And I think these are stand issue, part of the dress code.
My shoe collection:
As I'm a fan of free speech, these are my personal Tweets and blog entries. They might include mentions of my clients-I'm in PR-would you expect otherwise?
I am also not a fan of commas and like to break the rules by including typos and incorrect punctuation.
While I didn’t have time this weekend, I decided to try to make some progress on my reading list anyway. Picked up a copy of “Real-Time Marketing & PR” by David Meerman Scott. I’ve read other works by him and always found them reaffirming of the work our agency does on a day-to-day basis.
A quick read, this book was reaffirming too. Long after I put it down though, I found myself coming back to one particular case study presented at the beginning of the text. It just bothered me.
The example surrounded Dave Carroll a Canadian singer-songwriter who had his guitar damaged by American Airlines in July of 2009. The airlines failed to respond to Carroll until he released a YouTube video featuring an original song about how they damaged the instrument.
Scott chastises the airline for not responding in real-time and laments that damage to their brand could have been prevented by simply giving Carroll what he wanted right away. In this case, Caroll wanted compensation for the damaged instrument. Was there damage to the AA brand and was how the airline handled the in really that significant in the end?
I informally surveyed some friends.Our conversations generally went something like this:
“Hey. Have you heard of Dave Carroll?”
“You know. The Canadian singer-songwriter?”
“Ummm. . .nope. . .”
“You mean you still aren’t reeling from what the airline did to his guitar a few years back?”
“Um….huh. Why would I care what the airline did to his guitar?”
Scott asserts that the airline did damage to its brand by not responding to Carroll quickly enough, but less than 2 years later, nobody seems to remember, or care about the incident. People aren’t likely to remember it for a few reasons: 1) Wasn’t my guitar 2) I don’t play guitar 3) Don’t fly with American Airlines with my guitar 4) Don’t all airlines damage checked baggage.
The damage, in fact, wasn’t done to one particular airline. The damage was actually being done to ALL airlines. The incident reinforced the stereotype that no airline is capable of handling baggage properly. Not only could American Airlines have responded to Carroll’s online pleas, but other airlines could have responded to show how they handled baggage transport BETTER than the airline shown, possibly admitting that every airline has challenges and how they work to avoid those. They would have also shown people how to pack their instruments properly.
From a customer service standpoint, businesses cannot give every customer what they want. Perhaps it was Carroll’s inability to pack his guitar properly that led to the problem. Why should the airline reimburse him? And if they reimburse him, then they should reimburse/give any current, former or future passenger whatever they want for fear that they might create a YouTube video? Where does a business draw the line? The company could end up spending millions of dollars per year to chase fraudulent customer claims. That expense would have to be passed on to passengers. That would probably result in a better video. . .
From the airlines perspective, an in all reality, while Carroll’s video experienced millions of views, few lasting impressions were actually made. People enjoyed it momentarily because it was clever and took aim at a corporate giant who has “wronged the little guy.” Nearly everbody loves to jump on that band wagon.
The video was then largely forgotten. The greater truth is that airlines destroy bags and don’t want to replace them-and it’s been this way across many airlines for a long time.
I don’t own a guitar and neither do most of my friends. The airlines didn’t damage a multi-media projector of a guy on his to a big presentation-more likely to hit home with us. They damaged a guitar. For musicians traveling by planes with their guitars, it hit a little closer to home. That’s a very niche audience and small demographic.
Also, not everybody flies American Airlines. If I don’t fly with them, it won’t hit home.
So in the end, the airline in question suffered almost no significant damage to its brand and Dave Carroll still hasn’t sprung to the top of the charts.
Just trying to work through the case study. Seemed like a lot was left out of the picture. Always looking for your thoughts. Let me know your take.
I was up before 7 a.m. this morning. That never makes for a good start. What was keeping me awake you ask? The unrest in Libya? Global Warming? An even MORE serious matter?
No. Not at all. I was thinking about emoticons.
You know emoticons, aka ‘smileys’ used as shorthand expressions in online conversations. MyEmoticons.com explains:
“The word ‘emoticon‘ is a combination of the words ‘emotion’ and ‘icon’ and is exactly that – an icon used to express msn emotions. The ‘smiley’ or the ‘smiley face’ is a stylized representation of a smiling human face with the most simple smiley being a yellow circle with two small dots representing eyes. That’s the theory. In reality as we look around websites similar to ours we see the words used interchangeably to mean the same thing e.g. some say. . . emoticons, some say. . .smileys but they are talking about the same images. It seems that Europeans tend to call them ‘emoticons’ and Americans tend to refer to them as ‘smileys’ and when you get to Asia, it’s different again.”
Like so many of us, I spend a lot of time online. I might be chatting on Skype, Facebook or Yahoo IM. It might be a quick email, but whether you call them emoticons or ‘smileys,’ one thing is for certain, I still have trouble taking someone who uses them seriously. When I see a person use them, I automatically assume their IQ is 50 points lower than it actually is.
Next time you’re having an online conversation, glance down at the page after a few minutes and observe the trail of smiley faces looking back at you. It looks like you’re talking to Mr. (of Ms.) Sunshine. . .constantly. . .regardless of the context.
That’s not to say emoticons are not useful. They are. Text conversations lack the non-verbal cues such as body language and tone – cues which give your conversation partner the true meaning behind what’s really being said. All I’m suggesting is a redesign. Perhaps it’s time emoticons grew up. After all, it’s nearly 30 years old. Maybe the new emoticons which look more like actual people and less like a balloon at a child’s fifth birthday party?
Let me start the brainstorming session on this topic. A symbol like this one (with image kindly borrowed via the fabulous Writing Factory blog) might be more appropriate to signify a smile in conversation from a gentleman?
When I started this post, I intended to argue that smiley face emoticons shouldn’t be used by real men. They’re just NOT manly, right? But I’ve changed my mind in the course of this dialogue. For the reasons stated above, we do need them. Emoticons have been around for a while and simply need to be brought up to the times. I’m open to suggestions for new designs-both for men and women.
There, I feel better. Time to go back to sleep.