I received an interesting message today from a fellow LA Tech traveler. She hosts a major event but was getting some push back on the advertising poster that was designed and released. She asked a couple of questions about how she might deal with this push back and turn it around into something positive.
Off the top of my head I came up with 2 ideas.
First, instead of hiding from the controversy, engage it. Post a poll on the web site and send it out to the mailing list of interested people. What don’t they like about the poster campaign? What would they change? What would they keep? Controversy is great at driving discussion and shouldn’t be avoided. You could be developing some of your biggest fans through just such a conversation.
Second, if the fans don’t like the ad campaign, have them design one of their own. Put their talents to use and have them show you — via text, photos, audio, video, whatever — what they would like to see in the promotion. I must admit this is better to do BEFORE you have completed your own ad campaign, but I also think it is a great response to the people that took issue. Give them a chance to express themselves in some other way than simply saying “I hate it!”
An Example Survey using Google Docs