Vail Daily’s Don Rogers: Can’t BS about the snow anymore
Vail, CO, Colorado
Facebook and Twitter flourish where the establishment keeps a lid on the truth. Countries in the Middle East in particular are learning this the hard way.
It’s also a little lesson for the junior marketeers and chamber of commerce mentalities in this valley.
I admit I’ve always been frustrated with the notion that we should do anything but share the truth straight up about what’s happening or not happening in our great community – neither sensationalizing nor downplaying.
In winter, this comes up whenever the snow stops falling for a couple of weeks. I’ve taken more than my share of calls over the years from earnest, well-meaning folks waxing hysterical about keeping the truth from the vacationers.
As if they don’t know already.
Let me just repeat that it’s in all our self-interest to just be straightforward about hard news. And yes, too little snow here constitutes very hard news. Many of our livelihoods depend on the snow falling on time.
I agree you don’t have to harp on things, make what’s hard sound even worse – alas, a most human failing.
But the fastest way to lose your credibility is to pretend things are different than they really are.
So just be honest. You’ll be trusted later when the news really is good. Like with last year’s storms following storms, powder atop powder.
I couldn’t be more pleased that there’s a very practical reason to just tell the truth these days: social media.
Now you couldn’t BS the visitors if you wanted to. It was never a good idea. Now you’ll pay for, ahem, exaggerating or spinning just a bit.
No one seems to know this better than the folks at Vail Resorts. I’m not sure I’ve seen a company do a better job with taking advantage of social media to engage people who like them and skiing.
The EpicMix and staging free photography on the mountain were brilliant ideas. Company leaders seemed to clearly grasp what social media does and doesn’t do. They made the all-important experience on their mountains that much more fun, and generated some good buzz, too.
The “dark” side is they actually have to be genuine, authentic, sincere. Marketeers like to talk glibly about those terms as tools. But now this is stuff you don’t get to fake. You really do have to be real.
You can be enthusiastic and hopeful, but no fudging about the depth of the snow or pretending the Back Bowls ain’t bare.
So just tell the truth, and thanks for letting us do our job.
Bookings are up, by the way. Truly.
Editor and Publisher Don Rogers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 970-748-2920.
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