Posts Tagged ‘public relations’

Making Firings Public For Consumer Confidence

Saturday, April 21st, 2012 by

Interesting thing I saw today as in a restaurant there was a a bad booking apparently and the person in charge tried to jam a party of sixteen into one table. He kept insisting it would work out too but it was visibly obvious that wasn’t the case as the space was tight. This then lead to a lot of customer dissatisfaction. The customer then went to the washroom and coincidentally she was then venting out to the other person that was there who happened to be the owner of the restaurant. After explaining the story the owner agreed that was unacceptable.

The owner then she would fire the guy for it and made it pretty public as well. She even emphasized points such as the next time people visit the restaurant they won’t see him there again. I guess it was pretty obvious why she did it that way as she wanted to maintain consumer confidence as a situation like that would most likely result in people never wanting to do business with them again. It makes you wonder if doing it that way can be a negative too where it makes the problem more well known where it may attract negative attention.

Mcdonalds Hoax Picture

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012 by

Today some of my friends started to send around this picture:

Yes, my first reaction was this has go to be a joke as there is no way a company that big would do something that ignorant. Sure enough it is a hoax and apparently last year this picture went extremely viral and the company had to react fast to confirm it as a hoax as there were a lot of people who thought it was real.

It was so interesting reading how this little hoax can create so much havoc to a company and how so many people don’t even try to think twice on its legitimacy. I was trying to see how with this example where I got it and why people would think it’s real. The main thing I thought of was that the person that sent it did so through their mobile device and like many of those devices it usually leaves a footer message such as those “Sent through my Blackberry”notes. Therefore, the assumption is the person took a picture of it while they were walking around at that moment. There actually were people commenting on it as if they believed it was real.

Guess the lesson is if you are the business you have to act fast to respond to things like that as it can get out of control fairly quickly.

Giving Free Gifts or Refunds When Prices Drop Too Fast

Thursday, July 28th, 2011 by

I was reading today about that Nintendo 3DS device as there is apparently a huge price drop as it didn’t come out too long ago while being priced at about $250. Apparently next month it is going to be about $170 only in comparison. The offer that the company gave to the people that bought the device early seemed interesting. Basically, as a way to keep people from feeling they been robbed for buying it so early they were offering those customers a a bunch of free downloadable games that are worth equal or better value of the new price difference.

That’s actually the first time I have seen something like that as usually it is just too bad if you were an early adopter. Not only that, but apparently some of the software that was being offered in the download is exclusive. I guess you can say they really thought this through to try and make people feel good about buying their products early. Interesting strategy overall I thought anyways from a business point of view.

Keeping Service Changes A Secret

Saturday, July 10th, 2010 by

What a risky tactic this was I thought for a company. Essentially there is a company that provided subscription based services and it was announced recently that various changes would be implemented in the services that they provided. This included adding and removing features where they provided customers a list of changes ahead of time.

Now the crazy thing is that on the actual launch date there was a whole load of changes that were not included in its notes to the public. Basically, the changes were so controversial that they knew a lot of people would have probably unsubscribed sooner if they knew about it. Therefore, they tried to monetize as many as possible before the uproar.

I never understood these tactics as the backlash will probably make things worst in the end if you did make a few extra dollars from keeping things a secret. I would think it would better to just try and make things look as positive as possible with some clever PR.

The Request To Shutdown My Blog

Monday, March 24th, 2008 by

This is a continuation from that very strange e-mail request I posted last time in regards to a request I received to close down my blog for competitive commercial reasons. I have a clear idea of what went on after doing some research and thought it would be an interesting thing to blog about from a business perspective.

Earlier this month a person contacted me through this blog with the following message:

hi,
I need some small help from you regarding your blog. Please reply if you have received this message.

Thanks much!

As always, I like to help people whenever I can and sure enough I replied with a simple acknowledgment saying

Hi there,

What type of help do you need?

The person then responds with something that just left me dumbfounded which said the following:

Hi, Thanks for replying.

This is regarding www.al6400.com/blog/2008/01/28/princeton-premier/
This page comes up in top results when we search “princeton premier” in google.

Now, the princetonpremier.com guys posted an online project and I am working on that to do SEO and remove this type of results from google search. After so much of effort, I am still clueless. And they are not making the payment unless they see some result.

My request to you is please disable this blog of yours for 15 days or so. This will have some effect on the search results and I may receive my fees. You may re-enable this after that period.
Please let me know either-way. I am solely dependent on freelance projects like this and can not afford to lose payments.

Thanks much.

Shocked, I responded by saying

Hi there,

This has got to be some kind of joke correct? I am having a very hard time believing what I am reading here without some kind of authenticity verification about what you have written.

Just some quick background information for those who don’t know, I made a post about a questionable e-mail offer I received from that company which has garnered a lot of attention and considering people from that organization had a perfect opportunity to make their voices heard without bias, as it appeared that a representative of the company did make a reply initially, it just made this whole situation even more unbelievable.

I was thinking too on how even from a business perspective who goes up and asks say a competitor to shutdown for a few days? That’s like two stores competing with each other during the Christmas shopping season and asking if the owner could close his store down for awhile as they are getting too much exposure.

The guy was dead serious though and understandably he didn’t want to give out details. However, that didn’t stop me from getting to the bottom of this. After putting all the pieces together, everything pointed to the fact that the company was using some kind of outsourcing service to perform the service in question. It just so happens that I am very knowledgeable about that particular field/industry and it didn’t take me very long to find this request:

It appeared as if the company was actively seeking to hire people to push down sites such as my blog from showing up for certain keywords to avoid negative exposure of their business/product. This made me really wonder on why the organization didn’t simply reply to the concerns expressed by all those people that commented on that post instead as I’m sure this doesn’t exactly help their cause.

This incident in particular sure demonstrates the importance of making sure that you can do the job before making promises to do something huh? In this case too, it looked the buyer and the service provider didn’t do a thorough enough job in interviewing each other beforehand. So what would you do if you were running that business now?

I guess the traditional method would be that the company would come out and apologize to anyone who feels they were mislead in any way while offering people a refund if they wish to accept full responsibility of the negative publicity that has been generated. At the same time, they would then somehow publicly announce their efforts to correct things if warranted. Of course, this is assuming that they want to continue its operations.

Another thing that this incident made me think about is the power of social media nowadays where a simple opinion or perspective about an issue can manifest into something enormous. This was definitely one of those seeing something new everyday moments for me.