Creativity that fits "Like a glove!"

To summarize, BlackBerry and its creators, RIM (Research in Motion), have had their hands full after a hardware breakdown happened on one of their overseas networks that soon after created a data buildup.

On the occasion of a press conference, RIM was committed to return all messages and emails which were stuck on five continents because of a failure.

He subsequently advised corporate clients that it would take maybe until Thursday morning (time zone on the east coast of the United States) to purge the entire mail system.

RIM has finally apologized to customers on its website and on his Facebook page.

Many BlackBerry users were frustrated to find out they could not send or receive messages or calls, and could not access their emails or internet.

The most intersting part of this article was the submarry of all the things they things they did right and wrong when they tried to handle the situation  :

What they did RIGHT:

> Provided  a link on RIM’s homepage to live updates about the service outage

> Held a service update press conference

> Created a video from RIM Founder and Co-CEO, Mike Lazaridis, apologizing to those affected and ensuring that the company is working restlessly to resolve the problem

> Provided access to a conference call with RIM Co-CEOs

What they did WRONG:

> Failed to utilize social media efficiently to communicate with their customers as the video apology was posted days after the hardware breakdown occurred

> Did not provide a sufficient statement on the issue right away

> Created a video where Lazaridis was clearly reading off of a teleprompter – causing some viewers to believe the apology was insincere

In my opinion, I agree RIM’s crisis communication team did some things correct, but I think their worst mistake was they did not prepare a social media response plan. They took too many time to answer their consumer without thinking of the consequences. That’s why it is really important to preapre plan in advance!



You can see on youtube the conference call with RIM Co-CEO’s:


Leave a comment »

Social Media Crisis Response

When a company is in crisis mode, it is important to have a plan already established to help guide actions via social media.

Five tips from PRNews for a successful social media crisis response:

  1. Build your networks before you need them
  2. Respond quickly: Social media is immediate. When it’s working against you, you must engage within minutes or risk your message vanishing into the clutter.
  3. Fix the problem
  4. Be human:  Talk to customers as though you were talking to them face to face. Don’t be anonymous or hide behind your logo.
  5. Use the right medium: If you’re being attacked on your company Facebook page, respond there.

It is also important to make sure your social media efforts are valuable to crisis communication.

How determine which social comments to respond to in crisis from PRNews:

      Social Influence + Intensity of Comment = Value of Responding

  • Social Influence: How likely the person is to have an influence in the social world. How likely are the followers to engage in the content.
  • Intensity of Comment: Target comments that will most likely generate responses.
  • Value of Responding: Your goal is to engage the social conversation regarding the crisis—every time that conversation extends further (social influence), you want to engage it with either feedback or support.
Leave a comment »

A Crisis Regret

In the spring of 2008, while Dave Carroll was sitting in his seat on a United Airlines plane, he watched as United employees threw his $3,500 Taylor guitar around on the tarmac.  When he asked for United to recompensate him for the damages made to the guitar, they neglected to pay a dime.  Due to this, Carroll made a video called “United Breaks Guitars” and posted it on YouTube.

Here’s the video:


After the video was posted, not only did many publics of United see it, but when United saw it, they decided to make Carroll an offer.  Although United finally made an offer, Carroll made it harder by not accepting the offer, but saying they should give it to charity (charity needed to eventually be disclosed).  Another addition to this story is that after the video appeared, United lost around $180 million (10% in their share value).

This is just one example of what happens when you do not learly look into a crisis.


Leave a comment »

Taco Bell: On the road to redemption

About a year ago, Taco Bell was accused (or should I say caught?) for having only 88 percent beef. Most of the accusations were posted view blogosphere for discussion. This put Taco Bell in a full-fledged social media crisis.

Good news? They were not the first to deal with this type of crisis. Dominos had a similar situation in 2009. This gave Taco Bell and Rubenstein Associates senior executive vice president, Marsha Horowitz, a bit of a grid to follow. Still, this was one of the first big social media crisis’ of the 21st century.

The company president stared in a YouTube video early on in the crisis stating what exactly the other 12 percent of the beef contained. He also made sure to let consumers know that it passed USDA inspection with a 100 percent. The Facebook page hosted the video and sported multiple “likes,” however, the written reviews were mixed. Twitter was a “love fest” for the company.

In retrospect I believe it is good that they handled the situation as quickly as they did, but they could have added more to the video side of things. Perhaps an introspective look on how the beef is made right in the kitchen, as well as other menu items.

All in all I don’t believe Taco Bell really suffered too much. As long as there are hungry college students at 1 a.m. there will be Taco Bell to save them!

Leave a comment »

Taco Bell Bounces Back

There is a lot of speculation behind fast food and the ingredients it contains. Fast food chains such as Taco Bell, McDonalds, and Burger King are known for having questionable ingredients in the food they sell.  Documentaries such as “Super Size Me” have led fast food chains to re-think their platforms to their publics.

With the vast elements of social media, fast food chains have taken even more hits with viral YouTube videos, Tweets, and Facebook messages that place the company in a bad light. Tim Wasserman explains more in an article I found on Mashable.

Most recently, Taco Bell faced a crisis when a lawsuit was filed against them that claimed their ingredients of their beef were misleading.  There was also a photo posted on a blog of prepackaged Taco Bell meat, and the ingredient list looked very long and questionable. With Taco Bell taking a hit via social media, they decided to respond using the same tools.

Taco Bell placed this video on YouTube of their President, Greg Creed. Throughout the video Creed assures the audience that the Taco Bell’s meat is “88% USDA approved meat”. He goes on to describe the remaining 12% of the meat contents and mentions that it is a “Taco Bell Secret, and I’m going to share it with you”.

I think Taco Bell did a great job in combating this lawsuit and social media attack.  They responding promptly and confidently and assured the audience they had nothing to hide.  They have a page of their website dedicated to showing the ingredients of the meat to the public. The public claimed they were hiding something, but they responding with a simple strategy of “Nothing to hide”. I think this was a great strategy and response to end a crisis the way it started, through social media.

-Eric Hughey


Leave a comment »

Pros & Cons of Crowdsourcing

Crowdsourcing involves getting a crowd of people to help you with any task you want. So, you ask an large group of people to perform a task for you, and anyone who’s interested may perform the task. You’ll get finished work from dozens of participants, which you get to select the best one from.

The principle of crowdsourcing is based on the idea that more heads are better than one, and you can hire people based on skill rather than lowest bid.

Crowdsourcing’s biggest benefit is the ability to receive better quality results. Since several people offer their best ideas, skills & support, crowdsourcing allows you to select the best result from a sea of ‘best entries,’ as opposed to receiving the best entry from a single provider. Since crowdsourcing’s a form of freelancing, results can be delivered much quicker than traditional methods. You can get a finished video within a month, a finished design or idea within a week, and microtasks appear within minutes. Although crowdsourcing isn’t designed to lower provider’s rates, sometimes costs can be cheaper with crowdsourcing.

But in my opinion, crowdsourcing has also a huge con. Ask you this question: when everyone will save money by paying peanuts professional expertise or amateur productions, who will pay these people so they can live, produce, form, and reflect consume? When all firms will reduce their R & D in interne to buy elsewhere, who will invest in research? Hire someone, pay a professional, means you recognize the value of time and accept risks – because when you own a company there are always risks to take ! Does everyone can indefinitely outsource the risk and investment? There are savings that can become costly …



Leave a comment »

Tempur-Pedic’s use of Crowd Sourced Content

I’m sure we have all seen the new Tempur-Pedic commercials that feature diverse couples sharing their story about their beds. They are now encouraging viewers to get on Facebook to tell their friends about their beds, and urge other non-owners to ask their friends about their Tempur-Pedic.

In an online review of the campaign by Mandy Kilinskis, she states that “it adds another layer of trust to the brand and makes the consumer more comfortable about their potential purchasing decision.”

On the Tempur-Pedic’s website, they feature Facebook comments made by consumers, non-paid, with active links to go to the website.

This is the perfect example of crowd sourced content. They are trying to shift the marketing from company to consumers via social media websites.

What the campaign is lacking, however, is a Twitter presence.


1 Comment »

Roots and Growth of Crowdsourcing

Crowdsourcing can be simply described as a way to involve consumers in the creative process. The video below, featuring Jeff Howe from Wired Magazine, gives a well rounded explanation of crowdsourcing.

What I found more interesting though, was its development. Crowdsourcing seems to have evolved into a very technical field. There seems to  be an almost endless supply of websites that offer these services. Spigit, Chaordix, and Blur, to name only a few, are all in the crowdsourcing field. You can find thousands of different creative ideas and points of view. So many that you are practically guaranteed to find one that will best represent your company or brand.

In addition to the creation of these advanced sites, there has also been some development in the materials and purpose of crowdsourcing. It is called crowdfunding.

Crowdfunding is basically the financial form of crowdsourcing. It is a way for funds to be raised through either philanthropy, lending or investments. These contributions are usually from stakeholders, as they have a vested interest in the outcomes. To learn more about crowdfunding click here.

Leave a comment »

What is Jigsaw?

When it comes to crowdsourcing, one name comes to mind, Jigsaw.  This is one of the largest databases,containing the most up-to-date contact and business information, in the world..  It includes over 30 million business contacts and over 40,000 contacts that are added and edited daily by its users.  The information that is included is a phone number, the position, company name, mailing address, and business email address.

What makes this site even more intriguing is the fact that setting up an account is FREE.  All you have to do is make an account and add company contact information and through doing so, you accumulate points.  These points in turn give you access to other business contacts.

This is a great way for people to network within one area.  Here is a video explaining more clearly how the site works.

Leave a comment »

CrowdSpring.com “Tell us what you need”

When businesses are in search of creative help, whether it is designing a logo, slogan, or campaign- it can be tough to create something outstanding with little resources. A lot of times, a business may not have enough resources in their design department or not enough funding to outsource the project.  The new and growing system of “crowd sourcing” has become very popular and effective.  

crowdSPRING.com is a crowd sourcing site for creative logo and web design.  The process is fairly simple while being very effective.  The business can post a short bio as well as the type of project it needs completed.  The business can name their price range, and the time deadline.  On average, over 100 designers reply to every post by a business in need.

There are over 100,000 designers connected to crowdSPRING.com around the world.  I believe this a really great way for small businesses to stay competitive in the market.  When businesses do not have the funding, man power, or time to spend working on in-depth website or logo design, they can name their price and still get hundreds or possibilities in return.  This allows the business to focus their efforts on the main part of the campaign and objectives while receiving hundreds of design possibilities for the same price.  This is also a great way for free lance designers to make some money between large projects or contracted jobs.

Check out crowdSPRING.com and how it works.  There also very similar such as 99designs.com. 

-Eric Hughey


Leave a comment »