Archive for August, 2010


How embracing social media can save your business

A big, established corporation doesn’t need social media–it’s just for the small, new companies, right?

Unfortunately, the recent “wheelchair incident” with our nation’s most popular airline proves just the opposite.

Air Canada suffered a huge lashing via Twitter the other day because of a disabled boy’s broken wheel chair.  The boy’s aunt had tweeted:  “So. @aircanada killed Tanner’s wheelchair. We’re now stuck at La Guardia. #tutusfortanner”.

What followed was a community of tweeters appalled at the lack of action @aircanada was taking to right the wrong.

But Air Canada had taken action–almost immediately.  They had sent out the wheelchair to be fixed at an open-all-night repair shop.  Within 24 hours, the wheel chair was in working order, delivered to the boy at his hotel–and a bonus dream trip to Disney World for him and his cousins.

So why does Air Canada still seem like the bad guy?

Because for 24 hours, while thousands of micro-messages were floating around on Twitter about how terribly insensitive Air Canada was–there wasn’t one single positive comment assuring his customer (and their community) that appropriate actions were already underway.  Not on Twitter, not on their website, and not on Facebook.

This is an important message to Air Canada that times are changing, and to keep up with  younger, hipper competitors such Westjet and Porter, you must embrace social media.

So what should they have done?

For one thing–they should have listened.  They should have been aware that customers were concerned about what happened.  There are many tools out there that can help with listening.  One example is Google Alert.  Once the alert is set up to notify the company of mentions–it can be used to track any negative or positive comments.  This not only allows a company to quell any notions of bad service, but appreciation can also be shown for those customers that express satisfaction for the service.

What can still be done?

Well, first things–stay on top of your social media!  Make sure the sites are being monitored at all times to respond to feedback and promote any special events.   Information and “news” about the company should be current and highlight any affirmative actions.  Post pictures, videos, interviews, press releases:  Include board members, employees, and happy customers.   This provides a way to develop a relationship with patrons.

In this specific case–Air Canada should concentrate on the outcome.  This story had a happy ending–show that.  Post the pictures of the smiling customer–a video of Air Canada presenting the wheel chair and plane ticket to the boy and his cousins.

Luckily, it doesn’t seem like this particular incident will set off any boycotts–but going forward, companies of all sizes should pay more attention to social media sites and recognize the power of a community.


Living right for you blood type

We’ve heard of them all–Aitken’s, lemonade, Hollywood–diets that offer a way to battle the bulge.  But the latest up-and-coming diet offers a long-term answer to one of life’s biggest mysteries:  Why did the diet work for that person, but not for me?!

Well, the answer may be running through our veins–our blood type.

According to Dr. Peter D’Adamo, author of “Eat Right 4 Your Type“, everyone is biochemically different and this has huge implications on your lifestyle choices.

Recent archeological research has determined that the evolution of the human race greatly defines how an individual should live for optimal health–including things such diet and exercise.

Blood types take generations to change and it is this very fact that makes scientist believe that the birth of a new blood type, implies dietary adaptation.  Through the centuries, humans have had to face a variety of challenges.  Climate, predators, and change in vegetation are all factors that create a new blood type.

The history of blood types has been closely investigated.  The theory begins with the idea that first humans were blood type O, the hunters.  This indicates that their diet mainly consisted of meats.  But as humans began migrating and adapting to new habitats, farming became a big part of their lifestyle.  This not only affects their digestive systems, but also their immune systems.  Thus, a blood type that ate primarily vegetables–type A, was born.

But diet is not the only thing that some believe is affected by blood type.  In Japan, employers have been known to ask know your blood type in a job interview.  Because of the different bio-chemical compounds found in blood, it may affect your personality.

The following is a brief description of Dr. D’Adamo’s recommendations:

Type O-People with type O blood fare best on intense physical exercise and animal proteins and less well on dairy products and grains.   found in wheat products Gluten is the leading cause of weight gain and, to a lesser extent, lentils, corn, kidney beans, and cabbage. Ideal exercises for Type O’s include aerobics, martial arts, contact sports, and running.

Type A are more naturally suited to a vegetarian diet and foods that are fresh, pure, and organic. Type A’s are predisposed to heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, and dietary adjustments can be very critical to their sensitive immune system.   Type A’s prefer calming, centering exercise, such as yoga and tai chi.

Type B’s have a strong immune system and a tolerant digestive system and tend to resist many of the severe chronic degenerative illnesses. Type B’s do best with moderate physical exercise requiring mental balance, such as hiking, cycling, tennis, and swimming.

Type AB is the most recent type in terms of evolution and thus, the most complex.  Since the blood type is comprised of both A and B,  a combination of the exercises for types A and B works best.  However, because blood type A has a higher tendency to be stressed out and are prone to cardiovascular diseases, exercises that incorporate calming movements, like yoga, are recommended.

Click here for complete recommendations by Dr. Peter D’Adamo.

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August 2010
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