SpinVox: If ever a company was more in need of James Whatley

Have a look at the terse, direct statement issued by SpinVox in reaction to today’s BBC news story.

It includes no names. No ‘hello, it’s Daniel/Christian/Somebody here’. No personality whatseover.

Perhaps, then, their direct and officious statement underlines the unimaginable panic going on at their Marlow HQ?

Whither the friendliness, the approachable hi-ya, the ‘listen, it’s not like that?’

Indeed, the SLOW response out of Marlow today (it took them until 3.33pm to publish their statement) is perhaps a story in itself. There’s been nothing public out of the company at all before then.

For your average FTSE, that slow, measured strategy is perfectly fine — but from uber-fast-connected-social-media-SpinVox? Disappointing and strange.

This is the day you need James Whatley (their social media chap). So integral is Mr Whatley that the SpinVox statement is actually published on the company’s blog, bearing his name and contact details.

THIS is when you needed James to be right there, laptop burning, showing attention to the legions of interested parties across multiple social media channels. James is smart enough to avoid getting drawn into conversations without having appropriate authority — but he could have at least kept us in the Twitter-sphere (and many of the mobile industry A-list) updated with holding comments. I’m willing to bet he’d have been posting half hour messages along the lines of ‘Official response at 3.30pm folks, standby, all is good’.

That approach would have kept a lot of people from speculating — myself included.

Why?

Because we all know the chap. Because he’s invested time, effort and money (SpinVox’s cash as well as his own) in ensuring that we know him, his relaxed, friendly, confident style. A few words from him — so we knew he was ‘on it’ and ‘dealing with it’ — would have sent us back to our desks to look at The Onion until 3.30pm.

James would have ensured that the SpinVox statement came from a named individual; that there was plenty of notice via Twitter; that inaccurate statements being published all over the social web would have been tagged with a ‘er, not quite — standby for our official response’ immediately.

It just so happens that James is away this week — something that’s terribly unfortunate for SpinVox. I’ve always got the impression that James has been the moderating influence at the company — opening them up — forcibly — to using the new social mediums, assuring and advising as necessary. James knows how to do this because he knows so many of the people — directly — who’re covering the issue.

It’s typical that he’s somewhere in America at the moment just when they could really, really have used his skills.

Meanwhile let’s see how things go over this evening and tomorrow.

My brief advice to SpinVox: Get personal, get in-depth, get multiple film-crews in to the company TODAY, get your agenda up and out over all the social media channels pronto.

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

7 replies on “SpinVox: If ever a company was more in need of James Whatley”

Agreed! As I said on Twitter this morning:

“Side affect of this #spinvox stuff. Disappointing to see that @whatleydude actually does have a life outside of the internet! I'm jealous!”

Reading that press release, I'm 100% comfy with Spinvox. Sadly it will remain an urban myth that it employs 50,000 children in the Philippines to transcribe your SMS. That's just the way things go, but at least James will have something to do for the next 5 years when he gets back and over the Lucozade sugar-coma comedown.

Reading that press release, I'm 100% comfy with Spinvox. Sadly it will remain an urban myth that it employs 50,000 children in the Philippines to transcribe your SMS. That's just the way things go, but at least James will have something to do for the next 5 years when he gets back and over the Lucozade sugar-coma comedown.

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