Tag Archives: sprint ambassador

Leaving Kansas City

My life as a telephone resident of Kansas City, MO is over.

As you may remember, Sprint thought I was enough of an influencer that they made me a Sprint Ambassador back in March. [catch up on the story here and here.] Earlier this week, I started to make a call and the recording told me that I was no longer in the network.

My 6 month ambassadorship almost ran 8 months and it was a good experience except for one thing. The number. I have repeatedly said and blogged that it was ridiculous for someone in Kentucky to have a Kansas City phone number. The number limited the “influencing power” that I could have had with the phone locally. I really didn’t give out the number much except for here on the blog. Several blog readers called me which was interesting. And I used the phone almost exclusively for all my business and personal long-distance. But it would freak out the good folks here in the 270 area code when I would roll off 816-352-2009. One woman I called locally here thought I was a telemarketer when she saw my number on the caller ID.

But I will miss the phonee. It was a good run. I’ll really miss the wrong numbers from people in Kansas City. I had some good conversations with them.

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Sprint Phone Update

As you may remember, I’m a Sprint Ambassador in Kentucky with a Kansas City phone# (816-352-2009). Go figure.

Recently, Joseph Jaffe precipitated a Brandweek article that discussed the program. Highlights from the Brandweek article (subscription required)…

  • Sprint Nextel is assessing a recent promotion in which it tried to get free publicity in the blogosphere by giving top bloggers free phones and service.
  • The Sprint Ambassadors program, which is currently wrapping up after launching in January, was de-signed to promote Sprint’s Power Vision network, which offers music downloads, live TV and multiplayer games over mobile phones.
  • In all, about 400 people signed up for the program, said a Sprint rep. “We wanted to take a grassroots approach and give the phones to those people who were most likely to benefit and try to use the services,” the rep said.
  • Sprint launched the service last fall with no advertising.
  • The program netted the term “Sprint Ambasador Program” 389,000 hits on Google.

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Sprint Swag

A corporate blogging strategy is now essential for larger companies.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that a company should hire a full time blogger. What it does mean is that a company should monitor what is being said about them and know how to relate to the blogging community.

This is a tale of two telecoms and their corporate blogging strategies. I blogged earlier about how AT&T found out the hard way that the blogosphere bites back.

A better corporate blogging strategy is the Sprint Ambassador program.

A few weeks ago, I received an e-mail invitation from Sprint saying they’d read my blog and wanted me to become a Sprint Ambassador. I was a bit skeptical at first. As other bloggers have said, the e-mail looked and felt like a scam. But after some research and advice, I signed up for the program. About a week ago, I received a FedEx box with a free Samsung A920 phone loaded with 6 months of free Sprint PCS service.

Sprint has been peppering the blogosphere with free phones :: HughJaffeJarvisRubelOthers

Bloggers are very open about the minutiae of the their lives including the cool new phone they are using for free. The Ambassador program is a smart move for Sprint since bloggers will talk about it. Sprint is bypassing the media gatekeepers and influencing word of mouth directly with the target audiences. They will have to accept the good, bad, and the ugly comments about their phones and service. (And also accept dissection of their marketing strategy from marketing bloggers!) An absolute pre-requisite if you’re going to implement a corporate blogging strategy like this is to have an amazing product. You’ll be eaten alive if it’s not.

And it is a neat phone. It does everything you could possibly think of….camera, camcorder, email, text messages, internet, media, etc.

There are troubles though….
I’ve been given a Kansas City phone number which is a bit of a problem since I’m sitting in Kentucky. It’s unfair to expect my friends and business associates to spring for a long distance call to Kansas City unless they have an unlimited long distance plan. If they do this to all Ambassadors, it will severely limit the buzz.

However, I’m looking to the sunny side…maybe I’ll get a speaking engagement or a marketing services client in Kansas City in the next six months. If you’re in Kansas City, let’s talk!

I’m even going to go Scoble on everyone. The number is 816-352-2009. Call between now and August 2006 or you won’t get through.

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