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MIMA Summit Blog Carnival: #4

mima_feed.gif As part of the MIMA Summit Blog Carnival, here’s a quick post addressing on of this week’s topics…

Topic #1: Keynote presenter, Ze Frank says, “You have a paradigm shift coming around. There is so much that happens as soon as you release anything — you get all this feedback…you get unexpected usage patterns, you get requests for new things, you get crises.” So, whose job is it to respond to all of these feedback, and how should they go about doing it?

Unfortunately, the responsibility for this often falls to the marketing department. Don’t get me wrong, PR folks (like me) have the skills, persistence and collaborative spirit to help foster these conversations.

But feedback from your stakeholders is a essentially a customer service issue, and those in the CSR departments are typically well equipped and trained to handle incoming feedback — including utilizing predefined channels for pushing this feedback UP to the upper eschelons of companies.

However, CSR folks are mostly accustomed to inputs and only those inputs within a certain limited scope. They don’t go looking for trouble, must respond via script, and assume no news is good news.

The 2.0 culture, however, blog swarms and memes issues that matter to companies, whether they’re listening or not. Users expect big brands to be monitoring what they’re saying — and more importantly — care (!) and do something about it. This is where marketing folks, particular public relations, are leading the way when it comes to listening to stakeholders and creating opportunities for dialogue

But listening is only the first step. Per Ze Frank’s original question, once you have all the feedback — how to respond?

Many companies are appointing/hiring an online community manager to serve as both the face of the company to online stakeholders and as the advocate of those stakeholders to company management. There has been a lot written recently about online community managers, and it’s something I stress for many clients who find their brand is being heavily discussed online. Only by going fully transparent and jumping into the discussion can a company best listen, participate and react to the feedback.

The other, perhaps more important, step is to honor the feedback you receive, even if you don’t like it.

In parallel, I have a post up today re: blogger outreach based on my learnings at BlogWorld & New Media Expo here: Blogger Outreach: The College Party Analogy. And now back to your regularly scheduled music blogging…

Read all the Carnival posts here.

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