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Saving Face with Video Conferencing and TelePresence

June 10, 2010
at 3:23 pm PST

Bloggers listen to Harvard professor Kim Thompson over TelePresence.

When a tough situation arises it’s not about who you talk to, but rather how you do the talking that can make the difference between a good or bad outcome, especially when you need to communicate with people you’ve never met. A phone call simply isn’t good enough when trying to abate a controversy and gain trust. People need to see the face of the person they are talking to in order to identify with -- and ultimately trust -- them.

An article in ABC News shows how Proctor & Gamble recently used video conferencing and telepresence technology when they found themselves involved in a controversy surrounding their Dry Max product and its possible connection to sever diaper rash. They understood that face-to-face communication was the best way to make their case, but recognized that it isn’t always possible to get everyone in the same location.

Once P&G had gathered enough data, they invited four influential women bloggers to Cincinnati to hear their findings and to communicate openly with experts. The four women were shown several presentations to counter fast-spreading online criticism of its Pampers Dry Max diapers and were even able to communicate with Harvard professor Kim Thompson via TelePresence.

Stacy DeBroff, founder of a Boston-based consulting firm, Mom Central Inc., said P&G’s move sounded smart, if a little late. “There’s nothing like a first-person discussion, to open direct dialogue,” she said. “Social media is like lightning.”

P&G was able to use video technology to reach out to key people in order to get their message across in the best way possible. The bloggers said they ended the day feeling confident about the diapers.

Follow the link to see what video collaboration can do for your company.

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