So a week or so ago I sent Chris Brogan a note. Asked him if he could get me a free pass to Blog World San Fran Los Vegas (thanks CB and SG), and offered to fill a last-minute speaking slot, be on a panel, or hand out drinks. I can’t let Steve Garfield get all the attention with Get Seen when I’ve got my book, Beyond Viral, coming out in the next weeks.
So now I’m not only going (by plane, train or Greyhound bus), I’ll be giving away a card with top-10 secrets than can help you promote yourself and/or business via online video. But here’s the catch. I’ll be keeping these hidden, and giving them away to anyone that mentions Chris Brogan. I’d give away copies of the book, but I’m a little worried about carrying 500 books around inconspicuously.
Thanks, Chris. I want to be you when I grow up. And when are we going to work on your fledging YouTube persona? I can double your views in a week for one case of beer.
P.S. THIS JUST IN (3:00 pm): Marc Monseau invited me to the J&J sponsored healthcare round table (Social Health). I’m quite sure it wasn’t an inducement prompted by my giving him a free book… I didn’t even autograph it.
Perhaps someone with the time and patience to run some social-media monitoring analysis can use a quantitative tool to validate Best Buy/Geek Squad’s sentiment decline (a free one, Radian6 or some others listed here). But here are three recent and vivid examples of a company whose arrogance — demonstrated by aggressive attorneys, PR apathy, and poor employee relations — has made it the undisputed 2010 winner (or loser). I’m sure someone else can better document numerous other episodes that precede and follow these, but here is what WVFF judges used to base their decision:
1) Geek Squad Driver Calls Cops on YouTuber: A Geek Squad (Best Buy’s beloved repair team) van driver spotted this blogger and video creator shooting some b-roll of a van. My intent? To make a parody of a technical repair superhero responding to absurd computer requests (can you fix my cup holder? Oh that’s a CD-ROM drive?). The video, which might have been a humorous and free consumer-generated advertisement for Geek Squad, instead resulted in this… seen by a quarter of a million viewers. The driver called the police and “Nalts” got a fine for reckless driving.
Hey I’m biased here, but you know that. I’m part of the story, and wasn’t thrilled to get pulled over and fined because a Geek Squad driver got paranoid (perhaps he feared I was doing a video expose on his wicked speeding). Sensing his unease, at a red light I handed him my business card, smiled, and explained my video concept. The NJ police officer said the driver interpreted that as threatening gesture and dangerous. Really? But we can forgive a company for a freaky driver, but it was poor form for Best Buy to ignore me. I wrote the company’s PR group, and a simple apology would have probably brought me right back. Did I mention I captured that driver again two weeks ago? I think he was selling ice-cream and crack cocaine this time, but don’t quote me on that.
Please comment below… and I invite anyone to defend each of Best Buy’s actions. It’s hard to give up on a company you love, and I’ve seen some interesting debates on various articles and blogs. I’d also like to invite anyone to join me on a 2010 boycott of Best Buy. There’s even a Facebook page to boycott Best Buy (apparently they fund anti-gay politics). I haven’t walked into the store since the po-po pulled me over, and the Maupin story gave me more resolve. But now they’re messing with a Priest? I read the Best Buy circular weekly, and never went more than 10 days without shopping there. But I’m done with the store for 2010. We’ll see if Barry or a well-meaning public-relations firm can turn this around, and revisit them in 2011.