Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Is this being blogged?

Fascinating conversation over at Andrea Weckerle’s blog about the firing of a Goodwill worker. Andrea not only reports the orginal story, but followed up and spoke with several people at Goodwill. Subsequently, a number of concerned Goodwill customers forwarded a link to her blog through Goodwill’s corporate site, resulting in a discussion of the matter with Goodwill’s marcomm person. In the interim, lots of input from PR professionals about how they would have handled it and what Goodwill could have done differently.

What stuck out for me: Goodwill’s marketng person (Aimee) saying:

We do have a policy in place for news media inquiries. If an employee is contacted directly by a reporter, they are to redirect the call to Marketing and Communications, or to obtain the caller’s name, contact information, affiliation, and a brief description of the subject in question, for the call to be returned. Andrea was viewed as a member of the donating public, who works in PR as a profession. Had there been a mention of online media, an article, or story, I would have been notified immediately.

In a world when calls to customer service are recorded (by the customers, not the service!) and bad experiences are recounted — is it even practical these days for a company to have different policies for the public and the press? When they’re the same thing, that seems an impossible standard to set, and one ulimately designed to fail.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent point, Rick. Based on the attention the post received from people in different parts of the country (and even overseas, namly the U.K., Belgium, Australia and perhaps other places), my understanding was that not just the local Goodwill location, but other centers & corporate were made aware of the blog discussion surrounding the termination. As Ms. Walker stated to me, what impacts one location can impact another. However, changing an organization's way of traditionally doing things can sometimes be an uphill execise.