The conversation about YOUR company is happening online right now... you better know where (and what they're saying!)
A few of us at Spring Creek found out this week about a rich, raucous, uncensored conversation that happened here about recent layoffs -- and the circumstances surrounding them -- at a local early-stage consumer casual games company. John Cook's Seattle Post-Intelligencer Venture Blog is reliably a solid place to keep tabs on local goings-on when it comes to early stage and tech companies... but the follow-on Comments posts that were made to his original "blarticle" (or is it an "artitog") made for much more exciting reading than the original story. This was like a flash-mob of vested interests that congregated and congealed around a touchy topic in the space of just a few hours. The speed with which the follow-on story about the circumstances of the layoffs and the internal (and newly external) reactions to the layoffs hit the web (5 hours) was vastly faster than the original news was shared of the company's decision (30 hours or so, for Cook's blog at least). Interesting -- news travels fast, but reactions to the news travel faster. As we often talk about with clients in the context of our BrandCast services, an ever-greater volume of important -- and unvarnished -- conversations are happening about companies of all sizes online... in the blogs, forums, and communities out there where people trust that the medium is "free and fair". Companies -- and their representatives -- ignore these conversations (or try to control them via "anonymous" posts, which are quickly called out for what they are, proving that transparency is less damaging than veiled bias) at their peril. In the long run, your brand equity is the only asset you truly must preserve, manage, and improve.