Thursday, July 4, 2013

Has "Ki ora" Become Tourism Slang?

With new media, businesses now have the tools to reach out and talk to their customers. They have the opportunity to connect, add value, contribute meaning, be part of conversation and generate some sort of interest in who they are and what they do.

When a business contemplates any form of communication, it's important for them to decide what sort of "voice" and language to use. They must be consistent with their delivery across all media and most importantly be authentic.

If businesses get it wrong, then there are consequences. The public's bullshit detectors are highly attuned and rightly or wrongly they will adversely react to anything that they perceive as being contrived.

Cue the news story (below) about a sales representative for Travel New Zealand Magazine that sent an email to Queenstown clothing retailer Bonz requesting advertising support.

The email began with the salutation Ki ora...and the recipiant Ms Rodwell hit the reply button with the following dismissive response:
"Sorry but why do we need to be addressed with Kia ora?

Neither myself or [my office manager] speak Maori. Maybe more people would advertise with you if you were addressed with a little more respect. Whilst we have no issue with anything "Maori" at all, we find it plain silly."
While Ms Rodwell's response was somewhat amusing, Travel New Zealand Magazine's precious Editor in Chief, Gary Cody didn't quite see it that way.

Maybe somewhat miffed by not being taken seriously and having his company's advertising offer rejected, Cody decided to ramp-up the silliness by playing the faux-outrage-card and complained to the Human Rights Commissioner.

Just wondering, who's made the biggest fool of themselves?

Source: New Zealand Herald print edition: 4 July 2013

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