Are you familiar with the term “Streisand Effect”? I wasn’t until reading a recent Techdirt article about the ham handed efforts by Gamestop to keep a competing software developer out of the market, and in so doing giving that developer more free publicity than they likely had the resources to buy. Ms. Streisand received the honor of this term after attempting, citing privacy concerns, to force a photographer to remove an aerial photo of her house from an online collection of coastline photographs (her house was shown but not identified in the photo), resulting in hundreds of thousands of page views.
Here at Timothy 3.0, I try to highlight those moments when a legal team inadvertently creates a PR problem for a company because they did not consider how the new rules of social media turn every aspect of business in potential fodder for public debate. Today, everything a company does is Marketing, not just advertising, not just interactions with customers and the press, but competitors, critics, any person or entity within and without the company. Because you never know what will go viral.
The Streisand Effect is not quite the same thing, but similar enough to be one of those moments when I think I’m on to something new only to find it’s so common there’s a name for it.