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Take heart, my friends! Here's a little story to demonstrate when "cold pricklies" get their comeuppance!
We had a lovely client. Two wonderful, sweet, altruistic fellows with a nifty educational product. They brought on two brothers as partners, I'll call them the Cold Pricklies. Well, the two nice guys were thrown out of their company by the Cold Prickleies, one of whom just gave us all pause. We did a lot of work for the company, but it felt like we were running in circles. We took them to a lot of lunches with prospective celebrity spokespeople, did a lot of thinking, but we just weren't going anywhere fast.
During a post-good guy meeting, the one of the Cold Pricklies took my head off in a meeting. I was a lowly AE, but I had lots of experience working with kids. My boss, the VP, was sitting next to me. We were gobsmacked. His brother was gobsmacked. We left the meeting, and I felt my eyes well up, but I couldn't let my boss see me cry. (That's unfair to males. I can't do it in front of them.)
We called our president, explained what happened. Good guy President called the client, explained they weren't allowed to abuse his team, and promptly fired the client.
We had an unwritten rule: If we don't enjoy working with you, we're likely not the right agency for you.
Fast forward about 5 years...the Colder of the Cold Pricklies was hocking another product in a different category. After great initial success, the FDA investigated the company. He and his new business partner were indicted for making false claims and the product was pulled from the market.
It's true. Cold Pricklies get theirs in the end. Chin up!
5 days, 22 hours ago on Five Tips to Deal with Angry Clients
Amen!!!! Never could reconcile a dish called "Jell-o Salad."
These are brilliant. I'd add adequate sleep to the list. Sleep is not a luxury; it's a necessity. Writing in a haze usually increases errors and decreases the ability to write clearly.
1 week, 1 day ago on Improve Your Writing with Six Writerly Hobbies
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention branding juggernaut DISNEY. One of my dear pals from college recently celebrated his 25... Maybe 30th anniversary with the company. Talk about engraining! The Disney Cast helped him pull off a Flashmob proposal to his girlfriend, and their wedding included a Mardi Gras themed parade through California Adeventure after the ceremony lead by a jazz band!!! They ALL volunteered to help him pull it off.
I've seen Disney from both sides of the veil. (I've been honored to sing in Candlelight ... gosh...10 times and about 30 concerts.) They instill the "magic" as you arrive in guests AND cast members. Backstage is as pristine as On Stage. They intersperse cast members with volunteers to maintain the Disney Way. For example: One year the narrator fell ill. The choir nervously chatted back and forth. The leader held up his hands and announced, "Not to worry. We're Disney. We have a plan B." Well, plan B ended up being Marie Osmond, who graciously accepted the role, interacted with the choir, etc. I don't even know if she was in the area at the time. They may have flown her in from NV. She crushed it!
Disney has even started to offer management, customer service, and marketing classes to companies. I noticed this when my university had the Disney formula for dealing with unhappy guests posted on the wall of the press box.
I could go on, but there are not nearly enough electrons. Though, my friend and I both agree very marketing communications person should walk through Disney from a professional standpoint and study how they work their "magic."
1 month, 1 week ago on How’s Your Internal Customer Service?
I'm all over it, Laura! I need to find the episode, though because I caught the end. What I did get was it wasn't meant to be an attempt to evangelize, rather a reminder of the corporate mission. (In-N-Out is a family business, currently run by the founder's granddaughter.) But you just sparked a thought for a blog post. Thanks!!!!
Laura: I have a suggestion for your shopping conundrum. There's a very cool phone app called something pithy like "Grocery List." Just tap to add and delete items from your list. Plus, you'll likely always have it with you. (Of course, it's only as good as the input.) I used it with success. BONUS: You can create different lists for different stores, e.g. Grocery, Club Store, Specialty Store, pet store.
Thanks for this! The point about communicating with employees, not just managers, resonated with me. It's critical. Having a daily point of communication with locations saved a client's bacon. We were able to quickly communicate that an investigative reporter was going to visit random stores and reinforce the correct and critical messages all sales people needed to clearly communicate. We emerged unscathed. Our competition...not so much.
And, yes, I have another example for you. Earlier this week, I was watching "California's Gold," a gem of a show hosted by the late Huell Howser, and it focused on In--N- Out Burger (Yes, they addressed why John 3:16 is on the bottom of the beverage cup, too, but that's another post.) In-N-Out communicates with its entire employee base via its own video feed called BTV. The company built its own video studio on its campus in Baldwin Park, and that's how they communicate. All team members get the message via video. How cool is that! (Couple this with a recent article about reporters looking for video in corporate online press rooms, but not finding it, and my public relations spidey senses are tingling! Imagine what you could do with your very own video team!)
Also, each store in the In-N-Out system is visited every other day with fresh supplies. So, the stores are interacting with corporate in person at least every other day.
Thanks again, Laura.
Speaking of "Sorry" I read an interesting story about the show How I Met Your Mother producers apologizing for offending people of Chinese descent in a recent episode. I won't recount the whole story, but what struck me was an exchange in the comments. One commenter asked, "Will someone please tell me what was offensive?" It was an honest request. The commenter wanted to know so the situation could be avoided in the future. Not one of the offended people could answer the question or would offer a answer.
I could be skeptical. I could see the rash of "I'm sorry" incidents as being insincere attempts at self promotion. But, let's assume they're genuine.
What does one to do when one can't learn from one's mistake?
What are your thoughts, learned colleagues and friends?
1 month, 3 weeks ago on Communications Perspectives from Classic Board Games
You always get my wheels spinning in a good way!
I'm working with a non-profit that JUST added a blog to its site. (It only took 3 years of cajoling...persuading.) Some of these tips are very relevant for them as they dive into the pool.
2 months ago on Brand Journalism: Embrace the Trend for Your Organization
I would LOVE to know more about the conversation between Mike Cole and Fathead's marketing team. Did Cole suggest the promotion and then Fathead ran with it? It's a great problem to have. I'm with those of you who go blank when staring at Reddit's screen. However, after reading the comments, now I'm curious to learn more about the demographic make up of Reddit users v Pinners.
2 months ago on The Fathead PR Crisis Transformed by Reddit
@belllindsay It's the line "there's a good chance we'll ship you the right one" that slayed me!
Oh, it will likely happen again, but all will know that you'll handle it deftly, graciously, and honestly, Gini. Chin up!
2 months, 2 weeks ago on When a Leader Learns of Unethical Behavior
My sentiments exactly, Deb! Thank you for posting!!!!
Joshua: I ask questions to gain clarity. I'm sorry you read it that way. I understand that Socrates was a jerky question asker, too.
2 months, 3 weeks ago on Crisis Communications: How Chick-fil-A Weathered the Storm
But we ARE talking about it. It's part of their unique culture. I'd be sad to see them do away with it. They're not franchised to my knowledge so they don't have that audience to cater to. They're privately owned & operated, so it's their business. If I choose to eat there, I do so knowing that they're devout. So what? I don't see it as being a big deal. BUT, I will tell you this. It was brought to our attention at church. So they played to an audience they really wanted to attract to their business. How is that any different than say CARLS JR. using bikini models to hock their 6 dollar burgers? (Incidentally, Mr. Karcher, while he was still living, was opposed to this tactic, but was shouted down by his board. It wouldn't have happened when he own it outright.) CARL's wants to attract Heavy Fast Food Users (Males 18-24). Maybe INO wants to attract Christians. Let em. All their money spends the same way.
INO also has an extensive secret menu that is never printed, but often talked about among its fans. But I don't hear grousing over not knowing about being able to order Animal Style Fries.
We're not all going to turn on a dime re: our beliefs.
Flawed? Let's not get defensive. My question was did the printing on the cup affect the flavor of the soda? You brought that up.
You continued to patronize the restaurant
ZERO drama (until now).
It didn't matter.
Did having John3:16 printed on the bottom inside rim of the soda cup affect the taste of the soda? My guess is no. Did you get a great product? Outstanding service? It's like saying "I'm not going to stay at a Marriott with its consistent great service, clean beds, and sweet rewards program because they have a Gideon Bible AND a Book of Mormon in the bedside table." I'm over being offended for being offended's sake for people who are capable for sticking up for themselves. I'd rather just look at someone with an outlying view point and say, "huh. That's interesting." File it and move on. Aren't we all trying to "coexist" as the bumper sticker commands? I have enough improving to do on myself. Others can workout their own issues.
But, that's just my point of view. You're free to avoid In-N-Out. The other folks in line will appreciate a shorter line to get their 4x4 Animal Style, weeklies, and Neapolitan shake. ;)
And they have a college saving plan for their high school aged employees. In-N-Out was /is quite the company. (Though the family is less and less involved as members have passed away.)
How about James Taggart or Mr. Thompson from Atlas Shrugged?
And as far as "Voice of James Earl Jones"... I think the greater villains are the creative team that dreamed up the Sprint ads of Jones and McDowell interpreting text messages from teenage girls. (The humanity!)
2 months, 3 weeks ago on Fourteen Greatest Villains in Literature
Hear, hear, Rob. The dreaded "Wrong Word" error.
Typically, these mistakes are made by folks who learned by hearing rather than reading. One that still makes me smile is "touch basis" when the writer intended the baseball analogy "touch bases."
2 months, 3 weeks ago on Grammar Police: Twelve Mistakes Nearly Everyone Makes