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Posts Tagged ‘Comcast’

Comcast ‘Provides’ What May Be The Worst Service Call Ever

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There is no secret, no hidden truth, no mystery on this planet that refutes the abysmal customer service that call centers at cable companies provide. It’s like they all hire from the same discount store that shuttles HR rejects from the hotel.

The proposed Comcast and Time Warner merger? That’s a utopia of pleasantry just waiting for America (and one of those brands may vanish this year).  You would think the powers-that-don’t at Comcast would appreciate public perception.

Not when gems like this call to cancel service, which should serve as a crisis communications starter kit. (Oh, please take time to listen to these 10 minutes of bliss.)

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Comcast Really Wants You to Approve of Its Time Warner Merger

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Not only does Comcast care—it also knows what you think.

The company is well aware of the fact that it has maintained one of corporate America’s worst reputations for several years by scoring near the bottom in pretty much every category from product quality to customer service (which might improve if you’d just stop calling so often).

When the media megalith announced its $45 billion plans to merge with Time Warner Cable, most tech folks turned to the world’s greatest comfort food: comedy.

Of course, the merger is a very serious matter—and this week’s New York Times story shows us how a hated company tries to spin a hated business move.

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Comcast Would Give Better Customer Service If You’d Just Stop Calling So Often

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Today’s Consumerist notes that Comcast, the biggest media communications company in the world, consistently ranks as one of the most-hated brands in the U.S. because of its notoriously bad customer service.

In an interview with Marketplace, company CEO Brian Roberts says that this wouldn’t be such a problem if the company weren’t so darn successful.

The big question from Kai Ryssdal comes around the three minute mark on this audio clip:

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10 Brands That Do Customer Service Right on Twitter

Here’s an interesting fact: 30% of top brands now have “dedicated customer service Twitter handles”. This makes perfect sense, right? Customers value great service above all else, they love the instant gratification of social media and they really, really hate waiting for reps to pick up the phone. Also: by establishing separate Twitter handles for customer service, brands can “divert negative attention and activity” away from the primary feed.

So what goes into running a great customer service operation in the twittersphere? In order to find out, we poked around and found ten examples of brands that are doing it right, starting with some of the biggest.

1. Nike Support: This one is pretty much the gold standard. A quick glance at the account with all replies shows you how quickly and how often the feed’s managers respond to individual customers.

2. Xbox Support: Xbox boldly claims to hold the Guinness World Record for “most responsive Twitter feed”–and based on the number of replies their team posts every minute, we can see why they make that claim.

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How Brands Use Games to Develop Better Products and Marketing Campaigns

Gamification: it’s a relatively new buzzword, but you’ve probably been hearing a lot about it lately. Why? Because it’s now clear that digital games go well beyond your XBox and Farmville accounts. All kinds of brands can use games to promote their products: here, for example, Edelman PR‘s Robert Phillips discusses the firm’s success creating a digital bar distraction for popular rum brand Captain Morgan.

And companies don’t just use gamification to entertain customers and familiarize them with a brand–it can help them develop better products and figure out exactly what the public wants from them in the first place. We recently had the chance to chat with Julie Wittes Schlack, SVP of Innovation and Design at Communispace, to figure out how they help brands like Kraft, State Farm, Citigroup and Comcast develop better products and marketing campaigns with simple betting games known as “prediction markets.”

How does the public see “gamification”? Do they distinguish it from traditional video games? 

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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Spokeswoman Leaves for CNN

Allison GollustThere’s a new job opening for an ambitious, politically-minded PR professional in the greater New York area: Governor Andrew Cuomo‘s spokeswoman Allison Gollust stepped down from her post today after just four months on the job to return to what would seem to be her first love: broadcast television.

Gollust will now serve as head of communications for CNN. This isn’t an unprecedented move; Gollust previously worked in various communications roles within the NBC organization under newly appointed CNN president Jeff Zucker. Both left the network after its takeover by Comcast.

In her new role as senior vice president, communications, Gollust will serve as official spokeswoman for the brand in additional to managing all PR initiatives and overseeing the 24/7 news channel’s messaging strategy.

Christa Robinson, who served in the senior VP position for 13 years, will leave CNN according to a memo sent to staff by Zucker and reprinted on sister site TVNewser.

Will the newly reunited team be able to turn CNN around? Only time will tell.

G.E. Is Totally Cool With 30 Rock, You Guys

30 Rock Tina Fey Alec BaldwinSay you’re a PR/branding exec at a big corporation. Say there’s a certain sitcom that’s been making fun of you mercilessly for seven years (while appearing on a network that you once owned). What would you do?

Well, if you’re General Electric and that sitcom is 30 Rock, you embrace it after maintaining an adversarial relationship for more than six seasons. G.E., which has seen its “Six Sigma” super-productivity culture mocked repeatedly by Tina Fey, recently decided to let the public know that it is totally in on the joke.

We weren’t the only ones who noticed the company’s weird “thank you” commercial on last week’s episode. Global director of brand management Linda Boff explained everything to Ad Age, saying “G.E. employees and G.E. executives have laughed for the last seven years along with the rest of the audience.”

Oh yeah? Something tells us that former CEO/conspiracy theorist Jack Welch (aka Jack Donaghy) didn’t even chuckle, but at least somebody has a sense of humor.

It’s a bit of a rebranding, really:

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Using Xfinity is Easier than Un-Beaching a Whale or Giving Birth

If you’ve ever tried setting up new cable service, you’ve undoubtedly ended up cursing the cable gods as you struggled to find the best deal, tried to work four-hour-long appointment windows into your busy schedule, and wrestled with the great philosophical question of our age — to bundle or not to bundle?

We could use a whole host of colorful words to describe the painful process–and “easy” is not one of them. But now, Comcast‘s new ads from The Martin Agency claim that “easy” is exactly what you’ll get when you sign up for Xfinity service. And just to make it clear how easy, they’ve paralleled the simplicity of their service with the immense difficulty of some of life’s greatest physical challenges: giving birth; waxing Sasquatch; un-beaching a whale; and pitching a tent.

AdWeek recently named this series their “Ad of the Day“, and we certainly agree they’re worth a peek. Not only do they poke fun at Comcast’s own industry (and in a way, at Comcast itself) in a manner familiar to all cable subscribers, but they also promise customers the ultimate one-two punch: good service without the hassle. Most importantly, they deliver their serious message of “we hear you, and we’re going to give you exactly what you want”, in an easily digested, entertaining package while making us chuckle.

Check out the series, and don’t worry — we hear no Sasquatches were harmed in the making of these commercials. Read more

Revolving Door: Rupert Murdoch, NBC Universal News Group, Jeff Daniels on ‘CBS This Morning’, and More

Rupert Murdoch (pictured at left) has resigned from a number of News Corp. boards, including his post as director of News International, the holding company for the newspapers at the center of the U.K. hacking scandal. The company is reportedly preparing to divest its publishing and entertainment properties, a split that was approved by the board of News Corp. on June 27. After the split, Murdoch will remain chairman of both companies as well as CEO of the new entertainment company. (Adweek)

Pat Fili-Krushel has been named chairman, news group, at NBCUniversal. Fili-Krushel, who joined NBC when Comcast took over, will now oversee a new unit called the NBCUniversal News group comprised of NBC News, CNBC, MSNBC, The Weather Channel and all their digital properties. (TVNewser)

Sam Grobart is leaving The New York Times for Bloomberg Businessweek. According to a memo obtained by Jim Romenesko, Grobart will “develop multimedia projects” as well as write tech features for Businessweek. Grobart had been with the Times since 2008, most recently as personal technology editor, since 2010. (FishbowlNY)

In case you missed it, actor Jeff Daniels was on CBS This Morning and on MSNBC’s Hardball last Thursday. Daniels, who plays Will McAvoy on HBO’s The Newsroom told Chris Matthews, “It’s not like we’re out trying to whitewash all of cable news. We’re trying to shine a light on the people really trying to tell the truth and get out the truth every day.” (TVNewser)

On a related topic, Aaron Sorkin has gotten rid of his entire Newsroom writing staff, with the exception of his ex-girlfriend Corinne Kinsbury. The Newsroom had 10 credited writers in its premiere season. HBO renewed the show for a second season after its second episode aired. (FishbowlLA)

Viacom has reached a new programming fee agreement with DirecTV, ending a 10-day blackout for the satellite-TV service’s 20 million U.S. viewers. (Ad Age)

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Roll Call: F-H, Cannes Lions, Wendy’s, and More

John McNeel (left) has been named Fleishman-Hillard‘s global MD of strategic integration, effective April 2. He’ll be based in New York reporting to CEO, Dave Senay. The hire is another step in the integration direction that the agency has been heading in. “We are building a fleet of analytics assets and partners, planners, creative directors, filmmakers and other amazing social media and new-era storytellers around the globe,” said Senay in a statement. McNeel will work across regions, focusing on areas like analytics and creative support. He was previously the president of global clients for TBWA and spent many years with Saatchi & Saatchi, at one point serving as CEO in Turkey and the Middle East.

The Cannes Lions PR Jury has been named. Among those on the list are Jody Venturoni, EVP at Hill+Knowlton Strategies; Marian Salzman, North American CEO , Euro RSCG Worldwide PR; and Joe Sinclair, creative director with Burson-Marstellar in the U.K. Gail Heiman, global vice chair at Weber Shandwick is the Jury president. For a complete list of the members from around the world, click here.

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