and fundamentals, aims to standardize the technical requirements and evaluation methods involved in brand valuation. It complements ISO 10668, Brand valuation – Requirements for monetary brand valuation, which focuses primarily on the financial aspects.

Read entire post It’s all in the name: the world’s first International Standard for brand evaluation just published | Clare Naden |

Facebook staff had access to hundreds of millions of people’s passwords

This time, the company acknowledges that it mishandled sensitive passwords for hundreds of millions of its users, primarily those who use its Facebook Lite product. The disclosure casts doubt on the company’s abilities to protect its users’ information as it focuses more on privacy.

On Thursday, Facebook said it didn’t properly mask the passwords of hundreds of millions of its users and stored them as plain text in an internal database that could be accessed by its staff.

The company said it discovered the exposed passwords during a security review in January and launched an investigation. Facebook did not say how long it had been storing passwords in this way.

Read entire post Facebook staff had access to hundreds of millions of people’s passwords | Donie O’Sullivan and Kevin Collier | CNN Business

Crisis communication: Key lessons from 2018

Crisis communication can be defined as “the PR, media and communication process by which a business or an organisation deals with an unexpected high-profile negative issue.”

As a PR professional, it’s all about getting your client out of the storm with the least amount of damage, whether it’s to the organisation or its reputation.

But the digital era has made this a tricky landscape to navigate. Gone are the days where PR professionals had hours before a story broke, today it takes minutes and in some cases seconds – thanks to social media and the power of digital communication in general.

Read entire post Crisis communication: Key lessons from 2018 |  Leago Monareng | BizCommunity

Taking responsibility: Communicating in a crisis

Protecting your reputation after an incident is the ultimate challenge for any airline. If done right, the company’s reputation could emerge even stronger.

Talking about the cause of the incident is not possible until a thorough investigation is complete. But the airline must cooperate with the authorities and help victims and their families. Taking ownership of the response by acknowledging the incident and talking about what the airline is doing in these areas should therefore be the prime focus.

Legal liability or blame can wait,” insists John Bailey, Partner and Managing Director, Ketchum Singapore. “What matters most is who will step up and try to make a bad situation better? Companies that don’t take responsibility—like BP after the infamous Deepwater Horizon oil spill—will find it hard to gain forgiveness or avoid reputational damage.

Read entire post Taking responsibility: Communicating in a crisis |

Amazon knocked off top of UK consumer poll once ethics considered

Amazon has slipped down a list of companies ranked by customer satisfaction after consumers were asked to consider ethics when rating brands.

The online retailer, which became the world’s most valuable listed company earlier this month, had taken the top spot in the last six published biannual UK Customer Satisfaction Indexes (UKSCI). But it slipped to fifth place, with a score of 85.4 out of 100, after the Institute of Customer Service (ICS) added new categories, including an ethical dimension to the poll of 10,000 consumers.

Amazon has previously faced high-profile criticism over the working conditions experienced by its employees and its relatively meagre tax contribution in the UK.

Read entire article Amazon knocked off top of UK consumer poll once ethics considered | Rob Davies | The Guardian

Averting crisis through effective communication

We are living witnesses to various crises in the country, especially triggered by ethno-religious conflicts and socio-political sentiments which could have been prevented through crisis communication strategies.

At a recent training workshop organised by the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, it was discovered that there is no way one can talk about crisis communication without discussing crisis management. They are intertwined towards achieving positive results in managing crises.

There is no way one can talk about crisis communication without discussing crisis managementCrisis communication is a sub-specialty of the public relations profession that is designed to protect and defend an individual, company, organisation or community facing a public challenge to its reputation.

According to a communication scholar, Timothy Coombs, a crisis is the perception of an unpredictable event that threatens important expectancies of stakeholders and can seriously impact an organisation’s performance and generate a negative outcome.

Read entire post Averting crisis through effective communication | Hasiya Haruna Wakili and Agurue Anthony | The Guardian

New Google+ bug moves site end date forward

Google is speeding up the closure of its unpopular social networking platform after discovering a new bug affecting over 52 million users.

The tech giant announced in October that it would be shutting Google+ in August 2019. However, that date has been brought forward to April next year, while its APIs will disappear “within the next 90 days,” according to G Suite product management VP, David Thacker.

The reason appears to be a newly discovered vulnerability in the API which the firm says impacts roughly 52.5 million users.

With respect to this API, apps that requested permission to view profile information that a user had added to their Google+ profile — like their name, email address, occupation, age — were granted permission to view profile information about that user even when set to not-public,” Thacker explained.

Read entire article New Google+ Bug Moves Site End Date Forward | Phil Muncaster | InfoSecurity

Bethesda accidentally leaked personal data of ‘Fallout 76’ customers looking for help

It’s not a good time for Bethesda. The launch of Fallout 76 has been messy, with complaints ranging from the game’s stability and balance to the items included with the game’s collectors edition.

The game’s “Power Armor” edition came with a functional Brotherhood of Steel helmet and a canvas bag that later turned out to be a nylon replacement. Bethesda originally offered customers a small amount of in-game currency, and later announced plans to replace the nylon bags with canvas upgrades.

That should be a happy end to the story, but the tale of woe continues as customers are reporting that they were able to access other customers’ personal data when submitting support tickets through Bethesda’s online help system.

On Monday, Bethesda instructed customers to visit its support site to file a claim if they’d purchased the Power Armor edition of Fallout 76.

Read entire article Bethesda support site leaks Fallout 76 customers’ personal info | Cass Marshall | Polygon

ISO 21041: Gaining consumer trust by making purchasing choices easier

Unit pricing – or comparative pricing – is a way for retailers to show the price of a commodity in relation to a standard unit of measure, such as the kilogramme or litre. For example, for a 500 ml carton of milk offered at USD 1.95, the unit price would be USD 3.90 per litre.

However, this is not always consistent across retailers or products, creating an added layer of perplexity for shoppers and doing little for consumer trust. ISO 21041, Guidance on unit pricing, aims to clear up the confusion by defining unit pricing systems and enhancing transparency of pricing information.

Price transparency is one way of gaining consumer trust by making purchasing choices easierIn a recent study conducted by the Queensland University of Technology, Australia, consumers reported a significantly greater ability to process price information and higher confidence in their price judgements when unit prices are presented consistently within stores.

Additionally, the research indicated that standardized unit price presentation was associated with more favourable attitudes toward retailers.

Read entire article Pricing it right | Clare Naden |

How natural disasters impact elections

The way politicians handle themselves in the wake of a natural disaster can greatly influence their careers and subsequent elections.

> Read entire article How natural disasters impact elections | AccuWeather

What loss of trust costs companies in dollars and cents

The study, which looked at more than 7,000 public companies across 20 industries, calculated the financial impact that resulted from a loss of trust from stakeholders, including customers and employees.

Fifty-four percent of analyzed companies had an incident in the past two and half years that materially impacted their reputation, according to the report. The study defined “trust” as encompassing consistency, integrity and transparency.

See also The World’s Most Admired Companies“What makes business competitive today—it’s not the same set of rules that existed even 10 years ago,” said Bill Theofilou, a senior managing director at Accenture Strategy, the strategy consulting unit that conducted the study.

The loss of trust has a particularly large effect on companies in industries such as banking, utilities, and travel and transportation. For instance, a reputation incident that caused a two-point drop in a bank’s index score slowed its revenue growth by about 22%. A similar incident with the same drop in a consumer goods and services company’s index score would only cause a 3% drop in its revenue growth.

> Read entire article What loss of trust costs companies in dollars and cents | Mengqi Sun | Wall Street Journal