If Paul Christoforo is a PR Pro, Bernie Madoff is the World’s Greatest Investment Advisor.

[Jan 5, 2012 Editorial Note:  This story was originally posted last week but has been updated]

I am so flipping tired of my industry being maligned by idiots who crown themselves “Public Relations Professionals” or “Marketing Professionals” or “Social Media Experts”.

Seriously.  This guy – Paul Christoforo – has ticked off half the electronics gaming community by ignoring every fundamental rule of good and effective communication.  If he is a PR pro, Dr. Jekyll was a physician extraordinaire.

In a day and age where everyone knows everyone else’s business – because of PR and marketing and social media – how can anyone be so ignorant as to think you can treat customers like yesterday’s trash and get away with it?  And then beg for forgiveness when you get caught.  Not because you are truly sorry or that you even recognize the error of your ways, but because you got caught and it is killing your business.

Shame on Paul Christoforo; you are not a PR professional.  Shame on Ocean Marketing; you are not a professional PR operation.  And shame on N-Control; not only for hiring this marketing firm, but for retaining them after they pulled this kind of nonsense in the past.  You get what you deserve.

Unfortunately, customers do NOT deserve this kind of nonsense.  And since it is apparent they may have missed some of these lessons during their marketing/PR/social media training, I wanted to offer a couple of tenets to Ocean Marketing and N-Control for future consideration:

1.  Be honest with your customers – even when it is bad news.

2.  Own up to your mistakes just like you take credit for your achievements.

3.  Make good on your promises, and if you fall short, make up for them with humility and rewards.

4.  Treat customers with the respect they deserve for giving you their money and loyalty.

5.  If you are incapable of relating to the public, do not call yourself a public relations professional.

As cautionary tales go, this one seems to have a good ending.  N-Control fired Christoforo and Ocean Marketing, which has changed its name to Ocean Strategy (yeah, that will work), and someone (no names please) has effectively shut down N-Control’s website.

The following video (definitely R-rated for rough language) offers a quick and only slightly exaggerated summary of the basic story.  Please view at your own risk with the volume set at low.

Jim Sweeney


Jim is a veteran of the agency industry and the founder of Sweeney. He is uncommonly passionate about the idea of creating and implementing insanely great marketing campaigns that achieve insanely great results. He pioneered the full-service, full-circle agency model and continues to forge new ideas in an ever-changing industry. And he is accessible to everyone about anything, seemingly all the time, serving as a mentor to all agency personnel and clients.