A big congratulations to our very own Anne Wood for making Utah Business magazine’s 40 Under 40 business leaders in Utah. We couldn’t be prouder.
Archive for the ‘ PR ’ Category
In a year full of corporate disasters, somehow the airline industry manages to keep itself on the map. This week’s case in point: A newlywed couple rushed to take care of their baby’s diaper emergency minutes before their flight was about to take off. Upon returning to the gate, the couple was told by a snippy gate agent that they were not allowed to board and she had given their tickets away. Tears and outrage ensued and the infuriated father promptly started a blog, Alaska Airlines Hates Families. Social media channels spread the word, traditional media picked it up and the blog received more than 15,000 hits in one day.
So who’s to blame for this foul-smelling disaster? The grumpy gate agent? The unprepared new parents? Maybe the kid with the poopy diaper? The truth is, it’s not important.
What is important is how the corporation, which is the one asking customers to fork over their hard-earned money, handled it. Alaska (mis)handled it by requiring its social media manager to write an official and somewhat denigrating corporate response.
Sure, Alaska Airlines, you might believe you were in the right; you might have corporate policy on your side. But here’s the thing: you’re not in the business of proving you’re right, you’re in the business of filling up your airplanes full of paying customers. Three suggestions:
In the end, Alaska caved and offered the couple a full refund but not much else. The corporate response said they “apologize if the family thinks it could have been handled differently.” No responsibility taken, no empathy with a nice bow on top. I’ll admit, it makes me think twice before booking an Alaska ticket.
My final piece of advice to Alaska Airlines: Borrow a page out of ol’ Carnegie, take all the blame and then some, and score some points with fliers everywhere. All most people really want is a little validation.
Image courtesy of philosophygeek.
I’m new to Pandora. I was enjoying the service with the exception of a few skanky American Apparel ads. I’m not sure what they were advertising exactly, but it must have been some kind of shirt because the girl in the ad wasn’t wearing anything else.
So I shot off an email to Pandora to voice my concern/complaint about the ads.
Shortly after I got a “Thanks for your feedback, we’re looking into it”-type of response. Unsatisfied, I wrote back and asked when I should expect to hear back on how the matter was resolved. Less than 10 minutes later:
“I believe our team is working on removing this ad as I type – we serve network ads at times that sometimes slip through…that don’t meet our standards.”
Impressive. Fast. Responsive. I gave them a shout-out on Twitter. Later that day I got this:
And it came in the mail today. Along with some stickers, a hand-signed letter from the founder and, oddly, a CD* opener/cleaner contraption:
Pandora did a great job of taking what could have been very negative (this post would have been very different) and turned it into a situation where I’m telling random coworkers about Pandora’s awesomeness.
*CDs? Really? Pandora is two steps removed from CDs (CD -> MP3 -> streaming music) so it seems odd to send out a tool to help you open and clean them. But thanks just the same.
We work hard, there’s no doubt of that. And as a thanks for that hard work, Dave and the rest of the board arranged for a fantastic summer party for all three offices.
Not only were employees able to relax and take a little time off work, but families were invited to come and enjoy the day at Lagoon Amusement Park. It was great to walk around the park and see familiar faces with their loved ones, all having a good time. How can you not have a good time when you’re flying through the air on the Samurai, banging into your friends/family on the Boomerang, or getting drenched on one of the water rides.
Dinner was a chance for all of us to come together and meet each other’s families while enjoying burgers and hot dogs with all the trimmings. Dave graciously thanked both the staff and their families for being so dedicated and making ThomasArts such a great place to work.
Overall, it was a fantastic day. Thanks ThomasArts!
Tell us in the comments how your experience was at Lagoon.
Valve, makers of the insanely popular videogame Portal, decided to delay the highly-anticipated sequel’s 2010 release until sometime in 2011. Instead of the usual corporate drivel, they released the following press release (note the title – awesome). I think the third paragraph is my favorite. Enjoy.
VALVE ANNOUNCES MAKING GAMES IS HARD
June 9, 2010 — Aperture Science, doing business as Aperture Laboratories LLC, in partnership with Valve today announced the successful completion of an ethics-review-panel-supervised release date restructuring process. Portal 2, the sequel to the ground-breaking title that earned over 30 Game of the Year awards despite missing its original ship date, is now targeted for a 2011 release.
Representatives from both companies acknowledged that public safety concerns factored into the decision. They went on to say that even though Portal 2 will arrive slightly later than planned, all life on earth won’t instantaneously stop as every molecule in your body explodes at the speed of light, which is what would happen should a rip ever appear in the fabric of Valve Time.
“Also, the game will be even better,” they added, missing an historic opportunity to create the first product delay press release to mention that a product is being delayed to make it worse.
To ask questions about how close we all came to dying, or to ask futile questions about the previously announced E3 ***PORTAL-2-THEMED-FOR-GOD’S SAKE*** surprise or, less futilely, to schedule an appointment to attend a Portal 2 screening at the Valve booth during E3, please contact Valve’s delegate to the EU’s Valve Time Studies Group.
I don’t think I’ve ever actually enjoyed reading a press release (nor laughed out loud at one) before. Granted, not everyone should release something like this. Think if BP tried to go this route. Bad idea. However, Valve knows their target audience and it worked wonderfully.
That being said, I think everyone could probably do with a little less PR speak and a little more personality.
Image courtesy of here.
Someone has decided to create a mock BP PR Twitter account and, dang it’s funny.
Horribly satirical. Dark and biting. And really, really funny.
Needless to say, BP isn’t happy about this. Maybe it’s because the fake BP Twitter account has
40,000 140,000 more followers than the legit one.
The person behind the fake account is still a mystery but gave Mashable an email interview (in character) which is worth the read.
Here are a couple of @BPGlobalPR’s tweets pulled from said article:
BP is stuck behind a rock and a hard place:
If they decry the fake account publicly it just draws more attention to it. On the other hand word is spreading about it, it has ten times the followers on Twitter and its getting press.
From a professional standpoint, this is the epitome of a new media PR crisis: dead center where social media and traditional PR intersect. What advice would I give them? Now, I’m not trained in the ninja arts of public relations – that isn’t my gig. But that’s never stopped anyone with a blog from spouting off, now has it?
So here’s my advice: stop screwing up. <— Best PR/social media advice out there.