One of my favorite sayings is “There is a right way and a wrong way to do business”. It’s a personal motto, always reminding me to conduct myself in a professional manner that will reflect positively on me and my business. I usually whip this one out immediately after I see an example of the wrong.
And I thought I’d seen it all….
I went online today to look for a death notice of a former co-worker. The listing showed all of the requisite information about the deceased. But where there is usually a photograph, there was a QR Code. Being the geek that I am, I scanned the code and was immediately taken to the funeral home website, not more information about the deceased. Don’t get me wrong… I don’t begrudge this business the right to advertise. Funeral homes routinely list information at the bottom of a death notice.
I go to websites about 100 times a day, and that’s probably a conservative number. Each time I’m looking for information, and most times I see advertising that I can ignore or pursue. I’ve never seen advertising placed in such a deceitful manner. It’s just wrong, and it leaves you feeling a bit icky.
Marketers must take control to ensure their message is not out of place, and mistakes can happen. I’ve seen a few examples of rotating banner ads placed on news sites that have raised a few eyebrows…. like fast food restaurants on a news page reporting a famine in Africa. Always be aware of what is scheduled in the future, making sure to make adjustments if an event occurs. Everyone remembers the Aurora Mall store tweeting about a sale the day following the shootings… not callous, just careless.
The last two examples are mistakes, but someone made a conscious decision to promote a business within an obituary. You have to wonder what was going through the head of the person who decided that QR Code was a clever idea. It’s just not right, on so many levels.
Think. Review. Edit. This post originally included a screen shot of the aforementioned obituary, but I decided that it wasn’t appropriate to include that person’s info. I’m constantly editing myself for many reasons, mostly to make sure I’m accurate and professional.
Back to that motto of mine… The company I work for has taken my already simple mantra and stripped it down. To be fair, they didn’t know they were doing that! We have the standard, small paragraph mission statement that references the company’s two core values… “Do The Right Thing. Do Things Right.” It’s a simple, but powerful concept.
Learn it, live it… love it.
About the Author
John Langan is currently Business Services Director at the Penn Emblem Company, but has worn many hats in his thirty plus years in the corporate identification business… from screen printer to graphic artist to customer service to marketing director. He brings focused and unique perspective to B2B communications, helping people achieve success marketing products, services, and themselves. Learn more here: http://gr8johnl.wordpress.com/about/