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RE: [PRMindshare] RE: [PRQuorum] XP - Social attack

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  • Ned Barnett
    I don t care who s right, but I know this woman was wrong. There are legitimate means for the redress of grievances that are fair to all parties (in intent) -
    Message 1 of 4 , Feb 17, 2009
      I don't care who's right, but I know this woman was wrong. There are
      legitimate means for the redress of grievances that are fair to all parties
      (in intent) - and I suspect that this is even stronger in Canada (can't
      confirm, but I sense that Canada might work that way). Certainly in the US,
      there are means of redress. Which is why I feel that this woman is a
      terrorist - she ignored them, and punished the guy without a trial or a
      chance to confront his accuser (a basic tenet of US law, enshrined in the US
      Constitution just to prevent such things).



      Irony Alert: her "subtle" and "eminently balanced" presentation of what she
      perceives as a "wrong" by the restaurant was little short of blackmail, and
      had all the elegance of a lynch mob. This is often the approach taken by
      someone who knows she's wrong, but who wants to win anyway, knowing a man
      with a business at stake has something to lose, while she doesn't.
      Questions:



      1. Did the restaurant have a handicapped section for wheel chairs?



      2. Were the better tables filled or reserved? Entertainment suggests
      the potential of a sold-out crowd.



      3. Were the seats all reserved (as is the case in some dinner clubs)
      just as they are in a theater?



      4. Did the woman have a background (or reputation) for being a
      self-centered "it's all about me" troublemaker?



      OK, maybe the restaurant owner was a jerk - it happens. However, those who
      OWN businesses in the customer service field tend to bend over backwards to
      serve customers, rather than to antagonize them - a $6/hour clerk at some
      chain donut shop might not be nice, but the owner of a place with
      entertainment is probably very nice.



      I patronize restaurants that are tight-packed and have accommodations (ample
      for their volume needs - and LV attracts a lot of old farts with wheel
      chairs and oxy-tanks and stuff, so "ample" is a generous term) for those in
      wheel chairs only around the periphery or near the front door or kitchen
      door. Those people in wheelchairs and power chairs take up a lot of room
      and without careful choreography, they can block fire exits, etc.



      In short . maybe this woman was in the right, but I can see a lot of ways in
      which she may have been wrong. Which is why when a dispute comes up, it's
      important to hear BOTH sides.



      If I was his PR guy, I'd tell him of a lesson I learned in my first job - as
      the window guy at McDonalds. "If you're wrong, apologize and fix it. If
      you're right, apologize and fix it." My boss meant this - when you're
      right, it's a good bet that the customer knows that, too. He's playing a
      little game over an item that sells (at that time) for half a buck ('you
      forgot the fries .' was the most common complaint among those who didn't
      order fries). IF you MAKE HIM WRONG, he'll get pissed and not only won't
      come back, but he'll complain to his friends. If you allow him to be right
      even (especially) when he's wrong, he'll be happy and come back.


      ONLY if you see a guy pulling the same thing over and over should you do
      something. And that something is to turn it over to the manager. I have no
      problem confronting a repeat offender, but people make mistakes, and those
      people I want to come back .



      Anyway, my advice to the restaurant owner. Apologize for all after-the-fact
      complaints, and give them a return-visit free meal. Only confront serial
      abusers, and then advisedly (if they repeat, just apologize without the
      freebie . if they're gaming the system, and want more than an apology, maybe
      they won't come back).



      However, this whole thing offends me - "there ought to be a law" against
      those who post one-sided attacks like this that cannot be answered. Absent
      those laws, though, apology is the only sane approach - and do it before the
      bitch puts up a facebook lynch mob page.



      Ned



      Ned Barnett, APR

      Marketing/PR Fellow, American Hospital Association



      Barnett Marketing Communications

      420 N. Nellis Blvd. A3-276

      Las Vegas NV 89110



      702-696-1200 - ned@...

      http://www.barnettmarcom.com



      From: PRMindshare@yahoogroups.com [mailto:PRMindshare@yahoogroups.com] On
      Behalf Of Duncan Matheson
      Sent: Tuesday, February 17, 2009 5:34 AM
      To: prquorum@yahoogroups.com; PRMindshare@yahoogroups.com;
      prbytes@yahoogroups.com; SmallShopNetwork@yahoogroups.com;
      SmallPRAgencyPros@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [PRMindshare] RE: [PRQuorum] XP - Social attack



      The front page of our local paper yesterday carried a story about a Facebook
      page that was started by a woman who felt she was done wrong by a local
      restaurant. It told of her and her wheelchair bound friend being given a
      poor table and when they wanted to move to a better one to better see the
      entertainment, the manager refused to let them. Anyway, the Facebook page,
      prior to the Monday story had ballooned to 1300+ people. The restaurant was
      taking quite the hit. This morning front page again with the development
      that the manager has apologized and the woman has taken down the site.

      I appreciate this is happening more and more often, and of course it speaks
      volumes to the power of the social media and, by extension, of the consumer.
      The growth of the Facebook site is one thing, but then for it to land on the
      front page of the paper is something else again. It also has precious little
      to do with who is right or wrong, which brings me to my point. The
      restaurant guy didn't call me, but if he had, what can a business do in the
      face of this; what advice could a lowly PR thingie possibly give? Get on
      there and apologize as an effort to stop the bleeding? What if he wasn't in
      the wrong?

      We're in the midst of a social media battle on an advocacy issue and in that
      case we simply have our own site, but I don't see that as a solution for the
      restaurant. Is this as no-win as it appears? Who has some thoughts?

      Duncan Matheson

      Bissett Matheson Communications Ltd.

      Fredericton office (506) 457-1627

      www.bissettmatheson.com

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • kezia_jauron
      First, I ll assume he wasn t in the wrong. Otherwise I wouldn t be taking his case. My approach would be to deflect and to take the side of the complainer and
      Message 2 of 4 , Feb 17, 2009
        First, I'll assume he wasn't in the wrong. Otherwise I wouldn't be
        taking his case.

        My approach would be to deflect and to take the side of the
        complainer and the 1300 people following the case. Let's say he was
        adhering to the fire marshal's rules about clearance, access to
        exits, etc. The restauranteur's position would be along these lines:

        "I agree completely with the concerns of (complainer). It's very
        frustrating that our patrons with different accessibility needs often
        suffer in order to comply with the law. In hindsight I believe I
        could have managed the situation better, but I'm unfortunately not in
        a position where I can afford to circumvent fire department rules. I
        hope (complainer) and her guest will feel welcome here like all our
        other patrons, and I look forward to working with the fire marshal to
        find an acceptable solution."

        (Or let's it's the ADA that dictates where a wheelchair can and can't
        be situated in a crowded place, or OSHA, or whatever. There's got to
        be a common enemy somewhere.)


        --- In prbytes@yahoogroups.com, "Duncan Matheson" <duncan@...> wrote:
        >
        > The front page of our local paper yesterday carried a story about a
        Facebook
        > page that was started by a woman who felt she was done wrong by a
        local
        > restaurant. It told of her and her wheelchair bound friend being
        given a
        > poor table and when they wanted to move to a better one to better
        see the
        > entertainment, the manager refused to let them. Anyway, the
        Facebook page,
        > prior to the Monday story had ballooned to 1300+ people. The
        restaurant was
        > taking quite the hit. This morning front page again with the
        development
        > that the manager has apologized and the woman has taken down the
        site.
        >
        >
        >
        > I appreciate this is happening more and more often, and of course
        it speaks
        > volumes to the power of the social media and, by extension, of the
        consumer.
        > The growth of the Facebook site is one thing, but then for it to
        land on the
        > front page of the paper is something else again. It also has
        precious little
        > to do with who is right or wrong, which brings me to my point. The
        > restaurant guy didn't call me, but if he had, what can a business
        do in the
        > face of this; what advice could a lowly PR thingie possibly give?
        Get on
        > there and apologize as an effort to stop the bleeding? What if he
        wasn't in
        > the wrong?
        >
        >
        >
        > We're in the midst of a social media battle on an advocacy issue
        and in that
        > case we simply have our own site, but I don't see that as a
        solution for the
        > restaurant. Is this as no-win as it appears? Who has some
        thoughts?
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