Why I'm writing about travel experiences and PR
by Josh Bernoff
So let me explain myself.
First of all, I recognize that there are worse problems in the world than bad hotel rooms and irrelevant email. Even so, I believe these are symptoms of a broader trend, one that is the purview of the Groundswell.
That trend is that computers have made it far easier for marketers -- and service people -- to treat people in masses. The countervailing trend is the groundswell, which empowers us to connect as humans. So I am trying to help marketers and those who serve the public to find ways to treat people more like a human.
I believe three things:
- A blog can make a difference. So this is an applied experiment in the groundswell in action. If Jeff Jarvis can change Dell with Dell Hell and Ruth K can write about the suffering of being a Jet Blue Hostage, why shouldn't I try to change the PR and travel industries? (I'm already seeing evidence that PR emailers are thinking a little more about those emails.)
- Analysis helps. Why not shine a light on people's behavior? Is it typical? Is it unreasonable? What are the best practices? I am a researcher, so when I experience something, I often say "hmm, why is that like that?" And I'm interested in your perspectives.
- It's absurd. That's why I'm only writing about "hilariously bad" travel -- the kind that makes you chuckle at its ineptitude. And when you see some of the hilariously irrelevant emails I receive from PR people, you'll have the same reaction. Instead of turning to the guy at the next desk and saying "look at this silly thing" I'm telling you, in the hopes you might at least smile a little.
I'm trying not to take this too seriously. If you want to call it whining, so be it. I call it turning annoyance into thought, discussion, and who knows, maybe even positive change.
Are you with me? Or should I just talk about the data and research I do and leave off with the rest of this "how to be a human" stuff?