How To Fail At Online Execution of Offline Promotion

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I’ve been a working mom for 12 years, and one of my favorite magazines is Working Mother. Last night I was reading Working Mother Media CEO Carol Evans’ column in the latest issue, where she talked about FMLA. In her column, Evans urges readers to “…make our voices loudly heard in the tumult of change. Please go to and vote in our FMLA Support Poll. We will use the poll results to call attention to this important matter.”

I was inspired. Expanding FMLA is an issue near and dear to my heart. 12 years ago today, I was 8 days away from giving birth to twins. I’d been on bed rest since the end of January. To make a long story short, my maternity leave before & after the twins were born lasted 16 weeks – all of them unpaid. It took us nearly 2 years to pay off the debts we incurred from the unpaid leave. Needless to say I’ve been a vocal advocate for better parental leave ever since.

So, I went right over to to vote in the poll. Problem was, I couldn’t find it. I expected to see the poll, or at least a link to the poll, right on the homepage. No such luck. I clicked on “current issue,” thinking I’d find it there. No such luck. I conducted a site search for “FMLA support poll” – the exact words from Carol Evans’ column. No such luck.

3 strikes and you’re out – after nearly 15 minutes of fruitless searching, I gave up. This is yet another frustrating example of offline marketing failing online. If Working Mother Magazine really thinks this poll is such a big issue, maybe they shouldn’t hide it so well on their site.

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  1. How does something like this happen, does the left hand not speak to the right hand?

    This was a perfect opportunity for the ideal audience to participate online and to possibly draw a new user to the site and it failed.

    When executed correctly this would have been a great campaign. Let’s just hope that they learn from their mistake and combine online and offline advertising next time.

  2. You are so right, LE_BayshoreBlogger. Miserable Fail. I could write another whole post on the usability issues on in general, but I’ll save that for another time. 🙂

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