Friday, July 28, 2006

The FAMOUS Chris's Plumbing Service

You can blow out a candle
But you can't blow out a fire
Once the flame begins to catch
The wind will blow it higher

Peter Gabriel sang those words a long time ago in a song called "Biko." It was about anti-aparteid activist Stephen Biko, who was arrested, tortured and killed by South African authorities in 1977. The line quoted above predicted that aparteid was doomed to collapse under the weight of popular disgust with it.

The context is obviously completely different here. But the words rang true in the sense that what I called my viral anti-marketing campaign against Chris's Plumbing Service has begun spreading like the proverbial wildfire.

The first gust of wind in this case is friend of mine named Ike Pigott who works in public relations. (See his blog here.) He saw my post about my less-than-satisfactory experience with Chris's Plumbing Service and the means I'm using to fight back.

His business is helping companies and organizations avoid bad press and he how had an example of how any disgruntled customer now can use his own "press" to spread his message. He passed it along to a friend of his in the PR trade, who noted it on her blog.

The news spread from there. Another blog picked it up. Soon the story had gone international!

So what difference does it make if a bunch of PR-types use my story as acedemic discussion fodder? Well, none. Unless you happen to google Chris's Plumbing Service or Chris's Plumbing Services (with an extra "s" at the end of "Service")and see what you get.

The flame has caught and the wind has begun to blow.


Ike said...

You're welcome, John.

Could you fix one attribution? I actually forwarded the story to Jackie at "Church of the Customer," and the other sites (like Seeds of Growth) pulled it from there.

I feed stuff to Jackie and Ben from time to time. A few months ago, I turned them onto the buzz surrounding "Snakes on a Plane."

Ike said...

Oh -- and huge props for quoting Biko.

My 4-year-old daughter's favorite song is still Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes."

But only the extended live version.

John said...

Correction made.

Peter Gabriel is terrific.

A Girl From Texas said...

You Go!

Blog world rules, man!