Media, Analyst and Customer Relations

All are important, but only one is critical to a business’ success.

I’m no expert on the changing media landscape but I do hold a BA in Common Sense (HONS) that would suggest if your traditional business model is falling apart you’d try to do something about it.

As the Guardian has. They’re pretty much held up as the leading lights of a media organisation that “get’s it”. They’ve got a number of blogs, talk a great game when it comes to social media and offer geo-targeted advertising.

Oh, they also call their readers stupid. No, wait…they probably shouldn’t do that…right? And they probably really shouldn’t do it when a rival media outlet is copied in on the email correspondence.

In this case, I think the situation has gone way beyond right or wrong, but into a pure customer service issue.

Your product may be fantastic, your agencies (ad, PR and interactive) may be the best money can buy but if your customer service ain’t up to par, well, you’re bang in trouble.

Ladies and gentleman, I give you Steve Jackson vs Barry Glendenning via Football365.com.

If the Guardian or Louise Taylor actually bothered to acknowledge their mail I might stop copying in Football365 who like to snigger at them but. Anyway, in pursuit of helping Louise Taylor one day write a decent intro here goes:
“On Sunday morning Shola Ameobi will board a flight bound for Colorado where he is scheduled to have potentially career-saving hip surgery.”
Okay can you tell me what surgery, for a footballer is not potentially career saving? I mean, I am guessing they don’t have operations for fun. Okay maybe they could struggle on with an ingrowing finger nail or something. But pretty much anything to do with your major limbs is an essential for a footballer. In this case, any operation that doesn’t work could mean their career is over.
To go over that one more time. Footballers get injured they then need operations. If they don’t have operations then they can’t play. So every operation is a potentially career saving operation. So why do you need to state the bleeding obvious? Or were you just trying to hype up an otherwise dull story and a dull set of quotes from Shola?
Hello, Guardian anyone out there?
Steve Jackson
…Steve,
Uruguayan footballer Dario Silva had surgery to have his leg amputated recently. This could hardly be described as “potentially career-saving” for a footballer. I hope this answers your question. If you can come up with another one that isn’t completely stupid, I might stop copying in Football365 too.
Barry Glendenning, Guardian Unlimited Sport.
…Are you serious? And nice tone you have with your readers.
I’m fairly sure, as harsh as it sounds, that Dario Silva was no longer a footballer when it comes to the point of having the leg removed. It hardly changes the point that99.9 of injuries suffered by footballers are career threatening. So hardly really worth pointing it out.
Oh and I’ve copied in Football365 to save you the bother.
Cheers
Steve
…So it’s okay for you to take a sarcastic tone with our writers when you’re trying (unsuccessfully) to be smart, but not okay for us to do the same when we prove you wrong. Why is that, then, Steve? Dario Silva may have been out of contract when he had his accident, but he hadn’t retired. He was an unemployed footballer, but a footballer nonetheless, aged 32 and with several more years worth of gas in the tank. You asked for an example of surgery on a footballer that isn’t potentially career-saving and I gave you one off the top of my head. End of story – let it go.
Barry Glendenning, Guardian Unlimited Sport.
…Ahh I can see where the problem is arising now.
You wrote: “So it’s okay for you to take a sarcastic tone with our writers.”
No, I really did mean that what Louise Taylor writes is bollocks. No sarcasm intended.
Sorry for your confusion.
And you give it up first. Go on I dare you.
Fair enough about the Dario Silva thing though. Actually I might start calling myself an out-of-contact footballer. Or maybe an astronaut. I can’t decide. By our own argument you don’t need a club, a contract or it appears, the use of your legs to call yourself a footballer.
Steve Jackson
…I can think of several more appropriate things you could call yourself, Steve. At least Dario Silva proved that he could play football at the highest level, whereas the only thing you’re proving is that you’re not as clever or amusing as you think you are. I get the impression you’re loving this attention, but when you’re in a hole like this you should really stop digging. I didn’t think it was possible for you to make yourself look more foolish than you did in your original email, but you’re proving me wrong.
All the best,
Barry Glendenning, Guardian Unlimited Sport.

All good natured banter that really hurts the brand and alienates it from its core audience.

Alternate point of view –

Is this a case of customers being too empowered too soon? Has Steve’s ability to correspond with a national newspaper and one of the world’s best websites given him too much chutzpah? Are consumers so used to shouting that companies can no longer listen to their problems?

I think it may have been Seth who said a child that asks nicely gets what she wants; a child that screams and generally carries on like a Fury, doesn’t.

There must be a better way for all parties.

Sidebar – my BA is not, unfortunately, from the School of Hard Knocks.

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