Has CNN forgotten the ABC of branding? Riddle this!

UPDATE: Check another interesting paper on the subject at Identity Chef: http://bit.ly/cF7JnS
Clout is one thing, adoption is something totally different! But who am I to tell that to CNN?! They sure do know a lot about clout…
Oh adoption? CNN? In the Arab world? Are you kidding??!
In all cases, the few atoms of adoption they had are slowly dissipating.
Adoption is first and foremost about credibility.
And credibility dictates that you stand by what you say and mostly what you preach.


CNN has always “pretended” to be that the forefront of freedom of speech. They always “pretended” to make a case of reporters’ abuse. They always “claimed” to have access to the most impossible places thanks to their impartiality.
And one day, they fire Octavia Nasr!
Riddle this!
I never knew that a simple tweet jeopardized the status of CNN… Or does it?
When a media tries to rally an audience in a quite sensitive geography, the ABC is simple. Build a strong brand, make it credible, generate adoption and secure loyalty.
Whether we like it or not, Al Jazeera did it.
Yeah, yeah I know, you’re going to tell me “credibility”??
Wait. Credibility is what “you” believe and keep believing. And the key to that is consistency, good or bad. Unfortunately, that’s where CNN has just failed.
CNN, Al Hura, Voice of America…. What’s wrong with this line up? Credibility. And I’m not talking news here.
Does CNN think that after firing Octavia Nasr, its ratings in the Middle East will go higher? After all, Ms. Nasr did issue an apology (Comes to me, I wish she didn’t but that’s a different story).
I would love hearing CNN saying they don’t care about the Middle East audience. That would be enough for me and I’ll accept the whole Octavia Nasr issue. But of course they do care about the Middle East!
CNN has brought out its internal feuds, and that’s a lethal mistake to its brand. And it chose the worst time to do it, right after the firing of White House correspondent Helen Thomas, who happens also to be from Arab origins.
How lame could that be for the people who invented World News?!


How is CNN going to polish its image with the Arab World?
If it does anything on that front, it will clearly look like admitting it was wrong.
If it doesn’t do anything… well you know!
Now riddle that!
I’m not going to teach CNN how to run it’s business, but as a branding expert, all I can do is express my “humble” opinion.
First of all, CNN knew very well how much ink they will draw out of this story, and that’s a lot of visibility. What CNN forgot was that they are not a hot celebrity who makes more fans by publicizing its divorce or being out of rehab. This is CNN… Isn’t that what they say in their station ID breaker?
A friend of mine was recently at a tweetup in Beirut and where Octavia was present. It happened just a couple of days before the incident. My friend was telling me how nice she is, and how well she connected with everyone. She was a celebrity around here. By the way, if you go to her page on CNN, it is still there. Remorse? Hesitation? Or just forgot to remove it?

Grab it while still can:

Now the toughest part for CNN is not choosing one of the two options mentioned earlier. It’s how it will justify standing at the opposite side of what it had always advocated and publicized. Now, I would really like see them pull out of this one…
What do I think?
Well, I guess they should start be seriously substantiating their move, fully. Even if that includes a serious apology to their public. You don’t fire an Arabic reporter who tweeted a condolence message, no matter what they said, or what the station’s policy is.
Which leads to another serious question: “What” is CNN’s policy anyway?
Am I looking a bit partial and nasty here?
Hell yeah!
And not because I don’t like CNN or like Octavia Nasr or am a partisan of any political party… As a matter of fact, CNN “was” my favorite news station, I never watched Octavia Nasr, and I do not belong to any political party… I am barely patriotic…
All I know is this: When you are a media with the size of CNN, you “owe” a lot to your public. You owe more than firing reporters over a tweet.
It will be a long time before this heals. What’s amazing is how such a small “weapon” can manage to inflict such a huge “damage”.
Yes, “huge”. Isn’t CNN marginalizing it? 😉

3 Responses to “Has CNN forgotten the ABC of branding? Riddle this!”

  1. July 12, 2010 at 10:07

    Great Article, I was wondering the same thing about the link on the CNN webpage.

  2. July 12, 2010 at 11:33

    Thank you Darine for your comment. I would love to be linked back on your blog. I will try to do the same here too.

  3. July 11, 2014 at 03:11

    I prefer the actual beneficial data an individual contribute towards your site content. I’m going to save the web site look once again in this article usually. I am rather sure We will be explained to a good amount of new products proper right here! All the best ! for an additional!

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