Just recently one of our clients was interviewed by a high profile online magazine. Their quote was good in the piece but another person in their industry spewed out “wrong” information, according to my client. The client wanted us to write an article pointing fingers at the offending competitor to put him in his place, so to speak.
I always caution clients about speaking poorly online of competitors and for that matter naming names as there is absolutely nothing good that can come from the exchange. In fact, doing so may actually be harmful to you or set you up to become a target yourself.
It is not unthinkable that an angry competitor that you have targeted, will work to smear your reputation online with dirty tactics to get back at you. Re-mediating issues such as this are nearly impossible and can end up being damaging to your own online reputation.
My advice is vent and rant to your friends, but keep rants and finger pointing off line. Don’t give a competitor a reason to make you a personal target.
Most legitimate businesses would simply not escalate finger pointing into a vendetta, but there are some unbalanced people out their who happen to own businesses who may take very personal offense at comments directed at them or their behavior and work specifically to damage your online reputation in retribution. So, be careful when it comes to pointing out something that a competitor does that you consider “wrong”. You don’t want to become a target!