Getting it wrong – and welcome Donna!

Donna, the Kryptonite PR person is now blogging. You may remember Donna from her willingness to discuss the Kryptonite debacle here, here, here, here. Even after all of that, Donna and I still email regularly! I’m looking forward to seeing what she blogs about. Stop by and welcome Donna to the blogosphere.

And speaking of Kryptonite…

Daniel Lyons of Forbes has written an article called “Attack of the Blogs“. Here’s the first bit of the article intro:

Web logs are the prized platform of an online lynch mob spouting liberty but spewing lies, libel and invective. Their potent allies in this pursuit include Google and Yahoo.

The article tries, and fails (miserably) to make a very valid point – bloggers often get it wrong, and as a marketer or PR person, it’s hard to know what to do or how to handle it.

By all common measures, Kryptonite actually did a pretty good job, as I understand it, covering the problems with the Kryptonite locks. They implemented an insanely expensive recall program, very few questions asked. Their competition (companies like MasterLock) didn’t do anything similar. Apparently, all tubular locks had the same problem, and had bloggers chosen to test a MasterLock, it would have been MasterLock on the hot seat rather than Kryptonite.

Lyons is writing about a very important question – and does a horrible job with the article overall. And as a community person, his article is just the kind of local nightly news fear mongering (“Tonight at 11p, find out if your drywall can kill you while you sleep!”) that none of need to see. If anyone in business was pushing back on opening up the kimono to consumers, now they sizable ammunition to stick to their old school ways of thinking.

Working with consumers directly is absolutely scary. The consumer empowerment absolutely is scary. The spread and flow of information today absolutely is scary. But so what? That’s what’s happening, and we in the marketing industry have to get on board of be left behind. Things are changing, the longer we stay mired in our old school thinking, the worse off we’re going to be.

Lyons did a podcast interview after the article release and had great things to say. Clearly he had researched this matter and had it well thought out. Unfortunately, somewhere along the way the fearmongering set it – likely in a belief that it would help sell copies of the magazine.

And now Forbes is feeling the wrath of the blogosphere. Very ironic.