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Barnes and Noble: Get into the community

CIMG1585 Imagine if every company had someone in every town whose only job is to make customers happy.

That’s what Barnes and Noble does with their very cool “Community Relations Managers.” 

Most stores have one.  Their job: Host local events, handle special requests, and basically do anything that helps bring books into the community.  I love them because they will come to my speeches and set up a bookstore for me.  They’ll help you to with pretty much anything within reason.  Want to have your book group meet at a store?  Trying to get an author to come to town?

From the business side, this is genius.  Amazon will never be able to put real people in local markets.  B&N earns priceless word of mouth by creating true employee evangelists as a staff position.

I want to personally thank these Community Relations Managers who’ve been really great to me:

  • Katey Schwartz, Chicago (My home store, where I wrote the book)
  • John Hill, Dallas
  • Erin Vargo, Seattle
  • Kelley Waters & Patricia Michael, San Jose
  • Kathy Kaysen, Minneapolis
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