No Such Thing as Negative Publicity?
I read a news item not too long ago about a carpet-cleaning company in South Florida settling a price-gouging claim made in the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan. The fact that this was but one of more than a dozen lawsuits, and just one complaint out of more than 1,200 dealing with price gouging received by the Florida Attorney General's office by late September, didn't get much attention.
It's truly unfortunate that so many headline-grabbing stories in the mainstream media involving carpet cleaning and restoration professionals are of this ilk. They damage credibility, erase trust and, worst of all, re-enforce negative stereotypes of the industry as a whole.
What those headlines should be dealing with are the hundreds of untold stories focusing on the positive. Stories like Tony Romeo and Brian Frank of Pensacola, Fla.-based Cleaning Supply Network, who put forth an extraordinary effort in providing food and shelter to people whose lives were shattered by Hurricane Ivan. Stories like the restoration jobs taken on by C&B Services, who mobilized just before Hurricane Charley. These are the types of professionals that should be held high for all to see, because they represent the best the industry has to offer.
Yes, the Connections 2004 Convention and Trade Show in Las Vegas, Nov. 4-6, featured the best equipment, techniques and education available to the professional carpet-cleaning professional. But what doesn't always make the publicity rounds are the opportunities events like this offer for the true professionals, those with a passion for the job and a head for the business, to get together and simply talk. There's nothing so disheartening as the feeling of isolation, that the problems and challenges you face are yours and yours alone.
Events like Connections, association meetings, semi-annual gatherings, Internet Bulletin Boards or even informal get-togethers at the distributor after hours allow people with the shared goal of success to learn about what is going on in the industry, to learn what is going on in each other's lives and, if nothing else, to learn that they don't exist in a bubble, that the dark clouds that might occasionally appear on their horizon do not gather solely for them.
It's not always about the best equipment, the best marketing, the best techniques. Sometimes it's the best outlook, knowing that there are good people out there doing a good job, just as you are, that sees you through the day.