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!

Tags:

Filed under: Case Studies

Comments

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

Mike Kilroy
December 18, 2008

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

Mike Kilroy
December 17, 2008

[…] 18:57 Scott Monty deals with a Twitter Brushfire for Ford, check out the case study from Ron Amok […]

Great Marketing - He Told Just 12 Guys | Marketing Over Coffee Marketing Podcast
December 17, 2008

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….

Kwam
December 20, 2008

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….

Kwam
December 20, 2008

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

Bryan Person
December 23, 2008

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

Bryan Person
December 23, 2008

[…] The case study is courtesy of Ron Ploof […]

Case Study: Ford Uses Social Media as a Fire Extinguisher | The "Betty" Factor
December 23, 2008

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!

ronploof
December 23, 2008

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!

Ron
December 23, 2008

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
December 30, 2008

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
December 30, 2008

[…] Ploof, a B-to-B social media consultant, has a fantastic case study of what happened when Ford Motor Company’s Global Digital and Multimedia Communications Manager […]

Ford Uses Social Media to Put Out PR Fire: A Case Study | The New Group Blog
December 30, 2008

[…] a difference with real customers. My friend and social media cohort Ron Ploof wrote a terrific e-book on how Ford’s Scott Monty used Twitter to put to rest a potentially very damaging PR […]

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January 4, 2009

[…] Scott Monty wins the Seth Godin Contest from the BeanCast, check out the case study from Ron Amok and using Google Reader to gather stats on Twitter, Google turns the […]

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January 7, 2009

[…] last week. Did you already read about how Ford extinguished a PR fire by listening and monitoring? RonAmok’s article provides a couple of great insights, not just for PR 2.0 guys. Apart from that there were people last week who asked us to say goodbye […]

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February 9, 2009

[…] story my professor told about Ford had a happy ending because there was someone in the wings ready to tackle the situation.  In this […]

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February 10, 2009

[…] correct manner. The story of how the Ford Motor Companies head of social media, Scott Monty, used Twitter to avert a potential PR disaster is certainly worth a looking […]

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March 8, 2009

[…] interesting, and weird, and vaguely proto-steampunk. And, I didn’t want to use an image of Scott Monty. […]

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May 20, 2009

[…] it’s not quite the same as “The Ranger Station Fire”, the Ford Fansite controversy that is now a “Best Practices” case study (by Ron Plouff) of […]

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[…] 27:30 Original Research on Scott Monty managing a PR crisis via Twitter […]

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December 22, 2009

[…] there are ways that you should do things and a lot of ways that you shouldn’t, but for all intents and purposes social media and the law […]

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January 5, 2010

Gotta have, Gotta listen, Gotta talk, and Gotta act. « Social Media Rocks!
February 9, 2010

[…] in on social media conversations helped quell PR disasters before they really started, like Ford’s Ranger Station fire or the Motrin Moms debacle. So it only makes sense to take advantage of all the tools that already […]

Online communities and the opportunities companies are missing out on « Blogging Bridges
February 16, 2010

[…] Ron Ploof, a B-to-B social media consultant, has created a completely masterpiece case study of what happened at Ford. Have a look at it below: […]

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