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Friday, September 30, 2011

Joan Stewart Guest Blogs: When Not to Follow Your Lawyer's Advice

I am very proud to have Joan Stewart as guest blogger today on Survive and Thrive for Retailers.  She is a marketing guru and her advice works well across industry borders.  Today she's addressing my retail friends, with my thanks!  Be sure to connect with her. Check her credits at the end of this article.

What do you do when faced with a lawsuit?

By Joan Stewart

While you're at lunch today, a reporter leaves you a voicemail message telling you that one of your customers has filed a lawsuit against your store for shoddy business practices.

The lawsuit claims your cash register charges more for certain items than what's listed on the pricetags. The reporter has called because he wants a comment.

You know nothing about the lawsuit. Your first inclination may be to call your lawyer.

Clarence Jones, a media trainer and former award-winning investigative reporter, is betting that your lawyer's advice will be wrong.

In almost every instance, Jones says, the lawyer will tell you not to comment, which is the same as screaming, "I'm guilty!"

Think about it. You've read dozens of news stories about companies being sued, and the CEO or store manager says, "We can't comment on this because it's in litigation."

Your attorney's Number One job is to cover your butt in a court of law.  Problem is, most attorneys don't know anything about covering your butt in the court of public opinion.

By the time a lawsuit winds its way through the courts, and you win, your reputation could be tarnished, your store closed, and your business in ruins.

Jones says your company--and even you, if you're a sole proprietor--must know how to respond in bad-news situations so you can put your best foot forward and take control of the story.  If you find yourself in a PR crisis, weigh your lawyer’s advice along with the advice of others such as a good crisis counselor.

~ Publicity expert Joan Stewart, aka The Publicity Hound, shares tips like these in her ebook, "How to be a Kick-butt Publicity Hound." It's a one-stop-shop on how to generate publicity for your retail outlet using traditional and social media. And it includes a handy glossary of terms at the end so you aren't confused by media lingo. Read more about what the book will teach store owners and managers at Joan also does private consulting. Contact her at or at Sign up for her free weekly email newsletter chock full of publicity tips at  

Carolyn Howard-Johnson's FRUGAL book for retailers is A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques launched at the National Stationery Show at Javits Center. Because she is the author of the multi award-winning how-to books for writers,The Frugal Book Promoter: How To Do What Your Publisher Won't and The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success, retailers will also find essentials of writing for blogs, Web sites, and newsletters on this blog. She is the author of an award-winning novel, This Is the Place; and other fiction and poetry. She blogs on better writing at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor blog. Find her tweeting for retailers at @frugalretailing . If your followers at Twitter would benefit from this blog post, please use this little green widget to let them know about it:

1 comment:

  1. I can see lots of hard work and passion in this article. Thank you for such an incredible and informative blog.

    Dirk Kettlewell


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