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Blogger in the Midst Case Review

In: People

Submitted By manuni88
Words 869
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A Blogger in Their Midst

Summary
Lancaster-Webb Medical Supply is a manufacturer of disposable gloves and other medical products. Will Somerset, the CEO, is preparing to give a big speech introducing a remarkable nitrile glove for his company at an Industry conference. He notices that his crowd is considerably smaller when usual then finds out he was upstaged by Glove Girl. Unfortunately for Mr. Somerset Glove Girl is a blogger and a popular one at that for medical products similar to those that Lancaster-Webb produces. That is because Glove Girl is the assistant foreman at the Compton plant of Lancaster-Webb’s surgical gloves unit.
From the article we know Glove Girl has blogged about * The pending launch of the nitrile gloves and about competitors’ products. * Questioning Lancaster-Webb business ethics for their next big sales pitch. * Complementing the older model SteriTouch glove, causing sales to skyrocket * Her pen pail from the factory in China about conditions there.
The problem with Glove girl isn’t the fact that she has casted a shadow over Lancaster-Webb, rather the problem is that Lancaster-Webb had no control or knowledge of what she was posting.

Symptoms and Causes
Glove Girl provided Lancaster-Webb with a new social-media advertisement campaign which was revolutionary at the time, and it was free. Unfortunately she also disclosed confidential information to world without her company’s approval/knowledge. Blogging and social media advertisement are very effective way to reach your demographic but also has greater fallout when mistakes are made. * Consumers- Word of mouth has always been a great or horrible advertisement for companies. The internet revolutionized how people communicate about a product. “With the prevalence of social media outlets and places to rant, rave and review, word-of-mouth marketing has become a streamlined force of communications and reliability for consumers” (Stone). Now it isn’t necessary to know somebody who is familiar with the product to get a review. It is easy to find and read many reviews that customers have on a product whether from a blog or other online source.

* Companies- Before social media marketing it was near impossible for companies to know and control what is being said about their products. Now companies can promote and monitor these discussions between customers. “Mediate conversations by responding to criticism professionally and promoting your biggest brand ambassadors. Take back the control, take back your marketing messages, and take back your brand” (Stone). Companies should follow social media sites and bloggers to get a better understanding on their targeted demographic.

* Complications- Unfortunately social media can negatively affect a company or person with the controversy of a misguided post. Ken Goldstein, of Chubb Group Insurance Companies, was quoted saying, “Just because it's informal and quick doesn't mean you can't get yourself into significant trouble” (Evangelista). It would seem like common sense that people would think before posting but social media is quick and informative.

Conclusion and Recommendations
Lancaster-Webb needs to embrace Glove Girl as a blogger, not as a assistant foreman but they have to add control/regulation. They cannot afford to lose glove girl because she has already established connections and is a forerunner in the social media market.
If the Medical Supply company decides to fire or shutdown Glove Girl’s they will lose all the personal and digital connections she has already established. Glove Girl has inside information from their factory in China and Huston’s head nurse. While getting a manicure with the head nurse, she was corrected on an earlier blog and made a correction. Lancaster-Webb should utilize this connection for further research and development. Other companies at the conference want to hire Glove Girl and this is a perfect way for Lancaster-Webb to gather additional information about their market.
The biggest problem that Lancaster-Webb has with Glove Girl has is lack of control. There is a dangerous fall out risk that goes along with social media but having hiring somebody to monitor or control postings is critical for success. They need to have Glove Girl send in a copy of her blog before she makes a post. “Someone with the training or experience to know what and what not to post” (Evangelista) can help protect negative posts such as questioning the company’s ethics or releasing inside information. Adding somebody to look over Glove Girls post can also prevent the company from getting in trouble. “Just because a [post] isn't an official memo or e-mail, your company can still get sued. Is the post insulting, offensive or defamatory? Error on the side of caution" (Evangelista).
Glove Girl can be a great marking source for Lancaster-Webb if they choose to embrace it. With the proper attention Glove girl can reach their target audience in a way that the medical supply company only dreamed of.

References * Evangelista, Benny. "High Price to Be Paid for Controversial Social-media Mishaps."SFGate. San Francisco Chronicle, 17 Mar. 2011. Web. 16 Feb. 2013. * Stone, Kimberly E. "Why Traditional Marketing Trumps Social Media, And What To Do About It." Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 18 Sept. 2012. Web. 16 Feb. 2013. * Suitt, Halley. "A Blogger in Their Midst." Harvard Business Review. N.p., Sept. 2003. Web.

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