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Archive for August 30th, 2009

Emerging media consultant Danny Brown.

This is a guest post by Danny Brown. Danny is a business branding and emerging media strategist. His blog is featured in the AdAge Power 150 list and is syndicated across the WebProNews, Newstex and Social Media Today business networks. Danny is also the founder of the 12for12k Challenge, a social media-led charity initiative. Say hello to Danny on Twitter.

Frank Eliason is a good guy. As the Senior Director of National Customer Service Operations for Comcast, Frank’s been key to turning Comcast into one of the poster children for businesses using social media. Frank’s Twitter account, @comcastcares, is often used as a case study in how businesses can have a human voice and connect with their customers.

Frank’s built a team of like-minded Comcast Carers around him, and they all use Twitter to serve the needs of Comcast’s customers by answering queries, directing complaints, helping with sales and marketing, and more. As a result, mention Comcast now to pretty much anyone in social media and it’s more than likely a positive return that you’ll get.

So why does Comcast want to undo all this great work on the service side by letting the advertising arm come across as anything but caring and friendly?

A post over at the Big Kahuna blog shows two different videos, yet neither paint Comcast in a particularly great light. The first is an actual advert from Comcast, while the second is a home movie that a Comcast customer made during a repair visit. If you watch the videos and are aware of Frank Eliason, you’d wonder if this was the same company we’re talking about.

While Frank and his team do everything right on Twitter, with Frank also running a pretty good blog that also does a lot of things right, the team behind this anti-Fios advert are doing just the opposite. Baiting your competitors is never a good business move – all it does is make you look petty and unprofessional. And if there’s one thing to sink a business ship, it’s being viewed as petty and unprofessional.

Instead of ripping their competitors here, why not say the same message without the names? Why not show how Comcast installs their service? Or the before and after of a Comcast cable installation? And if you still want to rip on competitors, finish the ad with a voice-over that says, “Because Comcast cares. Unlike some other people we could mention…”.

The web makes it incredibly easy to leave a digital footprint. It also makes it very easy to see how the person with that digital footprint is walking. At the minute, Comcast seem to be walking with two different shoes on the same walker. The question is, will they eventually align or simply cancel each other out?

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