Let’s Play Dodgeball

Journey Answers

“What we have here is a failure to communicate.”  In my last post, I talked about a brewing public relations problem for Dodge in its Journey giveaway contest.  Well, I think it’s here.  It’s been four days since accusations of an “unfair advantage” in the Midwest search surfaced and Dodge remains silent.  Of course, this is a marketing/advertising campaign — a brilliant one, I might add — and I’m sure the company was hoping for a lot of online “buzz.”  As one person said in a comment to the last post:  “I dont believe dodge would have created a discussion board if they didnt want people discussing clues and the contest, which brings them more media, publicity, and even hunters.”  I couldn’t agree more.

Dodge may not have hoped for the kind of “buzz” it’s getting now, however.  While the heated discussion of the availability of clues on blogs (like this one) has died down down tremendously, the anger toward Dodge’s silence is increasing by the minute.  Allegations of censorship have been added into the mix and, yesterday, a Facebook page, “We Want Answers Dodge & W+K,” debuted; it’s dedicated to collecting information about the so-called “Great Midwest Cheat” and demanding answers from Dodge.  According to the site, CNN, MSNBC and FOX have been informed of its existence.  Today, comments like this one can be seen on the Dodge YouTube site for the contest:

“Your silence and deletion of posts suggests complicity, and we the public just want the truth.”

It appears we’ve reached “the tipping point” in this contest.  According to one post on the discussion board, the YouTube video for the Midwest search that people have been demanding may become available today.  Unfortunately for Dodge, no matter what answers it gives now, they will most likely not be accepted as truth.  I personally don’t believe the rumors; however, a core group has decided the company is hiding something — the damage has been done. Dodge has broken a fundamental rule of public relations — whenever there is a lack of communication, a vacuum develops; if you, the company, don’t fill that vacuum with accurate information, others will fill it with rumors.

I should mention that while while I’ve seen anger and frustration expressed toward Dodge on the YouTube discussion boards, over at StevenBarley.net, the blog I mentioned in my last post, folks seem happy. There is a sense of comradery there — sometimes sharing clues and sometimes not, but always sharing fun and support for each other in the challenge.  I haven’t seen one negative word about Dodge there, so Dodge may be thinking that it is dealing with a small group of disgruntled people and that the good outweighs the bad.

Hopefully, as Saturday (and the Northeast search) draws nearer, the negativity will be replaced by excitement once again and people will remember what this is really about — the journey, not the Journey.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: