Building Credibility Even When You Can't Say Anything

Great example from the Direct2Dell blog of listening to the online conversation about their future products, summarizing the discussion, and simply stating what they can share about it right now (not much):

Dell’s Secret Mini Laptop: Speaking of D6, a Gizmodo post about a forthcoming Dell mini notebook sparked hundreds of reactions in the blogosphere. Anne B. Camden reacted and shared a few more pictures in her post on Your Blog. Reaction was pretty positive. Seems like a lot of folks are interested in a small notebook at an affordable price. Still, others in the blogosphere want a sub-notebook that doesn’t skimp on performance (take a look at the comment threads from Gizmodo and Engadget to see what I mean). When we can share more details on this product, we’ll blog about it.

(Emphasis added by me.)

This is a great way to acknowledge a topic while being truthful about not being prepared to share anything. This kind of post builds credibility with their most dedicated followers (pro or con). Staying silent would miss an opportunity to build trust, at best, or actually harm their reputation.

I’ll be discussing Dell’s customer idea generation web site, which uses Salesforce.com’s Ideas application, in the next issue of my newsletter. Be sure to sign up this week for David Gammel’s Web Strategy Report to get the next issue. You can read the first issue If you missed it last month via the same page.

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