Every company has to deal with people who talk about it on the Internet, and different ones handle it differently. Nestle for instance, maintains an elite team of Digital Accelerators that, as an article by Reuters reveals, watches the wide world of Internet comments like a hawk.
The Digital Acceleration Team, comprised of over two dozen people, is located in Nestle's HQ in Switzerland where they man a control room outfitted with all manner of displays, keeping a close eye on the words of commenters across the globe, and deciding when to intervene.
Pete Blackshaw, 47-year old head of digital marketing and global media, is in charge. On a recent weekday, the American and his staff of 30 to 40-year-olds were monitoring the online action on such topics as the latest cute dog photo on the Purina pet food website, or who was drinking Nescafe.
..."If there is a negative issue emerging, it turns red," says Blackshaw, indicating a screen powered by software from Salesforce.com Inc., which is also used by such brands as Dell computers and delivery company UPS. It captures millions of posts each day on topics of interest to Nestle.
Nestle insists that it neither pays pro-Nestle bloggers nor buys fake fans and followers. Instead, it merely supports a group of professional browsers to comb over the most mundane references to the company day after day, week after week. Historically, Nestle has had some serious enemies, so the lengths to which they're going might not be too far out, but it's still wild to imagine the control room devoted to this monitoring, and knowing it actually exists.