Competitors at Cowes Week are being asked to put on their copywriter hats and distill their feedback about the event into 160 characters. During the regatta, competitors will be able to SMS their feedback about the race courses set and the organisers will use this information to make improvements on a daily basis.
After competitors have shot off their immediate reactions, they will be able to sign up for the opportunity to get involved with a deeper feedback process that will include web-chats with Cowes Week CEO, Stuart Quarrie. He comments:
“As hosts of one of the world’s largest sailing regattas, we take pride in listening to our competitors and visitors in order to improve our event. Feedback is vital for us, not just in terms of volume, but quality and depth too. By offering the opportunity to engage with us by SMS, online feedback, and in person through our web chat, we will be able to gather a deeper understanding of what people think, and on this basis, make general improvements for future years”.
The SMS feedback mechanism will only be available to competitors, however in the world of social media and online reputation management, vistitors and other stakeholders will be able to rant or rave in real-time via the wonders of platforms like Twitter.
Already a ‘hashtag’ has been adopted by those thinking about the event which starts tomorrow. A hashtag allows many different people to group their Twitter comments together by using the symbol # before a specific codeword. In this case it is rather obviously #cowesweek.
We think the event has it’s own official Twitter feed, but we can’t verify who is updating it. You have to look pretty hard to find it. The official site makes no mention of Twitter and there is no call to action to follow the news in such a manner. Whether the organisers or the PR people ‘get it’ or not, the power of social media is that competitors, visitors, media, sponsors and local businesses can contribute comment, news, insight, photos and even GPS tracking in real time.
We’ll be there – and you can follow what we have to say at http://www.twitter.com/yachtbusiness