Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Good Year Gets Bad Press

I reviewed a business blog in my last post so I thought I would check out and see how Easton was doing in his project to see which of the Fortune 500 were blogging. For fun I checked out Goodyear Tire & Rubber to see what they were up to on the blogging front and have contributed the following to this project.

Cutting Through the PR Crap - Blogs Can Help

While Goodyear may be saying that it set a sales record in Q4 2006, it's obvious that a 3 month strike that ended on December 28, 2006 really hurt the company in Q4 2006 and continues to do damage in the first quarter of 2007. This of course didn't make their PR page.

During the three month strike do you think it may have helped if Goodyear explained why 15,000 union members went on strike? Most likely! It would have been the perfect time to have created a blog to perhaps reach out to customers and the striking workers to show that they cared and that they wanted to reach a quick resolution. Instead of Goodyear having it's own blog, the USW union members created a blog called the Solidarity at Goodyear that covered the union members struggles against the "big, bad" Goodyear that included commentary and pictures. Which side was right in this battle? I'm not quite sure in the long run but it was great to read the heroic stories on the union blog about their fight to keep the Tyler plant open to help it's members keep putting food on the table for their families. It's this direct message that blogs can create that wins the PR wars. The other interesting item was to see the internal struggle between the members that played out in the comments. The fact that this was allowed was fantastic and made this blog even more realistic. Check out this blog conversation.

Goodyear Continues to Have a Bad Year: Jeffrey Katzenberg's Legal Victory

When you bring Hollywood into the mix, you know you have trouble. Goodyear just lost a legal battle to Producer Jeffrey Katzenberg to the tune of $2.71 million for damages to his Utah pad due to faulty Goodyear rubber hoses. Why did that happen? What could have prevented this? Know one will ever really know.

How is Goodyear combating this bad press? By flying away - literally with its new "Get there" campaign which focuses on 2 idiots in a blimp. Are they kidding? It's time to get real and get your head out of the clouds. Let go of the stupid blimp - there's a new thing on Earth called the Internet.

So What? Why Should You Care? You Use Bridgestone Right?

Your competition, customers, and employees are all starting to have blogs out there. They all have something to say and it's so easy to say it with blogs. You're able to control how your brand is discussed and portrayed less and less. What you can do is instead of being reactive and firing off press releases and emails, go on the offense and create a new story that is compelling and brings the focus back to your core objectives and values. Creating a blog is another weapon to help you do this. If you're not convinced, read my last post on how Bill Marriott is doing just this.

Chad H.

PS - I did a search on "Goodyear blog" and this crazy blog appeared. Is that how they are protecting their brand? Do you want to see beer shit associated with your company?


anonymous said...

Very cool post, Chad. Love the links and the analysis. Looking at the big, big picture, it's not so much that companies need to use blogs as it is that they need to be using new technology to better engage with the people they are serving - after all, the competition is doing it! ... Which obviously means that corporate blogs are a great option for so many reason.

Chad said...

Good point Easton! Thanks Easton for providing this insight.



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