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CEO Thought Leadership Series from Trade Show

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SXSW’s PEACE Process

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Doug Simon, President and CEO of D S Simon Productions, speaks with Hugh Forrest, Director of SXSW Interactive Festival about the SXSW approach to community management.

“The PEACE process is an acronym and the P stands for “patience leads to profits”. The idea is that slow growth is really important. That even in the fast paced environment in which we are now, things don’t happen overnight, and in fact often don’t happen for a couple of years. That was certainly one of the keys to (SXSW) Interactive’s growth”.

“The A stands for “acknowledge your mistakes and failures”. For better, for worse, we (SXSW) have made every mistake in the book, made that mistake twice and even three times. My experience is that it sucks to make mistakes, but if you do make those mistakes, acknowledge them, tell your community that you understand you did something wrong, that it didn’t go as well as possible and that you are working at ways to improve that in future years.”

“C is “customer service leads to customer engagement”. This is particularly true in this era of social media. The more you can reach out, serve your customers, engage your customers and communicate with your customers, you can create customer advocates. And as we all know WOM publicity is still the most important publicity and most effective.

“E is for “encourage mass creativity”. We (SXSW) are a platform for people to come in and do very creative things. So that means, on our end, encouraging that creativity as opposed to in some ways saying that doesn’t really fit our vision of what SXSW is. In most cases we say sure that’s pretty interesting, if you can develop that out into a two or three page proposal maybe this is something we can work with.”