Something happened this week in Kansas City politics, that every company out there could learn a lesson from.
Apparently, on Sunday afternoon, local candidate Mel Solomon called someone to try to get them to support his campaign. The person he called, named Dan, said that they were supporting one of his competitors, Mark Forsythe. At that point, Mel spent the remainder of the phone call bashing his competitor to Dan on the phone.
Well, it just so happens that Dan runs a pretty highly respected blog in Kansas City. They decided to write a post about it. When another local Blogger found out about it, he posted it on his blog at BlogKC. Well then, Tony, who runs easily the most popular blog site in KC is also aware of the news -- and this information is bound to come out soon on his blog. Now, several thousand people in the KC area have a sour taste in their mouth regarding Mel.
Every day, businesses provide services to customers. Each one of these customers has the ability to let tens, hundreds or potentially thousands of people know about their experience. Strangly, I've never met Dan, or the writer of BlogKC - -but I trust the writer of BlogKC because I read his opinions regularly and generally like his opinions. Because he knows Dan, I trust Dan's opinion of Mel (it's all consistent with my one encounter with Mel). People have the ability to touch more people with their opinions quickly than ever before.
In order to do business, or politics, in society currently, one has to understand social media. They have to understand how people create relationships w/ people they've never met before. Positive word of mouth works the same way...which is why you have to take every contact seriously...you never know who they'll tell about it.