ING Renault F1 : Lagging behind comments
Fans take the wheel in a crisis
ING Renault F1, the Formula 1 motor racing team of France-based carmaker Renault, stalls on a dialogue with fans about its involvement in a high-profile scandal.
ING Renault F1 Team’s ‘official fan site’ includes an extensive blog feature in its Community section. Fans can add comments to the bottom of team-generated entries that cover activities and events. The number of comments is noted on the entry summary, with a Read more button opening the full report and comments.
The latest entry on 22 September was posted the previous day from an affiliate event in Germany but the 35 comments were almost exclusively about a ruling made against the team earlier in the day by the sport’s governing body in connection with cheating in a Formula 1 grand prix in the 2008 season. Official team comment on the ruling was confined to a well-signposted press statement.
ING Renault F1 Team’s blog is representative of how such features can be used to reinforce a sense of loyalty and, as its section heading indicates, community around a brand, product, group or other entity. The company provides a degree of informal insight and intimacy that fuels enthusiasm and debate among fans.
But the team’s current and widely reported troubles show another dynamic inherent in blogs – the potential for fans to take the initiative and move into discussion of things the company might be less comfortable having aired. There may be legal restraints on how much the team can say right now, but if someone were prepared to roll up their sleeves and engage more openly with an audience that wants to be supportive then this could, ironically, be the best of times to strengthen the bonds that tie them.http://my.ing-renaultf1.com/en/
First published on 22 September, 2009