Sorry, You Can’t Control Your Message

Posted on 26 November 2009

I belong to a business organisation in Hong Kong that often presents terrific training seminars for members and non-members. So me being me, I always spread the word about their events by forwarding their promotional e-mails to anyone I think might benefit, and by recommending their events in my e-newsletter. Of course I include a link to the organisation’s website.

Also, whenever I meet someone that I think could/should join the organisation, I rave about it and give the person the organisation’s website address. I don’t do all that as a paid marketing consultant – I do it voluntarily because I’m a member of the organisation and I want to spread the word.

So recently, in an a-email to the organisation’s marketing executive, I happened to mention that I’d promoted one of the organisation’s events in my last e-newsletter.

And she replied: “…please let us know in advance if you will be promoting [us] and using our web address as we need to monitor this carefully.” So she seems to be saying that I must ask permission to promote their events and send their web address to my friends. (Why else would she want to know IN ADVANCE if I’m planning to rave about them?) Unbelievable!

Marketing FAIL

Marketing FAIL

Here’s what I replied: “Sorry, but you really can’t control whether, and how, people recommend [your] events and website to others… I think it’s ridiculous to expect members to seek your permission in advance to promote your events and to give people your website address. You should be encouraging members to promote [your organisation’s] events and its website, not making it difficult for us to do so.”

What do you think?


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