Letting Events Run Away

Perhaps one of the most dangerous publicity mishaps I’ve experienced has been when a company advertises an event heavily and then has to change the date.

There are ways to do this and then there are how most people deal with it.

First, you need to understand that an event you publicize is a promise. It doesn’t matter if you were at the mercy of weather, city officials or a bad partnership – your reputation as someone who keeps their promises is on the line.

So let me pose this: If you were in the customer’s or public’s position, how would you want to be treated?

Don’t take the easy out and say “Oh well, they’ll understand it was out of my control.” That’s not thinking like the customer.  When were you last mad at a guy who cut you off in traffic or the airline that delayed you five hours?  That was out of their control, but you don’t accept that as ok.

A rescheduled event is GOING to cost you money. The question is would you rather lose a little money up-front to keep the relationship positive with your customers or would you rather lose a ton of money in the long-run as you lose customers and prospective customers because of your tarnished reputation?

Are you going to think long-term or short-term.

Don’t let events run away from you and turn into PR nightmares.

Here’s what a seminar did for me: It offered me a seat upgrade for free and introduced an extra speaker to the event.

Here’s what a pool didn’t do: It didn’t do a darned thing when the pool opening was delayed three weeks longer than the original publicized deadline. It just pointed fingers at the construction crew and cried about how no one understood them. Their message was loud and clear: They don’t care about me, let alone understand me.

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