The Importance of Public Relations or: That time TEDxUCLA blew me off

 

I’m a camera guy and I noticed that there’s an upcoming TEDxUCLA event. Well, like most TED events, I assume they would hire a camera crew to shoot that event. Out of curiosity, I simply asked, “Do you hire your camera crew or through a third party?” Instead I got, “we currently have a camera crew for 2016. But thanks for asking.” How does this answer my question? Why is this answer so hostile and unhelpful?

TEDXUCLA

I love TED Talks. They’re inspiring, informative, and very entertaining. I see the brand and assume that everyone who stands behind that brand strives to promote an environment of curiosity, unpretentious wisdom, and camaraderie. Instead, I was given a curt, pretentious, and snobby response by TEDxUCLA.

Am I wrong for asking a question?

I single out TEDxUCLA because right before I contacted them, I reached out to TED directly. A site support rep sent a response that was friendly, professional, and informative.

 

TED HEAD

Maybe that’s why TED defines the TEDx sites as “independently organized TED-like events around the world.” “TED-like,” but rude. That’s too bad.

Have I lost any sleep over this? (Lol) Of course not. It’s typical to my industry and I’ve gotten far worse responses to inquiries. I also know people who do this won’t get too far in anything.

What compelled me to speak up is that I really like the TED brand and think it’s a shame that their association with this experience has put a bad taste in my mouth.

On the bright side, it is a great lesson in public relations. Whether in person or on social media, people still care about how they are treated.

Maybe there’s a TED talk about it!

Probably not at UCLA though…

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Have you had something similar happen to you? How did you react? Should brands be held responsible for rude behavior on social media affiliates? What is the appropriate reaction to a situation like this?

Please reply in our comments section.