Gongol.com Archives: August 2009
Brian Gongol

August 11, 2009

Business and Finance Passengers stuck overnight on plane in Rochester get national attention
And this is why a company that expects to keep its customers has to have a two-fold approach to maintaining its brand image: First, it has to consistently and regularly promote the brand through marketing, advertising, and other outreach. Second, it has to ensure that its people act in a way that recognizes the lingering impact of whatever they do. It's hard to tell exactly what could or should have been done on the plane in Rochester, but someone somewhere along the chain of command should have made the decision to get the passengers off the aircraft. The fallout could be as bad as new regulations from Congress. But there's more to the story, in that not only can a local incident quickly blow up into a national or international headline: In a way not possible ten years ago, individuals can tell their stories and sway an audience of millions of people. To wit: The "United Breaks Guitars" video posted on YouTube on July 6th has been viewed more than 4 million times. Whether the creator of that song was justified or not in firing that broadside at the airline (maybe he should've used a stronger case...or maybe he should've shipped his expensive guitar via FedEx with lots of insurance), his story complaining about United has been viewed more than 50 times more than all of the official United Airlines videos on YouTube combined. A 50-to-1 ratio of bad publicity takes a lot of work to undo. American Airlines has gotten the picture at least a little better than United, having posted far more videos recently than UAL. But it's also important to leave a good impression on a regular basis, even when not doing so deliberately for the publicity: Southwest Airlines certainly can't mind the fact that two million people have seen their safety briefing rap online. Related: Southwest is trying to buy Frontier.

Broadcasting SEC issues rules about reporting from games and press conferences
The athletic conference is trying to protect its own media network, but this is a colossally stupid move: If you tell sports fans and reporters how, when, and where to get their news, they're going to revolt. Trying to control the flow of reporting by monopolizing coverage is so outdated that it would've sounded silly 20 years ago. Today it's just insulting.

Broadcasting Why Congressional town-hall meetings should be conducted on the radio

Humor and Good News Context matters: Know where your billboard is going to be posted

Aviation News The first Moon landing is almost as distant in the past today as Lindbergh's crossing of the Atlantic was in 1969

Water News Sump pump hunt in Clear Lake

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