Jake (the Community Guy) and I had an interesting chat on Skype yesterday about his email interview with Kryptonite which he posted a couple of days ago. (Kryptonite is a bike lock company that was hit by rampant negative PR when a blogger discovered you could undo their locks with part of a bic pen). We both had the same feeling: that the responses had a stilted and defensive quality. A standard issue corporate voice not a really human one.
Jake’s been inspired to have a go at rewriting it for them. It’s an improvement. And I’d like it go further than it does, which is no comment on Jake. I need to hear something from someone at Kryptonite in their own words… it’s really difficult to do authentic for someone else. And I’d like it to include a really explicit acknowledgement that they screwed up; that they shouldn’t have needed a blogger to reveal the flaw in their design. Oh, and how about some recognition of the alarm caused to their customers. I also think the word “sorry” would go a long way.
It would be easy to forgive Kryptonite if they could drop the defensiveness. I guess that they are a good company of well-intentioned people. But they’re stuck in a standard PR groove that belongs to the last century. The corporate drone just increases distrust.
Of course (as Jake implies) if they kept a blog they’d learn how to do this a lot quicker.