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Technology & Innovation

When a Competitor Attacks You Online

Try to sue their pants off? Ignore it? Hope your fans defend you? Here one business-owner shares how they turned a competitor’s online attack into an advantage.

What’s the Latest Development?

A small company with an obscure website probably read by about a dozen people posts what its competitor feels ranges from implicit smears to starkly explicit and even defamatory ones. What should the competitor do? John DeHart, Nurse Next Door’s co-founder and co-CEO, felt punched in the gut by his competitor. Lawyers recommended a letter warning that if the company didn’t take down the posting or at least remove an offending photo, legal action might result. But DeHart decided on a different tactic.

What’s the Big Idea?

Affront can be an opportunity in disguise. DeHart instead posted a response on his own blog designed to both persuade the competitor to take down the offensive posting and to open a conversation about franchised home health care. His post attracted just 12 reader responses, but passionate ones, and the competitor did take down the post. DeHart says among the lessons is that you can’t control the blogosphere, but you can harness its power.


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