Use Your Power for Good

Posted on April 11, 2011

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Last week I wrote about how much more likely people are to share a bad experience they have with a brand or service with their friends then they are to share a good one. But let me be clear, that doesn’t mean they won’t share good experiences, the bad ones just really stand out.

There are still many reasons for you to utilize the unique resources an air talent has available to generate positive interactions with your listeners. You have the ability to create  the kind of experiences they will have reason to remember and share with friends. Sure the name’s a little trite but the concept is great; create Random Acts of Kindness for your listeners.

In fact, the trend experts at Trendwatching.com have listed Radom Acts of Kindness as one of their 11 Crucial Consumer Trends for 2011. Their case for the value of performing Random Acts of Kindness is based on three observations:

1) Consumers increasingly report wanting to buy from (listen to) brands that show they have a human side. More than 70% of respondents in a Young & Rubicam study last summer indicated they make it a point to buy from companies whose values are similar to their own. 

2) With so much information about consumer’s (listeners) lives being posted to Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and the like it is feasible to undertake Random Acts of Kindness that are relevant to people’s lives.

3) People are sharing their experiences, both positive and negative, which gives any Random Act of Kindness a life beyond just the recipient. Just on Facebook alone, users have an average of 130 friends and share more than 30 billion pieces of information each month.

Now keep in mind the key word is “random.” If you truly want to create an impression with what you do there has to be an element of surprise and personalization.

This is not caller 20 getting tickets to a sold out show at a pre-determined time you’ve promoted all week. A Random Act of Kindness would be encountering a Facebook fan of your show that wasn’t able to get tickets to see their all-time favorite band and taking them to the show unexpectedly. Being caller 20 is nice, unexpectedly receiving tickets is memorable.

If tickets to sold out shows are tough to come by there are resources available in your audience and through the sales team to power your efforts. For example:

  • See if Vermont Teddy Bear or Pajamagram will give provide a few extra giveaways that you can send to single people who are hating Valentine’s Day.
  • Partner with a pizza chain to send the occasional dinner to overworked parents.
  • Find a massage therapist looking to market their business who can go out once in a while to the office of a person who had an awful commute.
  • Show up unannounced with hot chocolate at a Polar Plunge charity event.

You don’t need a large stash of stuff to do this because it isn’t a daily effort. Again, remember the key word is Random.

If you don’t want to search out worthy recipients for Random Acts of Kindness empower your listeners. Kleenex brand’s “Softness Worth Sharing” campaign and Emergen-C “Share the Good” effort both enabled consumers to send samples of their products to friends who weren’t feeling well.

Or you could encourage people to undertake their own Random Acts of Kindness like Yahoo does with the ‘How Good Grows” Web site where people share the good deeds they’ve done and challenge others to do so as well.

You can see more examples of how companies have used Random Acts of Kindness to build brand loyalty at trendwatching.com, which is the Web site of one of the world’s leading trend firms. At the site you can also sign up to receive their free, monthly Trend Briefings which already go out to more than 160,000 subscribers worldwide

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