An incident happened recently I’d like to share. Companies ought to embrace negative comments.
I’d written a favorable comment about a certain revenue performance management software company‘s email grading tool and compared positively it to Hubspot‘s websitegrader.com.
I was chatting on Twitter with the Vice President of Content at their biggest competitor when an email came in about my comment. It said my comment was “Not approved.”
I was very surprised – it was a positive comment – and told the person with whom I was conversing. He shared my surprise and asked to see it. I thought carefully whether or not I should share it with this competitor – did it contain trade secrets? It clearly did not, so I shared it. He then asked if he could write a blog post about it. I agreed – it is an important marketing issue and no trade secrets were divulged.
Soon after, my phone rang. It was the lady who rejected my comment. She was very upset that I had shared it with their competitor. It was sad, as I had a long-term relationship with this company. She felt I had violated a non-disclosure agreement. (I adamantly disagree! Non-disclosures protect trade-secrets and customer info, not the words “Not approved” on a blog comment.)
Here’s the marketing take-way: Err on the side of letting comments through on your blog – even negative comments.
A personal example illustrates why. One of my blog posts, 5 Marketing Lessons from “Breaking Bad.” was soundly criticized for cheapening the show. I thought long and hard, because he was criticizing me severely. But I let it through. What happened next was very interesting. 99% of other comments were backing me up.
Another marketing-takeaway: Let negative comments through as most will come to your defense. Negative comments stimulate discussions.
Next time you get a negative blog comment, let it through.
What do you think?
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