Always more to the story

I’ve blogged a great deal about the Kryptonite story here on ths blog. I’ve even interviewed their PR person via email and have had an ongoing dialogue with her since.

We’ve talked about a number of things related to the Kryptonite blogging story, but mainly our conversations have focused on "the rest of the story". You see, as the saying goes, every story has three sides: your side, my side, and reality.

Over on the Robert Scoble/Shel Israel Naked Conversations blog, there’s an ongoing discussion about the inclusion of the Kryptonite story in Chapter 10 of their upcoming book on blogging. Apparently, the only research that Israel and Scoble did was the internet version of the story.

Much to her credit, Kryptonite PR person Donna Tocci has been actively engaging the authors, and has even posted a comment on this blog entry. Good for her. Interestingly there’s much more to her side of the story they Kryptonite has ever gotten credit for, especially from me.

I think you all agree that Kryptonite could have posted information to its website earlier. However, saying that we didn’t post information at all, isn’t accurate. As I stated earlier, we had information on the site from day 3 or 4 of learning of the concern, day 5 we had an outline of a plan posted on the website with information stating that the full plan would be on the site three business days from then (day 8). To help people find that information we had a big red button marked “URGENT” and verbiage about tubular cylinders, which I don’t have in front of me right now, which was located on our ‘welcome’ page so anyone entering the site would know immediately where to go. On business day 8 (or 10 total), not only did we have the full plan posted, but also an update on the situation and FAQs as well as the registration form.

Much like the kids game "Telephone", this story has gotten incredibly distorted over time, and as you can see from the comments, many people are simply not interested in learning the truth or even more facts about it. They’re concern, or perhaps interest, is to continue using Kryptonite as a punching bag.  Never mind the fact that they’ve happily replaced more than 350,000 locks at this point, no matter how old. Never mind the fact that Master Lock and other Kryptonite competitors have had less than marginal responses to this industry-wide problem. Never mind that Kryptonite shipped replacement locks to consumers before dealers. Never mind any of that because, damn it, we have our target and we’re sticking to it!

Now, don’t get me wrong. I stand by my original assessments that Tocci and Kryptonite didn’t clearly understand the blogosphere and to this day are still struggling to learn how to properly interact with this highly emotional group that’s nearly impossible to please. Tocci’s original reply to my interview questions were stuffy and old school PR-speak. But her recent comments in the Naked Conversation thread clearly show she’s learning and getting comfortable.

Personally, if I was in her position, I would have hired an expert like me 6 months ago (man do I sound egotistical!) to help guide and train them through this PR nightmare.

But to me, this case is as much about understanding the emotions of the blogosphere membership, as it is giving the "right" answers. You are simply never going to please the blogosphere, but you can navigate their waters without hitting a floating mine.