Boycott United Airlines

Tuesday, 11 April, 2017

united

I tweeted “Seriously, enough is enough. I will never fly @United again!! #BoycottUnitedAirlines #fail” with the above widely shared photo and I meant it. And I tweeted “(CBC News, 10 minutes video) Gabor Lukacs, an air passenger rights advocate, calls @United’s behaviour ‘unacceptable’“, here (CBS News), here, here, here, and retweeted the following videos and photos. (see below) This United self-created mess has now become a viral talking points in news (in Chinese in Apple Daily) and chat shows around the world in multiple languages and cultures. This is million times worse than the United Breaks Guitars moment as not everyone has a guitar but no one wants his/her head bloodied and bruised!

News stories like “United CEO says removed passenger was ‘disruptive and belligerent’” and “Not so friendly skies: United Airlines’ public relations disaster” further highlight United and its CEO just doesn’t get it. United CEO Oscar Munoz doesn’t get that passengers and potential passengers can all see for themselves no human beings should be treated like this. (see videos for yourself) And ultimately, a global company’s weakest local links can bring the reputation down and costing million dollars of lost revenues.

Have a watch of this funny segment “Jimmy Kimmel on Passenger Dragged Off United Flight” that includes a re-imagined United Ad! #funny #fail

More headlines: WaPo, “The full timeline of how social media turned United into the biggest story in the country“; CNN, “Backlash erupts after United passenger gets yanked off overbooked flight“; HKFP “‘Shameless!’: China internet users in uproar over United passenger fiasco“; BBC, “United Airlines: Chinese and Vietnamese anger at passenger removal“; Financial Post, “United shares tumble as passenger-dragging social-media storm spreads worldwide“; CNN Money, “United Airlines shows how to make a PR crisis a total disaster

Charles Mok, a HK legislator, even shared a video of him cutting up his United Mileage Plus card.

Watch of this funny segment “Jimmy Kimmel on Passenger Dragged Off United Flight” that includes a re-imagined United Ad! #funny #fail

Update: UK Daily Mail some info on the 69-year-old Vietnamese-American Dr. David Dao “PICTURED: The internal medicine specialist father-of-five who was beaten and dragged off an overbooked United flight as CEO pens ‘tone deaf’ email DEFENDING staff Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4401444/Name-man-hauled-United-flight-Chicago-revealed.html#ixzz4dxgfMTes Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook“.

Apr 12, 2017 update: This is totally damage control stuff and Read the rest of this entry »


Defending Kevin Roberts, Saatchi & Saatchi Chairman, in Social Media Mob Trial – re Business Insider report

Sunday, 31 July, 2016
request to release full unedited video, audio interview for transparency

request to release full unedited video, audio interview for transparency

I’m saddened this morning after reading AdWeek “Saatchi Chairman Kevin Roberts Placed on ‘Leave of Absence’ Over Gender Comments – CEOs of the agency and Publicis have disavowed him“. The controversy (the gender comments) started two days ago in a July 29th Business Insider interview/report “Saatchi & Saatchi chairman Kevin Roberts thinks the gender diversity in advertising debate is ‘over’” by Lara O’Reilly (tweet).

Kevin Roberts, Saatchi & Saatchi chairman, is a big boy and doesn’t need defending by anyone especially by an independent reporter. Kevin and I’ve never met once and  will likely never meet in person! But I dislike all forms of social media mob trial. Yes, I dislike this mob trial of @KRConnect @PublicisGroupe by social media as much as I dislike #genderbias!

At the end of the day, all reporting must rest on fairness. I’ve asked Business Insider reporter Lara to post her full unedited video/audio interview for the sake of transparency since Kevin has now been placed on ‘Leave of Absence’ because of her interview.

Until Lara can provide us the full unedited video/audio interview to watch/listen to judge for ourselves, I can only base my critique on the written interview. I have excerpted all of Kevin’s quotes from the report and added my emphasis and brief commentaries afterwards. Read the rest of this entry »


Social media video interview with Royal Canadian Mounted Police Ontario expert Jean Turner-Floyd

Tuesday, 14 August, 2012

Social media interview with Royal Canadian Mounted Police Ontario expert Jean Turner-Floyd

Astute readers may remember I had insightful chats with social media experts from Toronto Police (see video interview) and UK Police (video interview) few weeks ago. Well, after some planning, I had the pleasure to talk to Royal Canadian Mounted Police “O” Division (Ontario Division) (English: @RCMPONT, French: @GRCONT) social media expert Jean Turner-Floyd (@jturnerfloyd) two weeks ago about how RCMP “O” Division is currently using social media to help with policing work. I really appreciate Jean taking time in sharing her insights.

Following is my video interview with Jean.

P.S. When I find more time, I still plan to write up an in-depth article (possibly also conducting one or more interviews) to allow Canadians (and citizens in other countries) to see how social media tools have been used by police forces from around the world. And may be opportunities for police forces to learn from each others. Stay tuned.


Use of Social Media tool by Police Services – Interview with Gordon Scobbie @DCCTayside National UK police lead for Social Media

Friday, 6 July, 2012

Insightful interview with +Gordon Scobbie @DCCTayside National UK police lead for Social Media

I am doing some ongoing research for in-depth article about the use of Social Media tool by police services around the world. This morning I conducted an hour long insightful video interview with DCC Gordon Scobbie, National UK police lead for Social Media (I’ve posted a video excerpt here). Like I wrote before,

“Average readers may not know but police services are now using social media tools to help communicate with citizens, report crimes, and, in some cases, even prevent crimes. Think for a moment, “prevent crimes” amazing right?!”

Gordon gave a very insightful talk “Police Leadership 2011 Conference/Seminar” in April 2011 at Vancouver. Also check out this Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) guide entitled “Engage: Digital and Social Media Engagement for the Police Service” (PDF file) (probably created around 2010). Both the presentation and the 22 pages guide are very informative and very worth your time in reading.


Use of Social Media tool in Police Services – Interview with Toronto Police Constable Scott Mills

Wednesday, 4 July, 2012

Interview with Toronto Police Constable Scott Mills - Use of Social Media tool in Police Services

I am in the process of writing an in-depth article about how Police Services in Canada and around the world use social media tools. Average readers may not know but police services are now using social media tools to help communicate with citizens, report crimes, and, in some cases, even prevent crimes. Think for a moment, “prevent crimes” amazing right?! Watch the video and see for yourself and you will realize it is dedicated and good policing assisted by new social media tools.

I’ve started collecting research materials for the article. The following is my first video interview. The interview was actually conducted and broadcasted LIVE this morning using Google+ and YouTube technologies (two of the social media tools used in Toronto).

I want to thank Toronto Police Constable Scott Mills (@GraffitiBMXCop) for his time in sharing his insights. Have a watch of the video. Stay tuned for more interviews (I am planning a few more) and the in-depth article to be posted later.

Interview with Toronto Police Constable Social Media guru Scott Mills @GraffitiBMXCop


ZDF wins Best Interactive Award at 2012 Banff World Media Festival

Thursday, 21 June, 2012

Congrats to ZDF for winning Best Interactive Award for Wer Rettet Dina Foxx?” (German) at 2012 Banff World Media Festival. Here is a video of ZDF’s Ralf-Peter Piechowiak accepting the award at 2012 Banff.


Teachable Moment in #Rogers1Number bashtag epic #fail – Tipping point? Will @RogersKeith and Rogers actually change or just listen and ignore?

Saturday, 17 March, 2012

TorStar, Globe and Mail, and Techvibes have all reported on the #Rogers1Number (live search) epic #fail promoted hashtag turned bashtag (a term coined in the #McDStories campaign).

I am going to dispense some advices (my brand of poison, borrowing a phrase from a friend) and try to turn this epic #fail into a potentially valuable teachable moment for Rogers and us all. Feel free to share your thoughts in the moderated comments.

1) Twitter promoted hashtag/bashtag

If the epic #fail #Rogers1Number and #McDStories campaigns have taught us anything, it is that these promoted hashtags can get out of control, can be risky, and can lead to destructive unintended consequences. You know what, the companies promoting the hashtag will also be paying for these bashtags!

Yes, the companies are literally paying to get bad press! The companies are paying to let the world know how dissatisfied their customers, ex-customers, potential customers feel about them.

NOTE 1: Not all hashtags are bad. I think the organically “grow” hashtag from some greatly loved companies can be possibly useful. But even then, company encouraged, sponsored, or paid hashtags can still become lightning rods for unhappy customers or people with complains. So use hashtags with extreme caution like holding a lightning rod in a stormy area.

2) Sample #Rogers1Number tweets:

I’ve spent some time to find some sample tweets and I try to check to ensure the tweets are not from troll accounts newly created just to bash Rogers.

– “The saddest part of the #Rogers1Number backlash is nothing will change, #Rogers will learn nothing and customer will still get poor service.” (via Twitter)

– “I’m really loving reading all the nasty backlash at#Rogers it’s making my night, keep it up guys they’re paying per tweet! #rogers1number” (via Twitter)

– “When I call Rogers to resolve an issue two more magically appear #rogers1number They can’t get one thing right” (via Twitter)

– “#Rogers1Number “We’re in social media to listen”. Right. Not to change. Just to listen. Hear this: Shitty PR stunts can kill a company fast” (via Twitter)

– “.@RogersKeith Rogers deems data so valuable u charge $2/GB when I go OVER. Why not get credit when I stay UNDER monthly max? #Rogers1Number” (via Twitter)

– “The #Rogers1Number fiasco. Let’s see if this even change something.” (via Twitter) Read the rest of this entry »


Recapping #KONY2012 in 28 pictures – a perfect social media storm spotlight child soldiers

Saturday, 10 March, 2012

I’m amazed by the perfect social media storm created by #KONY2012 designed to spotlight Joseph Kony and the tragedy of child soldiers. I will use 28 screen-captured pix from #KONY2012 that I found illustrative to highlight the documentary’s strength, weakness, and intended / unintended consequences.

#KONY2012 - pix 02

#KONY2012 - pix 01

#KONY2012 - pix 03

It is indisputable that Joseph Kony is now a famous/infamous man known to the world especially the youth that supported #KONY2012. Does it make it easier to capture Kony? Or will this fame actually make Kony harder to be found? I don’t know. Extending a blunt observation made by Malcolm Gladwell in his 2011 speech, even with all the military resources and technologies of the United States, it still took the CIA over 10 years to find Osama bin Laden.

Of course, putting a bright spotlight on Kony has the benefit of bringing awareness to the tragedy of child soldiers up front which is important and I will address next.

#KONY2012 - pix 04

#KONY2012 - pix 05

To me, one of the most important achievement of #KONY2012 is to bring the tragic problem of child soldiers up front to people’s and politicians’ minds. At the same time, the oversimplifications also fail in important ways which I will talk about later.

I first learned about child soldiers in 2008 from Romeo Dallaire (his actions saved the lives of ~32,000 people in the 1994 Rwandan Genocide where an estimated 800,000 people were murdered) at Engineers Without Border in Calgary – Are all humans – Humans? Here is a video clip of Dallaire talking about his battle to end child soldiers in Nov 2010.

 Note: Dallaire is the founder of the Child Soldiers Initiative, a project aimed at eradicating the use of child soldiers (see the team bios), and author of “They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children: The Global Quest to Eradicate the Use of Child Soldiers“.

Another clips of talking about Child Soldiers, the special tragedy of girl child soldiers, Responsibility to Protect doctrine.

Watch the insightful and chilling TVO interview “Former child soldier Ishmael Beah recounts his past” [note: Ishmael also has written “A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier“, borrow it and have a read.]

#KONY2012 - pix 06

#KONY2012 - pix 07

I have serious reservation with Disney-fying or Pixar-fying complex and nuanced real world problems with Read the rest of this entry »


Forget about Kickstarter, try IndieGoGo in Canada UK Australia Asia?

Thursday, 16 February, 2012

Sept 24, 2013 update: Kickstarter has finally launched in Canada earlier this year and you can find some Canadian projects here.

July 15, 2015 update: Since my 2013 update, I’ve used Indiegogo and like it. Worth investigate it for yourself and decide for yourself if it is a good enough crowdfunding site for your use.

***

After waiting for close to three years and trying to push a little, I am giving up on the idea of waiting for Kickstarter to come to Canada! Unfortunately, no more illusion for me. Kickstarter’s inaction/inability to find an alternative payment solution for Canada or non-US countries is inexcusable and can only be put as they don’t give a beep. To them, US is a big enough market for them to serve? After three years of waiting, I’ve given up caring. Quoting Kickstarter’s FAQ (emphasis added)

Am I eligible to start a Kickstarter project?

To be eligible to start a Kickstarter project, you need to satisfy the requirements of Amazon Payments:

Be a permanent US resident and at least 18 years of age with a Social Security Number (or EIN), a US bank account, US address, US state-issued ID (driver’s license), and major US credit or debit card.”

I am NOT paid by IndieGoGo to write this article! Judging from IndieGoGo‘s press articles and mention, they seem to be legit (I don’t know). A local friend has used IndieGoGo and I haven’t seen any complain from him.

I am sadden to write this article but then again, three years of Kickstarter inaction is inexcusable, enough is enough.

Can you share your experiences using IndieGoGo?

If you have used IndieGoGo to raise funds, can you please share your experiences good and bad? Both good or bad experiences are very much welcomed at this point. May be take a look of projects on IndieGoGo. And if they are worthy of your support, give them a try and let us know how things go? And if you are going to use IndieGoGo to raise funds, tell us how successful (or not) your experiences are.

P.S. To be fair, Kickstarter is doing good for permanent US resident. Even though I love my US friends, I just think Kickstarter sucks in helping projects initiated by non-US citizens around the world.


Facebook IPO – The Joy of an Echo Chamber

Saturday, 28 January, 2012

We may know more about Facebook‘s supposed IPO next week possibly as soon as Wednesday (or later, hedging “timing is still being discussed“). One thing for sure is it has been fun to see media outlets in US and around the world joining in unison to repeat the news quoting WSJ as the source, “Facebook Readies IPO Filing – Morgan Stanley Seen Leading Deal Valuing Giant at $75 Billion to $100 Billion“.

In the age of instantaneous news/media, the name of game unfortunately is to report something quickly. Writing CYA words like “according to XYZ” (in this case, according to WSJ) is as good as, if not better than, doing your own reporting and facts checking! Well, it doesn’t cost you a cent plus writing the words “according to XYZ” almost absolve yourself from responsibilities. If the report was later found to be false, well, it is XYZ that f*cked up, not you. At least it is not like you mistakenly reporting someone’s death or something!

According to WSJ “Facebook IPO: Morgan Stanley Close to Reeling In a Giant ‘Like’

WSJ says the IPO could come as early as Wednesday with a valuation of $75 billion to $100 billion.

When thousands of media outlets all are reporting the same piece of information, it must be true right?! Isn’t echo chamber fun? In case you missed it in the above quote, the echo chamber is going as far as quoting itself in Facebook IPO. Yes, WSJ is quoting WSJ. Why not?! The media outlets are stuck in a “no-win” commoditized news game and I would much rather be in games that are “win-win“.

As a business and technology geek, Facebook’s IPO will come when it comes. What I am more interested in is to read Facebook’s IPO filing prospectus if and when it is available.

P.S. Let me be clear that I don’t have a solution to our echo chamber yet but I don’t know if this reporting of news “according to …” is helping anyone.


interesting articles this week

Saturday, 29 October, 2011

* Huffington Post, “YouTube Snags Amy Poehler, Madonna, Shaquille O’Neal To Launch Original Content Channels

“YouTube is shelling out $100 million to producers, according to people familiar with the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The money is an advance on advertising money the videos will bring in, and Google will recoup its portion first before splitting the proceeds. Advances are as high as $5 million per channel, said another person familiar with the arrangement, also speaking on condition of anonymity.”

* “Why is Facebook building a server farm near the Arctic Circle?” – It is cold and it has cheap power. AP via TorStar

“Facebook says its new server farm on the edge of the Arctic Circle — its first outside the U.S. — will improve performance for European users of the social networking site.

After reviewing potential sites across Europe, Facebook confirmed Thursday it had picked the northern Swedish city of Lulea for the data center partly because of the cold climate — crucial for keeping the servers cool — and access to renewable energy from nearby hydropower facilities.”

* “Errol Morris: creating reality“, The Guardian

“Talk to any film-maker and they’ll say the same thing: Morris, who was born in 1948, is a revolutionary. His documentaries create reality as much as they capture it. He sees them as art, as essays, as anything but anthropology. Railing against cinéma vérité and its philosophy of “shaky camera equals truth”, he opts instead for dramatic reconstructions, obtrusive soundtracks, striking angles. He also invented and employs a machine called the Interrotron (its name a synthesis of “interview” and “terror”) that makes interviewees appear to be talking directly to the film viewer.

Tabloid, his new film, is as strange as any Morris has ever made. It’s the story of Joyce McKinney, a beauty queen and former Miss Wyoming who in 1977 hired a private aeroplane and with accomplices travelled to England to track down her boyfriend Kirk whom she believed had been abducted by the Mormon church. After kidnapping him, she whisked him off to a cottage in Devon where, depending on whose story you believe, she spent the next three days either raping him as he lay spread-eagled in bed or having a merry feast of “fun, food and sex”.”

* “YouTube Set to Announce TV Initiative With 100 Niche Channels“, THR

“In a low-budget early effort to compete with satellite and cable TV providers, YouTube is set to announce Friday that it has partnered with several entities to roll out television-style channels with professionally produced shows that will strike a sharp contrast to the short videos of crazy cats, skateboard wipeouts and other amateur content that made the site famous. Read the rest of this entry »


Luboh helps users share their buying experiences

Sunday, 16 October, 2011

Luboh - logo

My insightful friend & former co-worker Sarb recently launched Luboh (in beta) with his partners. Here is my text interview with Sarb to tell you more about the cool Luboh.

Kempton: For people who haven’t heard about Luboh yet, can you talk about how they can use Luboh? How will Luboh help people?

Sarb: The idea behind Luboh is to help users share their buying experiences. While there are many online reviews and customer feedback and opinions on many consumer products, the authors are typically strangers. Instead, we as humans place far higher importance on opinions of people we know. Our friends and family. Let me give you an example. Say you’re looking for a new TV and it just so happens that when you mention it to your friend while at the pub. He tells he just got a fantastic deal on a Sony model XYZ TV from a shop down the road. No doubt you’re interested. More so than perhaps reading an online review from an effectively anonymous individual. Luboh.com lets you easily find a product that you’re interested in and then to either ask your Facebook friends what they think of it or if you’ve already bought it, to tell your friends what a great deal you got! You can try Luboh at www.luboh.com

Kempton: Can you share a few screen captures to explain some of the Luboh features or functions?

Sarb: Here is a screen sample showing what search results look like. If you login with your facebook account, we’ll also show you what your friends have recently bought. (Click to zoom in to large image)

And here’s another one that shows how you share information with friends. (Click to zoom in to large image)

Kempton: Does the name Luboh have any special meaning?

Sarb: Well, other than “lu-boh” being a really cool name for a website, the word “lub-oh” in Punjabi (pronounced slightly differently to the website) actually means search-for.

Kempton: Future plans?

Sarb: The site is still in a beta mode and there is still some work left to iron out the wrinkles. In the future we hope to keep on increasing the number of products and services that we have access to, to make it more and more useful to our users.

******

P.S. You can follow Luboh on their Facebook page.


Interview with Sarah Hill – KOMU-TV Google+ Hangouts and new interactive U_News@4 show

Tuesday, 6 September, 2011

U_News@4 #SarahHill

Ground breaking interactive U_News@4

This afternoon, I had the pleasure to interview Sarah Hill, KOMU-TV 5pm news and the new U_News@4 anchor. I asked Sarah to travel back in time to July to share with us her first experiences with Google+ Hangouts. I also asked Sarah to tell us what she had to do to convince the bosses at KOMU to give Google+ Hangout a try. Sarah also talked about the origin of the concept of the new show U_News@4, launching in a few days on Sept 12th 4pm CST, and the various segments of the new show.

Here is my video interview with Sarah. Enjoy.

Also have a watch of U_News@4 #SarahHill Preview.

Concluding Thoughts

One of the Quotes I Love is,

A good newspaper, I suppose, is a nation talking to itself.” – a quote by Arthur Miller

In light of Sarah‘s innovative and expert use of Google+ Hangouts, I think this makes perfect sense.

A good hangout, I suppose, is a world talking to itself.

Additional news & articles references

* Sept 6, 2011, “U_News Test Drive Makes International Headlines“. Here is an excerpt,

“U_News provides a new digital forum for U to personally share your news, opinions, kudos and community events. Our viewers will essentially co-host this newscast.”

* My previous two articles “KOMU Sarah Hill Google+ Hangouts – General insights” and “Technical Insights and Ideas to Reshape Newsrooms“.

* July 7, 2011, “KOMU Airs Live Google Plus Video Chat

KOMU became the 1st local television station Thursday to air a live on-air Google Plus video chat.

The group video chat is called “Hangout” and it aired live during KOMU 8 News at 5. Google viewers were able to share their experiences with this new social networking site on-air with television viewers.”


As I tag myself in a Google Plus photo …

Monday, 15 August, 2011

As a journalist, documentarian, … I live my online life pretty openly. At the same time, I am very conscious that we now live in unchartered territories in terms of privacy, and many other online perils. Any powerful enough tools (G+, Facebook, etc) can be used for good and bad (“evil”). It is totally up to us to monitor these tools and to ensure they are used correctly by its property rights owner.

This may sound strange to my economist friends but I believe the traditional economic definition of “property rights” is currently being massaged/redefined.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Property_rights_(economics)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronald_Coase


Joseph Smarr (Google Plus) interviewed at OSCON 2011

Tuesday, 2 August, 2011

Joseph Smarr (Google Plus) interviewed at OSCON 2011 [via Craig Newman]


Google+ Impressions, Predictions, and Forecasts

Wednesday, 27 July, 2011

Google+ logo

Initial Google+ Impressions

On June 30, 2011, only 2 days after the launch of Google+, my friend Garry and I were chatting about his 3D TV (I mentioned I would wait for glasses-free 3D TVs after chatting with Tom, NFB Chair). I answered yes when Garry asked me if I had heard of Google+. I told him I was wasn’t that excited about Google+ after wasting my time and was disappointed by Google Wave and Buzz. At the same time, I wasn’t totally dismissive and asked my friend to play with Google+ some more and tell me how he thinks about the tool.

Eight days later on July 8th, after reading some more positive press and my friend’s Eva’s positive experiences with it, I turned around and ask Garry and Eva for an Google+ invite. And I officially joined on July 9th cautiously. You see, Buzz gave me such a bad taste, that I told it to buzz off!

Current Google+ Impressions

I have now been using Google+ about over two weeks. I can now say I’ve been really impressed with what I see and what it can do for me as a **tool**. To me, Google+ is a powerful tool to learn and to use to achieve things. (more on the “things” in future postings)

Sure, there are still many different problems or enhancements to be made but it is a tool that I have confidently included in my toolbox.

As an aside, I never quite see Facebook as a “tool” to me, not like Google+ is a tool to me.

Predictions & Forecasts

There are people/technologists/journalists who can’t help themselves but give lots of Google+ predictions or forecasts. I can’t and won’t give you predictions or forecasts. If you can or are willing to predict & forecast how a one month old baby will grow up to be like a few years down the road, you are much “smarter” and “braver” than I am.

To end this article, let me use two of my favourite forecast-related quotes by Edgar R. Fiedler from my quotes I love collection,

The herd instinct among forecasters makes sheep look like independent thinkers.” and;

If you have to forecast, forecast often.


REI’s decentralized Twitter approach

Monday, 18 July, 2011

Interesting read (excerpt with emphasis included) from Adage, “REI’s Twitter Strategy Is No Longer Camping Out at HQ – Outdoor Retailer’s Decentralized Approach Will Allow Local Staffers to Address Regional Needs

When it first started dabbling with social media a few years ago, REI, like most companies, set up a centralized team to handle outreach to bloggers, fans on Facebook and, later, communications on Twitter. While it won’t completely disband that team, the localized tack means the company is relying on far more staffers to participate in its social-media efforts. And it’s coordinating those efforts without the help of an agency. REI works with BBDO, Atlanta, for traditional creative duties and Prometheus Media for media duties, but has thus far handled much of its digital efforts and social media in-house.

“We are not moving away completely from a national presence,” a spokeswoman told Ad Age via email. “The local teams will be in addition to our national presence. Also, in terms of staffing, we have a handful of employees at each location participating in social media. They may play different roles within retail (customer service, outreach, product specialist, etc.).”

Inherent in the experiment is a lot of trust. The approach could be risky for REI because it’s not only a few, but now dozens or hundreds of employees that are empowered to talk about about the brand. Jordan Williams, manager of digital engagement for REI, told Ad Age that certain staff members are being identified as experts at handling customer complaints, others at communicating new product arrivals and features, and others as people who can provide local travel advice.

But Mr. Williams said it’s no different than what happens in the offline world. He noted the company has more than 9,000 employees and trusts its people every day to interface with customers in person, so why wouldn’t they trust them to do the same online?

After I tweeted Jordan in reply to his AdAge tweet,

I think u are on the right track. Unintended consequence: your local complaints may get national exposure, if handled …

and “correctly, means your national standard is enforced. If handled badly, flip side may be a variation of http://t.co/1lmQiyd

it resulted in a nice exchange,

@Kempton Fair point. But the crux of the issue is bad local experiences already get (potentially) national attention. But this means local..

@Kempton …teams can more likely make a bad experience better before it goes national as they’ll hear it and deal with it (we hope).

@jordancwilliams Right, bad experience won’t stay local. Local team gives local care, eg “Pls visit K street store to exchange 4 a new one”

@jordancwilliams right. resolve it locally. makes the customers happy and give them reason to want to shop again in the future.

As I wrote, I like REI‘s Decentralized Twitter Approach. On the surface, HQ has “less control” but I believe, ultimately, it will up everyone’s game and deliver a better customer service experiences.

Best of luck to Jordan and his team at REI.


Richard Sambrook, Global Leader of Edelman Crisis and Issues Management, former BBC’s Director of Global News confirms zero involvement in Rupert Murdoch PR file

Saturday, 16 July, 2011

Edelman PR handles Rupert Murdoch's phone hacking scandals

Since Edelman was hired to handle Rupert Murdoch‘s phone hacking scandals, news media like Guardian and I had openly wondered if news insiders like former BBC’s Director of Global News Richard SambrookGlobal Leader of Edelman Crisis and Issues Management (link), has been involved in the Murdoch file.

Today Richard kindly confirmed in response to my earlier tweets,

@tom_peters will see if the global contagion can be halted by PR firm Edelman w brains like @richardwedelman @sambrook #fail #disgust #world

PR: Rupert Murdoch meets with family of murdered schoolgirl. #fail Love to be a fly at Edelman / inside minds of @richardwedelman @sambrook

with Richard saying in a tweet,

@kempton sorry to disappoint you but Im not actually working on it!

I am not disappointed at all that Richard isn’t working on Murdoch‘s phone hacking scandal file. In fact, as someone who used to read Richard‘s blog and respect his opinions, I am actually relieved/happy that Richard is NOT working on Murdoch’s phone hacking scandal PR file!

Of course, as a reporter, I have to wonder why not?

May be Richard has another more important and urgent file that he is working on at Edelman?? But wait, the Murdoch‘s phone hacking scandal is the talk of the whole wide world. Easily the largest “crisis” any corporations have ever seen. A multi-billion dollars deal was killed because of this. Some suspect the scandal has the potential of bringing down or severely weaken Murdoch‘s media empire (a media company without trust or respect is not much if anything). And even capable of bringing down a government (just look at David Cameron’s recent damage control and tell me he is not worried)!

So as Global Leader of Edelman Crisis and Issues Management, yes Global Leader, why is Richard NOT involved in this most important and high profile Edelman file? I hate to put Richard on the spot because I used to admire him a lot and hope I can still admire him (but, what can I say, he is a “PR man” now). Will Richard be involved in the Murdoch‘s phone hacking scandal later, just not now? Or is Richard NOT involved by choice, quoting his own words when he joined Edelman,

I don’t expect to check my values in at the door…” (update: archive.org saved version)

The creditability of a man, especially a newsman, takes a lifetime to earn. I hope Richard‘s creditability and reputation can remain intact after the Rupert Murdoch‘s phone hacking scandals have passed with whatever outcome it will result in.

I want to close with Jeff Jarvis’s point, which I still think is right on, “Murdoch hires Edelman PR. This ain’t a PR problem, folks. It’s a moral problem.

*******

Murdoch apology - Is it enough

11:48am Update: I added the following comment in a CBC News Facebook poll “Murdoch apology: Is it enough? – Your Community” asking,

No, we shouldn’t let the handy advice by global PR firm Edelman fool us so easily. Saying sorry in every single UK newspaper for ONE DAY can’t compensate for the news media culture established *personally* by Rupert Murdoch for close to *60 YEARS* since 1953.

12:24pm, 16 July 2011 update: Here is a video interview with President & CEO of Edelman, Richard Edelman. Have a watch of what he thinks as he is the man leading the PR firm that is advising Murdoch on his handling of the phone hacking scandals.

[HT John]

Here is an interesting official Edelmon London video of Richard Edelman talking about trust, especially interesting in light of Edelman‘s role in Murdoch‘s scandals. And it is unfortunate that I come across a claim of a quote that Richard Edelman said in a media training session, “Sometimes, you just have to stand up there and lie. (See AdAge 2008 Feb, “Blog Wars: Gawker vs. Edelman – Blog Suggests PR People Lie; PR Chief Takes Umbrage”)

***

For the record, Feb 2010 press release “BBC’S RICHARD SAMBROOK JOINS EDELMAN” (emphasis added),

Richard Sambrook, the BBC’s Director of Global News and a member of the BBC’s Management Board for the last ten years, will be joining Edelman, the world’s largest independent PR firm, as Global Vice Chairman and Chief Content Officer in May. Read the rest of this entry »


Calgary Stampede Tows Cars – Can’t We All Just Get Along? Music Video

Friday, 15 July, 2011

Will and Kate at Calgary Stampede - pix 51 - Our Calgary Stampede's inhospitality you-are-going-to-be-f-cking-towed note that lead to our car gone missing. Thank you Stampede for wasting our time and ruining our evening

As promised in my “Calgary Stampede Inhospitality Survival Guide”, here is my Calgary Stampede Tows Cars music video set to the cool music “Can’t We All Just Get Along?” by copperhead.

The song is dedicated to Mr. Michael Casey, president and chairman of the board of the Calgary Stampede board of directors, I want to ask Mr. Michael Casey, Can’t We All Just Get Along? Why has Calgary Stampede‘s customer services deteriorated so badly and quickly under your leadership?

With this video, I am checking off both my promises (1) and (2). As I wrote in my “Calgary Stampede Inhospitality Survival Guide“, my last promise is the one closest to my heart. I will try to write a “Calgary Stampede Tows Cars” business case study to share the various lessons contained in my experiences.

I think others businesses can learn something important here. You see, I think Customer Service Excellence is one of the most important goals for a company to aspire to achieve. This goal is so important to me that I have a blog dedicated to writing about the good, bad, ugly, and beautiful customer service experiences I have seen over the years.

Sure, this “Calgary Stampede Tows Cars” case will be shorter, in terms of time, effort, and scope, compare to my 2006 iStockphoto Case Study and case study extras, but it should still be a lot of fun to share my insights.

NOTE: My horrible experiences isn’t like what Dave Carroll had experienced. But I believe there are still much for businesses to learn from my treatment and how businesses can better serve customers in the future.

*******

The following is a brief synopsis of the story that I put along with the music video.

Will and Kate at Calgary Stampede - pix 45 - After parking our car at Stampede parking as told by Stampede parking attendant earlier. We discovered it was towed to some far away parking lot.

1) After our exciting & once in a lifetime experience & memory with Will & Kate in their Royal Tour visit to Calgary, our trouble and inhospitable experience with Calgary Stampede started.
Our car was missing ! Gone !

2) We parked our car at a Stampede parking lot as TOLD by Stampede parking attendant earlier in the afternoon, so we were shocked to find our car was missing, towed to some far away parking lot “across the river”!
Thank you Calgary Stampede! NOT!

Will and Kate at Calgary Stampede - pix 46 - Faceless Andy told us to walk, yes walk, to the far away parking lot even though our car was towed because Stampede's mistakes. We parked as told. Andy set the standard of Stampede inhospitality.

3) Calgary Stampede employee “Faceless Andy“, his face covered to protect the rude and inhospitable, told us to walk, yes WALK, to the far away parking lot even though our car was towed due to Stampede’s mistakes. We parked as told. Faceless Andy truly set the standard of “Stampede inhospitality”.

Will and Kate at Calgary Stampede - pix 47 - After some convincing, Joel, person in charge of the lot, finally realized Calgary Stampede made a mistake in towing our car and agreed to give us a ride to the far away lot.

4) We spent so much time to explain and plead, including explaining the parking instructions on the Royal Tour parking instruction card Read the rest of this entry »


Rupert Murdoch hires PR firm Edelman – PR problem or Moral problem?

Thursday, 14 July, 2011

Rupert and James Murdoch make Commons U-turn - PR problem or Moral problem

July 16th update: “Richard Sambrook, Global Leader of Edelman Crisis and Issues Management, former BBC’s Director of Global News confirms zero involvement in Rupert Murdoch PR file

***

From Guardian, “Phone hacking: Rupert Murdoch calls in PR firm Edelman – PR company will report directly to general manager of News International

Jeff Jarvis has a point in saying, “Murdoch hires Edelman PR. This ain’t a PR problem, folks. It’s a moral problem.

In case you care, Edelman’s Global CEO and President Richard Edelman blogs here.

On a personal note, I started paying attention to global PR firm Edelman probably around the time Richard Sambrook (former BBC’s Director of Global News & member of the BBC’s Management Board) joined Edelman in Feb 2010.

As you can see in my 2010 Feb comment left in Richard Sambrook’s blog entry, while I congratulated Richard on his move, I expressed my serious concerns and reservations of seeing a respected newsman joining a PR company. While we don’t know if Mr. Sambrook is involved in this engagement personally according to Guardian,

Edelman last year hired the BBC’s former director of news, Richard Sambrook, to head up its “crisis and issues practice”. It is unclear whether he will be part of the firm’s News Corp team.

I will not be surprised if his insights have a very strong influence in the Murdoch file. This is why big bucks are paid to hire Edelman to have access to people like Mr. Sambrook.

More excerpt from “Rupert Murdoch calls in PR firm Edelman” (emphasis added), Read the rest of this entry »


<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: