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Crisis Management Lessons From the Government

  • Ad Age, Thursday, April 30, 2009 11:15 AM
Pete Blackshaw, evp of Nielsen Online Digital Strategic Services and chair of the National Council of Better Business Bureaus, says that marketers often learn their best lessons in times of crisis and he offers ten tips gleaned from what he calls the "highly effective -- and critically timely" work of the U.S. government's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

It's a good piece about an unlikely source for marketing wisdom. "The communication work they are leading is neither sexy nor flashy," Blackshaw writes, but the agency has more than 15,000 new followers on Twitter and Nielsen data suggest the CDC Web site is generating unprecedented links and references, including from Wikipedia.

Blackshaw's Lesson No. One: "Empower Those Who Want to Help Others." He says the CDC is doing an excellent job in making it easy for visitors to subscribe to and share its content, especially the real-time information. He also points out that the agency has widely refrained from "excessive banter" on Twitter, and is sharing only the most essential content. One more: Blackshaw says that he's amazed at how few major marketers are using "the power of sight, sound and motion to explain or demonstrate how to use products." The CDC is.



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