It’s snow fun at Keystone

Turns out that most of what we’re doing here is meeting with PR, marketing, and other executives from Colorado Ski Country. DL Byron has the details. It’s pretty smart. They get a few bloggers to come up and give them consulting, maybe get a link or two, in return for some free snowmobiling and skiing. Considering that some of my friends are getting paid $4,000 a day for doing consulting like this it’s a fair trade. But, how many people talk about how they are being compensated on their blogs? I’m taking vacation days from Microsoft to be here, by the way.

Yesterday we spent quite a bit of time with Kate Osborne of Keystone (here’s a photo I shot of her). She runs PR. Deals with press from all over the world. Says she’s treating the bloggers the same way she’d treat the New York Times. With one exception: the New York Times pays for everything she sets up. She says that most of the professional press insists on paying their own way. To me, this is a HUGE difference between the bloggers and the professionals. She says, though, that many pros get around the rules of the newspaper brands by going independent. If you’re an independent journalist turns out the rules are more relaxed.

Anyway, the resort here is massive. I also find myself wishing Kate had a blog. She knows EVERYTHING about the market. She is an instant authority. How do I know that? She can tell you what each of her competitors do right too. What are Keystone’s advantages? She shows why they get more families here: more diversity of things to do. They are working on making their snowboarding features better. That’s where the growth in the winter sports industry is right now.

Some other things I’ve learned? Colorado is in the midst of the best winter in decades. Almost 300 inches have fallen.

Best promotion that Keystone has done? It opened its season with its second annual “36 hours at Keystone” event. Last year 20,000 people came. This year? 40,000. Why? Cause you can ski for 36 hours for $36 and you get lodging for $36 too.

It’s interesting, though, just how business-savvy the folks are here. Make no mistake: this is a huge business employing tons of people. And, like at most businesses I’ve talked with lately there’s a lot of fear of change. They are very worried about how their brand is being perceived on the outside world. No different than the 180+ businesses we talked with about blogging for our book.

We’ll see if we can get the execs here over their fears and show them some of the relationship building advantages (and morale building advantages!) of letting their employees have conversations with their customers on the Internet.

Along these lines: congrats to Steve Rubel for joining PR maven Richard Edelman (they are working to get more companies blogging too).

Update: here’s Maryam and me snowmobiling yesterday.

24 thoughts on “It’s snow fun at Keystone

  1. To keep blogging lively but avoid “blogger ethics” becoming an oxymoron I’d suggest tranparency is the key. I see most of the elites like Scoble doing a fine job of identifying their potential biases.

    I’d rather have that than the pretense of objectivity one finds at, for example, that bastion of biased reporting: FOX News.

  2. To keep blogging lively but avoid “blogger ethics” becoming an oxymoron I’d suggest tranparency is the key. I see most of the elites like Scoble doing a fine job of identifying their potential biases.

    I’d rather have that than the pretense of objectivity one finds at, for example, that bastion of biased reporting: FOX News.

  3. Devin,

    I expect we’ll be back. We did have a meetup earlier in the week and it was a good time. Thanks for coming Scoble. It was very beneficial to hear first-hand about how to respond to the comments like the ones in this thread.

    Christoper,

    It’s not a junket, it’s a fam and we were there to evangelize blogging, which is exactly what we did. Did anyone of us say that wasn’t marketing as well? Check out our evangelism blog, where post more about Bloggy Mountain High. It’s transparent and obvious what we were doing.

  4. Devin,

    I expect we’ll be back. We did have a meetup earlier in the week and it was a good time. Thanks for coming Scoble. It was very beneficial to hear first-hand about how to respond to the comments like the ones in this thread.

    Christoper,

    It’s not a junket, it’s a fam and we were there to evangelize blogging, which is exactly what we did. Did anyone of us say that wasn’t marketing as well? Check out our evangelism blog, where post more about Bloggy Mountain High. It’s transparent and obvious what we were doing.

  5. Scoble, why do you trot out the same companies when trying to justify your supposed impact? Boeing? Long time MS customer and one of the first to adopt Exchange more than 10 years ago. Hardly a need to evangelize MS to them. Target? Again a big MS customer. How hard is that to sell them? It’s no different than hanging out with bloggers when you visit these MS customers. Google? From your employers perspective, what was the point? Did you get them to sign an EA? Get them to embrace MS just a little? If not, then you added nothing to the bottom line. Call us when you get Chrysler or Coca Cola to dump IBM, for example. Then we’ll be impressed.

  6. Scoble, why do you trot out the same companies when trying to justify your supposed impact? Boeing? Long time MS customer and one of the first to adopt Exchange more than 10 years ago. Hardly a need to evangelize MS to them. Target? Again a big MS customer. How hard is that to sell them? It’s no different than hanging out with bloggers when you visit these MS customers. Google? From your employers perspective, what was the point? Did you get them to sign an EA? Get them to embrace MS just a little? If not, then you added nothing to the bottom line. Call us when you get Chrysler or Coca Cola to dump IBM, for example. Then we’ll be impressed.

  7. Devin, it’s called marketing. It’s the image, the mental picture, that a branding conjures up, and timelines are irrelevant, it’s about the here and now. Now locals might tag closer word-association, but that’s not very wise, marketing only to locals. Keystone, in the raw, doesn’t say anything. You need a name that has impact. I’d change it, imho. Will it play in Peoria? Use that as your eternal marketing guide, and things will be fine.

    I am constantly amazed at how little thought goes into branding by so-called Marketing Evangelists.

    Again, you have no clue what I do when I go out and visit companies

    Ahh please, you TELL us on your BLOG. Besides you do what you always do, preach the gospel of “Naked Conversations”. Advisory boards made up of bloggers are but marketing, they might want your feedback on how to spin, but come on, you are exceedingly naive and duped or so full of yourself to actually think it’s anything other than marketing.

    It’s like a Search Champs thing, “advisors” please, Microsoft will listen to feedback, nod and make you feel like you are having an impact, but then ignore most of that feedback, and do what they already geared up to do, if your feedback happens to match their agenda, well they might let you take credit. But to assume it’s anything more than a marketing junket is to put your head in the sand.

  8. Devin, it’s called marketing. It’s the image, the mental picture, that a branding conjures up, and timelines are irrelevant, it’s about the here and now. Now locals might tag closer word-association, but that’s not very wise, marketing only to locals. Keystone, in the raw, doesn’t say anything. You need a name that has impact. I’d change it, imho. Will it play in Peoria? Use that as your eternal marketing guide, and things will be fine.

    I am constantly amazed at how little thought goes into branding by so-called Marketing Evangelists.

    Again, you have no clue what I do when I go out and visit companies

    Ahh please, you TELL us on your BLOG. Besides you do what you always do, preach the gospel of “Naked Conversations”. Advisory boards made up of bloggers are but marketing, they might want your feedback on how to spin, but come on, you are exceedingly naive and duped or so full of yourself to actually think it’s anything other than marketing.

    It’s like a Search Champs thing, “advisors” please, Microsoft will listen to feedback, nod and make you feel like you are having an impact, but then ignore most of that feedback, and do what they already geared up to do, if your feedback happens to match their agenda, well they might let you take credit. But to assume it’s anything more than a marketing junket is to put your head in the sand.

  9. Enjoy your day at Copper, Intrawest has put a lot of money into making it a world class resort as well. Next time you’re in the mountains you need to have a meetup! ;)

  10. Enjoy your day at Copper, Intrawest has put a lot of money into making it a world class resort as well. Next time you’re in the mountains you need to have a meetup! ;)

  11. Oh, and the 36 hours of skiing was awesome. We skiied until 2am slept in my car and went up to Vail the next morning. I don’t know why Christopher associates Keystone with just the beer, it’s definitely a top-notch resort… anyone who knows anything about skiing will tell you that. PS: The resort was founded in 1970 whereas Keystone Light was in 1989.

  12. Oh, and the 36 hours of skiing was awesome. We skiied until 2am slept in my car and went up to Vail the next morning. I don’t know why Christopher associates Keystone with just the beer, it’s definitely a top-notch resort… anyone who knows anything about skiing will tell you that. PS: The resort was founded in 1970 whereas Keystone Light was in 1989.

  13. Wow, another justified junket, “consulting” hahaha, now that’s a good one. Come on, you aren’t that naive (are you?), it’s just marketing.

    Keystone? Bad branding already, reminds me of (the massively horrible) Keystone Beer or the bumbling Keystone Cops. Surely they thought of that? I think most people would word associate those things easy, and just asked two people here, one Beer, other Cops, wow, predicted it already. So Keystone + Ski Resort, in the raw, if you were to ask the average person, says college-wild drunken ski-lodge fest, like something outta a mid 90′s USA Network ‘Up All Night’ movie.

    What works in the blogosphere is to respond directly to any negative comments or posts (Scoble is a master).

    So go to it then…oh Dark Jedi Master. :) If it “works”, then you need “negative comments”, to have a role on the stage. So consider this a valuable public service.

  14. Wow, another justified junket, “consulting” hahaha, now that’s a good one. Come on, you aren’t that naive (are you?), it’s just marketing.

    Keystone? Bad branding already, reminds me of (the massively horrible) Keystone Beer or the bumbling Keystone Cops. Surely they thought of that? I think most people would word associate those things easy, and just asked two people here, one Beer, other Cops, wow, predicted it already. So Keystone + Ski Resort, in the raw, if you were to ask the average person, says college-wild drunken ski-lodge fest, like something outta a mid 90′s USA Network ‘Up All Night’ movie.

    What works in the blogosphere is to respond directly to any negative comments or posts (Scoble is a master).

    So go to it then…oh Dark Jedi Master. :) If it “works”, then you need “negative comments”, to have a role on the stage. So consider this a valuable public service.

  15. Having more companies that ALLOW their employees to blog on behalf of the company will be a great step forward. But I still think we need to address the root cause of the issue, which is getting companies to engage honestly and authentically with their customers and the public at large.

    As I wrote in my post yesterday on the conversational analytics and the PR industry, “Most companies are still afraid that their customers might say something bad about their product on their sites, or even worse, they still actively censor legitimate criticism that could be helping them improve”.

    We really need to go right to the heart of the issue and encourage organizations to embrace the core principles of the Cluetrain – transparency and open conversations can start with blogs, but for the real shift to happen, these ideals must permeate all communications from the organization.

  16. Having more companies that ALLOW their employees to blog on behalf of the company will be a great step forward. But I still think we need to address the root cause of the issue, which is getting companies to engage honestly and authentically with their customers and the public at large.

    As I wrote in my post yesterday on the conversational analytics and the PR industry, “Most companies are still afraid that their customers might say something bad about their product on their sites, or even worse, they still actively censor legitimate criticism that could be helping them improve”.

    We really need to go right to the heart of the issue and encourage organizations to embrace the core principles of the Cluetrain – transparency and open conversations can start with blogs, but for the real shift to happen, these ideals must permeate all communications from the organization.

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