All Talk With No Real Action

All talk with no real actionSocial media, advertising and marketings answer to bridging the gap between customers and brands. We are able to get real time responses to our messages, talk to our customers and be there when they need us. It is changing the way that we do business as we can talk to and not at our target and have a clear understanding of the way they interact with eachother, how they like to be spoken to and how we can bring them into our community and persuade them to do what we are asking of them. Social media has opened the doors of communication but yet there are some communities that are still  plagued with just talk and we know talk is cheap.

Brands build mini-website Facebook pages, create a strong presence on Twitter and are talked about on blogs (sometimes for reasons they had not intended when an ad goes bad or a situation spirals out of control). There is no doubt that social media has made brands be more responsive, responsible and credible. But what happens when there is all talk and no real action?

A City in Crisis with No Real Voice

Vegas Baby! We love Vegas for the glitz, the glamour, the hotel pools, spas, shops, restaurants and of course gaming. The stip resorts are amazing and each have and tell a story of its own. But, lurking in the shadows of this glitz and glamor is a community, a community in crisis. Las Vegas leads the nation in foreclosures, bankruptcies, unemployment, is last in education as far as funding and graduation rates. Wow! This, this is astounding when you think about it as how can a city rebound from this? As a community but what happens when talk supersedes action?

Garage Door Syndrome

We have garage door syndrome where we open it in the morning to pull out and then later on pull in and close it, closing ourselves off from the neighborhood. We do not have front stairs to sit on and talk to the folks walking by with their dogs, or hear the infectious laughter of the kids playing next door. No, just some desert landscaping or those that are brave enough to grow grass in 110 heat. Most of us do not even know our neighbors. It took me 10 months one time to see the woman who lived next door to me and I spent a lot of time outside. We see nothing outside of what is our space. How can there be a strong sense of community when you cannot see over, around or through the wall that surrounds your property? There are no fences so you can wave to your neighbor or offer a hand when gardening, no, we have high brick walls that close us off to our little space.

The Underground Community

Deep inside Las Vegas is a community, an underground homeless community in the miles of storm drains that had banded together for survival but yet the above ground community cannot seem to come together to clean up their neigborhood as travel a few streets and the homes with brown grass or weeds waist high you know have been abandoned and are in foreclosure. We know it is not the responsibility of those who still live in the neighborhood to upkeep the foreclosed properties but nothing is being done to put the pressure on the banks to maintain the properties. Why should they care, they do not live there. But they live somewhere. This attitude seems to be adopted across other aspects of  community life. The open the door pull out, pull in close the door mentality is real.

Community Support from Within

Vegas has a lot of transplants. I am. My hometown is Saddle Brook, NJ. My ties to Las Vegas are none but that does not mean that I am turning my back on the community. I suppose when I am able to leave, I will be doing just that but yet what is being done to persuade me to take action? There is not even opportunity to try and band together and create change. I guess that the overall feeling is that is not our hometown, we are not a city where an industry has died and those that are left are coming together to rebuild the community. No, gaming will never die so there is no crisis, right?

Talk with No Real Action

Nevada has one of the most talked about senate races in the the fall. Reid v Angle. Both are talking about the others’ shortfalls but yet neither is talking about the real issues that the residents are facing. Sure we know that Angle does not feel it is the job of a senator to bring in jobs but yet she points out that the jobless rate has increased to the highest levels under Reid. Reid welcomed the news that the Dept of Treasury is sending $34 mil to try and help those that are in jeopardy of losing their homes and are unemployed to qualify for zero-interest loans. But, the funds have to be approved after the NV Dept of Housing submits the plan on how they will use the funds. So residents should vote for you because you are unsure if a senator is to help with jobs or because your ads tell us that Angle is ‘dangerous,’ ‘crazy’

The talk is starting to fall on deaf ears. Jobs are being lost, our children are at a disadvantage in education, communities are becoming overrun with foreclosed homes that are neglected, families are on the streets or are leaving the area to put a roof over their heads. Areas in Las Vegas are starting to resemble a beach community in the winter where you look around to see if there are any tumbleweeds that are going to blow across the street.

Change cannot happen overnight here but listening to the residents who live in the neighborhoods and bringing them together to create a sense of community by cleaning up neighborhoods, putting pressure on the banks to maintain foreclosed properties, working with the banks to see if they can lend a hand to residents to be able live in these empty houses instead of on the streets, understanding the concerns of being unable to find work and support a family is taking action.

A brand that does not listen to, talk with and not at, help and respond to their customers get a lot of attention and many times loses customers. Tell the CEO  and CFO that the numbers are down because you were not listening and responding. But yet, a community that has no real action only gets to choose between one or the other and continue on with the garage door syndrome. Maybe Las Vegas should take a look at the Old Spice Campaign and see how to bring a community together and get people talking and taking action. 

Know of a community or of a brand that has the garage door syndrome? Would love to hear how residents and customers are reacting and trying to make change.

photo credit: KN6KS

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  • The power to change versus the power to say. Interestingly Suzanne, what you've mentioned here also happened here, at my place in Malaysia. I lived in Urban areas where neighbors only can be seen early in the morning when they open their gates to send their children to school. We don't have garage, but I can relate it to a much significant object, the door. Most of the doors here are closed from a.m to p.m and sometime you never had a chance to see when the owner throw their garbage. Blame it to the fear of being robbed, or simply on the cold breeze of air conditioned house they loved to be in.
    Yup, I agree, being transplanted cost us to feel less empowered. I feel it too.
    Thanks for the sharing Suzanne. The problem you've mentioned could happen anywhere, it is up to the community to take action. Us, being part of it, should shift the gear forward, triggering others to move too. However, only pushing the gear would not make others move. We must make them understand why they have to move, why they need to change their attitude…and that's tough.

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