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Newsletter #903: The “Respond Quickly” Issue

[Welcome back to the Damn, I Wish I’d Thought of That! newsletter. This is text of the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using the handy form on the right.]

When an issue comes up, the faster you respond, the better the results. It works just as well for marketing as it does for customer service. Here are a few examples to inspire you:

1. To help kids and parents
2. To reinforce your brand position
3. To fix potholes
4. Check it out:

1. To help kids and parents

When the Chicago Teachers Union went on strike, it meant a lot of parents were scrambling to figure out where to send their kids while they went to work. Realizing this, local publisher Time Out Chicago offered to help. They offered “strike internships” where high-school kids could come and learn about magazine publishing. They would also get an opportunity to write for the magazine. Not only was it generous, but it also earned them a lot of love from the local community.

The lesson: When an issue comes up in your community, how can you help? You don’t have to get political or take sides — you can just help, like Time Out did here.

Learn more: Facebook

2. To reinforce your brand position

Of all the policies in the world, Las Vegas might have the most famous one. What happens there, stays there. Or, at least it’s supposed to. But when racy photos of Prince Harry in a Vegas hotel leaked online, he learned the hard way that not everyone follows the rules. But the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority had a fantastic response. They took out a full-page ad in USA TODAY with the headline “For Shame!” and wrote, “To those who traded in their pledge to their Las Vegas brethren, we deplore you.” It was a great and quick response that reinforced their famous slogan, and it got plenty of laughs and friendly press along the way too.

The lesson: Trends, gossip, and pop news come and go quickly. Are you paying attention and looking for the opportunities in them?

Learn more: Brand Flakes for Breakfast

3. To fix potholes

When it comes to quick responses, taking action is only half of it. You also need to communicate that work to the outside world. Did you know the NYC DOT fixed 239,399 potholes last year? Did you know they have an entire website dedicated to these facts and regularly update it? They’re also on Twitter and Facebook — and they’re constantly communicating the massive amounts of quick work they’re doing to fix problems with the city’s streets. They’re doing the same work as always, they’re just doing a better job of showing it to the world.

The lesson: If you don’t let the world know about your quick support and response, how will they find out about it?

Learn more: The Daily Pothole

4. Check it out: is a fairly in-depth, bipartisan election quiz you can take to determine who you should consider voting for in the upcoming election. But perhaps more interesting than the quiz itself is comparing the results they’ve compiled of quiz takers based on the referring sites they came from like Reddit, NPR, Forbes, and Twitter.

Check it out:

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