Here's a story about a marketing exec using social network tools for an education campaign aimed at youth. It is a wonderful example of the promise of the net. If you are a CMO or Head of Corporate Communications seeking even a shred of rationale for employing an internet "conversation" strategy, take note. Quiznos is a great case history.
First, so we are on the same page, here's a brief recap...
So far, if you are trying to make a case, you've got Debbie Weil's The Corporate Blogging Book. But unfortunately that turned out to be pretty wishy-washy. As we reviewed here, "When a Girl Says 'Yes,' But Means 'No'," makes a better case for Don't than Do.
But seeing wheelbarrows of cash, those PRs are certainly not about to give up. Less than a week after Weil's whirlwind book bash, Ken Makovsky, of Makovsky + Company, one of the largest global independent public relations firms, took a whack at sounding convincing. He weighed in with "Getting Beyond 'Should I'." Despite the rising tide of second guessers like Line56 author Demir Barlas and "What's Wrong With Blogs," Ken took his turn at displaying unbridled enthusiasm.
For the record, he did evangelize strategically. So as not to take any heat if (when) the bubble breaks, Ken defers to Forrester analyst Charlene Li,
"A blog's ROI is built around building a closer relationship with your blog's readers. It's that investment in the relationship that turns intangible, unquantifiable blogs into hard metrics."
Of course analysts are perfect (especially when it comes to tech). To that Makovsky responds, "Do you still need convincing?"
Well, I'm sure I don't ironically, but others might. If I may, what Weil, Makovsky and the amorphous borg of PR blog evangelists are trying to say is that it is all about the "relationships."
Maybe that's my problem. As you are aware, I do not put much stock in messy relationships period. But here... this news brought it all together for me. Now I think I get what they are trying to say. It certainly clarifies the "hard metrics" part.
According to Adage, last week Quiznos senior VP of marketing Scott Lippitt was arrested for allegedly arranging a meeting to have sex with a girl he believed was 13 years old. According to the statement, Mr. Lippitt contacted the officer Aug. 1, offering to teach her "how to be a woman." Not only was Lippitt using some of the latest technologies for social networking for building relationships... he was also employing some of the latest communications techniques in e-learning apparently.
According to documents from the Fremont County Court clerk's office in Colorado, Scott faces at least five felony charges, including criminal attempt at sexual assault on a child; enticement of a child; contributing to the delinquency of a minor; internet luring; and internet sexual exploitation of a child.
Quiznos said in a written statement, "We are shocked and disappointed. We find any of the alleged behavior reprehensible and have placed Mr. Lippitt on an indefinite leave of absence pending further investigation."
My guess is Lippitt is in some online forum having a "conversation" as we speak.