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Case Study: Bad publicity?

The Client
A PR company that works on business development and promotion of its clients with in the West Midlands that was alarmed by false claims being posted anonymously on social media that was bringing the company into disrepute.

The Challenge
The client had been working on a client project promoting a restaurant in a large city centre. The employees were required to hand out leaflets to passers-by and encourage them to pay a visit to the restaurant. However, a couple of days later the client reported unprofessional behaviour by one of the employees. Having investigated the situation, it became clear that the employee in question had not been focusing on the work she was being paid to do and was encouraging others to lie about their availability to work on the project. The employee left the business, but then started to encourage friends to post defamatory comments about the PR company on Social Media.

The Solution
The PR company consulted Cherington HR about appropriate courses of action. Their solicitor had initially said that they should just leave the matter and the situation may die down of its own accord. However, having looked at the vitriolic nature of the comments and likelihood that this would cause harm to the client’s business, Cherington HR advised the client not to wait, but to request a “desist or else” letter be sent by their Solicitors as a precursor to legal action.

The Results
The letter was sent and within two days the false defamatory comments were all deleted from the social media platforms reducing the risk of potential harm to the client’s company. As a result, the matter was brought to a very swift conclusion without any further ramifications. Had it been left, it was likely that such comments would have continued to have been posted with a high risk of damage to the client’s reputation. The client was extremely pleased with the outcome and has since sought further HR advice from Cherington HR.

Key words: Disciplinary; Reputation; Investigation; Solicitor; Social Media

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