Posts about Dell

Giving Dell its props

I like what Dell’s Lionel Menchaca blogged in response to Robert Scoble’s argument that Apple gets a free ride in PR vs. Dell:

Media coverage isn’t the real issue–it’s really about our customers’ experience when they deal with Dell. No question that incidents of poor customer service resulted in bad PR for us. And it wasn’t just Jeff Jarvis. Could we have handled that situation better than we did? You bet. For us, there wasn’t an arbitrary tipping point–things were bad so we’ve tried to fix them and will continue to do so.

Dell hug

I wandered by Dell’s blog yesterday and saw a nice video with the team of customer support folks who are now reaching out to blogger/customers who need help. What’s so nice about it is that they take the time to read the blogs and get to know the customer’s needs there so they’re ahead of the game when they make contact. And then I was amused and amazed to hear one of them, John Blain, talk about contacting me. Click on the video:

An electronic dialogue with Dell

I just got off a most amusing press conference call with Dell announcing with much fanfare its new ethics policy for the blog world in association with WOMMA (see the two posts below).

I sensed that the reporters on the call found it as curious as I did that Dell thinks this is new and worthy of a big announcement. Isn’t it always a company’s policy, in any interaction — by blog, telephone, or letter — to be open and honest?

They try to argue that blogs are new and they need to teach employees how to be ethical in their interaction with them. Said the leader of WOMMA: “We’re making it easy to be ethical.”

I think my mother made that easy when she told me not to lie. And she didn’t belong to any Association of Ethical Moms.

In fact, I think it’s possibly dangerous to put up this elaborate construct of policies and guidelines and toolkits and announcements. The message to employees should be as simple as this:

Tell the truth.

Now I didn’t want to drag Dell through glass over my blog encounters with them and their ad agency. But on the call, I did ask — twice — what they have learned from their interaction with blogs, reminding them of what Dwight Silverman learned when they told him their policy toward blogs was “look, don’t touch.” I saw after the call that on the Dell blog, in a post that went up at that moment, Lionel Menchaca acknowledged that past: “Dell Hell happened just over year ago and while we’re pleased with some of the progress we’ve made so far, we know we’ve just scratched the surface.” Good on him.

On the call, though, the executives would not acknowledge that past or any lessons in any way. They kept insisting that this announcement was “not reactive but proactive” and that they were taking a “proactive leadership position.” (I hate that corporatespeak.) And that’s too bad, because a moment of honesty about Dell’s lessons might be more helpful to other companies than a hundred bullets on an ethics policy.

I also asked, by the way, about employees blogging and they said that employees could blog now and, in response to the question, they said that executives will blog, including Michael Dell. I look forward to linking to him.

A Dellalogue

Dell says it is making some announcement about blogging tomorrow with the Word of Mouth Marketing Association. But as Ed Moltzen discovers, it’s not blogging now. It’s “electronic dialogue.”

Wikipedia and brands

Steve Rubel takes a list of the top 100 advertisers and then sees where Wikipedia articles about them come up in Google search results. Not surprisingly — once you think about it — these open articles come up high, in many cases in the first page of Google results. That is to say that these advertisers, who spend billions on their brands, are subject to the open judgments of the public. Of course, they have always been subject to the views of their customers — what is a brand but that? — only the internet and Wikipedia allow them to come together and share those views without commercial filters.

Steve cautions companies to be aware of what these articles say but not to try to manipulate them. Amen.

Someone just told me about a company that was planning to write a Wikipedia article about its ad slogan. I won’t say which company in hopes that they listened to the friendly and firm advice I gave to the person who told me about this: It is evil and stupid.

Life is spam.

: By the way, I note that my tag page for Dell comes up 11th on the Google search, on the second page. I’m glad it’s the tag page, versus just one post, for it includes the more positive things I have said about Dell lately; it is a fuller and more balanced view. This is a benefit of tag pages ending up as permalinks for topics. More tag magic.