Tim Longhurst's Blog
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Henderson & Horning – a lesson in stakeholder relations

August 14th, 2008 · 3 Comments

A woman’s legs in a pair of fishnet stockings is being used to show how out of touch the management/marketing teams over at Henderson and Horning really are.

Well, the Henderson Horning team (a real estate company, apparently) no doubt think they’ve got their market just right, but if Wade and Gavin are anything to go by, they’re out of line with their stakeholders…

A stakeholder is anyone who can have an impact on your brand’s value.

…And I reckon Wade and Gavin are putting a bit of a dent in Henderson Horning’s brand value at the moment, at least as far as that company’s presence in Google is concerned.

You see, when Wade and then Gavin documented the sexist nature of Hendersen & Horning’s marketing, and the management’s indifference to Wade’s original concerns, Google started giving their greivences a high priority in searches for the company’s name. You can click here to see how Henderson and Horning are fairing on Google. So what would potential customers or employees see if they searched for this company?

Sorry, what was I thinking? I should show you the advertisement in question:

Yeah, that’s right, a pair of legs in fishnet stockings, just at eye level in a Sydney street. Lord only knows why the guy’s got his shirt open and what any of this has to do with ‘massive parking’, but it’s not a particularly thoughtful piece of marketing.

So why don’t I show you my proposed ‘street level’ solution that I suggested to Wade… Can you see it?…

…That’s right… I’ve turned the office number into a “Sexist Advertising Complaints Line”… I thought that was a cute idea that the public would respond to. I guess time will tell if anyone gets out there and blu-tacks a piece of paper to the window… I’m in China right now, so sorry guys, it won’t be me.

Well, there’s a free lesson on protecting your brand and realising the power of stakeholders in the social media environment.

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Category: Corporate craziness

Avaaz.org – dinners around the world to gauge the sentiments of members

December 13th, 2007 · 2 Comments

How does an organisation with 1.9 million members in over 240 countries stay connected with its grass roots? It’s a challenge for Avaaz.org, the one year old organisation that is modeled on online activist groups like moveon.org and getup.org.au.

One way Avaaz attempts to stay relevent and connected was revealed in an email from Ben Brandzel, which was addressed to the group’s Sydney members:

“G’day! My name is Ben Brandzel, a new senior member of the Avaaz staff. I’m just wrapping up an all-too-brief stay in your beautiful city.

Before I go, I’d love to have dinner with you, to talk about your experience with Avaaz, your thoughts about what we should work on next, and anything else that comes up.

Can you make it?

…Avaaz members are the heart and soul of our organization. But because there are so few of us staff and Avaaz members are all over the world, we rarely get to meet face to face.

So let’s use this opportunity to get to know each other, talk about how Avaaz can be the best it can be, and have fun while saving the world!”

The offer was limited to the first 8 people that replied – of which I was one. The dinner was a great opportunity to see just how diverse Avaaz’s member base is. Although 8 is a small sample, and focus groups have their limitations in terms of research, Ben did an excellent job facilitating a wide-ranging conversation that got to the heart of the concerns, passions and imaginations of those in attendance.

It’s a great model and if other organisations are doing it, I’ve never been invited! It’s definately more appealing than an invite to a focus group – more enjoyable and almost certainly yields better results given the relaxed and informal nature of the gathering.

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Category: Communication and connection