Gotta have, Gotta listen, Gotta talk, and Gotta act.

In last class on Feb 2nd, we discussed Ford – The Ranger Station Fire case.

In case you are not in our class, this is a story about how a social media community manager for Ford Motor Company handled a PR peril, which could have cost the company millions of $, huge loss in sales, that the company itself ignited.  Ford sent a ‘Cease & Desist’ letter to a Ford fan’s site called The Ranger Station, accusing the site owner of trademark infringement and demanding $5,000 for the damage in Dec. 2008.  Frightened and reacted, the site owner posted a note asking for help on its user discussion forum.  Then, it sparked and spread anger among other Ford fans and beyond via Twitter and other social media in a flash.

This case struck me in two aspects.

First, the degree of ‘amplifying effect’ of ‘real time’ social media such as Twitter. To me how fast the news spread in the Ranger case is like the speed of light, and its impact is like thunderbolt, which causes ever growing leaping fire. 

Second, in the Twitterville Notebook blog, Scott Monty, the Global digital and multimedia Communications Manager for Ford Motor Company reflects, “Would this have worked for Ford if we didn’t have a Twitter presence? It would have been far slower and the response would have had a much smaller impact.” And the author of the bog, Shel Israel says, “If your company finds itself in a reputation crisis, it is highly likely to spill into the social media. When it hits Twitter it is likely to move the fastest and go the furthest.”

Businesses can never ignore the power of social media.  You gotta have it. You gotta communicate with your fans, followers, customers, prospects, etc., all the people who reside in the community, and you gotta have a really good shepherd, who turns into a firefighter in case of fire.     

http://ronamok.com/2008/12/17/ford-fansites-and-firefighting/

http://ronamok.com/ebooks/the_ranger_station_fire_final.pdf

http://redcouch.typepad.com/weblog/2008/12/twitterville–3.html

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One Response to “Gotta have, Gotta listen, Gotta talk, and Gotta act.”

  1. Ron Ploof Says:

    Nice writeup of the story. I wish that the executives that I meet everyday had your understanding of the importance of new/social media.

    Keep up the good work,

    R~

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