Bad-Mouthing Others Can Create Unwanted Publicity

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Thanks to social media, publicity for your business can be free, but it can also cost you irreparable harm if promises made aren’t delivered.  While surfing on one of my internet social networking sites, I came across this post from the very dissatisfied client of a Public Relations Agent.  He blasted it right on her page for the world to see.  Just so you know, it wasn’t ME, he was referring to because I am NOT a PR Agent.  There is a distinct difference between being a PR Agent and a Media Trainer.

Here’s what he wrote:

I remain a very unhappy client of (name witheld)—– and she is ignoring me.  I feel totally ripped off!!!

 I worked with her for 4 months, paid almost $2000, and didn’t get a single media hit. NOTHING. A college intern could get me an AM radio station interview or a mention in a magazine.

When I complained to (name witheld)——, I received an email saying “any further communication will be considered harassment”.

So, I sued her in small claims court. I found out I’m the 4th client to sue her. She committed perjury, lied in court and won the case.

Ultimately, she told me that she “could not, and would not, nor would anyone else, guarantee any results. How about addressing a very unhappy client that feels ripped off?

Be careful around (name witheld), she’s very good at “spinning” things like a PR agent. However, she used it AGAINST me rather than to my benefit.

So my question to you is, did he have a right to make his feelings public for all the world to see?  And does this really damage her reputation?

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7 thoughts on “Bad-Mouthing Others Can Create Unwanted Publicity

  1. WOW. Well, without knowing both sides – I would say this is wrong. Because, obviously the PR person can’t defend themselves. I don’t know either one of them – but I do know that the “big mouth complainer” is not a client I would ever want to have. Bad Karma.

    Before you shell out $2,000 – maybe they should of checked her references (he would of found out that the PR person was sued before) DUH! Or he could have learned about the PR business before engaging a PR agent. I wrote an article so folks quit being so “taken” and feeling “ripped off” – see here http://www.christianbookbuzzonline.com/?p=139. I explain the business to people they sign on as a client.

    Another thing, I am always in defense of PR folks. They are always the scapegoat for “bad books, bad sound bites, bad looks, bad media” – anything that doesn’t go right seems to be the publicist’s fault.

    We my motto is, “I’m the publicist – not your therapist, sweetie”

  2. Absolutely! I did it recently with Finish Line and you did it last year when those house people messed with you (can’t remember their name). This type of thing is sometimes the only recourse we, the “little people”, have against those who treat us badly.

    It’s why, when I talk to people in business who say that they don’t pay attention to social media, I tell them that they need to be at least following their own business name on Twitter or Google Alerts because you never know when someone you’ve wronged will call you out.
    Mitch Mitchell recently posted..When Government Gets Into Our Online Lives

  3. Pam,
    I do know both parties involved–not well–but I have met both of them. As a Media Trainer, I try to teach folks how to generate their own publicity or at least have enough working knowledge to know if their PR person is serving their best interest. I personally think this guy fell for a pretty face and smooth talk without doing all of the other things you suggest.

  4. Mitch,

    Social Media has become an extension of the Better Business Bureau but with people you are more likely to have some kind of contact with—or at least know someone who does. It’s like word of mouth advertising.

  5. Here’s the thing, Bev. If this lady was a PR person then she should know the dangers of social media, wouldn’t you think? I mean, you and I do and I’m certainly not a PR person. I think in this age customer service slights just aren’t going to be tolerated as much.

    Pam said the woman doesn’t have a way to defend herself; sure she does. She has access to all the same outlets the person who complained about her does; heck, she should know them better than him if she’s good at what she does.

    By the way, I’m not saying that what he did is a good thing based on the way he went about it. You and I handled ourselves in a much more sedate way, yet we still got our point across. But you know I’m a social media guy; I don’t warn people about things like this without knowing that it can happen to any one of us if we irritate the wrong person.

    You haven’t indicated if she tried to offer anything to the guy as far as an apology or maybe returning some of the money. I know PR folks can’t guarantee success but they do guarantee that they’ll do the work that they’re known for. I mean, based on what you know, did the lady at least do something for this person?
    Mitch Mitchell recently posted..Make Your Blog Available Via Kindle

  6. Mitch,

    Since I wrote this post, I heard from the guy who did the complaining and he wrote:

    “I’m not a complainer, and sometimes things don’t work out, but R——- committed blatant fraud with me. I’m still angry.”

    She apparently refused to communicate with him further and has gone about her merry way–holding events and acting as if nothing has happened.

    I think social media makes it impossible for us to ignore allegations of bad service. The best thing to do is to face it head on and then move on. Not sure that happened in this case. I have heard complaints about her in the past but we don’t really travel in the same circles. As a matter of fact, I probably wouldn’t be permitted in her circle. That’s why I have MY OWN 🙂

    To my satisfaction, my blog complaint was addressed—they paid what was owed to us plus all of the bank fees. It would be in her best interest, I think, to address it.

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