Kriptonite Poster Child of the Blogosphere

12/20/2005

A Bic pen and a bicycle lock, Kriptonite, named after the Supermanonly metal that is fatal to Superman, set the blogospere a buzz during the autumn of 2004. Many bloggers took Kriptonite to task for not responding quickly to what was perceived as a product and customer service crisis.

Stephan Spencer chronicled the story as did many others including Rick Bruner at Business Blog Consulting. In fact, so many bloggers posted that Kryptonite became (ta dah!) the poster child of the blogosphere of how not to handle a crisis.

But what really went on behind the scenes? Donna Tocci, Pubic Relations Manager,Kryptonite, has told her story to only a few bloggers including Jack McKee, Shel Israel and most recently  Dave Taylor, Intuitive Life Business Blog. Comments on all posts are as interesting as Ms. Tocci's interviews.

Whether or not Kriptonite responded appropriately and the impact of citizen journalism or citizen communications will surely find its way into books about the history of the blogosphere. However, what I found significant in Dave's interview is the following response from Ms. Tocci.

However, is the blogosphere the best 'bang' for our 'buck'. And by 'buck 'I don't mean money. I mean time. I'm not so sure about that. Each company needs to make that decision for themselves. They need to do the research and spend the time to figure out where their customers are, if that's the blogosphere then they need a blog. If not, they don't. They do need a good crisis management plan no matter who they are or how they choose to implement it.

And Dave's comments:

 Remember, blogging is an important part of a company's current and future marketing and public relations mix, but it's by no means the only element, and it cannot become the only element however you spin it. Always remember that ultimately the company has to meet its market, too, not vice versa.

As I wrote waaay back in August of 2004 - just before the Kryptonite deal - Blogs Are Not The Savior

Blogs can help build stronger brands. Blogs can help build stronger customer relationships. Blogs can help build stronger media relationships. Blogs can help build credibility. Blogs can help build stronger ROI.

Please tell me that at least we (marketers) have learned our lessons well from the Internet crazed ‘90’s. Please tell me that we (marketers) understand blogs will not replace traditional or other Interactive tactics. Please tell me that we (marketers) understand blogs are one more, albeit powerful, marketing tool we can leverage in a developing a strategic marketing plan.

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