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Perceptions Of A Relationship Could Harm Your Business

Do-Not-Call site has AT&T web bug. Trust us - we're a phone company. Web tracking link found in government Do-Not-Call site. [The Register]

Often perception is more dangerous than actual fact. The Register, a UK based technology publication, announces AT&T included a small tracking device in the popular Federal Trade Commission's Do-Not-Call page-- the article raises suspicious concerns of the relationship between AT&T and the commission (FTC). AT&T has a lot to lose from changing in telemarketing law, Is this a conspiracy?

Here are the facts as presented:

Other facts are presented, including the fact the $3.5 million contract was awarded to AT&T Government Solutions not the telemarketing division. Some 45 media mentions cover AT&T's concerns or possible losses due to the Do-Not-Call list, including a few covering the tracking code included on a government site.

While this opens up for all kinds of conspiracy theories, here are some possible explanations for the tracking code. Some are wild, while others make good sense.

There probably isn't a secret conspiracy, the FTC even announced the relationship and the possible conflict of interest in press releases months ago. However, how customers see the relationship could make them question doing business with you in the future.

Here is what you can do reduce harmful perceptions of a relationship could harm your business:

  1. Disclose the details of a relationship as soon as it is established,
  2. Provide clear separation between divisions that present conflict,
  3. Prepare early for media questions about competitive elements of relationship,
  4. Create separation by utilizing a separate prime contractor to manage project,
  5. Work directly with media when a concern arises with a consistent message,
  6. Coordinate message between divisions, customer, and public relations,
  7. Separate other issues that could compound the situation,

/ clearly-communicate | earning-trust /

By Justin Hitt at October 8, 2003 7:38 PM  Subscribe in a reader


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