A few days before I headed down to Austin, TX for SXSW, I caught wind of a promotion that Sony and Technorati had put together, where they were offering bloggers a Sony Webbie HD video camera to use to cover SXSW. It sounded like a cool setup, so I went ahead and applied. Luckily, I was picked to help out, which was pretty exciting. I received the confirmation email, asking for my mailing address where I was staying in Austin.
Unfortunately, I was staying with a friend, and was given incomplete address information, which meant that I wasn’t able to receive the Sony Webbie HD camera before I left Austin as planned on Monday. I did happen to meet up with Dave Peck, who was also one of the bloggers chosen for the promotion, and got the contact information for Technorati’s Social Media Strategist, Derek. Derek was actually on a ski trip, but promptly returned my call, to help me still get ahold of this camera.
In the end, I wasn’t able to get the camera before I left SXSW, which was unfortunate. However, it was my fault (I’d sent along incorrect shipping info). After a couple of quick emails, I just got word from Derek that they’d rerouted the camera to arrive at my house in Fort Worth in a couple of days, just in time for Mrs. Guru and me to head out on a cross-country road trip! You can buy the Sony Webbie HD camera from Amazon for under $200 here.
There are a few great things that I wanted to point out, that both Sony and Technorati did completely right in this situation:
1. They’re flexible – the original promotion was to use SXSW content. Even though I’m not fitting in the lines of that promotion, they recognized the value of what content I’ll be able to create through my personal trip, and were able to flex with it. They could just as easily have said, ‘Well, we really only needed people at SXSW, so we’ll just cancel the camera shipment. Flexibility is good.
2. I didn’t have to do anything – once I explained the situation *once*, I didn’t have to hassle with chasing down this package (though I did voluntarily try to catch it at the Fedex facility in Austin on my way home). I simply received an email from Derek saying not to worry, he’d fix it, and another to confirm that he’d had Sony reroute the package. Simple as that.
For others putting together promotional ideas like this, what can you learn?
1. Be Flexible – know that your plan might change, and that’s OK. The end result might possibly be better.
2. Pissing Off Bloggers Is Bad – not that bloggers should use this to demand things, but taking the effort to work with me made all the difference in the world.
Btw, the camera just arrived, here’s the unboxing: