Tag Archives: Newsweek

Customers 1st Speaker Profile: Emily Yellin, Author, Your Call Is(Not That) Important To Us

Emily Yellin
Author
Your Call Is(Not That) Important To Us

Emily Yellin is the author of Your Call Is (Not That) Important to Us (Free Press 2009) and Our Mothers’ War (Free Press 2004), and was a longtime contributor to The New York Times. She has also written for Time, The Washington Post, The International Herald Tribune, Newsweek, Smithsonian Magazine, and other publications.

Born in White Plains, New York, Emily grew up in Memphis. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin ‘ Madison with a degree in English literature, and received a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University. She has lived in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, and London, but currently lives in Memphis.

Emily decided to write Your Call Is (Not That) Important to Us while waiting on hold one day in her freezing cold house, only to argue on the phone for hours with customer service at a home warranty company before convincing someone to come fix her broken furnace.

Bio courtesy of Red Room.

Customer Service Overkill

Eve Tahmincioglu of yourbiz.msnbc.com, recently did a small survey via Twitter about customer service that’s gone overboard. In her piece, Customer Service Overkill Can Kill You, she asks, “Can there be too much customer service?/is too much attention a miss?” She received a varied response from her Twitter friends, including a few about stores or salesmen that shopper’s avoid. We enourage you to check out Ms. Tahmincioglu’s piece and see if you agree with her thoughts on customer service? What do you think–can customer service go overboard?

Research 2.0: How drug companies are using social networks to recruit patients for clinical research.

Pharmaceutical companies are utilizing social networks at an increasing rate. In Sarah Kliff’s article on Newsweek.com, she covers just one of them–Inspire.com. According to Ms. Kliff, Inspire’s nearly 100,000 users aren’t just sharing with each other (and the 62 nonprofits who partner with the site), they’re also receiving targeted information from pharmaceutical companies who use the site as a recruiting tool for drug studies. Opening this door between patients and drugmakers has some obvious benefits but also raises a host of ethical and medical dilemmas. Kliff goes on to describe this phenomenon as a Pharma Facebook, of sorts. According to Kliff’s research, three of the four pharmaceuticals working with Inspire declined to discuss their interest in social networks, or even reveal their names. The fourth, Merck, declined multiple requests for an interview but did issue a brief statement on their commitment to “rapid and effective enrollment of appropriate patients into trials” as to allow for “timely development of innovative medicines.” As a social media expert, what do you think are the benefits of this outlet for pharmaceutical companies to connect with patients? Do you see any blaring negatives? Let us know your thoughts here or on Twitter.

Latest Advertisements Capitalizing on Anger

An article found in NY Times, delves into the emotion that is present in many ads today. Anger. In one commercial from Southwest Airlines, in reference to the cost of other airlines, the company is quoted as saying ‘What have they been smoking? Apparently, your rolled-up $20s.’ Southwest isn’t the only company utilizing this strategy. Harley Davidson is using the tag line ‘freedom and wind outlast hard times’, and Jackson Hewitt displays images of taxpayers who didn’t use their services ‘angrily smashing or throwing things’. As the NY Times said ‘The tone and attitude of the ads are part rant, part battle cry, part manifesto and part populist appeal.’ In 2006 a Newsweek Article titled ‘Unhappy Americans’ they alleged that in a poll they conducted, 67% of Americans are unhappy. Are the advertisements based on marketing research accurately reflecting the mood of society today, or has this attitude changed?