Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

August 08 2016

The Simple Rule You Need To Share With Your Marketing Team

Mary Reynolds Kane


The members of your marketing team have loads of responsibilities. They have to craft the branding around the upcoming meeting. They have to send out emails to drive registration numbers for the upcoming webinar. They have to create compelling video content to elevate your organization’s brand. And of course, they have to be active on social media.

However, active doesn’t just mean posting photos, scheduling tweets and liking comments; it means dealing with the negative side of communication, too. Jay Baer, New York Times best-selling author and content marketing expert, highlighted the importance of managing negative online feedback in a keynote address at the DMAI Annual Convention in Minneapolis on Tuesday, August 2. Baer summed up his approach with one simple rule. “Find a way that marketing can answer every question, every complaint, every time,” he said.

In today’s social media landscape, Baer said that one-third of complaints are never answered. Organizations are dealing with so much information that their marketing teams struggle to respond in all situations. “You wouldn’t answer only two-thirds of phone calls, but somehow, we excuse ourselves for not answering online,” Baer said.

MORE: 3 Lessons To Strengthen Your Meeting Marketing Strategy

Dealing With Attendee And Member Complaints

It’s no secret that organizations in the face-to-face landscape hear plenty of negative reviews. Room 201 is too cold, one on-site attendee might tweet. Why isn’t my chat function working? a remote attendee might ask. The host hotel was so overpriced, another attendee might complain. In the meetings industry, complaints are a constant.

Some of the complaints can seem mean-spirited, and others can come from online users who might seem like they have nothing better to do than find reasons to be upset. However, everyone deserves a response. Why? Because everyone can see how your organization handles the situation. “Group interaction is now a spectator sport,” Baer said. “People are watching how you communicate with people.”

When other members of your audience see your marketing team offer personalized replies to both positive and negative feedback, everyone wins. The individual feels like someone truly cares, and the outsiders recognize that your organization is listening. Baer reminded the DMAI audience that this strategy involves one additional component: walking in the shoes of each of your attendees. “Be empathetic every time,” Baer said.

Empathy matters outside of marketing, too. Click here to find out how being empathetic can help in negotiations, too.

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