PR Pros To Facebook: Washington Post Good Choice For CEO Op-Ed

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made perhaps his most public of statements today regarding recent concerns about the social network’s privacy settings: an op-ed in the Washington Post.

In the op-ed, Zuckerberg said the company “missed the mark,” regarding privacy controls, while adding, “We have heard the feedback. There needs to be a simpler way to control your information. In the coming weeks, we will add privacy controls that are much simpler to use.”

We asked several PR executives what they thought of the op-ed.

Dallas Lawrence, Managing Director at Burson-Marsteller’s Proof Integrated Communications said the op-ed, “highlighted an emerging understanding within Facebook that the serious threats to their future won’t be addressed within the pages of Fast Company or come from crowds tweeting at the latest social media conference.

Instead, the company needs to focus on, “Over-reacting and misinformed regulators at home and abroad responding to public angst.”

Matthew Traub, managing director at Dan Klores Communications (DKC) agreed.

“Placing the op-ed in the Washington Post was a smart move. Too often in situations like this a company will think in insular terms and break news with the folks that cover them day in and day out,” he said.

It’s important for Facebook to remember that their “greatest threat” is “potential federal legislative or regulatory action on the privacy issue.”

“Facebook knew the reporters and bloggers who cover the tech industry and social media would pick up the op-ed and write about it – and they haven’t disappointed – but it’s unclear whether the reverse would have happened had the op-ed originated in the tech world,” added Traub.

Brian Solis, principal at digital agency FutureWorks, said the op-ed was “overdue.” Todd Defren, principal at Shift Communications said, “That’s more like it,” comparing the op-ed to other communications from the CEO, such as his recently published email exchange with blogger Robert Scoble.

PR executive and blogger Jeremy Pepper said, “It’s not bad,” while adding, “despite all the whining from people, Facebook has always had a good idea of what it is doing.”

As always, we welcome your thoughts in the comments.