"All business in a democratic society begins with public permission and exists by public approval."
Given the speed with which news, crises, and complaints can travel, public approval can be granted or withdrawn at a moment's notice. So today it is more important than ever to understand and measure and improve your relationships with your local community.
Social media has introduced an entirely new definition of community. Communities today are not necessarily those individuals and organizations in close physical proximity to your business. Communities can be virtual and consist of any group of stakeholders that exerts influence over your business. This includes your own internal communities of customers, vendors, and partners, as well as external advocates, nongovernmental organizations, and any other community with which you have a relationship.
The short answer is that you ignore your communities at your peril. When Amazon ignored its community of Kindle users, a firestorm erupted over its deletion of certain books to which it didn't have legal distribution rights. Amazon was, legally, making the correct move, but the community didn't care; it felt that Amazon had broken its promise to them. To regain the lost trust of the community required an abject apology and admission of wrongdoing from Amazon's ...