March 9, 2005
Quixtar PR Scorecard
By QBlog in Web Initiative
The Quixtar Public Relations team is a busy group. They work night and day to publish scintillating
articles press releases with headlines like "IBOAI endorses Quixtar's exclusive Artistry skin care line says Orrin Woodward" or "Fred Harteis, IBOAI Endorses Artistry, Quixtar's Prestige Brand of Skin Care and Cosmetics." Wow. I can't wait to read those exciting stories!
Of course the Quixtar PR team does much more than just write cool stories about cosmetics. They're constantly devising new and wonderful ways to relate to the public, which is generally what happens in a Public Relations Department. Sometimes those plans work brilliantly and sometimes they fail miserably. Today I thought it would be neat to rate the performance of the Quixtar Public Relations Team with something I call the "Quixtar PR Scorecard."
The Quixtar PR Scorecard functions just like an elementary school report card. Grades are assigned with an "A" being the best and an "F" being the worst. And because this is my scorecard, I assign each grade based on my own opinions. No, it's not very scientific but I have an excuse — I'm not a scientist.
F - For the Quixtar Google Bombing campaign
Filling the Web with bogus blogs run by Web lackeys who repurpose poorly written PR copy filled with keywords and misleading links is bad form and a bad PR move. It's too "Spam-like" for an organization that loves the phrase "High Tech and High Touch." My advice, ditch the Google Bombing and publish some valuable content that other folks will want to link. That's what I do.
What could Quixtar possibly hope to gain by removing all critical commentary from the beloved Wikipedia? It looks suspicious and begs the question, "What are they hiding?" There's also the potential backlash that could result from being labeled as a bully within the quintessential open source community.
F - Trying to suppress The Blakey Report
The Blakey Report was a moderately interesting document expressing the opinion of one man. Had the folks in Michigan decided to ignore the report, it probably would have slipped away unnoticed. However, because they decided to pursue it and tried to suppress it, the report quickly became the court document du jour.
B+ - Not trying to suppress The Postma Memo
Possibly learning a lesson from The Blakey Report fiasco, the folks in Michigan decided to let the Postma Memo ride and publish a spin page. It's not a bad strategy. Hint. Hint.
C - For not putting Ken McDonald on camera for Dateline
I understand that it's sometimes best to decline an interview but I think it was a mistake in this situation. Giving an actual face to Quixtar (Ken's face may not be the one they want but I've seen worse mugs) would have connected with viewers in ways that a letter can't. I know why the Quixtar chose to avoid face-time, I just think it was probably a mistake.
D - For a poor job of informing IBOs about the new Non-Compete Rule
Quixtar did post the info on it's "What's New" page but that's not the best way to communicate important rule changes that can affect an IBO's business. Too many IBOs found out about the rule from my blog. Not good. Contrast that with the effective methods used to inform everyone about the P & G supporting homosexuals rumor.
F - Plays Well With Others
Quixtar is too serious. It should lighten up, get a sense of humor and join the Web revolution instead of trying to control it. Relax. Chill out. Start more blogs like Quixtatic. Start a forum like the one Proctor & Gamble runs. Don't be afraid of public feedback. Sometimes a few criticisms help a company's image more than a thousand gloating press releases. Read The Cluetrain Manifesto. Start a dialogue. Show the world that you're human. Be real. Play well with others.