Several years ago when I was doing publicity for a local
design/build firm I learned about full disclosure the hard way. Apparently, the
guys I was working for neglected to tell me that there were a few problems with
the zoning insofar as their home office was concerned. Something about the
number of cars allowed in the parking lot—I never got the full story. Anyway, I
pitched a story to the local weekly paper, a publication that is still widely
read around here (the police blotter is probably the best read section). The
story was a general interest feature.
knowing anything about the questionable zoning issue, it never occurred to me
to ask (though if I ever worked with another home office you can bet I would
ask). So when the story came out these fellows called a meeting. One of them
began to raise his voice. The other, let’s call him the wimp, sort of looked
into the corner of the room. How dare I not tell them that the reporter was
going to write about the zoning issue. Huh?? Of course I asked why no one had
bothered to tell me there was an issue in the first place. I left the office
fairly unhappy though much wiser. I dropped them and they dropped me.
Occasionally, I see the one with the nasty temper and I’m tempted to tell him
he’s ugly or something, but I just walk away with the knowledge that at the
very least I learned something about vetting a prospect/client.
probably surprised me most is that they actually thought (I swear) that I had
set them up. Why on earth would I do something like that, I remember asking.
And I didn’t even swear (though I wanted to). In any case, what I learned is
that we must ask our clients if there are any, and I mean any, skeletons they’d
like to share. The problem is that people often equate skeletons with really
awful and obvious stuff. But as we all know, skeletons come in a variety of
sizes. Best to draw your clients out and give them specific examples of why
it’s important for you to know about any problems that have occurred in the
past. Why? Because you never know when those petty crimes and misdemeanors will
rise up and take a bite out of everyone’s collective rear ends.
this: some clueless tax evaders ever present on Facebook are getting visits
from the taxman. Just because you owe taxes but haven’t yet been found doesn’t
mean the IRS has given up. Indeed, before you suggest some social networking
publicity strategies, you might want to ask a few questions. Here’s one that
comes in at just five words: “Have you paid your taxes?”