Online rumors can never, EVER be put back in the bag. Try as the PR world might, eliminating the source of negative allegations against a client is an impossible task. The Lavidge Company, representatives for the recently accused Jason Hope of JAWA/Cylon, has drawn the highly unenviable work.
The Lavidge Company called me on Tuesday after the Valley PR post hit. There were two people on the line (forgive me if I don’t recall their names, but it was a man and a woman). They were even-tempered, non-accusatory and sounded very calm. I realize they are professionals, but for them to treat a lowly blogger with such respect was an excellent move on their part. I personally would have called a little earlier, but they did their job.
They corrected The Lavidge Company rep’s name in the story (Anne Robertson, who STILL hasn’t called me back), as I wrote it down incorrectly. They also pointed out that Jason Hope has never been convicted of any crime in relation to text message scams.
To prove their point about Jason Hope never having been convicted of any text messaging allegations, they offered to send me documents indicating such. I never received them, and I assume they’re off with wherever Anne Robertson’s ability to call back is hiding. I’m sure other PR pros would have made damn sure those documents arrived in my inbox.
The BEST way to get rid of bad web publicity is to overwhelm it with GREAT publicity. As a quick Google search for Jason+Hope+Lavidge will show you, Jason Hope pledged money to Japan on March 16. My email inquiry to his Lavidge representatives on that page (which I think were the same people that called me) about how much he pledged went unanswered, although I should have followed up on that one.
Had I been advising Jason Hope, I probably would have told him to make himself available for interviews (he may not be able to comment because of legal issues) and published more, different information about the results of the cases that have been found in Jason Hope of JAWA/Cylon’s favor.
Right now, it looks like everyone is hiding something and while this is certainly not a court of law, nor has there ever been a guilty verdict, it sure makes it look like one of Scottsdale’s fastest-growing companies is less than legit.
Stonewalling may have worked before the web made rumor believable, but it’s not going to work now. Any tips for PR pros dealing with bad press?
Featured Image Credit: NatKirk on Flickr