If you have been paying attention to the “new” media in the past week, you are probably aware that “Climate Change” is quickly becoming the public relations equivalent of Enron. By that, I mean a well-known, apparently highly successful “brand” that has been shown to have some serious, fundamental flaws.
The scientists in the global-warming-is- caused-by-mankind camp built their case by trying to ridicule anyone who doubted their science and by attempting to destroy the reputations of anyone who stood up to them. Well, now we come to find out their their “science” seems to be based on fudged numbers, manipulated computer models and data that seems to have been “dumped”.
I will leave it up to the two sides of the debate to finally settle the issue. However, without a doubt, the scientists involved in this scandal (dubbed Climategate) have a real public relations disaster on their hands.
There is a marketing/public relations lesson to learn in all of this hubbub. This controversy show us the ultimate importance of being authentic in today’s economy. Web 2.0 has given every consumer the power to force transparency on anyone or any business. If an individual desires, they can find out virtually anything they want to about you – in the case of these scientists, they can even steal your secret conversations and share them with the world.
The lesson to learn then is to present yourself honestly to the world, make sure you can deliver on what you promise and do everything you possibly can to make sure the content on the web that you can control is accurate. This means your profiles (Facebook, Linked In) are up to date and that any comments made about you or your company are accurate.