Dear Sir or Madam,
Congratulations on your recent promotion to CEO of Jurassic World. I understand that this will be a trying and stressful time due to recent containment related blips on your public-facing customer-networking relationship caused by an enraged dinosaur eating everyone in your primary location. While this situation was clearly anomalous, it has had a potentially catastrophic effect on your positioning within the dinosaur-related entertainment vertical.
While it’s too late to put that metaphorical dinosaur back in its cage, as a leading Professional Internet™ in my field I have some recommendations as to how your predecessor could have leveraged the power of online community to prevent such events and minimise their effect on customer engagement and fiscal results over the coming quarter.
An Internal Community Can Vastly Improve Staff Communication
It’s no secret that inter-departmental communication was a big problem in Jurassic World. For instance, the genetics department was notoriously reticent to discuss their projects with other staff. The size of the island made face-to-face meetings impractical, and the team became fragmented and hostile. An internal staff community allows your staff (even those in remote situations) to:
- Share best practises with regard to issues such as proper security protocols and raptor pen safety
- Allow for the coordination of staff in the event that an evacuation is necessary
- Communicate effectively with each other and collaborate on projects. Imagine how different things could have been if staff had an easy way to share feedback with each other:
2. A community knowledge base increases awareness of your product
Even before the recent dinosaur-ingestion related problems, Jurassic World was suffering a gradual decline in visitor numbers. The response to this (Indominus Rex) was an example of a product solution to an awareness problem. Your existing product was fantastic! People love dinosaurs, but without a branded community you weren’t able to convert that enthusiasm into strong brand advocates who could spread the word. The excellent SEO of a branded forum would ensure that interested customers are able to find you. After a great day out in your park, customers should be able to share the fantastic experiences they’ve had. As it is, their only option is social media, and those fantastic stories are immediately lost in the noise and hullabaloo.
A community forum also operates as a knowledge base that your most enthusiastic customers can contribute to. It can become a resource about your brand and things related to it (such as dinosaurs) that will bring in new, curious customers and remind them why your product is so exciting. You can turn the uninitiated into enthusiasts, and enthusiasts into die-hard fans. By increasing the excitement around your core product, you remove the need for gimmicks such as expensive and dangerous genetically-modified killer dinosaurs.
3. A Customer Community Can Turn Bad News Into Good
Every brand takes a knock every now and then. Whether it’s a bad product launch (like New Coke), a hostile media piece (ala Super Size Me for McDonalds) or the evisceration of dozens of guests by enraged pterosaurs, PR snafus are inevitable in today’s media environment. Without a customer community, it’s much harder to control the narrative in your favour. I’m sure that your paid PR team are great, but they’re not going to be able to turn this ship around. Customers are inherently distrustful of corporate PR, in today’s social media environment only the word of other customers is to be trusted.
It may already be too late to put this pterodactyl back in the aviary, but that’s no reason not to be ready for next time. If you have an enthusiastic community of brand advocates already in place, as soon as a crisis hits they’ll be ready to reframe the conversation in a way that your customers find persuasive. In your recent trouble with misaligned resource behaviour for instance, brand advocates could:
- Point out that while spending a weekend being terrorised by Indominus Rex is not ideal, it’s the kind of unique life experience that can only be offered by Jurassic World.
- Post photographs of your amazing scenery and speculate in tones of awed wonderment as to how much better it would look for a customer who is 500 feet high, clutched in the talons of a Pterodactyl.
- Counter the prevailing narrative put forth by critics of the park, by pointing out that their stories are mildly histrionic given that the odds of being in the park on a day when the dinosaurs run amok and devour customers can be as low as 1 in 6.
4. Use Community Focus Groups to Come Up With a Better Name for Your Dinosaur Than Indominus Rex
A marketing community can lead to the accumulation of fantastic ideas in situations like this. Content marketers worldwide are leveraging the power of community to generate new ideas, evaluate existing ones and learn how best to speak to their customers. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t do the same. Members of your marketing community could suggest much better names, such as:
- MC Indominus
- Mr. Cuddles
- Sexy Rexy
...and dozens more. Some may even be better than my suggestions. Probably not though. I’m a professional writer after all. This is my whole gig.
I’m enthusiastic about your brand, and hope you’ll come to realise that a community forum is the only way forward for the Jurassic World franchise. If you need more information, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. My consulting rates are relatively reasonable, compared to some people. I’m not naming any names.
PS: Have you read my Community Playbook? It's free, and tells you everything you need to know about running a thriving community. There's not a lot of dinosaur specific stuff in there, but it can be applied to any situation. Anyway, think about it.