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Dec27

Food in Fashion

Posted on Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Save the DateSave Feb. 15, 2017, 6-8 p.m., for Food in Fashion, presented by the Greater Dallas Restaurant Association at 3015 at Trinity Groves in Dallas, TX.

Ten emerging fashion designers + ten restaurants = ten delicious fashions.

Appetizers will be prepared onsite (in a friendly little competition) by all nine Dallas ISD School Board members cooking with Dallas ISD high school culinary students.

Elettore, Neiman Marcus-Downtown Dallas, 3015 at Trinity Groves, Sysco, Southern Glazer's Wine and Spirits, Freshpoint, Ben E. Keith Company, are pleased to be among the sponsors for this first-time event.

Proceeds benefit culinary career education in Texas schools. Tickets go on sale next month.

Jun17

Post-Orlando social media and social engagement

Posted on Friday, June 17, 2016

It would be hard to dispute that last weekend's shooting in Orlando has amplified the debate between those who want all assault weapons banned and those defending Second Amendment rights without exception.

Today — regardless of where you stand on this divisive issue — what catches our professional attention about this intense public and policymaker debate is the use of new technologies to rally supporters and nudge them to action.

There have been new websites, Facebook pages, and countless Twitter accounts born out of the heightened discourse.

There has been a proliferation of new online petitions — which we usually believe to be ineffective. It does not help that so many organizations have launched so many and that there is little historical track record for results from previous online petitions.

We have to admit that social media channels are on fire.

The National Rifle Association is relentless with Twitter posts, robocalls, Facebook posts, and emails ... less so with its Google+, Instagram, and Snapchat accounts (although its Nevada referendum Snapchat geofilters are smart). So far this week, the NRA's simple ‪#‎2A hashtag (for Second Amendment advocacy) has reached 7.5M timelines.

However, we have been most impressed by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence's text-based initiative. Using other social media channels to promote the action. Supporters are encouraged to use their mobile phones to text DISARM HATE to 877-877.

But it does not stop there.

The supporter then receives a text back, stating the Brady Campaign's post-Orlando message. It also asks for the user's Zip code.

If you reply with your Zip code, the app responds with a message of what the user can tell their U.S. Senator. Then, and this part impressed us most, the reply text states that if you text back GO, the app will automatically connect you with one of your U.S. Senators' offices in our nation's capitol.

If the software determines your state's Senator is strongly opposed to gun control ... the app routes you to the Washington DC offices of another Senator who might be more on the bubble.

Impressive.

We'll have to wait to see if it is also effective.

Sep15

Companies: Stop thanking us for our patience

Posted on Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Over the past three days, an organization has said to me — not once, not twice, but FIVE times — "Thank you for your patience."

On the phone. In person. Even on a phone APP, for goodness sakes.

So, I am now officially rankled by what appears to be the latest "trendy" corporate catchphrase. But apparently, I am not alone in my exasperation. Today at my gym, an exerciser near me clicked off a call and spat out, "If one more company thanks me for my patience, I'm going to let them have it!"


That's a glaring neon sign that companies need to ditch the ditzy phrase, ASAP.

'But why?' you might wonder. 'Isn't it nice to thank people for being patient in a trying business situation?'

Not really. Here are three big reasons the line threatens to do more harm than good to your organization's reputation:

1. It's controlling.  When an organization thanks people for patience before they've actually demonstrated it, what they're actually doing is trying to control upfront how the customer responds to the situation. The same way our mothers-in-law try to control how we will respond to the fruitcake they're handing us by saying, "I really hope you like it. I only spent seven hours in the kitchen making it for you."

In either instance, if the situation goes south, it's your fault. In the first case, because you're not as patient as you should be (no matter how ridiculously bad the service you're getting actually is), and in the second case, because you are an insensitive jerk (no matter how nasty that fruitcake actually tasted).

2. It's inauthentic. Your customers are fuming. She is beginning to raise her voice. Or maybe he is tapping his foot and shooting laser darts with his eyes. And you THANK THEM FOR THEIR PATIENCE?!  Now, on top of having delivered bad service, you've just told your customers they can't believe a single thing you tell them. Because, you see, they aren't really being patient. They just haven't yet expressed their impatience. Get it?

3. It's rote. Customers want to believe they are dealing with human beings who are listening to them, not robots on auto-pilot. But, "Thank you for your patience" ranks right up there with, "I'm sorry for your loss" and, "I hope you feel better soon," in the knee-jerk-response-to-a-bad-situation department. All the good intentions that accompany the phrase vanish with a poof if the person on the other end is thinking, "You know,  you're only the 47th person to say that to me this week."

And these days, unfortunately, you very likely are.

So what SHOULD an organization say when the system is down, the payment is two weeks late, or the stained glass window is now laying in shattered shards all over the driveway?

Something fresh. Something authentic. Something that strives to honor the customer's honest reaction rather than control it. Like, "I'll bet you had higher expectations of us, but I promise we'll match those soon." Or perhaps, "We can understand your frustration, but we're working 90 miles an hour to get things back on track." A phrase that also works nicely is, "Here's a 10 percent discount for what you've just experienced."

Whatever you do, DON'T thank me, yet again, for my patience. Otherwise this time, I might REALLY lose it.

Sep02

Online petitions: Change? Really??

Posted on Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Everything we do online captures valuable data from which someone else will capitalize.

At Elettore, we've seen enough to be convinced: online petitions are more valuable as information harvesters than "change agents."

Few high-profile cases have attracted as much online support as the shootings of Treyvon Martin in 2012 and Michael Brown in 2014. In both instances, the numbers of people who "signed" petitions are cited in the press ... but how did that work out for you, America? How did those petitions change anything? Who received the petition information? The courts? The prosecuting attorneys? Local media?

A wise colleague observes that these are the hallmark of a disengaged electorate. You have probably heard this passive (and often anonymous) keyboard activism referred to as "slacktivism."

Online petitions provide an opportunity for us to share on social media how we feel. They give us a sense of community by recruiting others to join us. They are like lists of supporters on political campaign websites. They give us a chance to pronounce our affiliation with a tribe. Self-selecting "cool kids," if you will.

But result in change?

No, that's not what online petitions are about. They are reactions rather than pro-actions. They add to entrenched, divisive yammer rather than result in any positive outcome. Simply put, in spite of America's culture of self-importance, online petitions do not have the weight of the Constitutional Congress. They are about feeling good about ourselves.

Not a bad thing.

It's just that they're also about providing valuable information to some nebulous – and hopefully benign – data-harvesting operation in the cloud.

Change requires vision, real courage, clear communication, good old-fashioned shoe leather, and healthy doses of strategy all carried out effectively. We can help you with that.