What should a small business do when a former client kills one of the most beloved animals in the world and the social media backlash turns into a tidal wave? My marketing firm, Page 1 Solutions, recently found itself in that situation when a former client, Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer, admitted to killing internationally revered lion Cecil during a hunting expedition in Zimbabwe. The story exploded on social media, and Page 1 began receiving negative attention from people under the mistaken impression that our company managed Palmer’s dental website.
As our president explained in a post, Page 1 Solutions hasn’t worked with Palmer since 2013. Nevertheless, our company was swept up in the online outrage. When news about Cecil’s death broke Tuesday, we started receiving angry calls, emails and social media posts accusing us of hiding our relationship with Palmer and continuing to market his dental practice.