Jenn Whinnem says:
The Pittsburgh Pirates (warning: autostart audio) recently missed out on a big opportunity to hit it out of the park. The customer service park, that is. And I don’t think they’re even aware of it.
First off, the facts:
The Pittsburgh Pirates are a Major League Baseball team who could use a little more love. According to Craig Calterra on msnbc.com, “You can’t give Pirates tickets away some days.” Possibly because they have lost for the last 18 seasons, the longest in North American history .
Enter my friend, Jason, who saw that the Pittsburgh Pirates were holding a ticket pre-sale for newsletter subscribers. Eagerly, he signed up for the newsletter – but received nothing. No code for the pre-sale arrived in his e-mail inbox. Old versions of the newsletter weren’t online. But what was online was information on where else you can find them online.
A sports team on Twitter and Facebook, not to mention their use of blogs and forums? Great! Jason tweeted at them. He asked me to retweet it for him, thinking that might encourage the Pirates to help him out. And the response? Nothing. Not only have they tweeted since, even retweeted other people, but have not responded to Jason’s tweet.
We both found this curious, to say the least. You’d think the worst baseball team would want to embrace their fans. So I started to dig into the Pirates’ Twitter feed and Facebook page. Here’s what I found:
• They tweet from Hootsuite, the web (meaning Twitter.com), and Twitterfeed.
• They don’t respond to tweets, but retweet other mentions of themselves.
• Once you like their Facebook page, you can respond to their posts, but not post on their wall.
• They don’t respond to comments from their fans.
Disappointing, to say the least. A review of their forums didn’t turn up interaction from a forum moderator, and I saw one response from a blog author with her e-mail address. That was it?
Let’s pull back for a moment and first recognize the Pirates for their efforts. It’s great to see them blogging, posting on Facebook and Twitter, and using forums to give their fans a place to convene and discuss the Pirates amongst themselves. The Pirates need to step up their game. It’s not enough to allow fans to talk to each other. Pirates, you need to help your fans love you MORE. Jason wants to go to a game and support you – yet you’re not helping him do that. Why would you pass up this opportunity, Pirates?