RonAmok!

The adventures of an analog engineer and digital storyteller who studies emerging networks and their impact on the great game of business.

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On December 9, 2008 at 6:10 p.m (EDT), Jim Oakes, administrator for a fan site called The Ranger Station posted to the group’s message boards saying that TRS is being attacked by the Ford Motor Company. Within two minutes the first response came in. Over the course of the day, 916 more posts flooded that thread, with all sorts of angry responses to the big bad Ford Motor Company who was obviously picking on a loyal 10-year old fan site. 22 hours and 26 minutes later, Jim Oakes posted Our (my) Agreement With Ford (remedy) to announce the resolution.

Frequently when an event like this happens, we acknowledge how well it was handled, perhaps write a blog post or record a podcast about it, and then collectively move on to the next example. This case contains too many of the subtleties of New Media to do that – subtleties that are frequently overlooked by executives who want to bring similar capabilities into their organizations. Therefore, I’ve spent the past week diving into the details to create a case study about it called:

The Ranger Station Fire: How Ford Motor Company Used Social Media to Extinguish a PR Fire in Less Than 24 Hours.

If you like it, please pass it onto a corporate executive near you!

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Filed under: Case Studies
  • http://www.maples.com/ Mike Kilroy

    Nice, thorough reporting, Ron. I could almost hear the clock ticking on the time bomb that was defused.

  • http://www.maples.com Mike Kilroy

    Nice, thorough reporting, Ron. I could almost hear the clock ticking on the time bomb that was defused.

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  • http://www.african-encounters.com/ Kwam

    Very thought provoking as usual, Ron. Think how much potential embarrassment Ford was saved by the quick firefight. If the MSM had gotten hold of it….

  • http://www.african-encounters.com Kwam

    Very thought provoking as usual, Ron. Think how much potential embarrassment Ford was saved by the quick firefight. If the MSM had gotten hold of it….

  • http://www.BryanPerson.com/ Bryan Person

    Nice recap, Ron, and I plan to point to this presentation/case study often as an example of how brands can properly engage with fans/key stakeholders through social channels.

    One technique Scott used that was also helpful was hashing most/all relevant tweets with #Ford. Others picked up on it and did the same. This made it much easier to follow the story (on search.twitter.com) across multiple Twitter accounts.

    BTW, Ron, good to see you in Phoenix a couple of months ago. Hope to meet up again in 2009. Merry Christmas!

    Bryan Person | @BryanPerson
    LiveWorld

  • http://www.BryanPerson.com Bryan Person

    Nice recap, Ron, and I plan to point to this presentation/case study often as an example of how brands can properly engage with fans/key stakeholders through social channels.

    One technique Scott used that was also helpful was hashing most/all relevant tweets with #Ford. Others picked up on it and did the same. This made it much easier to follow the story (on search.twitter.com) across multiple Twitter accounts.

    BTW, Ron, good to see you in Phoenix a couple of months ago. Hope to meet up again in 2009. Merry Christmas!

    Bryan Person | @BryanPerson
    LiveWorld

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  • http://ronamok.com ronploof

    Mike: Thanks. I was going for a Grisham novel:-)

    Kwam: Had this problem been run through normal PR chanels, it would have gone to the MSM…and who knows what would have happened then.

    Bryan: Thanks, and excellent point about the hashtags. The approach I took with regards to this case study was from that of those outside the fishbowl. I was trying to execute a delicate balance between the technological details and their relevance to business. To me, hashtags are a more advanced topic to cover for my intended audience. Very valuable — yet without an understanding of the basics, have little meaning.

    But of course, now that we have the Ford lesson under our belts, we can have a 201 class that involves hashtags!

  • http://ronamok.com Ron

    Mike: Thanks. I was going for a Grisham novel:-)

    Kwam: Had this problem been run through normal PR chanels, it would have gone to the MSM…and who knows what would have happened then.

    Bryan: Thanks, and excellent point about the hashtags. The approach I took with regards to this case study was from that of those outside the fishbowl. I was trying to execute a delicate balance between the technological details and their relevance to business. To me, hashtags are a more advanced topic to cover for my intended audience. Very valuable — yet without an understanding of the basics, have little meaning.

    But of course, now that we have the Ford lesson under our belts, we can have a 201 class that involves hashtags!

  • Mia

    This really helped breakdown EXACTLY how social media was used and how it benefited FORD. Nice job explaining how a social networking employee might benefit a business beyond brand recognition.

  • Mia

    This really helped breakdown EXACTLY how social media was used and how it benefited FORD. Nice job explaining how a social networking employee might benefit a business beyond brand recognition.

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