How to lose customers and deny good publicity to yourself

by Ashvini on October 26, 2012 · 7 comments

in Entrepreneurship,My Personal Thoughts

This is not a big blog, like other huge media backed blogs. It has got a small audience who are probably interested in things I write. Once I asked an entrepreneur, if I could feature his story on this blog.My idea was to get him a little exposure and also to get some variety in topics I cover. The entrepreneur gave me his business card and agreed to call me up someday. I reminded him twice but never got enthusiastic response.

In another case, I met an owner of a music memorabilia shop. I was quite keen to know about his business, being a music enthusiast. I was his shop’s customer as well. I offered to feature his story on the blog. Unfortunately, I received no response till now.

Contrast this with below

I wrote once about a big corporate brand. The person in charge of social media sent me a thank you mail. Coming from a big corporate company, it was quite a surprise. But the company knew that I was not only a customer, a (small time) blogger but also a brand ambassador. If big companies are willing to go to such an extent, I wonder why small entrepreneurs are not doing it. Why they are not courting publicity? Why they are letting go of connecting to yet another group of loyal customers?

Why would someone say some good words?

If someone writes to me about something  I did for them , I would like them to tell it to their friends and family. (That is what linked in recommendations and endorsements are all about). After all, who does not like a little ( good ) publicity. It helps you keep motivated and also helps grow your business. Thus, every little bit counts.If someone writes about you it is a proof that someone likes what you are doing.

Everyday , competition gets fiercer. The only way one could survive is by being in touch with brand ambassadors. Entrepreneurs need to be expert in such strategy. They cannot afford to alienate their loyal customers. They need as much publicity as they can afford. Even from a small blog.

About The Author

{ 7 comments }

Daria Steigman November 9, 2012 at 11:26 pm

Hi Ashvini,

I’ve had big brands comment too — but the smaller ones rarely do. I suspect that a lot of small businesses don’t even know what’s being written about them because they haven’t set up even basic filters. Hmm… potential clients.

To your other point about not following up — I think some people are very shortsighted in deciding that you probably can’t help them. My own feeling is that (1) you never know what knows who; (2) people who might not have something you need know might just end up working for your dream company; and (3) being friendly, helpful, and building out your network nets you good will — what I tend to call “the good karma rule.”

Have a wonderful vacation!

Sonia October 30, 2012 at 12:00 pm

I think companies are starting to come around and reach out the more bloggers. Mom bloggers got this down good and major brands reach out to them almost daily to promote their products, cars, and repeatedly invite them to events that gets them in front of their products. These select women are in a niche all their own and if you know your audience, you can brand yourself as their ambassador and get paid for it too.

What about the rest of us? Don’t we get special treatment too? Yes, but I think the stakes tend to be higher for those of us not blogging about our kids. Well-known bloggers get allot of attention because they have a big audience and brands want to get in front of their face, but they have to pay and pay good. So how does that work out for me and you?

Do the same thing; write about their products, review their product features, reach out to them directly about marketing promotions or sponsoring a giveaway. Some of it might sound cheesy, but if you blog about their products, why not try and work with them behind the scenes where it benefits you too. Maybe not so much with gifts (would be nice), but the key is to build your reputation, your posts, reviews as something of an expert with their products and you might get the attention of something else in return.

Great post Ash! Missed me?

Ashvini Kumar Saxena October 30, 2012 at 1:34 pm

Hi Sonia,

I totally missed your comments :D. Glad to see you back .

I think your comment raises an important point. When I write about some company or product, it is often because I have seen/used their superior service and I would love to talk about how they do their things. This adds a sense of authenticity to the blog and adds to the quality. I would probably not be interested in writing for them , if I was paid for it. That is why I turned down a number of offers to be paid to add a line or a link here and there. If some link that seeped through , it is probably because of my oversight or I promised to put their link which I could not break.
I would be open to a giveaway and promotional offer but only if I have personally seen the services or tested the product of the company and it would be marked in a big font “Giveaway/Promotion”.
My post was regarding those small entrepreneurs whose products I really enjoyed and wanted to add some details provided by them, but never got a chance for first interaction . Maybe you are right I should have gone and written about them anyway. However I was not sure if they were looking for any publicity from me. I was kind of confused in that sense. So I used my judgement.
I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on this . Thank you and have a great day :)

Lori Gosselin October 29, 2012 at 7:23 pm

Hi Ashvini,
It’s a mystery to me why companies are missing the boat as much as they are (as you have well-described) when it comes to getting publicity. Take airlines, for instance. Someone is flying somewhere, a last-minute booking, because they are going to a funeral. Around here the compassionate discounts are only off first class tickets. The customer service rep doesn’t even know how to offer condolences, sincere ones. And their offerings are dismal and easily overlooked or carried with frustration to the wake where the person sees and interacts with dozens of people, many who have also had to take a flight to get there!
Contrast this with the company who sincerely recognizes the grief in the voice of the last-minute booking, offers to give that seat (which they already know by now will remain empty) at a sizable discount, perhaps throwing something else in as well (Is there an empty seat in first class? They know this too) Imagine the publicity they could gain from that when this person interacts with friends and family at the wake. Imagine the spin-off from such genuinely compassionate service.
Not even thinking of the Tweeting and Facebooking that would likely follow at the airport waiting times. How can they miss this?
Lori

Ashvini Kumar Saxena October 30, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Hi Lori,

I totally get what you are trying to say. The world can be a far better place , if we all think beyond our limitations and petty considerations. I am sure people can be more considerate , if they choose to . Its hard, really hard to go through such an in-compassionate behaviour.
Hope you are doing fine .

Roz Bennetts October 28, 2012 at 4:58 am

Hi Ashvini,

What you’re writing about here is also public relations – your big brand company was smart enough to know the value of that and your entrepreneurs weren’t. It’s also about manners as well isn’t it? A proper acknowledgement with a thank you goes a long way to oiling life’s wheels. Your post is a reminder of all of these things.

All the best, Roz

Ashvini Kumar Saxena October 30, 2012 at 2:51 pm

Hi Roz,

Frankly I was surprised. I never expected the response. It made me their fan too . It was also a good learning that how social media can be utilized to a good end. I wish even small entrepreneurs learn from their good practices.

Thanks for your comment. A pleasure to see you here :)

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