Businesses are beginning to listen

I can remember a few years ago when Jeff Jarvis went through his “Dell Hell” saga that those of us observing (Jeff, too) wrote about the day when businesses would actually pay closer attention to what’s being said about them in the online world. Beyond paying attention, we wanted them to respond.

Fast forward to today, and now we have a whole cottage industry blossoming as an arm of public relations. It’s called “reputation management,” and it’s the new big thing for advertisers. It is increasingly being offered to small and mid-sized businesses by those companies smart enough to see the market for it, and it’s yet another way that local media companies are being sliced out of the commerce mechanisms at the market level.

One company that is clearly managing its reputation by listening is Uno’s Pizza, a long time favorite of mine. Yesterday, at the Des Moines airport, I had a really trashy, cardboard tasting (although I must admit that I don’t really know what cardboard tastes like) personal Uno’s pizza. To see if they were listening, I tweeted the following:

My tweet involving Unos

When I landed in Dallas a couple of hours later, the following greeted me in ÜberTwitter via my Blackberry:

Uno's personal response to me

So there you go – reputation management at its finest. Good for them. It’s exactly the kind of response we first wrote about back in the Dell Hell days. I’ve sent the email they requested but haven’t heard back yet.

Of course, this all begs the question of how soon people will begin gaming this to get free meals or whatever. Knowing human nature, it’s probably already happening.

Comments

  1. Samepoint, http://www.samepoint.com is a tool to track your reputation within social media.

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