Outspot, the flight ahead

Posted by Frank De Graeve

Fortunately, our clients rarely have to call on our crisis communication services, but the people at Outspot were happy we were there for them last summer.

Outspot is a discount website with almost three million members who receive an electronic newsletter with interesting offers in their inbox every day. The company has been active longer than Groupon, the best-known of this type of site, and is perhaps even a bit bigger in our region following a number of takeovers.

This summer Outspot came under fire following the Fantasie Reizen debacle. This travel company, who Outspot distributed an offer for, turned out to be an unmitigated swindler running off with customers’ money. Lots of people booked Fantasie Reizen holidays through Outspot before the so-called travel company disappear into thin air.

Following our advice, and also because it had already sensed this would be the best solution, Outspot opted for a very open approach – let’s call it the ‘flight ahead’ approach. The day the Fantasie Reizen deceit came out, we contacted the press to clarify the situation and ensure the necessary distinctions were reported in the first announcements. We also responded to negative comments on social media, and so on. This meant Outspot came across as a reliable and relevant source of news, with correct reports appearing in the press coverage.

By communicating quickly in a transparent way, so both journalists and victims had the right information about how the situation was being handled, Outspot prevented its image being ruined. The Fantasie Reizen adventure cost them money, but it could have been a whole lot worse.

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