The Marketing Plan From Heck – Just Get A Lawyer Involved
In a bizarre reverse of self-promotion, a site that got hardly any visitors is now hugely popular – thanks to the lawyers seeking to shut him down.
This isn’t a new promotional trick (controversy after all is a ‘great’ way to get known), but it seems the lawyers had no clue how the Internet works – try to stifle someone on a blog, and the blogger might just talk about it.
The full details are on this post (and the original blog is here), but basically, it’s this: a Canon parody site on WordPress.com got under the skin of Canon. The result was they involved lawyers to shut it down, and the controversy ended up making everyone visit the fake site.
Understandably, Canon is annoyed – the site is set up to complain about their products by taking stabs at their corporate evangelist – but their heavy-handed methods means they have attracted ONE HUNDRED TIMES the visitors to the site – from a low of about 200 visitors to now 20,000 visitors, all to see what the fuss is about.
Complaints on the Internet can make a difference (see Facebook’s recent reverse on its draconian TOS), and corporations do well to learn the lessons.
The solution? Make friends, not enemies. A guy going to the trouble to parody a company is really mad – and well worth sitting down with and satisfying. Solve the problem and you get a friend – bury your head (and avoid dealing with it), and you get, well, a parody site, and a huge lawyer bill (which has to be paid whether they did things right or wrong, by the way).
As I once said in a post on customer service, you end up annoying close to 300 people for every vocal one you actually hear from. Treat their views like gold – because helping them see your side might just sway 300 potential customers ‘behind’ them.
And on the other side: parody sites WILL cause you stress – decide now if the rewards of getting known are worth the stress of getting known by the wrong people – people with lawyers on retainer…