Tag Archives: Odeon

Cineworld indulges in childish insults

26 Apr

20130426-215827.jpg

Cinema brands get my goat. Why? Because they clearly don’t understand social media, but continue to put people in charge that either say too little or far too much – to the point where they insult their customers.

A few months ago I blogged about Odeon, which failed to respond to a Facebook status complaining about ticket prices. Hours became days and days became an entire weekend where nothing was done, allowing the post to gain momentum through more than 170,000 ‘likes’.

Now it’s Cineworld’s turn to commit social media suicide, although this time the brazen brand has no remorse. The tweets that you’re about to see are still on the company’s Twitter page.

Let’s start this story with a quiz. If a customer complained about costs to you on a social network would you:

A) Apologise that they feel that way and use a pre-approved policy statement to explain why costs have risen before directing them to special offers that you’re currently running etc

B) Ignore the statement, after all you’ve got so many other tweets to respond to

C) Antagonise your customer and explode into a flurry of insults and childish backchat

I’m sure you can guess by now that Cineworld took option ‘C’. The backchat included:

Well you ‘say’ we’re definitely going bust in 1-5 years. If you’re psychic can you tell me the lottery numbers.

For someone that doesn’t like talking to us, you’re certainly persistent. Excuse me I have homework to do :]

And my personal favourite:

Fine OK we’re just evil millionaires who are trying to destroy cinema, you’ve blown it wide open. Enjoy Odeon :]

Shocked? I’m guessing (and hoping) that this approach has lost Cineworld more than one customer since its 42,000 followers witnessed the feud with customer Alan Bishop.

But, what’s more frustrating about this story is that The Drum questioned whether brands should be engaging with Twitter trolls.

Let’s be clear – Alan is not a Twitter troll. He had an opinion which the company failed to recognise. Instead it was belittled and mocked in the public domain which won’t do Cineworld any favours. Perhaps the big bosses need to remind the social media managers that they’re being paid to have some manners.

Am I overreacting? Or should brands be sticking up for themselves like Cineworld? Let me know!

20130426-215746.jpg

Advertisements

Earned media gone bad

9 Jan

After reading an interesting blog this week by Deborah Bates from Red Rocket Media on The Wall about earned media I was grateful for the clear definition as to what it is. I was even more grateful that it fits in tightly to my job description. Earned media is just a new buzz word for PR – third party endorsements. For a moment I thought my client knew more about the industry than I did!

But, what this explanation of earned media doesn’t do is identify that it can go wrong (and often does) for brands – through negative comments.

No one has time to read the full list of online brand blunders to date, but I’ve had to blog about the stupidity of Odeon, American Apparel and Helen Flanagan just in the last few months. So how are we meant to prevent earned media gone bad?

1) Respond to all enquiries
This will help stop challenges before they get off the ground. Even if you can’t help, try and signpost the user to the right direction. You can’t fault someone for being polite can you?

2) Don’t delay
If you take too long to respond to an enquiry and it blows up into a social media storm, people will be pull you up on the time it takes you to respond. Too long and you’re perceived as not caring / understanding that there’s a problem.

At the beginning of campaigns, why not troubleshoot some potential issues with mock responses and solutions and file away just in case you need them?

3) See it from their POV
A customer has just had a negative experience. Have some empathy – we’ve all been there. Acknowledge the issue by giving them a shoulder to cry on, offer a solution and ask others to come forward that might be feeling the same. Brands often sort out issues one-on-one but they could earn brownie points by helping a few others at the same time.

4) Be consistent
A colleague at William Murray raised a brilliant point today: a key message posted online today might not be relevant or in line with your strategy tomorrow. Make sure you don’t stray too far from your company’s core values to demonstrate consistency to fans and followers. Any curve balls will be thrown back, hard.

5) Be honest
If you’re being measured against earned media be honest with your client. Great – you’ve secured 10 examples of positive comments. But, if you don’t flag the 100 neutral-negative ones, then the client will be saying something to you and it won’t be pretty.

It doesn’t mean a bad job has been done – it just reiterates that nobody has a grip on cyber space. Put the figures in perspective.

What are your views on earned media? How is it working for you and your clients?

20130109-205606.jpg

Odeon Facebook rant breaks box office ratings

30 Aug

It was a good weekend for Odeon Cinemas until Friday evening when Mark Pledger posted a comment on the cinema’s Facebook page about the poor customer service ,which instantly generated more than 170,000 ‘likes’ and over 15,000 comments.

I’m sure we call all remember a time waving goodbye to a £20 note after handing it to a cinema sales assistant for a ticket to a film, a drink and one or two individual pick and mix. We can also probably remember shedding a tear when we received no change. Or, remember the time you were insulted by having to pay for a pair of 3D glasses when the special effects in question were simply an after-thought. (Was that ship coming out of the screen or did I just have something in my eye?) We all acknowledge that cinema customer service is poor, but why now is the argument gathering pace?

  1. Although Odeon says it responded to Mark directly by email after the comment was posted, it didn’t publicly acknowledge the thousands of additional comments until at least a day later. The business allowed the storm to brew in its own tea-cup. Bank Holiday weekend aside, social media is 24/7 and someone has to be, at the very least, monitoring its sites out of hours. See my blog: Finding Time to Tweet for more. When questioned, Odeon simply said: “We responded to him directly via email for the experience.”

     

  2. Although Odeon privately, then publicly, responded to the comment, it has not made the effort to publicly manage the expectations of the thousands of additional comments that followed. Neither has it issued a blog / statement that empathises with its customers. I have not added my 10p worth into the mix (yet), but feel strongly about the issue. How do I know Odeon will continue to make their experience better for me? Odeon told me that it  simply “responded to every post that warrented a customer service response.”

     

  3. Lastly, the business made the (fatal) mistake of not holding its hands up and admitting that its service occasionally slips below par by saying ‘we’re sorry’. I firmly believe that if it had taken this approach, it would not be in as much hot water as it is now. I tweeted Odeon commenting on how poorly they phrased their response, but they ignored this and simply told me: “he [Mark] was responded to privately to address the service by the cinema manager, as this was a local issue.”

No that the furore has reached The Guardian, The Wall blog and endless other forum sites (just type in ‘Odeon Facebook rant’ on Google and you’ll see what I mean), there’s little doubt that this has become a national issue now. How long now before Odeon focuses on its messaging to communicate some, clearly needed, changes that it’s making. What’s more, it’s an opportunity for the likes of Cineworld and Vue to produce some well-timed marketing that says ‘look at us’, we’re giving our customers an improved experience, always. Cineworld is already trying this with plans to boost its snack offer by partnering with Starbucks.

Whatever happens, with a run in with the ASA over a 15% off promotion,the marketing team at Odeon will have to paddle a lot harder in future to keep its head above water.

Have you had a poor cinema experience recently?

Prime Time Blog

PR-IN-MY-EYES

belfastdad

parenting, music, food, photography, tech, fashion

Global Talents

Let's have a laugh about all the silly situations we find ourselves into on today's job market

Mashable

Prime Time: 'PR in my eyes'

A Cup of Lee

Digital Communications in Ireland

Bucket List Publications

Indulge- Travel, Adventure, & New Experiences

Juddz' shower of thoughts

My shower of thoughts will detail fresh ideas to intrigue and inspire

OMNIRAMBLES

sporadic blogging by @dfergpr

%d bloggers like this: