Wow. What a wild week. What started out as a question I posed to the world about how to handle the rejection letter my 8-year-son, Harry, received from Boeing has turned into a global conversation with amazingly positive results. Here’s what happened in a week:
* Tens of thousands of people have read my post about Harry.
* Hundreds of people have retweeted it.
* Sandy Ward at the Future of Flight invited Harry to Seattle and offered to host the “Harry Winsor Design Your Own Airplane Show.”
* Tara Cashman from the Museum of Flight invited Harry out for a tour.
* The SeattlePI picked up the story.
* ABC affiliates in Denver and Seattle shot a nice spot of Harry.
* Several business and aviation blogs have written stories.
* The NY Times wrote a nice piece.
* AdFreak posted something, as well.
* Forbes, SmartPlanet, SocialMediaBiz, TheStreet.com, among others all ran something.
* It even went international when Rhein-Zeitung, in Berlin, picked up the story.
* Alaska Airlines jumped into the conversation on Twitter and reached out to Harry talking about his experience.
* A wonderful Boeing engineer reached out on his own and took the time to write an amazing letter to Harry about the future of plane design.
But most impressive of all was Todd Blecher, Boeing’s Communications Director, who jumped into the conversation in such a positive way. He started by commenting on the post. He tweeted, even though Boeing has only had a Twitter account for two weeks. He even called Harry asking him if he’d like to come on a tour of Boeing. That call made Boeing a hero to an 8-year-old boy.
I also thought it was interesting what Todd had to say to the NY Times, “We’re expert at airplanes but novices in social media. We’re learning as we go.” Todd gets it. Today, the best brands find ways to act more human. And, Todd made Boeing more human. He's added value to the Boeing brand and showed that the company is willing to engage with consumers in a new way. His actions and attitude are the future of Boeing communications.
Boeing should give Todd a big promotion.
All the business stuff aside, thanks to all of you for inspiring Harry. When you're eight, creativity can be a fragile thing. Harry is inspired and has gotten a huge boost of confidence for his art. It's incredible to see the community rally around him and change the world, one little step at a time. John Winsor