The Importance of Human Connection

Positive effects on reputation and brand

“You cannot communicate effectively, over a long period of time, with tens of millions of people unless you bring a genuine humility to the conversation.”

Riporto qui parte di un articolo, scritto da Tim Westergren, che trovo molto interessante e che rispecchia il mio sentire riguardo la linfa vitale per la costruzione di una solida brand awareness. Al link, l’articolo integrale.

“As we enter the holiday season and the celebration of family and friends that it brings, I find myself often thinking about human connection, and the role it has played in Pandora’s path.

When we first launched in the Fall of 2005, we made a conscious decision to embrace open and active communication with each and every listener on Pandora. No correspondence would go unanswered; no suggestion, comment or critique un-considered; no kindness or ire un-acknowledged. It seemed like a great way to build relationships with our early listeners and help encourage them to spread the word about Pandora to others. And it also just felt like the right thing for us to do.

That decision became one of, if not the foundational cultural taproot of Pandora. We now have a large team of Listener Advocates who do nothing but answer email – close to 100,000 in a month. And we have hosted literally hundreds of in-person town hall meetings for Pandora listeners all across the country – from Biloxi, Mississippi to Portland, Maine, to provide real, human forums to dialogue. Sometimes there are twenty people, sometimes hundreds.

I have no doubt that the energy we have invested with listeners has had a huge impact on the growth of our audience over the years, and an equally positive effect on Pandora’s reputation and brand. But there is a less obvious, but equally powerful impact this constant pipeline of communication has had, and continues to have on the company, and that is in reinforcing a sense of humility.

You cannot communicate effectively, over a long period of time, with tens of millions of people unless you bring a genuine humility to the conversation. To respond constructively to someone’s input, be it a visceral piece of hate mail or an emotional, loving testimonial requires that you put yourself in the shoes of the sender. You need to have awareness and compassion; understanding that the receiving is itself a privilege. When faced with the sheer volume of correspondence, it’s hard NOT to embrace that way.

Every month, at our all-hands meetings, a member of the Listener Advocate team reads a selection of emails to the entire company. Some are funny and whimsical, others deeply personal. Music elicits uniquely intimate and honest emotions in people which they often feel compelled to share. I have long enjoyed these writings as touching, amusing, creative and often inspiring. But I’ve actually come to believe that their most profound impact is to spread a little dose of humility to everyone working at Pandora. It’s like a short meditation for all of us; a reminder of the humanity of each listener, and of the value of everyone’s experience and perspective.

I do believe that in a larger way, this continuous conversation with our listeners has created a fundamentally humble company. It keeps us all grounded in the purpose of our endeavor, and in what is truly important.

And for that in this holiday season, I am truly thankful.”

Tim Westergren – Founder of Pandora