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Using Content Marketing to Control the Conversation

November 19, 2012 By James Sturdivant
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At Content Marketing World in New York on Nov. 15, presenter Robert Rose wanted to make a point about why companies need to keep control of their social media conversation. He cited several great examples of what not to do: there was Airbnb's disastrous attempt to squelch a blogger who had a bad experience with the apartment rental service and Pampers' refusal to budge on an outmodeled test marketing scheme that upset a host of mommy bloggers.

Both of these companies, Rose said, "let the story write them," rather than the other way around. It's why companies should invest in people who can monitor social conversations around a brand and craft fast, effective responses to negative publicity. One service company, for instance, saw negative comments on a corporate blog as an opportunity to retool the blog as a FAQ and customer service tool—simultaneously taking the complaints seriously and taking back control of the conversation.

The best example Rose gave, however, was of Jet Blue Airways and its handling of the Steven Slater incident in 2010. Slater was a long-suffering flight attendant who quit his job in flamboyant fashion after being on the receiving end of rude treatment from a passenger one too many times. Jet Blue responded with an upfront blog post and managed to direct negativity surrounding the incident away from its Facebook page to the blog.

Kudos to them—but it didn't stop late-night hosts from having some fun with the incident. In case you missed it, click to watch Jimmy Fallon's masterful "Jet Blue Song: The Ballad of Steven Slater." Enjoy!

 

A version of this article originally ran on Publishing Executive.


 

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