“They say the women treat you fine on Broadway But lookin’ at them just gives me the blues”.
“On Broadway”, George Benson
I can’t help but think that Philip J. Smith, President of The Shubert Organization must be singing those words from jazz legend George Benson’s hit song – On Broadway.
Imagine this. Over a period of 100 years (since 1900), generations put their heart and soul into building the oldest, largest and most well-respected theatre company on Broadway. As President, you are well known throughout the theatre industry as a man of integrity and class.
Suddenly, in one fell swoop, you go from “toast of the town”, to just plain – toast.
Such was the case when Smith’s scorned, soon-to-be ex-wife, Tricia-Walsh Smith decided to take her divorce case to the people’s court (aka YouTube).
Walsh-Smith released her first, now famous video over one month ago. In the six minute rant, she covers everything from her and her husband’s “non-sex” life, to some of Mr. Smith’s personal belongings, including – viagra, condoms and porn. She goes so far as to contact his assistant asking what she should do with them – all captured live on video for the viewing public.
Since then, Walsh-Smith has released three more videos. Combined, they have received over 3,500,000 views online. Despite significant opposition to her tactics from the general public, in her most recent video Walsh-Smith pleads with her empathetic viewers to donate through PayPal to support her cause. She rants: “I’m going to form a foundation called Women Warriors of the World United. I’m going to help other women in my position . . . because united we stand, divided we fall!”
Regardless of whether or not you find Walsh-Smith’s approach distasteful, the fact is – she continues to deliver severe blows to the reputation of Philip Smith and by association – The Shubert Organization.
So, where am I headed with this?
To quote Marketing Pilgrim’s Andy Beal – “Every single day, someone, somewhere is discussing something important to your business; your brand, your executives, your competitors, your industry. Are they hyping-up your company, building buzz for your products? Or, are they criticizing your service, complaining to others about your new product launch. A great brand can take months, if not years, and millions of dollars to build. It should be the thing you hold most precious.”
Although extreme, this case is just one example of how you and your brand can be subject to attack. In a world where anyone armed with just a computer and a webcam can inflict irreversible damage, it’s critical to be mindful about the way you treat people – whether family, friends, customers, employees, competitors, etc. Something to think about.
In the meantime, you would be well served by downloading a free copy of Andy’s free Beginner’s Guide To Online Reputation Management.
For a comprehensive guide consider purchasing Andy’s highly acclaimed book entitled: “Radically Transparent: Monitoring and Managing Reputations Online”.