Cost of Bad Publicity

One of my friends posted on Facebook and Twitter this link to a blog post from the LA Times.  In case you don’t read the post, in essence a famous customer (Victoria Beckham) went into a Venice, California restaurant (Gjelina) and asked for the dressing on the side of a salad and was told no – the menu states “No Substitutions”.

I’m not asking you to weigh in on whether the restaurant is right or wrong, whether the celebrity is high-maintenance or not.  Rather, I would ask you to follow the link for another reason.  At the time I am typing this, 106 people had sent the link via Twitter to no one knows how many people who are following them.  104 people actually took the time to post a comment to the blog – most of them NOT positive to the restaurant and 1046 people posted a link to the article on their Facebook page.  Do we want to try to estimate the amount of exposure from those 1046 people alone?

The same article gets over 11,000 Google hits and has appeared countless other places from “Weird News” on the AOL site to a sports news website to this business blog!

The internet is a wonderful tool.  It can give you great exposure for your small business for little or no cost.  It an also cost you a fortune.

Given the largely negative comments generated over the past 3 weeks and the fact it is still getting passed around you have to ask yourself whether or not this is in the best interest of the business.

Then ask yourself that same question regarding YOUR policies and practices.  We all want to make our businesses more efficient, cost-effective and/or reflections of our “vision” – but at what cost?

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