Case Study: Engagement Turns Critics into Allies

Posted by Connie Reece on May 27, 2020 at 11:35 pm

Valeria Maltoni’s request on Twitter for examples of engaging detractors was the stimulus I needed to finish writing a short case study, Negative Product Review Revised after Company Founder Engages with Critic. (Click on the title to download the free PDF.)

What the case study can’t convey is the series of rapid-fire exchanges with an understandably upset client, Aruni Gunasegaram of Babble Soft, when her new software product received a seriously snarky review by Jennifer Laycock, author of The Lactivist, an influential blog in the market Aruni hoped to reach. Her first email came in while I was at dinner with friends. I started to ignore the flashing red light on my Blackberry but was glad I checked when I found Aruni’s message alerting me to the criticism and asking, “What do I do?”

To her credit, Aruni not only asked for advice, she followed it. She did not respond in anger, but did her homework and learned something about Jennifer, her blog, and her readers. When Aruni did add a comment to The Lactivist, it was well received. She and Jennifer also exchanged e-mails, establishing the basis for a relationship.

Several months later Aruni started her own blog, entrepreMusings, and she and Jennifer follow each other on Twitter now. And to show what a small world it is, I had dinner with Jennifer last month at BloggerSocial08 in New York. We shared a laugh over how the situation had unfolded and how the former critic had become an ally.

Here’s the summary of the Case Study:

Babble Soft, provider of Web and mobile software for parents of newborns

A press release for a new product launch was picked up by an influential blogger who wrote a very negative review.

Every Dot Connects worked with Babble Soft on a strategy to engage the blogger in constructive conversation.

The blogger apologized for the tone of the review and continued to interact with Babble Soft founder via her blog, email and, later, on Twitter and other social networks.

If you’d like to read more, including the guidelines I drafted for engaging with blogger critics, download the PDF: Case Study: Negative Product Review Revised after Company Founder Engages with Critic

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Category: Social Media, Conversation, Bloggers

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Learn Five Web 2.0 Tools in One Day

Posted by Sheila Scarborough on May 22, 2020 at 3:50 pm

Leaping into the unknown at Tikal, Guatemala (courtesy the mat at Flickr’s Creative Commons)Don’t get us wrong - we love being communications techno-geeks here at Every Dot Connects.

Still, much of our time is spent offline in the temporal/”real” world, where folks are still figuring out fundamental social media stuff like blogging. They’re plenty smart, they just haven’t had the time or expertise to really dig into Web 2.0 tools on their own.

Every Dot Connects colleagues Connie Reece and Sheila Scarborough have decided to leap in and help guide the curious.

Our first step to bridge the social media knowledge chasm is a great new workshop:

Learn Five Web 2.0 Tools in One Day

Please bring your WiFi-enabled laptop and join us on Friday, June 20, 2020 from 10 am to 3 pm in Austin, Texas.

We’ll teach you the basics of five Web 2.0/social media tools that can improve your personal and professional life:

  1. How to participate in the blogosphere, and how to find the good blogs.
  2. How to keep track of all that good information with RSS (Really Simple Syndication)
  3. How to find all of those interesting people on Twitter
  4. How to find the good job connections on LinkedIn
  5. Number five will be picked by the class members: how to do something useful on YouTube (besides look for old Van Halen videos - not that Sheila does that much) OR how to use Creative Commons Flickr photos OR how to upload audio to Utterz from your cell phone.

The cost is a super-reasonable $149.00 and includes lunch.

If you register before June 13, we’re offering an Early Bird rate of $119.00.

There are also special discount codes only for members of Freelance Austin and the Austin chapter of the Association for Women in Communications; two local groups who have been very supportive of our business.

For more details and to register, click here to go to the workshop page on Eventbrite.

We appreciate the opportunity to bring our experience and our teaching background to you, in the most personalized, hands-on workshop we’ve ever offered. If your own Web 2.0 knowledge is past this entry level, please forward this link to someone else who might be interested.


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Category: Workshops

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New Rules

Posted by Connie Reece on May 15, 2020 at 4:05 pm

I really enjoy irreverent comedy and I regularly DVR Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO. He says what many are thinking but are too polite to say out loud. He also brings in guests from every end of the spectrum and no topic is off limits. It’s a little like the blogosphere.

One of Maher’s regular features is a segment called “New Rules.” In it, he pokes fun at conventional wisdom and current events. Recently, referring to a photo of the Pope walking with President Bush, Maher announced that new rule would be, “from now on, the Pope has to wear a slip,” making fun of the fact that you could see the outline of the Pope’s legs through his garment. I laughed. Others might have been offended. Watching is optional.

Back to the blogosphere, Gina Trapani, of the very well known Lifehacker blog, let it be known this week that she is going to filter and block, using gmail, all incoming emails from a long list of PR companies. Gina had apparently established some rules regarding submission of tips for her to consider writing about. PR firms that ended up on the list had violated her rules with the usual spam-like mass pitching that some PR firms engage in. Her response to them not following the rules of her blog is to black-list them, and to share her list with other bloggers. This is big news because Lifehacker is a very widely-read blog and the PR firms on the list will have to adjust their clients’ strategies if they involve her blog and others who might follow her lead.

My own thinking is that if you want to get something printed in a blog, you have to follow the rules, customs, whims, desires, superstitions, or whatever is involved, of the author of that particular blog. No standard set of rules applies. For the millions of blogs now in existence, each is their own nation, with their own local laws and customs. If it sounds like too much work, then it’s probably not the work you should be doing. Of course, you could just get lucky.

To date there have been a number of suggestions for how PR firms should deal with bloggers, but no hard and fast set of rules is in place for general use. Even if there was one I imagine it would still be a pretty standard thing for certain bloggers to deviate from them. Blogs proliferated in the first place because of a convergence of new technologies and the strong desire to get out from under the limited world of the “mainstream media.” What incentive is there to recreate the same or similar rules?

Maybe the new rule for media relations is that there will never, ever be any one set of rules for dealing with social media, the blogosphere, and social networks. Perhaps the new rule, which is really a very old rule, is that you should treat everyone the way you would want to be treated; the golden rule.

Here at Every Dot Connects, we blog. So, hopefully, when we communicate with bloggers on a cause, an issue, or on behalf of a client we’re working with, we have the ability to relate to what they’re going through. Maybe not on the same scale, but we can relate. Because no college course, certificate from the state you live in, authoritative book, study guide or instruction manual, will even come close to providing a handy guide to the new media than being directly involved.

In the meantime, I know I’ll be making some mistakes and doing some good work at the same time. And, like the rest of us in social media, I’ll be watching to see how these many new rules play out. Because, just like on Bill Maher’s show, new rules are probably being written even now. And someone, maybe even the Pope, is already breaking them.

~Mike Chapman

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Category: In the News, Bloggers

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nGenera Leads the Way

Posted by Connie Reece on May 5, 2020 at 12:26 pm


“Insight from hundreds of customer relationships has informed our knowledge of what it takes to reinvent historic business structures. We co-create solutions with our customers — partnering with them every step of the way to help them perform and compete better in the global market.”

Steve Papermaster, Chairman and CEO of nGenera

These observations were made by Steve Papermaster as he announced the new name for the company previously known as BSG Alliance. The name change to nGenera Corporation spotlights the company’s mission to transform companies into Next Generation Enterprises. nGenera also released its nGen Platform for business innovation, and the first three end-to-end offerings delivered on the platform: nGen Talent, nGen Customer and nGen Leadership.

Late last year Papermaster teamed up with the New Paradigm, a business innovation group led by international thought leader Don Tapscott. The union of the two companies was designed to accelerate the development of their Business Innovation Platform; provide New Paradigm with an appropriate venue to deliver their considerable content; provide Global 2000 enterprises with an immediate and actionable set of business plans, processes and collaborative tools; and help companies transform legacy operations into flexible, next generation enterprises. The recent BusinessWeek Special Report highlights their work.

Our involvement with nGenera, which coincided with the New Paradigm announcement, stems from their belief that social media and online communications are an integral part of this new world of business. Traditional PR is still around, but it is forever changed. nGenera takes seriously the need to have a real social media presence as a part of its communications strategy as they work with their customers moving forward.

The profound business changes brought about by the combination of globalization, the talent crunch and Web 2.0 technologies are reshaping the economy at an astonishing pace. Companies must begin to operate and create customer value in entirely new ways. The nGen Platform offers an answer to this new business reality. It provides Global 2000 companies with a game-changing combination of software-as-a-service, talent and knowledge — packaged into category solutions and delivered using web services — to address fast-traction areas of transformation.

To communicate effectively with its customers, itself, and the world, nGenera is adopting social media in all of its collaborative and co-creative forms. We are honored to be a part of their story.

- Connie and Mike

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Category: Social Media, In the News, Connections, Marketing, Books, Enterprise 2.0

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New events from Every Dot Connects:
Jan. 29 Up to Speed with Sheila
Feb. 17 Consulting with Connie
Feb. 19 High Tech, High Touch with Jennifer