Runaway Train…

February 17, 2010

A client of mine was ‘nominated’ recently for Top 50 Entrepreneur of the Year by the regional Business Leader Magazine.  He called me to get my opinion and see if I thought it was something worthwhile and respected.  Having heard some great things from my network over the years about the publication and in particular their Business Leader Breakfast series, I encouraged my client to participate.

Then I logged onto LinkedIn

A seemingly innocuous discussion started by Bill Yodder entitled “Business Leader Media and your $84” caught my attention.  I clicked on the thread and was bombarded with less than stellar comments, by many, regarding the general ethics – or lack thereof – surrounding BLM’s business practices.  I threw my two cents in – actually asking the group for advice about my client.  What came back was an unequivocal ‘stay away’. 

I quickly became emotionally involved – feeling somewhat ‘betrayed’ by this organization who had the ‘nerve’ to misbehave behind my back – so to speak, potentially making me look bad.  After all, I had given them an approval thumbs up. 

Well, first – shame on me.  I know better.  I tell my clients all the time don’t assume your reference customer is still a reference customer – EVER.  Always check their current level of satisfaction before handing them over to your prospect; you don’t want to find yourself tied to the tracks with the faint distant whistle blowing.

Secondly, what was BLM thinking?  

Really?  In today’s incredibly public, everyone has access to everyone’s thoughts and ideas and we’re not afraid to share them world, there are organizations that think they can pull the wool over our eyes? 

The real quagmire is this; they, under the leadership of Dan Davies, did have a great reputation.  A change in ownership and a slippery slope downward have become public.  The bummer is that there is a new conductor on board and he, presumably, wants to ‘make it whole’ again. 

Can he?  How do you stop the train wreck?  Bob, if you’re out there listening – you better take it on quickly, directly and publically or you may have nothing left but twisted metal and loose screws.

 Keeping the MarketingSmack on track or visit us at