The blogosphere has long claimed the ‘crippling’ of Kryptonite as one of its earliest successes, although BikeBiz.com has long maintained that the Bic vs Kryptonite episode was broken and fuelled not by blogs but by forum postings and online news sites.
The case is now a piece of gruesome PR history, even making it into PR textbooks.
It seems that almost every ‘new media’ story that promotes the ‘power of the blogosphere’ mentions the Bic vs Kryptonite story of 2004. But the story was broken on an online forum, not a blog, and the main coverage was disseminated by news websites such as BikeBiz.com and the websites of the Boston Globe, CNN and the New York Times.
Kryptonite knew about the postings – and an embarassing video on Bikeforums.net – from a very early stage. It was not "clueless", a claim made by David Sifry, CEO of Technorati, a blog tracking and search company based in San Francisco.
He told thedeal.com that brand owner Ingersoll-Rand could have limited the damage to its brand if it had used a service to track its reputation on the web. "Instead, the manufacturer was clueless for days that its Kryptonite locks were under digital assault and had to offer a lock exchange program that it estimated at the time would cost it $10 million."
In fact, PR officer Donna Tocci was well aware of the digital firestorm going off and has said Kryptonite acted as fast as it possibly good but that the mechanics of a replacement program take time to out into place.
BikeBiz.com was the first global news site on to the story. Its coverage was later picked up by the Boston Globe and the New York Times.
Kryptonite has now launched its own corporate blog, Unbreakable Bonds, and it’s edited by the firestorm maven herself, Donna Tocci.
Tocci is no stranger to blogs. She has her own, personal blog tidbits and more. and she contributes to the Kool-Aid bike industry marketing blog. She also appears on The Spokesmen bicycle industry round-table podcast.
Welcoming the Kryptonite blog, blog PR king Shel Israel said:
"This is a company that has reason to be apprehensive about negative commentary. But it is nce to see Kryptonite joining the blogosphere. It is a company, well-positioned to get conversations about the joys of cycling going, and this is a subject for which there is great passion."