Southwest Airlines ran into a bit of a turmoil couple of weeks ago after removing movie director Kevin Smith from a flight. Cause: Too overweight to fit in one seat. The incident didn’t end up particularly well, since Mr. Kevin Smith shared his discomfort with his plus one million Twitter followers.
The damage was done even though Southwest Airlines social media team and PR people rushed into cool things off. Why? As Paul Carr at TechCrunch points out, media just loooves Twitter campaigns, regardless whether the person or company being mistreated is famous or not. As the Twittersphere keeps growing it just won’t be enough for companies to praise its customers like Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly does. Unless every employee is to run a check on how influential a customer and his/her Twitter followers are, before even thinking of not treating a customer at the very best to avoid a meltdown, quote: “Companies are going to have to start treating every single person in the world like a VIP.” (Even with the Twitter check one still can’t be sure. The customer might just know the power of hashtags and fire off #fail and #whateverthecompanysnameis, and off the Twitter avalanche goes.)
Like any startup and true entrepreneur knows, every person and customer is important. This is where I think AirAsia is getting a head start regarding real-time social media.
Two weeks left go to the 60th season premiere of Formula One taking place in Bahrain 14th of March, and the season already has all the elements needed to become one of the most exciting ones during the past 15 years I’ve been a fangirl of Formula One racing. Apparently Chris Sacca has just been bitten by the beauty of it.
There’s a reason why it’s called Formula One circus, and it’s not only on the circuit the drama takes place. This year brings in an incredible total of five new teams, Mercedes GP Petronas, Virgin, US F1, Campos, and Lotus, to start in Bahrain. And here’s where it already gets interesting: Two of the new teams haven’t presented a car yet, hence never did they show up at the last of the four pre-season tests in Barcelona – and are still to point out the second driver. Then there’s also a Serbian team Stefan GP, boldly called as the Serbian vultures by Ferrari, behind the scenes ready to take a place in the starting lineup.
The season ahead is also adding a serious geek glamour to the championships with Chad Hurley, CEO of YouTube and a major shareholder in the team US F1. And he certainly has got his hands full helping the team to make the grid. Several rumors have been suggesting a possible merger between either Campos or Stefan GP team, but according the latest reports the negotiations are off. I can hardly wait to see which teams will lineup in two weeks, wishing Chad all the best.
Mike Arrington talked with Chad about Formula One during the LeWeb conference (read my coverage). Watch how the talks went back in December – choose between Mike’s interview – or Robert Scoble filming Mike interviewing Chad. Super geeky.