Gini Dietrich

How Much Transparency Is Too Much?

By: Gini Dietrich | October 31, 2011 | 

Reed Hastings, the CEO of Netflix, has had a rough year.

First Netflix hired actors in Canada to pretend they were excited customers. The problem? Canada was dying to get Netflix so the anticipation and excitement was already there and actors weren’t necessary. But the bigger issue was those actors were talking to media, as if they were real customers. And, maybe they were, but that’s not why they were there.

When found out, Netflix had a bit of a crisis on their hands.

Then, in July, Netflix announced a price hike. Overnight. Via email. They lost nearly a million customers and their stock tanked.

In September, they apologized for the price hike and described the reasons they did it, including streaming comes with its own infrastructure issues, such as different taxes and IT. They also announced they were splitting the DVD and streaming businesses. Now you could have access to DVDs through Qwikster and streaming would remain Netflix.

Earlier this month they decided they weren’t going to split the businesses, after all, and claimed to have learned their lesson.

I make my living speaking on digital trends. Arment Dietrich, has weathered the economic storm because technology is fundamentally changing the way we communicate. So you know when I ask the following question, it’s something I’ve really thought about.

Is too much transparency a bad thing?

Five years ago, I doubt Reed Hastings and his team would have stumbled all over themselves like they have in the past 12 months. Sure, the Canadian thing probably still would have happened because that’s a very traditional, old school way of launching a new product or service.

But the emails and the blog posts and having to make up for all of in an earnings call? Five years ago, we didn’t have the technology for the instant communication we have now. I doubt they would have even used email marketing in the same way they did this summer.

Some people are defending their moves, saying they appreciate the transparency and are enjoying learning about the changes in the business model.

As a communication professional, and one who really enjoys the liberties technology allows us, I am here to tell you there is such a thing as too much transparency.

You’re going to stumble. You’re going to make some mistakes. We’re all human beings.

But please, please, please…before you use the digital tools to give your customers access to you, think about what it could mean down the road. Think about it strategically. And then, if you’ve done that and you still screw up, use these two little words: I’m sorry.

They’ll go a lot further than any transparency or explanation of a business model.

This first ran as my Crain’s weekly column.

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • Yes, you can definitely have too much transparency. At the end of the day you should never throw smarts or common sense out the window (do as I say, not as I do, right?…….:).

    Sometimes you just have to step up to the plate and say ‘I’m sorry’ and most times sooner rather than later after you’ve tried everything else that just dug a deeper hole.

    That was a somewhat intelligent response, right? I think I remained on topic……………have a great day.

    • ginidietrich

      @bdorman264 LOL! You DID remain on topic. It must be too early for you to be commenting on blogs.

      • @ginidietrich@bdorman264 yes it is early even I remained on topic.

        Did Bill ever tell you his story of having the chance to Insure the City of Chicago in 1867 (he insures cities btw) and he had to explain why the insurance policy covered great fires but somehow had an exclusion for fires started by Cows (horses and chickens were left in). Then when he had to go to the company shareholders explained the loss of millions (at the time Chicago was only worth $62 million because the Cubs didn’t exist yet) that historically cows didn’t start fires and that his presentation on the Insurance opportunity before pitching it to Chicago’s Mayor Roswell B. Mason, specifically excluded cows as a source of potential mayhem.When asked how he came to that conclusion he actually said ‘During a really late night of boozing with our Actuaries we laughed for like an hour while doing beer funnels and sake bombers about why we care about chickens and not cows’.

        Well that was his first employers. Luckily he landed on his feet after that.

      • @ginidietrich@bdorman264

        yes it is early even I remained on topic.

        Did Bill ever tell you his story of having the chance to Insure the City of Chicago in 1867 (he insures cities btw) and he had to explain why the insurance policy covered great fires but somehow had an inclusion for fires started by Cows (horses and chickens were left out). Then when he had to go to the company shareholders explained the loss of millions (at the time Chicago was only worth $62 million because the Cubs didn’t exist yet) that historically cows didn’t start fires and that his presentation on the Insurance opportunity before pitching it to Chicago’s Mayor Roswell B. Mason, specifically included cows as a source of potential mayhem.When asked how he came to that conclusion he actually said ‘During a really late night of boozing with our Actuaries we laughed for like an hour while doing beer funnels and sake bombers about why we care about chickens and not cows’.

        Well that was his first employers. Luckily he landed on his feet after that.

      • @ginidietrich@bdorman264

        yes it is early even I remained on topic.

        Did Bill ever tell you his story of having the chance to Insure the City of Chicago in 1867 (he insures cities btw) and he had to explain why the insurance policy covered great fires but somehow had an inclusion for fires started by Cows (horses and chickens were left out). Then when he had to go to the company shareholders explained the loss of millions (at the time Chicago was only worth $62 million because the Cubs didn’t exist yet) that historically cows didn’t start fires and that his presentation on the Insurance opportunity before pitching it to Chicago’s Mayor Roswell B. Mason, specifically included cows as a source of potential mayhem because he Mayor said…well what if the fire was started by a Cow? And Bill was like ‘Sure we will include Cow fires’. When asked how he came to that conclusion he actually said ‘During a really late night of boozing with our Actuaries we laughed for like an hour while doing beer funnels and sake bombers about why we care about chickens and not cows’.

        Well that was his first employers. Luckily he landed on his feet after that.

        • @HowieSPM@ginidietrich Howie, you were not supposed to tell my story; I was going to blog about it next week…..we do insure cities BTW and we always make sure we have the ‘cow’ rider on in case of fire. Of course now flatulence seems to be more of a problem so we have to include pollution coverage as well. There is a 3′ rule, the cows can no longer congregate more than 7 to a herd and they have to stay 3′ apart. We have these spiky things we can wrap around them so they don’t get too close. Have you ever seen a cow spontaneous combust? Pretty gruesome, I can see why Gini would be a vegetarian……….

        • @bdorman264@HowieSPM@ginidietrich I love this image! I’ve driven by enough feed lots in Texas to know this would be a * tremendous* benefit not only to the planet but to anyone driving I-20 through El Paso!

  • They did what in Canada? Seriously I should cancel just for that dumbass move. The fact you say that is normal irks me even more. I think businesses that hire fake actors to make believe a product launch is exciting should have their Headquarters blown up with everyone inside. I mean seriously.

    On the topic at hand. If your transparency exposes lack of vision, direction, execution etc don’t be transparent. Now for my story. Since I always have one. I won a small development project with a client to make a valve to be used on a Honda Motor Hydrogen Fueling Station Prototype via my sister company at the time. I promised a weekly update to ensure this valve would ship on time. Honda had equipment and people coming from Japan. VPs saw all the emails. They knew the potential for business.

    13 weeks into the 14 week delivery schedule I had to tell them another 6 weeks. So I called my sister division and made sure the top guy (VP of 4 divisions) was there to meet with my angry customer. I drove an hour for this meeting. After we pacified them he took them on a plant tour. And basically showed why my sister company is screwed up, poor quality, and untrustworthy when it comes to commitments! The whole tour I was like jumping up and down saying SHHH! OH NO! DOH! Are you really saying this! Oh Lord help me!

    • ginidietrich

      @HowieSPM I have no idea what to say to your story. Wow.

      • @ginidietrich Good news is Honda did not choose that company to provide valves for their Hydrogen Stations so you are safe to fill your Hydrogen Bicycle!

  • burgessct

    @ginidietrich Have a happy halloween – Jack Bauer’s costume is??

  • burgessct

    I’m Sorry — Great start to demonstrate that you are sorry. Words without action are, well, just words.

    Enjoy the day and great topic.


    • ginidietrich

      @burgessct I’m sorry would have worked so well here. Instead of “we’re sorry, but please understand where we’re coming from.” Oy.

  • Transparency is a fine attribute to strive for – as long as you know maintain control over what you are revealing – and have a plan in place to manage positive (and any negative) consequences….

    I always remember the day that Granny wore her “transparent” Halloween Outfit at the Bingo Hall – frightening was the word!!

    • ginidietrich

      @Nic_Cartwright Um, please tell me you’re just making that up?!?

      • @ginidietrich Do you want to see the ‘Grannygate’ video….??

        No – you got me – I was too transparent!!

  • I’m sure People Who Aren’t Invested In Netflix probably did enjoy the learning process. But everyone on the other side of that line probably didn’t. Good idea to strategize those instant communiques so you don’t end up turning green holding in your lunch on the roller-coaster ride you’ve started by mistake. Not you, of course.

    • ginidietrich

      @ShakirahDawud Are you a Netflix customer? Do you care that their infrastructure for streaming has gone up?

  • There is too much transparency just like we can be too honest. We are in business to make money, and when we are going to shove our foot in our mouth, we need to stop and think.

    Netfix did not help themselves at all. They should have kept their big yaps shut. Prices sometimes go up for services and you know what? Either people will pay it or they will not.

    The best example I can think of about too much transparency is my old job. We had an executive ‘liking” porn stars on Facebook for Pete’s sake! At one point, his profile pic was of him with no shirt on taken with a webcam. When I complained to the other bosses, I got called “negative” Now, we are all adults, but that does not mean I need to know EVERYTHING you like for someone to be “transparent” that crossed the line from “transparent” to “creepy” and it never went back.

    • @NancyD68 that is just plain wrong…!

      • @Nic_Cartwright@NancyD68 So glad I quit Facebook because you just described my page!

        • @HowieSPM@Nic_Cartwright That is why I love you Howie…

    • ginidietrich

      @NancyD68 That story still creeps me out.

      • @ginidietrich You want creeped out? Work with them! I was always creeped out by him!

        • @NancyD68@ginidietrich How do you find these employment situations Nancy? Craigs list? LOL

        • @HowieSPM@ginidietrich They started out nornal, then they got to play on Facebook…and common sense went right out the window…*sigh*

        • @NancyD68@HowieSPM@ginidietrich And there’s *another* company that is beginning to mess around with transparency and common sense. Facebook is taking a bit on the chin over its new policy with apps posting ‘the very air we breathe’. This ties in with Klout (the world is so circular!). Once FB users really begin to understand what they are allowing these apps to do, I think we will hear an even louder roar.

        • @HowieSPM@ginidietrich Now Howie, I use Craigslist to find my dates…they all seem fine until they go off their meds…

        • @NancyD68@HowieSPM@ginidietrich They need to add another button for LOL. ‘Like’ just doesn’t seem enough at times…

  • Here’s what I care about as a Netflix customer: A great service at a low cost. All of this drama and transparency takes away from that.

    Please Netflix, get back to the basics. Allowing me to watch an entire season of a sitcom over a day. That’s what makes me happy and keeps me from unsubscribing.

    • @JayDolan Dear Netflix please make Jay happy.

      • @HowieSPM Exactly. It’s all about me. I can’t write The Anti-Social Media without having absorbed years of TV shows in one day.

    • ginidietrich

      @JayDolan Dear Netflix, please listen to Jay. He also doesn’t like blog headers with photos of people folding their arms. We love him. Love, Gini

      • @ginidietrich Why do you think I hang around here so much? 🙂

        Though, I’ve been meaning to ask…what’s up with the atom in the header?

        • @JayDolan@ginidietrich (It’s a molecule — of alcohol)

        • ginidietrich

          @JayDolan It’s the creation of our long-lost designer. It’s part of Spin Sucks Pro, which you’ll see if it ever launches.

  • This morning I saw the start of the sexual accusations against Herman Cain. Par for the course, right? Anyone in politics is going to have their personal life dissected on the stage for all the world to see.

    How does this tie with transparency?

    Any publicly traded company is like a politician. If you make missteps, you’re gonna get blasted. In this new mode of communication, it takes minutes. I’m not sure the question should be about transparency; I think it ought to be more about strategy.

    Are you prepared for a crisis plan to protect your brand digital? Is there a strategy in place for this? Do you have a team of strategists to fight the battle before it begins?

    • @Soulati | PR did they not read your pitch to be their digital PR strategist? See first sign of looming trouble when they did not call you back Jayme!

      • I promise I liked this about 3 hours ago…so am doing it again! @HowieSPM

    • ginidietrich

      @Soulati | PR I have a personal story about Herman Cain….and it’s closely related to the accusations that are coming out. So much, in fact, that Mr. D asked me about three weeks ago if I was going to come forward about it. I don’t feel sorry for him one bit.

      And you’re right about strategy…now we have to think through everything. You have to play out all of the what ifs.

      • OH MAN. No way can you do that! You’re gonna have to spew this b/c it sounds like a corroboration of today’s news…but then, I am making an assumption and shouldn’t do that asinine thing, eh? @ginidietrich

        • @Soulati | PR@ginidietrich If you haven’t noticed I am like a pitbull when it comes to pig males. Think of what happened to poor white fang he couldn’t shake the other dog off. Well that is me.

          I have been in situations in my past career which were male dominated industries with men like this. And it isn’t cool. I have had to speak up about it. Herman is not getting the nomination because he is crazy. He can;t even make a good pizza how can he be president.

          But my girlfriend’s dad went off this weekend that all the press is bought or owned. He was sad he even feels Rachel maddow is because she works for the big corporation. I mentioned to him geoffliving ‘s 5th estate and why it is important to bypass the press sometimes to get things out in public view.

          So Gini TAKE HIM DOWN! 8)

          I always wonder if the deaf ears of the people is because the press creates it, or people don’t care. But seriously things have to change.

        • ginidietrich

          @Soulati | PR You can assume. You’re correct.

  • Moral of the story? If Netflix had a brain they’d hire my girl @ginidietrich . But alas…no brain to be found. 😉

    • @Marcus_Sheridan@ginidietrich didn’t they buy the company pool from you Marcus? If they were smart they would of gone for the mschechter pearl inlaid mosaic pool flooring.

    • ginidietrich

      @Marcus_Sheridan There are some businesses you just don’t want to work with.

  • Here is an example of being too transparent.

    When your wife/girlfriend asks if those pants make her look fat you always say yes. You follow up by telling her that she never lost all of the baby weight, her stomach sticks around, boobs fall down but you still love her in spite of these things.

    Netflix might have been slightly more adept. They would have said “honey those pants look ok, put down the chicken wing and go for a run.” Clearly that would have shown their common sense and slick PR skills because no woman would ever take that to be an insult. No sir.

    • ginidietrich

      @TheJackB I’m so glad I didn’t marry you! LOL!

      • @ginidietrich@TheJackB Jack is rough! And you keep saying I am mean Gini. See how nice I am? I would never say that to your face…

        • ginidietrich

          @NancyD68@TheJackB Oh I know he wasn’t saying it to ME. My pants do not make my butt look too big. I know that for fact.

        • @NancyD68 Jack is mean- ask his kids. @ginidietrich

        • @ginidietrich How do you know this? @NancyD68

      • @ginidietrich I had a snappy answer but I deleted it. Wouldn’t want to make people blush, choke, scream or shout. 😉

        • @TheJackB@ginidietrich Oh c’mon – I visit this page for the CONTROVERSY 🙂

        • @AmyMccTobin I can bring that in a hurry, but I try to be nice to our hostess. @ginidietrich

  • There is a popular myth that in an age of social media concepts like image crafting and messaging are dead. On the contrary, these are more important than ever before – allbeit very different in how they have to be approached and created. Transparency and authenticity do rule – you can’t create something out of nothing and expect it to fly – but you have to have your story straight before you start typing.

    This is what I’ve been trying to “show, not tell” in the practice of my own blog. Most bloggers and users of social media have used the newness of the media as an excuse for laziness and narcissism. The result is shallow, boring, and utterly inappropriate stuff for building a legitimate brand. Strategy is important – but at the heart of that strategy has to be a genuine understanding and connection with your customers / readers.

    Yes, it’s tricky. But the payoff is great – and the potential to stumble if you do it haphazardly is very expensive.

    • @wabbitoid very well said. There is a fine balance between ‘Look at our openness and honesty’ and ‘showing the good, bad, and the ugly’

      Just because your operation is run like a chicken without a head in private doesn’t mean you should show that to everyone publicly. And even worse for a publicly traded company. When I see this stuff my Finance Degree kicks in with ‘Short that stock with everything you got’.

      Just think if @ginidietrich had shorted Netflix the day she wrote the first blog post about the pricing issue she would of made bank when the stock recently dropped 35% on one day.

    • ginidietrich

      @wabbitoid Amen.

  • John_Trader1

    If anyone has any doubt about whether or not Netflix’s recent transgressions had an effect on the value of the company look no farther than their stock price. Their 52 week his was $304.79 (in July) and today it’s trading at around $83.00. Most say that this is all directly attributable to the strategic missteps of splitting into two, the price hikes, etc. to which I say, “bull hockey.” Yes, these all played very significant factors, but the fact that they gaffed on their communications about the changes and were probably too transparent with their approach as @ginidietrich points out is a large reason they are in the dumper right now. Many people were left with a bad taste in their mouth that will take super hero strength communications mouth wash to clean out. People are silently leaving Netflix (the worst kind of customer to lose) and it’s no doubt that their steroid laced transparency strategy played a big part.

    • ginidietrich

      @John_Trader1 Bull hockey?! If you’re going to swear on Spin Sucks, it must be “horse hockey.”

  • THIS is a question I ask myself FREQUENTLY because I am by nature VERY TRANSPARENT. It is my instinct to just confess and move on… and it is my discipline that makes me NOT do that with my clients.Mostly, I love the 2 words that are so simple but so often NOT the first thing out of a misguided PR staff member’s mouth: I’m sorry. It goes farther than any amount of prose can.

    • ginidietrich

      @AmyMccTobin I think there is a difference between confessing and moving on and telling the whole world everything you’re doing while you’re doing it. For instance, if you had a big new client that you wanted to talk about, would you wait until after the contract was signed and sealed and you got your deposit? Or would you announce it before all that happened?

      • @ginidietrich Usually I only announce my clients BY NAME after the project is completed and they are HAPPY with me. I have a frenemy who posts them on her website AS SOON as they say “you’re hired.” Has come back to bite her more than once.

        • ginidietrich

          @AmyMccTobin See! Too much transparency.

  • danielnewmanUV

    I think a little too much is better than not enough. Chances are people can see through your BS if you are not.

    I always like to say…You think you see through others so well, what makes you think they can’t see through you?

    Well, they can.

    I will also say that sometimes transparency reads like “Excuse” and it takes away from the meaningful nature of the apology.

    Sorry…but our infrastructure cost went up so….

    People have already forgotten the sorry, all they hear is your excuses.

    Bring honesty, bring clarity, tell us what we need to know and need to hear. But save the excuses.

    • ginidietrich

      @danielnewmanUV It’s the “I’m sorry, but…” that kills me.

      • danielnewmanUV

        @ginidietrich yep – that is pretty much what I said. Thanks for the affirmation 🙂

        • @danielnewmanUV@ginidietrich I am sorry but what was the question?

    • @danielnewmanUV I SOOoo agree with you Daniel. Here’s another example: Bank of America is already trying the ol’ backpedal with its attempt to charge debit card holders. Two banks are already backing off after the back-lash. BofA is ‘looking for loop-holes’ in their policy so they don’t have to charge the monthly fee to all their customers. Sheesh! Just come out and tell us you made a mistake, already! (have other choice words for my-current-bank-that-may-not-be-my-future-bank but I’d rather not put them in print! <wink!>)

      • danielnewmanUV

        @BethKSchmitz Maybe you should lol – I swear that sometimes government and big corporations think we are idiots.

        Hello world – we see through you. It is people like us however that are making these decisions at your company.

        Thanks Beth!

      • ginidietrich

        @BethKSchmitz Beth, really great point about saying “Oops! We made a mistake!”

        • @ginidietrich Thanks, Gini. And Thank you @danielnewmanUV . I’d love to say ‘Shove it’, but I’m not quite in a position to pay off the mortgage. Horrible thing to have *that* called in!

  • KyEkinci

    @ginidietrich ..good point.

  • justinromack

    @ginidietrich Ooooh – I’ve thought the same thing.

  • Thanks Gini. Please, Thank you and I’m Sorry. if we would all just try and use them, we would be so much better off. really enjoyed this post. Take Care.


    • Kinda like on the Walking Dead last night when the chic didn’t thank the dude for bringing the respirator to save her son, right? I was waiting for something like that. @Al Smith

      • ginidietrich

        @Soulati | PR@Al Smith I don’t know how you can watch that show. It would give me nightmares!

    • ginidietrich

      @Al Smith Unless you’re fighting with your spouse. In which case, you’re always right.

  • There comes a point when a biz or person is stumbling all over themselves that you have to stop explaining. The problem is that Netflix made some bad decisions and when the backlash hit, they were desperately struggling to explain that they valued their customers, but still wanted us to understand why they did what they did.

    Netflix weren’t listening. Most Netflix customers were too busy cancelling/downgrading their plans (me included) to ask why – no one cared about why, they just wanted Netflix to fix a bad decision. Instead, Reed & Co. tried to explain it. Sometimes – you just need to say you’re sorry, mean it, and move on.

    • ginidietrich

      @Maranda Exactly! NO ONE cares why…they just want their stuff the way it was. It’s called customer service 101.

      • @ginidietrich I think customer service might be lacking in many areas for big business. It’s one of the reasons why so many “big” companies are loosing touching with their customers. I’m just going to say it now – 2012, I believe, is the year “mom and pop” fight back.

  • jasonarican

    While the push with social media has been for companies to be “transparent”, there is certainly a such thing as overdoing it. I believe @thebrandbuilder used the term “opacity” to describe a more accurate concept of how companies should approach sharing and I like that a lot.

    In this specific case, I don’t fault Netflix for being too transparent. As you point out, that was one of the biggest points of feedback after the initial announcement. Rather, Reed and co. just stumbled through the communication and execution of their plan… second guessing their moves and painfully backtracking.

    The problem is that this story played out far longer than it should have. Decisions were not properly vetted and the company never advanced confidently in one direction.

    I see the makings of this in the recent Klout announcements. They would be wise to study what happened with Netflix and quickly identify how they can avoid the same mistakes.

    • ginidietrich

      @jasonarican I like opacity, too. There are certain things best left proprietary until you’re really ready to announce. I wonder if you’re right about Klout?!? I know we’re all watching with baited breath.

  • Could be worse – they could be Klout…

    • @DannyBrown Are you stirring the pot Sir? 🙂

      • @NancyD68@DannyBrown excuse me but Danny and my use of the hemp plant to make holiday brownies is a private matter.

        • @HowieSPM@DannyBrown You better share! Jerk.

        • @NancyD68@HowieSPM What the deuce?

        • @DannyBrown@HowieSPM How are you guys going to make “special brownies” and not share with your pal Nancy? That is just wrong.

        • jenzings

          and all I can think of now when referencing brownies is this:

          @HowieSPM@NancyD68@DannyBrown thanks to dough

      • @NancyD68@DannyBrown now if I can only combine Danny’s terrorism against Kloot and mine against Yelp! into one broad campaign we could make history. Kloot + Yelp is Klelp!?

        • @HowieSPM@DannyBrown What in the name of all that is good in restaurants do you have against Yelp! Howie?

        • @NancyD68@DannyBrown I have major issues with Yelp! right now Nancy. Read my comments on Molly Megasko’s recent post here. I find the site as dangerous for a small business as it could be a boon because of their lack of customer service, no way to call them, they refuse to remove abusive reviews, it can be gamed by creating accounts to write false reviews (many businesses do this to up their score or hurt competitors) etc.Oh and they offer you to buy advertising space on your competitors pages!

        • @HowieSPM@NancyD68@DannyBrown I have heard of this very thing re: abusive reviews, Howie. It happened to a friend of mine. He *eventually* was able to get Yelp to remove the offensive (and untrue) comments from their site, but it took tremendous effort on his part.

          What safeguards can be put in place to prevent such things? I mean, without violating little things like the First Amendment and all that?

          Then arguments come back for Free Enterprise. Purchase advertising space to counter your competitors. Arg! A nasty cyclone in which the winner is… Yelp!

        • @HowieSPM Do you place Tripadvisor and other peer review sites in the same sentence as Yelp when bashing it? @NancyD68 @DannyBrown

        • ginidietrich

          @BethKSchmitz Dear Beth, you are very smart. Please stop by anytime. Love, Gini

        • @Ari Herzog@HowieSPM@NancyD68@DannyBrown Remember, every business has a right to make money! <snide wink!>

        • @ginidietrich Ooo,… let me know when the ‘brownies’ are ready!

        • @ginidietrich Oh, my relies got out of sync — I hate it when that happens!

        • @BethKSchmitz Yes, indeed, businesses must make money. A right, though? They exist to earn profit which exists in many forms.I frequently patronize restaurants based specifically on reviews on Yelp. Where, and other places. I then tell my friends about the meals and service. Without such sites, where does that money go again? /grin @HowieSPM @NancyD68 @DannyBrown

        • @Ari Herzog@HowieSPM@NancyD68@DannyBrown [I was attempting a spoof of Obama commenting on BofA’s decision to charge a fee on debit cards. There was a <snide grin> that was lost in the ether and something else that was lost in translation.]

          Yes, Ari, businesses *used* to exist to make money. I’m beginning to question if this is the sole reason any more. Even Harvard Biz School has rewritten its charter to include something about good services before strictly making money (I can find it if you want).

        • @Ari Herzog@BethKSchmitz@HowieSPM@DannyBrown I use OpenTable to find restaurants. It has not failed me yet.

        • @NancyD68 If Opentable didn’t enable you to reserve a table, would you still use the site? Because without the reserving, it’s yelp.

      • @NancyD68 Perish the thought, miss… 😉

      • ginidietrich

        @NancyD68@DannyBrown Stirring the pot?!? He’s been writing about it for a week!

        • @ginidietrich@NancyD68 Actually, of four posts on my blog last week, I only wrote two about Klout. bobledrew wrote a guest one, and I wrote a teaser about a new blog launching tomorrow.

          So, um, do the math. 😉

        • ginidietrich

          @DannyBrown@NancyD68 It’s no fun if you can’t embellish a story. Jeez.

        • Burning one with @DannyBrown @HowieSPM and @ginidietrich needs to be on my bucket list. Right, @NancyD68 ?

        • @jasonkonopinski@DannyBrown@HowieSPM@ginidietrich Indeed. Think about it for a moment. How crazy would that be?

        • @ginidietrich@DannyBrown But Gini my love, that would be Spin, and you teach us that Spin Sucks!

        • ginidietrich

          @NancyD68@DannyBrown No, spin would be turning the truth around. I only exaggerated the facts to make for a better story.

        • @ginidietrich@NancyD68@DannyBrown I love this group!

        • @ginidietrich@DannyBrown And now we are splitting hairs. 🙂 Did you go check FB to see my amazing Halloween costume yet?

        • @BethKSchmitz@ginidietrich@DannyBrown What’s not to like? We are awesome!

        • @NancyD68@DannyBrown@HowieSPM@ginidietrich We’d be waxing poetic about this and that. I’m on board.

    • @DannyBrown I love your Kloot crusade (In Vancouver they say Kloot). And funny I went to Babelfish with the sole purpose of having something cutesy like ‘In Montreal they call it ….’ and so I entered ‘Silly’ and the french translation….Idiot

      And I thought…how fitting LOL

      • @HowieSPM You just can’t make some of this shit up. 🙂

        • @DannyBrown@HowieSPMThank God you can’t! Who would believe us?

    • @DannyBrown Heh – leave off Klout…..!! Despite everything – they still insist I am a world expert on the Mullet. #proud or #devastated……??? #mustdeletethoseoldphotos

      • @Nic_Cartwright So THAT’s why you don’t use a headshot in your avatar! 🙂

        • @DannyBrown That and I am an International Man of Mystery….

  • MeganByrnes2

    @danamuses #museweb It’s a Catch22. Transparency can be messy and late, but think about the reaction Netflix would get if they said nothing?

  • I now see why this house gets 100+ average comments; see below. Uhmm, NancyD68, DannyBrown, HowieSPM — you are fired.

    On a better note, did I win the Spin Sucks Jack contest? Huh?

    • ginidietrich

      @Soulati | PR We haven’t announced yet. Patience!

    • @Soulati | PR Spin Sucks Jack contest? Um….

      • ginidietrich

        @TheJackB@Soulati | PR LOL!!!

  • Alineh86

    @ginidietrich Netflix just doesn’t have the best PR practices in my opinion. Their communication strategies don’t seem well thought out.

    • ginidietrich

      @Alineh86 If they’re strategies at all…

      • Alineh86

        @ginidietrich yes! Well I guess I was just trying to put it delicately. Just goes to show how critical a role PR plays!

        • ginidietrich

          @Alineh86 Exactly!

  • The irony is I joined Netflix around the time they announced their changes. But that never affected me as I only bought (and am still with) their streaming plan. Ordering DVDs through the mail never appealed to me.

    Is too much transparency bad? Depends on who’s giving it.

    • ginidietrich

      @Ari Herzog I suppose that’s ironic for you, isn’t it? There is still such a thing as proprietary information…including that which you should wait to iron out before announcing.

  • geoffliving

    Here’s the thing, Netflix just had their highest revenue quarter ever, but because their CEO Is a jackass, no one sees that. They just see an implosion, one that arguably may not be real. I see nothing wrong with focusing on a higher dollar business so long as old customers are grandfathered in a respectful fashion.

    • ginidietrich

      @geoffliving I see nothing wrong with the refocus either. What I have a problem with is the see-saw approach. We’re going to do this. Nope! Now this. Nope! Now THIS!

      • geoffliving

        @ginidietrich No question. This guy or his entire communications team should be fired.

        • ginidietrich

          @geoffliving If he even has a communications team.

        • consultantlaunc

          It’s really easy to blame the communications team when the problem is more likely a policy decision. This Kill the Messenger mentality is sort of sad. Who knows what the communications team advised him to do.

        • ginidietrich

          @consultantlaunc Or if they advised him.

        • ginidietrich

          @consultantlaunc P.S. I’m not blaming the communication team. I’m blaming the communication. I don’t know if he was advised incorrectly or didn’t listen. Either way, the way it was handled is the problem. I don’t blame his team.

        • @consultantlaunc I hear you. I sit on the board of a unique non-profit and we’ve been experiencing a barrage of negative attacks that are calculated, misleading smear tactics.The attorneys sitting on the board drive me mad with their CAUTIONARY (which really means move at the pace of a turtle) advise.

  • It seems pretty simple to me. If Netflix had signed and announced their streaming deals with Dreamworks, AMC and Disney/ABC BEFORE the price changes (the Quikster thing was just bad idea, period), they would have saved themselves of most of the trouble — and lost customers. Then the transparency about how the economics around the streaming business model was more costly (because of the cost of content) would have made sense.

    • ginidietrich

      @TedWeismann I think Netflix should read Spin Sucks. THIS is a great idea.

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  • ctmarcom

    @toddforsythe Thanks for the RT!

  • ginidietrich

    @tamcdonald Morning!

  • LaurenVargas

    Being a transparent company does not mean you have to reveal everything, but you reveal what is necessary to the community you serve…in a timely and respected manner. As a customer and a communicator, I have tracked the saga and you are right, Gini, the words *I’m sorry* go a long way.

  • Maybe it’s because I work in government that I think this, but transparency isn’t a bad thing; being plain stupid however….

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  • ginidietrich

    @CourtV I’m sorry!

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