When solving a problem, the simplest answer is usually the best one. Pajamas Media (PM) realized this after launching their new company, Open Source Media. The blogosphere quickly pointed out that the name was already in use by a popular radio show (more popular than ever thanks to a week's worth of Google Juice).
PM could have responded in any number of ways, including silence while they huddled with lawyers crafting
the safest a response. Instead they simply admitted the mistake and reverted back to their original name. Problem solved.
The Need for Speed
While PM's outcome provides a stark contrast to the Kryptonite Bike Lock conclusion, these blog relations case histories do share one common thread. Both stories unfolded very quickly. PM's new company officially launched on Thursday, November 17. Instead of celebrating through the weekend, PM quickly spotted the issue and responded on Tuesday, November 22. Problem spotted and resolved in less than one week's time. Phew!
Kryptonite unfolded almost as quickly. In one week
less than three weeks, the first bikeforums.net message was posted and the story moved to blogs, then national media and it ended with Kryptonite announcing a product exchange program that PR News claims cost the company at least $10 million.
The fact that PM's crisis had a positive result in a shorter period of time points to the benefit of defining your target audience's online space, monitoring it and (eventually) participating in it.
UPDATE: Kryptonite PR Manager Donna Tocci stopped by to correct my timing above: >>It felt like three weeks, but what you mentioned actually unfolded a lot quicker - in a week. Concern arose on a forum as you mentioned, bloggers picked it up a day or two later, national media picked it up day 3 and we had an outline of a plan announced by day 5. Bloggers keep telling me their opinion is that our plan outline wasn't as fast in coming as it needed to be, however, please don't make us any slower! :) <<
I was impressed that Donna saw this post hours after it was published via an IceRocket search and quickly joined the conversation to point this out. It was no surprise when I saw on Shel Holtz' blog that Donna is now blogging. You learn by doing. Welcome to the fray Donna.