Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Stop this man before he speaks again

Recently I discussed how most of the time when people refer to a "PR crisis" they simply are referring to an actual crisis, in which an organization has failed in its basic mission and no amount of spin will save the day.

Then there's Netflix. If a genuine PR crisis is one in which an organization's response to its problems actually make the problems worse, than congratulations, Netflix, you have a real PR crisis on your hands. Case in point, your CEO just won't shut up:

Last month, when announcing Qwikster, you apologized for the way Netflix handled its price hikes, writing, “In hindsight I slid into arrogance based upon past success.” But wasn’t introducing Qwikster the way you did the most arrogant move of all?

No, I think it was just a mistake in underestimating the depth of emotional attachment to Netflix. (link)

Really? People were angry and turned your company into a laughingstock because they were too emotionally invested in it? Please. They were angry because a company built on convenience was now going to require them to maintain two separate accounts, with two separate billings, in order to pay more money to get, at best, the exact same level of service. And to boot, you picked a name that screamed "Failed Internet Start-up, Circa 1999."

If Netflix CEO Reed Hastings really believes the problem was his customers "emotional attachment to Netflix," then it could be a long time before this company -- and its plummeting stock -- hit rock bottom.

1 comment:

Krista said...

Great assessement! It seems Netflix has the perpetual "foot in mouth" disease, because as soon as they say one thing about their service, they say another, then launch Qwickster, then not launch it, then go back to their old service (I think?).

As a customer of Netflix, this whole situation confused me. As a communications professional, it had me face palming every time I heard yet a new announcement. One can only hope that Netflix can scrape up the pieces and still maintain what's left of their reputation following this debacle.