You see, it’s the afternoon and, thanks to a sixth consecutive week of BART protests in San Francisco, I am forced to either end my workday a bit early, or end it very, very late.
So, why is this rant appearing on a blog for Sterling Communications? Because I am the market these protesters are trying to garner attention from.
It’s working. They’ve got my attention. Just one problem: it’s negative.
I’m sure you’ve heard the old adage, “there is no such thing as bad publicity.” Unfortunately, in today’s complicated environment, where an army of one can yield significant influence on Twitter, bad publicity not only exists; it has a megaphone.
To be fair, you can’t please everyone – but alienating your target audience certainly won’t yield the results you want. Living in the East Bay and commuting to SF is very common. I know dozens of people who do it, and every single last one of them is angry about the protests. They are so annoyed, in fact, that most don’t even care anymore what the protesters are arguing for or against. This is a perception problem. This is bad publicity.
We ran sentiment analysis via a social analytics solution from our client Attensity. It showed some interesting statistics.
On August 15, a significant spike in conversation coincided with one of the major protests.
In terms of sentiment, we can see that the protesters have unequivocally failed.
The protesters’ goal is to make BART look bad. More than half of all the analyzed sentiment was scored. neutral. A full 33 percent was positive (with less than 9 percent trending negative). It is clear that their goal of getting those who have any sort of relationship with BART (such as myself) to feel negatively about them has largely failed.
So, what does all of this mean? In a nutshell: choose your weapon wisely. Taking on BART is one thing, but using the commuters, innocent bystanders who just want to get home after a long day at work, as your weapon of choice is a bad idea.
After all, aren’t they the ones these protesters are trying to influence?
Image courtesy of Getty Images.