Some commentators are suggesting that Ryanair needs lessons in how to deal with the blogosphere. However, I think it's worth noting that this style of communication is not out of character for Ryanair. The company (and its CEO in particular) appears to revel in its bad-boy image. The Economist magazine points out that Ryanair's CEO simply doesn't care if he's called a "loud-mouthed bully". He brashly brushes away any criticism that Ryanair should care about anything related to corporate social responsibility, customer service, environmental responsibility. Ryanair is all about offering cheap flights and maximizing profits. That is a formula that has worked very well for them to date.
Well... We're always advising companies to be sincere in social media. When you're corresponding directly with the groundswell, you can't "fake it". In that respect, I guess Ryanair is walking the walk. Its social media persona appears to be a true reflection of the company's ethos.
It's hard to get customers to pay any attention to an email newsletter. People are busy and their intrays are overflowing. But here's an opening line that grabbed my attention very effectively:
Letter from the Editor: Calling all usability participants
We're not interested in building software that you simply tolerate...or even kinda like. We want to flat-out delight you with tools that help you be awesome at what you do.
That was at the top of an email from TechSmith, a company whose software I've been trying out to capture screen shots when I'm doing reviews of Web sites.
What made me read on? ... Was it the bold, punchy promise? No. My intray is full of bold promises to make me rich, successful, and attractive. I am pretty cynical about such promises. (Besides, I am all those things already .... ahem).
I think I read on because the email got several things right:
There’s quite a buzz here at Forrester’s EA Forum. There is just a lot going on in EA circles these days, and the horrible state of the economy can’t seem to suppress it. The general notion that EA practices should directly support the business is really taking hold. While this has always ostensibly been a key aspect of EA, most organizations really focused their EA practices on their technology strategies. I’m getting a lot of positive feedback that a primary focus on business value is the only way to keep EA practices relevant; and these days, not relevant is not tolerated.
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