Power and Presence- the good, the bad, and the ugly in public presence

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Would you like Vermin with that MexiMelt?

I can only laugh at this because I'm not the PR person handling the crisis. Evidently, some everyday folks captured some rats having a gay ol' time scurrying around a Taco Bell in Greenwich Village, NYC. http://www.brightcove.com/title.jsp?title=533258434

What fascinates me about this is Yum Brands' (the parent company to Taco Bell) response. This AdAge article articulates how this type of "caught ya red handed" type of exposure is only getting more dangerous for brands in the post YouTube universe. It also talks about Yum's lack of proactive crisis management of the issue... I guess Yum tried to play it off as a local, isolated incident. http://adage.com/article?article_id=115184

What's missing in Yum's reaction is not only a more proactive response, but an empathetic response. This is a Bush administration-esque response to a crisis - be defensive, be vague, and as a result, be completely not believable.

What they should have done was issued an apology, done something to actually THANK the people who exposed this problem, and for bringing it to their attention. They should have done a better job of empathizing with these people - in a sincere way. I mean, these people have to share a neighborhood with a place that's overrun with rats!

Then, they should have laid out a plan to understand how this could have happened, and how to make sure it's not happening anywhere else. I'm thinking a corporate blog would be most helpful in times like this... especially since their press release/response was buried in their site, unreachable by the long tendrils of Google.

If you have a moment, check it out. It's foul.

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

An Open Letter : I Hate Vista

Dear Microsoft,

I don’t often reach out like this, but I’m lost in a sea of confusion, and have no other way of reaching you.

Why? Why have you done this to me? I‘ve been faithful to you. I get my updates and upgrades. I have strayed a bit, wondering what owning a Mac would feel like, but really, this is normal during the course of such a long standing relationship.

I have purchased a new computer (a very sexy HP, btw), pre-loaded with Vista and then purchased Office 2007. I know your intentions were good. You wanted me to have a new environment… one that made more sense, with the software equivalent of a new home with granite counter tops and new plumbing. You thought buying me the software equivalent of a brand new house in a tract neighborhood would be a good thing. It’s not. I’m miserable and I want out. I want my stately old Victorian with the water heater that I had to kick a certain way to make it work.

Enough metaphor. I hate this new Vista/Office 07 world, and here’s why: Simply trying to save a file, or send it as an attachment in an email… these small tasks have become nothing short of an exercise in insanity. I feel crazy. I feel like I have this gorgeous new home, but can’t figure out how to turn on the hot water. Or, like I’m desperately trying to get to work, but can’t find my toothbrush. This is what Vista and Office 07 have done to me. It’s affecting everyone I know and work with, as none of my files are readable.

What used to be a marriage of convenience has now become Sudden Hate Syndrome. I want to scream at you, Microsoft. I hate what you’ve done with Vista, and I loathe what’s become of Office 2007. If I didn’t have so much time and money invested, I would surely go Mac. But I cannot.

Instead, what I will do is rain down hate on every chat board that will take my comments, expressing in fine detail exactly why these new versions are disastrous, even if they do make more sense from a usability standpoint. You’ve trained me for too many years to start introducing logic into our relationship now. I don’t have time for this. Either fix this mess, or lose me forever. If you make amends, I’ll tell the world. If you don’t, I’ll tell the world.


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