Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Adaptability- Cowboy Rick's Lessons in Career Mobility

     What happens when an immovable object meets an irresistible force? You might end up with Cowboy Rick. You can find Cowboy Rick every night towering above the boardwalk at Ocean City, Maryland. He's not especially tall. Cowboy Rick  stands above the crowd because he's perched on a milk crate.  It's part of his job as a street performer. Rick dresses up as a rhinestone cowboy- painting his face, hands and feet silver.  He pretends to be a statue -- standing shock-still for hours at a time.
     It's amazing to see how many people are transfixed by Rick's act. People crowd around and gawk -- watching Rick as he does absolutely -- nothing. Some pose for photos. Small children react with shock and awe. Most people toss a spare dollar into Rick's tip jar.  No question, Rick has mastered a unique talent. But what caught my attention is how Rick has literally made a career out of adopting to change.


video


     Mrs. SteveBauerMedia and I met Rick during a recent trip to the beach. We got to talking during one of his breaks. (Hard to believe you need a break from not moving at all.)  For a guy who doesn't move very much, Rick gets around. Turns out he's a musician from Ohio. Years ago, Rick pushed, pulled and tugged his 300 pound piano up onto the boardwalk every night. He had one of the best spots in town but got tired of inhaling fumes from the guy who uses aerosol spray paint to create instant works of art.


     So for a couple of years Rick paraded the boardwalk dressed up like SpongeBob Square Pants. It wasn't long before Rick got a bad case of SBB-SpongeBob Burnout. So Rick moved on and started acting like a statue. Rick says the money is pretty good -- it pays for his globe-trotting. Rick likes to travel.


     And that led to his next career change. Have you heard that Americans are going overseas to save money on medical procedures? Rick says he met a skilled surgeon in India who performs hernia operations at a deep discount. And Rick is planning to move to India and act as a guide for out-of-towners who come for treatment working as sort of a hospital concierge.


     You may think Rick is a screwball. And I'll admit this musician definitely marches to the beat of a different drummer.  But he's not afraid to try something new. Let's face it -- some people find change a terrifying prospect. They can't get over what I call the "what ifs". What if this happens? What if that goes wrong? Whether it's a new job, a new relationship or a new community -- change can bring fear of the unknown. But it can also bring exciting opportunities.


     No, I don't think many of us should try to be like Cowboy Rick. Who can stand still that long? I just want you to think about making changes in your life. Invent a new job. Learn to use social media. Be creative. Get out that project that never got done. Write a screenplay. Learn photography. Or you could visit Ocean City and watch Cowboy Rick round up a crowd. Rick makes a living by not moving a muscle -- but he's not afraid to move on and try whatever's next. Life is short.



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Copyright 2011
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Photos courtesy: Trina Bauer Photography

Friday, July 15, 2011

Reputation Management - Act Like You're in the Big Leagues

      Pro baseball's Derek Jeter recently blasted his 3,000th hit. It's a noteworthy accomplishment since only 28 other players have done it. Jeter becomes the first New York Yankee to hit 3,000. And that's saying something when your predecessors include Mickey Mantle and Babe Ruth.

      What jumps out at me isn't just Jeter's mastery of the fast ball- it's his peerless performance off the field. Mantle and the Babe were famous for their baseball exploits but those two also earned reputations as hard drinking wild men.

     The Yankee shortstop's accomplishments are impressive. He owns five World Series rings, five Gold Gloves and is a 12 time All-Star. He earns more than $20 million a year. He's dating models and movie stars. He's got it all. You could hate him for it. But even diehard Yankee bashers admit it's hard not to like Jeter.

     A poll by PRnewswire ranks Jeter as America's most popular sports figure. It's easy to think, "So what?", but it's also easy to lose track of all our fallen sports heros. See if you can link the name with the alleged scandal:


Athlete                          Scandal
1) Roger Clemens            a) Murder Charges*
2) Kobe Bryant                b) Mr. Clean
3) Tiger Woods                c) Steroids**
4) OJ Simpson                  d) Rape Charges***
5) Derek Jerek                  e) Serial Infidelity


Answers: 1-c, 2-d, 3-e, 4-a, 5-b 
* Simpson was accused of murdering his wife but was acquitted. 
**Clemens is accused of lying to congressional investigators about steroid use.
*** Bryant was accused of raping a hotel worker but the charges were later dropped. Bryant admitted to adultery and reached a settlement in civil court.

     Jeter has maintained his reputation as Mr. Clean for years. Sure, his polished image is carefully cultivated. And it's paid off big. He's one of the most marketable sports names around and that translates into endorsements for Gatorade, Nike, Visa and many more.

     Jeter is careful to say the right things but more importantly he does the right things. Jeter established a foundation to steer kids away from drugs. Above all- Jeter appears to be humble and truly grateful for his good fortune.

     Want to be successful like Derek?

Don't trash talk. Take the high road. You'll look better.

Lead by example. Nobody out hustles Jeter. Bring your 'A' game.


Support your teammates. Everybody wants to be on a winning team. Be a team player so co-workers will want to help you succeed.

Avoid Scandal. Don't be the office gossip. Carry yourself with dignity. Don't do things you wouldn't want to see in the newspaper.

Don't talk down your competition. If they're so bad then why are you playing against them? And you look even worse if you lose.

     I can hear you thinking, "If I had Jeter's talent I'd make sure I had a great rep.- who wouldn't?" Ask Tiger Woods. Sure, Jeter is blessed with an embarassment of athletic riches. But I'm willing to bet he'd be successful in any profession. Here's a Jeter quote from the Baseball Almanac: 

"I want to be remembered as someone who had a lot of respect for the game, his teammates and opponents, and I want to be remembered as a winner. But most importantly I want to be remembered as a Yankee." - Derek Jeter

     How do you want to be remembered? As one of Jeter's sponsors might say, "Just Do It."


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Saturday, July 9, 2011

VERIZON Customer Service Update #VerizonFail #EpicFail

    My Verizon odyssey gets more interesting by the day. As you may recall from an earlier post, my Verizon internet service has been about as reliable as Charlie Sheen’s psychologist.  In other words- not very reliable. To briefly recap: for the past six weeks my Verizon DSL has run on one of three speeds- slow, intermittent & not at all. In fact, I’ve been going days at a time with no e-mail, no web browsing, no Twitter, Facebook- no nuthin! I’ve gotten a lot of comments on my previous blog which was intended to highlight the perils of poor customer service.. 

LF writes:  “In this economy smart businesses are doing everything they can to keep their customers. Unlike Verizon…Apparently they either didn't get the "be nice to customers" memo or they think they are too big to care.”

TP writes: “While very nice and friendly, I have found that their customer service isn't always the best in the long run.”

  Here’s one from BB: “Verizon has been a disaster for eons. I've been their customer since 1994 and still cannot get Internet service on my phone (don't ask!)… As far as I can tell, they do everything they can to make things as difficult as possible for the customer.”

      Good to know that I’m not alone.  Needless to say, I was  pleasantly surprised when @VerizonSupport contacted me after seeing my story posted on Twitter. Score one for the Twitterverse.



http://a0.twimg.com/profile_images/624807529/73x73_vzw_twitter_verizon_normal.gif
@SteveBauerMedia We saw your blog and we'd like to help. Please follow us @VerizonSupport so we may DM. Thank you. ^adh

      I was asked to fill out a form outlining my beef. The result?  Nothing. A week passed without comment. To be fair, my internet service was working (for the most part) during that time. But two days ago my connection to the outside world went AWOL again. Yesterday, I sent a Tweet to @VerizonSupport to ask the whereabouts of my promised help. I actually got a phone call from a sympathetic man apologized for not following up. He said he’d send a technician to my house.
    Today,  the technician did not show up at the appointed hour. But he did call to explain there was nothing he could do. He told me there is a pervasive problem affecting thousands of Verizon customers near my home. It appears the problem involves computer equipment located far from this area. I got the distinct impression that Verizon is trying to fix the problem on the cheap- instead of investing the resources to do the job right. The technician gave me the name and phone number for his supervisor. I called and left a message for her. Barbie- I’m still waiting for the call  back

     Next up I called the PUC- the Pennsylvania Utilities Commission. They can’t help me. That led me to the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office. I filed a report there and Verizon has 21-days to respond. Since I’m feeling pretty annoyed with Verizon I also called the FTC. That’s right, I'm making a federal case out of this! A gentleman at the FTC took a report. Sadly, the FTC will not intervene on behalf of us consumers. But my case is now in the files. Next stop- the FCC. They took my report and say Verizon is required to respond to my complaint within 45-days. Why stop there? Hello Better Business Bureau! I filed a report with the BBB and I’m waiting to hear back. I sure hope they call. There’s no telling how long I may have to wait for an e-mail. So that’s the latest on Verizon’s Customer Service. Remember, if you wish to address your concern in English, press one, en Espanol…

     Editor's note: I wrote this blog on Friday, July 8, 2011. I wasn't able to post until Saturday morning because of continuing internet service failures. Since this was written I have spoken several times with people at @VerizonSupport who assure me that equipment upgrades are in the works. I should note that the people there have been unfailingly polite. While I now have (at least for now) internet service- it continues to be extremely slow.


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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wanted Dead or Alive - Candor & Humor in Public Relations



Distant cousins of the Bronx Zoo Cobra


Rockefeller Plaza is - wait. OMG, Tina Fey just walked by me. Huge fan.
Enjoying a cupcake at Magnolia Bakery. This is going straight to my hips. Oh wait, I don't have hips. Yesssss.
Holding very still at the snake exhibit at the Museum of Natural History. This is going to be hilarious.



State Jury Commission finally tracked him down but Wylie won't be going to jail.

     According to the Eagle-Tribune newspaper in North Andover, MA, Deputy Jury Commissioner John Cavanaugh says it's unlikely the state will proceed with a criminal complaint against Mr. Wylie. I'd say it's pretty unlikely considering that he's been dead for five years.

     Wylie didn't respond for jury duty in 2006 because he was in a hospice with terminal cancer. He died a few months later. Family members say they told  authorities about the death. But those officials claim the family never sent a death certificate. For the past five years the Jury Commission has been sending nasty letters threatening legal action. So here we have the Deputy Jury Commissioner saying it's unlikely the state will press charges.

     Certainly there's nothing funny about Mr. Wylie's death. But the Jury Commission's cold response makes it sound like the agency is run by a bunch of uncaring bureaucrats. Wouldn't those officials look better if they simply said, "Obviously we take jury duty seriously... maybe a little too seriously. We could have handled this better."

     Humor is great but obviously it's not great all the time. Recently, New York State Congressman Anthony Weiner resigned in disgrace after tweeting pictures that were "below the belt". When confronted with the allegations Weiner told reporters he couldn't say with "certitude" that he wasn't the guy in the photos. Certitude? You have to admit that's pretty funny. But a congressman caught up in a sexting scandal isn't something you can laugh off- unless you're Leno or Letterman.

     What really cooked Weiner's goose was lying about what happened. What he should have done was fess up and admit he'd messed up. Would Weiner have resigned anyway? Almost certainly. But maybe he wouldn't be the butt of so many tasteless jokes. And he could have spared his family some embarrassment.

     So get out there and use humor when appropriate. Be pleasant. Be candid. Admit your mistakes. Most people will want to believe you're being straightforward. And for Pete's sake, if your last name is "Weiner"- keep your pants on!


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Friday, June 24, 2011

Press One if You Want to Speak With One of Our &*%#&$ Representatives- Why Poor Customer Service is a PR #Fail

     It isn’t very easy to blog when your internet service provider isn’t very reliable.  And that’s apparently the case here at the palatial corporate headquarters of SteveBauerMedia. For some reason, our Verizon DSL has been down more than it’s been up for the past few weeks. We’ve made lots of calls to customer service- always getting the same response- “We’re working on it.” I’m not talking about 20 minute outages here. Our internet connection (and our e-mail) has been broken for days at a time. As you might have guessed- it’s down again as I write this. Trina (Mrs. SteveBauerMedia) is not given to cussing but it sure sounds like she's been shopping at the four-letter-word store.





     That’s why I got on the phone.

11:01 EDT- I get past a series of automated phone prompts by jamming my index finger into my phone’s “Operator” button while shouting, “Person!”, “Representative!”, “HELP!  For the love of God, I just want to talk to a living human being”… The computer promptly places me on hold so I can listen to soothing Musak for 10 minutes. Then I speak with Leila who informs me there is an outage of some kind. She isn’t sure when it might be fixed so I ask to speak with a supervisor. More Musak.

11:16 EDT- Mayank is very kind and explains that engineers are working on the problem. He gives me a private phone number so I can call him for updates. I patiently explain that I need internet service that actually works. The past few weeks have been filled with a hair-pulling series of service interruptions, intermittent service, painfully slow service and the all-to-often dreaded NO service. Mayunk promises to get back to me within 24 hours. Twenty four hours? That’s when I ask to speak with his supervisor. More Musak.

11:19 EDT-I’m transferred to Manog. Manog explains, once again, that Verizon technicians are on the case. Manog promises to call me in a couple of hours with an update. I tell him I sure appreciate that. But what I really want is someone who can tell me why the system keeps breaking- what’s being done to fix it- and most importantly- I want somebody to tell me that the problem is solved permanently. The casual observer might think Verizon’s equipment must be falling apart- and the company doesn’t want to spend big bucks to fix whatever’s busted. Why else would the system fail every couple of days? I also ask Manog where his office is located. Turns out he’s someplace in India. “Manog, isn’t there somebody in Central Pennsylvania I can talk to?”

11:22 EDT- Back on hold. More Infernal Musak!

11:35 EDT- Zach picks up the phone. Just out of curiosity I ask Zach where he’s located- in the Detroit area.  He sounds very, very far away. “Zach”, I say, “I can barely hear you.” Zach responds, “That’s probably because your call from Pennsylvania to India has been bounced over to Michigan.” Zach repeats the Verizon mantra- “Our people are working on it… We don’t know how long it will take… It’s a chronic problem… No, we don’t know what’s causing it.”  Zach offers to leave an “open ticket” on my issue and will call me when he knows more. Zach refers me to my local business office so I can try to get action.

11:46 EDT- I call Verizon’s Business & Sales Office and get Ms. Peterson on the line. Have you noticed that Verizon doesn’t seem to be very big on full names? Turns out this office is not really local. It’s somewhere in Central New Jersey. Verizon also doesn’t seem to give out very specific locations. I think they’re worried us villagers will grab our pitchforks and launch an attack- if only we knew where they’re hiding! Ms. Peterson has apparently had enough of customer complaints. She asks, “Do you think we do this to you on purpose?” I reply, “Well, no, I’m sure you don’t. But poor service is a problem.” Ms. Peterson puts me on hold.

11:53 EDT- On hold

12:01 EDT- On hold. At least the Musak is different. Still terrible. But different.

12:07 EDT Still waiting.

12:12 EDT- “Okay, Quit your complaining!” That’s what Ms. Peterson yells into the phone as our conversation resumes. I’m pretty sure she’s kidding. At least I hope she is. Ms. Peterson says she’s filed a formal complaint for me. She apologizes for taking so long. She had trouble finding someone willing to take the complaint. I ask, “How long will it take to get a response?” Ms. Peterson says, “Two to three weeks.” “But my internet service is down right now!” Ms. Peterson says, “I’ll transfer you to repair.” Before I can say a word, Denise comes on the line. Denise is in Pittsburgh. She says, and I am not making this up:

“What’s wrong with your phone”
“Nothing. My internet is down.”
“This is telephone repair. I can’t help you.”

     I explain to Denise what’s happened. Denise is very nice and gives me a phone number that’s a direct line to Verizon DSL.

12:14 EDT- Bathroom break. Hey, I’ve been on the phone for over an hour.

12:17 EDT- Calling Verizon DSL. More automated phone prompts. Back on Hold. Please. No MORE Musak. I’ll talk. I’ll talk!!

12:19 EDT- Sharoili answers my call. Yup, I’m back in India. Sharoili is incredibly kind. She explains that my internet service is down and that Verizon engineers are working on it. She says it must be very frustrating for me. And Sharoili says she’ll put her supervisor on the line. I decline, say thank you and end the call. Verizon, you win.

Prologue:

     How many times has this happened to you? It’s not just Verizon. A lot of companies treat their customers like this. But these days, reports of bad customer service travels fast- thanks to social media. Speaking of social media- #VerizonFail

      I think Verizon (and any other company) would be better served by setting up a customer service hotline staffed by people who have the authority to take action. Somebody, somewhere along the line should have said to me: 1) Here’s what’s going on. 2) Here’s what we’re doing to fix it. 3) Here’s what we’re doing to make it right- because we value our customers. I’d suggest a partial refund as a starting point. How about a free month’s service or some kind of upgrade? I tell you, my patience is running thin.

Bottom Line: 

     Years ago I was a journalist in New York City. The NYPD has a special Public Information office known as DCPI to handle calls from reporters. If I called DCPI I spoke with an experienced officer who would give me straight answers. If that officer didn’t have the necessary information he or she was empowered to find out. They returned calls immediately, paid attention to deadlines and got facts ASAP. I had a great relationship with the NYPD. Years later, I worked in Philadelphia. In the City of Brotherly Love the police did not have a special office for Public Information. Typically, I’d have to call a precinct- only to be told the officer in charge of a particular investigation was out- and wouldn’t be back for several days. No one else could (or would) help me. The Philadelphia police often came to us- hoping we’d do stories on tough cases- asking for the public’s help. Which police department do you think I was more willing to assist? Enough on my soapbox. It’s now been 24 hours and none of those Verizon supervisors have called as promised. Anyway, the phone’s ringing. It might be the guys from Comcast returning my call…


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Friday, June 17, 2011

Why I Nearly Fell on my Backside- And How One Company's Positive PR Response Restored my Sense of Balance

     My local school board made headlines this week for hiring a new school superintendent. The new guy is  getting $15,000 a-year more than the last guy- with a base salary of $169,000. Immediately after the hiring the school board decided to lay off or demote 20 school employees because of a budget crisis. One board member called the timing "unfortunate". And I couldn't agree more. I think it's unfortunate that my school board was caught napping in PR class.

     Which leads me to a completely unrelated thought. Occasionally, the staff here at SteveBauerMedia enjoys a good home improvement project- who doesn't? Take my recent bathroom renovation. Admittedly, the new tile floor is not exactly what you would call "level". But I did win a grudge match against the sink- thanks to a nine-pound sledge hammer.

     Here comes the segue... It occurs to me that you don't need a sledge hammer to pound out a decent PR policy. (My school board should wake up and pay attention here.) Not that long ago, the customer was always right. Ahhh, the good old days. These days a lot of people think PR departments exist just to put positive spin on corporate misdeeds. Sadly, that sometimes appears to be the case.

     But not always. Which is my segue back to home improvement. About six weeks ago I decided to repaint the back porch- which was a disaster. I decided to do it right, stripping the paint right down to the bare wood. I started with a primer coat before painting with Behr's Porch & Floor Paint. Remember the name. The paint didn't cover particularly well so I had to use two coats. A few days later I stepped out on the deck and nearly fell on my backside.  It had rained overnight and there was some moisture on the deck. It wasn't just a little slippery. It felt as if I'd hit black ice!

     I called Behr's customer service line to complain. The rep told me there's a warning on the can- telling customers to buy an additive to prevent slippery conditions. Remember the name of the paint? Porch & Floor Paint. Maybe I'm wrong here, but I would presume that porch & floor paint is specially formulated for people to walk on. Who would make floor paint that's slippery?

     I asked to speak with a supervisor. That person told me they hadn't had any problems or complaints. But if the paint isn't slippery why is there a warning on the can? Long story short: the supervisor told me that Behr stands behind its product. He promised to make things right. In fact, he offered to refund the money I spent on paint and pay to have my deck repainted. A few days later a package arrived in the mail with the paperwork I needed to get reimbursed.

     As it turns out, it appears there was some residue left over from the paint that made the surface slick- and since I washed down the deck I haven't experienced any slipping or sliding. I'm still not sure this is the greatest paint in the world- but I'm convinced that Behr's response is something to talk about.

     A lot of companies miss the boat here. Repeating the SteveBauerMedia mantra- "Sometimes you have to do the right thing." Behr knows its reputation is valuable and it's clear to me that Behr's has a corporate policy that takes customer satisfaction seriously. I was not a happy camper when I called. But Behr not only took my complaint seriously- the company promised action. What happens when someone calls your customer service department?

Me: "The hair dryer exploded and the cat is now bald."
McAcme Hair Dryer Customer Service: "That's not possible. Our hair dryers are handmade by Tunisian-speaking electricians."
Me: "I'm looking at a naked cat!"
McAcme Hair Dryer Customer Service: "You probably have faulty wiring in your home."

      Sometimes, when I've had problems with a product some customer service rep will say, "I'm sorry you feel that way". That particular line always makes me "feel" like I should get out my sledge hammer. Did I mention that my school board wants to raise my taxes? Talk about faulty wiring...

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Power of #SM - Using the Dark Side for Goodliness!

    A friend just sent me a video clip along with this tease: You will NEVER guess what this ad is about. That's a pretty good tease. And if you haven't seen this commercial I'll bet you Sara Palin's gun collection that you will not come close to guessing what company is linked to this ad. Take a look!   
  
     Details about the ad are a bit sketchy. According to information on the internet this devilishly clever commercial aired in Germany- possibly some time ago. I got curious and googled "dirt devil exorcist commercial". The first hit is a link to the Dirt Devil web site. So right there, the vacuum maker is getting bonus points from this video. And there are links to the ad on YouTube, Viad-TV,  Ad Week, Vimeo.com so forth and so on. The ad has gone semi-viral with more than 668,000 hits on YouTube. (I think you need at least 1 million hits to lay claim to "Going Viral".)

     A lot of corporations are working on ridiculously clever videos- in hopes of creating an avalanche of attention via the internet and social media. Remember Jennifer Aniston's sex tape? For the record, I just googled "Jennifer Aniston" and her sex tape for the smartwater company is the 9th hit. The smartwater video now has 9,429,408 hits. That is incredible exposure for smartwater. And that kind of free exposure is what everybody wants.

     But that may NOT be the case over at the Dirt Devil company. I can't find the vacuum-maker on Facebook- although there is a page called the "Dirt Devils, Fans of Dirt Devil Vacuum Cleaners". That page has two fans. However, there is a "Dirt Devil Vacuum" page on YouTube. But there are only seven bland commercials posted there- no sign of the exorcist commercial. The YouTube page lists 39 followers- and no activity for the past year. I fired off an e-mail to Dirt Devil's media relations department which was never answered. So I called- and got voice mail. Then I called corporate headquarters and hit voice mail again.

     So here's the take away: I sat down to write a piece about the geniuses at Dirt Devil. But it looks like Dirt Devil isn't "picking up" the importance of social media. If that video is just a parody- which it may well be- Dirt Devil should buy it and put it on the air-along with links to Facebook, Twitter & YouTube. 

     Maybe I should end this post by saying I got the dirt on a big vacuum company? Sorry, the Devil made me do it...

Update: I first wrote to Dirt Devil's Media Relations department on June 1st. On June 17th I received the following reply- and it clears up some questions.

"Hello,

We appreciate your interest in Dirt Devil. The "exorcist" advertisement was created by a student in Germany independent of Dirt Devil.  We have no plans to endorse this advertisement or use it to promote products in the United States. If you have any further questions or concerns you can contact our Marketing Team... Thank you."


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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Flash Mobs and Other Corporate Rituals

     Question: What do you get when you mix break dancers, drummers, a Broadway show tune and a bewildered crowd?  

     Answer: You get a snazzy taste of the big apple and some instant street cred for a major financial corporation. Check out this YouTube video:



     As you probably noticed, the sponsor is Wells Fargo. The company has its own YouTube channel. The video you just saw is less than two months old and it's already been viewed1,455,019 times. I'm not sure that counts as going viral. But nearly one and a-half million people have seen it. And when they see it they see "Wells Fargo". It's a nice trick when you get that many people to your site where they see the invitation below:

____________________
Welcome to the Wells Fargo YouTube channel  
Here, you can learn a bit about our history, browse recent TV commercials, watch informative product videos or view highlights from our recent events.


Also, be sure to check out our blogs, covering everything from student loans to environmental sustainability:
http://blog.wellsfargo.com


Or ask us your questions by following us on Twitter:
http://www.twitter.com/wellsfargo
____________________

     There are lots of other videos from Wells Fargo on YouTube. And a lot of them are in Spanish. That's a blog for another day. The main point is that people who watch the videos are engaged. Here are a couple of random comments.

"Hundreds wondered where their trashcans went...."

"That was terrific and enjoyed every minute of it. Those young people were outstanding and congratulate you on this video."

"Who cares who paid for it, it's pretty cool to see a group get together and put on a free show in the middle of the street like that.
Looked like everyone there watching enjoyed it, and isn't that what it's all about?"

     Oh sure, there are negative comments too. Some people don't like Wells Fargo. Or they don't think this performance qualifies as a true "Flash Mob". But so what? As I said, the video is engaging people and they're generally associating Wells Fargo with a fun, feel-good event.

     I know a lot of PR professionals don't believe in social media. There is confusing and conflicting data on how effective social media is as a communications tool. I'm not certain how good it is or might become. But even if SM is just a fad it can still be good great exposure for your company and/or clients. And what if it's not a fad? What if this really IS the big communication/marketing platform for the next 10-20 years? Companies that miss the boat may have that sinking feeling for a long time to come.
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