Here’s a quick round up of some of the articles I’ve found interesting this week:
1) Microsoft’s Silicon Valley Envy – Vauhini Vara
An run through of Microsoft’s current outlook and its change from ‘devices and services’ to one that ‘facilitates experiences’.
2) Audi to Retain WPP’s AKQA for Digital – Alexandra Bruell
Quick analysis of Audi USA’s digital agency roster, including the news that they’re continuing a search for a social media agency.
3) Facebook Offers Life Raft, but Publishers Are Wary – David Carr
The ongoing debate around whether Facebook becoming a content host is good or bad for publishers – accessibility and audience access versus data handcuffs?
4) Uber: The Next Logistics Framework – Lindsay Rego
The how, why and what of Uber’s model and growth with reference to Malcolm Gladwell’s Tipping Point.
5) Touchtronic III – Advanced Technology Advancing AM.com – Pete Norwood
A look at how we created a unique web experience to launch and explore our latest 15MY Vanquish and Rapide S transmission.
So it’s been just over a month since the Le Mans 24hr race. I wasn’t there in person but was in a remote part of Scotland for a stag weekend, however I was still covering the race from a web and social media perspective.
As a team we went into the race with high hopes of a win in both the GTE Pro and Am classes with one of the strongest teams we’d ever entered. Tragically the race will not be remembered for Aston Martin’s resilient performance and third-place finish, but the passing of Alan Simonsen following an accident in the early minutes of the race.
I began to think something was wrong when our guys on the ground handling the Aston Martin Racing twitter account didn’t tweet any news on the accident. My fears were confirmed about an hour later when I received confirmation of a imminent press statement and the roll-out of our ‘Crisis Communications’ plan.
Crisis communications is something that many companies plan out and have agreed but obviously very few ever implement. I remember discussing procedures earlier on in the year and we discussed how the death of a racing driver would be one of a few scenarios where the plan would be implemented.
So, once official confirmation had come through that we had moved into a crisis communications situation the agreed plan for www.astonmartin.com was enacted. In essence it relates to what many companies do, replacing the main homepage and content pages with a ‘dark site’ with the removal or any marketing or promotional messages – simply the relevant statement on the incident. This certainly tallies with the proposed ‘dark site’ approach I’d planned during my time at TUI Travel for http://www.thomson.co.uk and http://www.firstchoice.co.uk. Fortunately to manage http://www.astonmartin.com we use an extremely nimble and flexible CMS (www.sitefinity.com) which made things easy and quick – time is of the essence in situations like these. Within around ten minutes both our main homepage and racing homepages had been changed to a black background with the official press statement displayed in white. Both homepages remained like this through Saturday and Sunday, returning to normal service (although with a tribute as lead story) on the Monday.
Clearly I take no pleasure in the circumstances that meant we had to enact this plan, but the reception we received for the simple, quick and respectful approach was pleasing and certainly helped protect us from any criticisms about handling such a tragic event.
I hope I’ll never have to implement a crisis plan at any other point in my career but this is a clear example of how good planning, clear communication channels – despite me being hundreds of miles away in Scotland – and a nimble content management system can help play a visible part in handling any crisis situation.
More information on the Allan Simonsen Foundation
Not many moments define a career – producing this will be one of mine.
An unbelievable day in a stunning location and the end result is a phenomenal set of images and film.
On Saturday we hit the fantastic mark of Two Million Aston Martin facebook fans. You may think that this is not such a big achievement when you look at other massive brands or indeed some of the Aston Martin competitor set, but, as a business we have never ever, ever spent any money on facebook advertising, and therefore every single one of those likes is either organic or referred. Not a bad achievement, even more impressive when you consider that our second million was generated in just 13 months.
And to celebrate? We thought we’d do something a little quirky, I liked the idea of a video which was light hearted and had the potential to be consumed by people (and fans) around the world. We’ll be releasing the full version in February but we’ve released this initial teaser…