Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A lesson for KGW on Social Media

Since my last post, my husband has posted an update on the KGW matter on his Posterous page.

I don't think KGW understands the power of social media. One time I tweeted something about my Comcast bill that I didn't like. Before the day was over, "ComcastBonnie" tweeted me and asked how she could make it better. Another time, I was complaining about how I really wished there was a personal finance software that worked on the Mac that integrated with my cell phone or PDA. I even tweeted to Quicken as an existing customer, explaining my needs and inquiring if there would be any products coming out soon that would help me. The very next day, someone from a company called iggsoftware tweeted me and said "Have you tried iBank? Works with the iPhone". I downloaded the trial, used it for a few days and fell in love. I NEVER heard from Quicken after several attempts, and they lost a customer. When Bank of America sent us a letter saying they were raising our credit card interest rate by 75%, you better believe we went on a screaming terror about it on Twitter, as did MANY people. To B of A's credit, they hired a cadre of agents to scan tweets and deal with the outcry on Twitter. In the end, no one had the authority to make any decisions to change the interest rates on anyone's account, so we walked and took our personal and our company's banking business to our friendly neighborhood community bank where we remain happy customers. The point is, any business in today's world understands the advantages and opportunities inherent in reaching out to people seeking solutions and even to unhappy or angry people. The reason is, a problem resolved, or at least an honest attempt at it often leaves the complainant with the feeling that their patronage matters to someone. Who are you in the community to serve, KGW if not the public? There are A LOT of people who are unhappy about the slant of the KGW minimum wage story. For every person on Twitter who has read our tweets about it, or read this blog, or my husband's blog, there are literally thousands who are angry and aren't doing anything about it. But they do remember and there are other choices for news in the Portland Metro area.

In this day and age when people have choices as consumers of news, why on earth would you a) allow your reporters to engage unprofessionally with viewers on Twitter and b) not have an ombudsman or community liaison to engage with people who have a complaint? What was initially a legitimate complaint about the story (which I won't go into again here) has now turned into a story about KGW. Smart? Not at all.

Originally, I had posted a comment on KGW's comment section of the story page expressing our concerns with the piece. Those comments were removed. We asked @TheSquare who we should contact to discuss our concerns. They tweeted an email address. We wrote the email address and heard nothing. We waited 3 days and never heard back. When we again tweeted to @TheSquare to let them know that no one has responded to our complaint using the avenue THEY PROVIDED, we discovered we were blocked. This prompted my husband to post on his Posterous page. Yeah, we're angry.

So, KGW will run out the clock until the election and it will all go away in a week. But I want it to be known that if you have a complaint about KGW's reporting on something in the future you might be treated like we are being treated. It's unfortunate. Before this we felt KGW was the best news source in the area. Trusting a media outlet is something you take for granted until you find yourself betrayed. And that's EXACTLY how it feels. Like a betrayal of trust. We aren't just "customers", your public are your partners. We WANT KGW to succeed. Your customers can tell you a lot if you will listen. That is the beauty of social media.


James Kiester said...

KATU 2 is an acceptable alternative. It boils down to how much KGW values their viewers.

bujeeboo said...

I would love any and all opinions on alternative local news outlets. What folks like about them, etc.

I think Laural Porter is the best thing at KGW. She's the only professional they have there, as far as I'm concerned.