Archive for August, 2008

Washed out with the Tide

As a fellow itcher who recently bought Tide detergent, I was interested to see Darren Barefoot’s post regarding Procter and Gamble’s lack of response to complaints on their microsite. Essentially, a reader commented on Tide’s message board:

“Has anyone else experienced itching afte using 2X Ultra Tide Mountain Spring scent ? I never had an allergic reaction to anthing, but it seems I developed this generalized itch after I started using this product…”
This was back in on December 24th. Another reader added to the comment in May, followed by another 17 over the summer. Finally, on August 27th, after Darren’s post, a member of Tide’s marketing team posted a response. Where the heck were they?
Key rules in public relations are research, two-way communications and timely response. Here is my unsolicited advice to the folks at Procter and Gamble:
  • If you are going to use any form of communication with your customers, learn how to use it properly; not just the technology but the rules of engagement.
  • Ensure you have a team member assigned to regularly monitor its progress.
  • Never – ever – put yourselves out there if you don’t want to hear the bad news along with the good.
  • Respond quickly. It’s not only good manners, but it shows you care about your customers. Which of course you do, right?
  • Report back on what you are doing to correct the problem.

I’ll be expecting to hear about the new itchless Tide by mid-September. And by the way, I threw mine out.

PS While adding my links for the above I noticed that Tide has another 69 posts bidding them goodbye on another thread. I think P&G has a bigger PR problem than I thought. Time to monitor their message board, me thinks.

Left Coast PR

It’s funny…as many Canadians watch the listeria crisis unfold in Ontario, we in BC seem to be more concerned with the US presidential election. Sure, I’m as interested as the next person as to what happens if the US elects an African American president, but what about PR issues here in Canada? A series of small earthquakes has been rocking our left-coast world for the last 48 hours…are we prepared? There will be municpal, provincial and perhaps even federal elections this fall…will we vote? And cold cuts…will we still buy them?

These are the issues I hope to poke holes in over the next few weeks, while asking how we could have handled the public relations better. Because we always can.