Sheila Guides You to the Good Stuff

April 29, 2009

How to respond to a negative blog review

crayola-state-crayon-collection-courtesy-acidcookie-at-flickr-ccThis morning I Stumbled a post on the Travels with Children blog; it’s a fairly negative review of the Crayola Factory in Easton, Pennsylvania.

Author Linda didn’t feel that the place met her expectations for a creative experience for her kids. There was no “wild blogger” ranting or digital spittle – she was simply disappointed in what visitors get there for their money and time.

Since she linked to the Crayola establishment (they should see that by monitoring inbound links/backlinks) and wrote about them as “Crayola Factory in Easton, Pennsylvania” (which any decent Google Alert should catch) I would expect a sharp PR/marketing person from the company to check out the post and leave a comment.

You know, at least something along the lines of “We’re sorry you were disappointed, we’ll take your ideas into consideration, we have a facility redesign in the works, blah blah.”

Figure the odds that anyone actually does that.

A quick glance would show anyone that Linda’s blog isn’t the home of some pajama’d nutcase. She has active and engaged readers who are interested in her family travel topic.

The business communications world often still doesn’t get it, so the review will probably sit there, unanswered.

To me, that’s a lost opportunity for Crayola to reach out to customers and possibly turn a negative impression into a positive one.

Your thoughts?

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  1. I’d love to get some negative comments, just to get some. Ha.

    Hey Robyn, Nancy, Dominique, pen4hire!

    Honestly, I appreciate the advice here. I get lots of negative feedback on my other channels. It’s good to have a thought out ahead attitude.


    Comment by Todd Jordan — May 20, 2009 @ 1:06 am

  2. Sheila,

    I just like reading things you write 🙂

    Comment by Dan Mosqueda — May 20, 2009 @ 12:56 am

  3. I have had a few negative reviews on my blog and actually have had the companies contact me to try to make it better or at least ask for more specifics. Not all reply, but some do.

    Comment by Robyns Online World — May 20, 2009 @ 12:38 am

  4. Hi Sheila,
    I took the time to fill out the on-line survey that the hotel sent out after my stay noting my negative experience. When they didn’t bother to respond, I posted a very negative review of Circus Circus on a lodging site where I write. Still no response. Amazing.

    Here’s the Budget Lodging Gone Bad, Circus Circus review,

    Comment by Nancy D. Brown — April 30, 2009 @ 7:30 pm

  5. @Vera – Well, thanks, but it’s so much easier to get another blog going after you already have others up and running. 🙂

    @Dominique – Thanks, Dominique, those are great examples of why interaction on any blog post, positive OR negative, just makes good business communications sense.

    Comment by Sheila Scarborough — April 29, 2009 @ 8:27 pm

  6. I once did a story about the Detroit Symphony Orchestra on Midwest Guest.
    I mentioned a special discount and other DSO initiatives to expand their audience by attracting some younger concert goers. One of my readers, a college student, commented that she’d love to go to the symphony and that the discount sounded interesting. Then a PR person from the DSO showed up to comment, thanking me for the story and encouraging my young commenter to attend a special kick-off event for the discount program. So, someone at the DSO “gets” it.

    My post about a big University of Michigan Art Museum event ended up with a nice mention in a listing of press coverage sent out to museum supporters by the museum director (I found it by following a link when I was checking to see where some of my traffic came in from that particular day). Again, someone at the UMMA apparently monitors Web mentions as you suggest.

    Both of my posts were positive stories, but I think it is also a good idea for PR folks to acknowledge positive press and even interact with bloggers and their readers to answer questions and amplify information from the original post.

    Comment by Dominique — April 29, 2009 @ 7:56 pm

  7. Hi Sheila. I think you are going to get more first day views than I got in my first week at A Traveler’s Library. (48) Lovely ideas here, and I like, the calm, cool, theme, too. Best wishes,


    Comment by pen4hire — April 29, 2009 @ 7:25 pm

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