erika gennari

Still Working. Still Committed.

By Corporate Strategy, Crisis Communications, Public Relations

Does that sound familiar? Do you feel like you’ve heard that somewhere? That’s because BP Global does not want you to forget that they are still working in the Gulf of Mexico funding nature research, promoting tourism, and helping the area recover from the oil spill of 2010. 

Look, I know no one loves big oil, but they have done a phenomenal job with their crisis communications. Here’s a feel good video for you:

Restoring the Gulf

Everything you could want to know about where they are and what they are doing is on the website dedicated to their restoration work. What actually happened during the spill? How have they changed their safe guarding measures? What are local residents saying? How has it all affected wildlife? Yes, it is all on there. The bad news and the good news on what happened and BP’s response program; it’s all there. What is great about this? Hearing live people tell their stories. These voices are of real people affected by the spill. This is not a spokesperson telling us how they are helping:

Hope with BP’s Vessels of Opportunity Program

Showing the hard realities of the crisis makes the positive response feel more authentic. This spill happened 2 years ago, and BP has invested heavily in their communication to make sure that the public knows they are involved. Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and YouTube are  updated regularly. The stories are both informative and personal.

Crisis Communications is one of those aspects of our work that doesn’t get a lot of day-to-day attention. It’s easy to talk about Social Strategy or Brand Positioning, but when it comes to a crisis, you want to have that red folder to turn to. We work with our clients to think about what would be a crisis within their company, who would be your spokesperson, which media would you reach out to, how would you acknowledge fault and move forward with an actionable plan. And then, like BP, truly invest in that actionable plan.

So I’m ready for it. Do you hate me for saying I think BP is doing a good job?

Where’s the Passion?

By Corporate Strategy

Seven years ago, I had a brief stint at a B2B marketing firm who offered web audits. It was a fairly new idea at the time. Our IT team would conduct an audit to evaluate the usability, content and overall feel of a site. We saw some doozies. But to be fair, people loved Flash at the time. There were a lot of single webpages because manufacturing companies knew they needed a web presence but they felt their catalog already got to all the right people. Yes, catalog. (We still did a lot of catalog layouts. Those days are certainly over.)

The point is, what we were talking with people about was matching the look and feel of the company to its presence online. That conversation hasn’t changed all that much. But what amazes me is how many businesses out there today still don’t invest in their website.

I went to a networking event this week of all biotech companies. The ideas spinning around that room were amazing. Really groundbreaking, life changing stuff. The next day, I went online to find the companies I spoke with to get a sense of the research they were releasing. The passion and ingenuity I heard the night before was absent from a lot of their sites.

How is that? Is there still a gap between what happens in a lab or manufacturing plant and what the online world gets to see? I think we’re missing out. I’d love to hear from the under-represented businesses.

What is the apprehension all about? Or is it just hard to creatively communicate the business of diagnosing, researching, discovering, manufacturing?


On the Blog Wagon — How to Fall Off and Get Back to It

By Communications, Social Media

It was pointed out to me today that I haven’t been blogging much at all. And a lack of blogging for me means a lack of Twitter or Facebook interaction and a general sense of missing-in-action for my followers and for me, personally as well. I miss it, and being busy with client work, while true, is not an acceptable excuse. Writers’ block doesn’t suffice as an excuse and isn’t the case, either. It just happens, once in awhile. My appetite wanes, I guess.

So how to re-energize the process?

I’m mixing up my content by adding a couple of contributors: Jaggers Communications team members Rusty Speidel and Erika Gennari have recently contributed blog posts. I’m also thinking philosophically about what content I want to post, categorically, and thinking about reorganizing categories to reflect the firm’s capabilities. I also know from a look at analytics that the more personal I am in my posts, the more reflective about my business or the more fired up I am about a particular communications issue, the larger the audience.

You guys sure like it when I get pissy.

So I’m considering all of that, and working on getting back to posting much more often.

Suggestions, demands and questions will be entertained by the management. Comment below.

Jaggers Communications Adds Business Development Team Member, Erika Gennari

By Communications, Jaggers Communications News
Erika Gennari, Jaggers Communications

Erika Gennari

More than ten years ago I worked for a metropolitan St. Louis, Missouri-based eyecare company in its marketing department. Every semester we had an intern join us to support our efforts in public relations, internal communications and marketing. Some were forgettable, of course, but some stood out and left an impression of a student with great promise and a solid future in communications.

Fast forward to last year, when, out of the blue I received an e-mail from one of those outstanding interns. She was moving to Charlottesville, Va. and had heard from a mutual friend (the CFO of that eyecare company) that I had settled here. I was — and am — delighted to be reconnected with Erika Gennari. The 21-year-old student I knew then is now a wife, a mother and an experienced professional salesperson, marketer, recruiter and communicator. She’s the same organized g0-getter with boundless energy and ahead-of-her-years professionalism that I admired all those years ago, now with more than ten years’ additional work experience added to her resume.

And so, I’m delighted to share that Erika has joined the Jaggers Communications virtual firm to provide business development outreach and management. Erika will be helping manage the pipeline of prospects for the business, assisting in proposal development and conducting outreach on behalf of the firm. It’s exciting, for me, as the entrepreneur behind a ten-month-old business, to have the opportunity to institute this role in the firm and to be working with Erika again. I know that members of this community will enjoy knowing and working with Erika as much as I do.

Please say hello to Erika on Twitter @erikagennari1 and welcome her to Charlottesville! You can also reach Erika at egennari (at) jaggerscommunications (dot) com