Here we go with number two!
2.” Foster a positive image and concept among your employees regarding the company and its products and services. Train your people to say the right things. Teach your employees never to say anything negative about your company, even among themselves, and not to badmouth the competition either. This factor is becoming more important as staff respond to comments and questions in electronic networks. “
Holy crap, we really don’t get it do we? The comic book industry thrives on controversy, plain and simple. Bill Jemas and Joe Quesada gleefully tore down the “Distinguished Competition” in their quest for comic book domination. It alienated the hell out of me, and I quit reading most of their titles. I get enough controversy at work and in my personal life. I don’t need it to trickle into my valuable free time.
Let’s take this one a sentence at a time and break it down, shall we?
“Foster a positive image and concept among your employees regarding the company and its products and services”. Well, since most comic book employees are not in the office, this one is tough. I have seen Marvel and DC editorial circle their wagons, but outside staff are on their own. I am sure that policy is dictated to them in the effect of “don’t reveal the story and art, and pump up the book and our company”, but beyond that I don’t know. At my company, we sign confidentiality contracts that stipulate that there are things that remain trade secrets and tricks of the trade. Also we are encouraged to keep mum or be very positive about our organization. Why would a comic book company be any different?
“Train your people to say the right things. Teach your employees never to say anything negative about your company, even among themselves, and not to badmouth the competition either.” See Jemas and Quesada above. They were/are the boss and they are leading the charge. I know that one thing I have always admired about Paul Levitz at DC is his discretion. He seems like a good businessman to me. Quesada has taken a more positive approach since Jemas’ exit and I appreciate that as well. One thing I know from experience is that behavior starts from the top. Employees will take what they see and mimic it as correct. Training is important and crucial in today’s competitive market.
“This factor is becoming more important as staff respond to comments and questions in electronic networks.” There is more drama drummed up on the internet in regards to comic books then anywhere else. I would like to see the comic book companies take a more direct approach in both damage control and public relations. The occasional press release and free copy of a comic book are all good and well, but get in there and sell. If you are a disgruntled employee, take the high road and look like a class act when possible. If you are in management, take the lead.
A step further is that as fans, we need to remember the lurkers who are not comic book readers who may be checking out what we are saying. What kind of image do we want to project?