Monday, July 23, 2012

It's Time for Camp David Readers to Help Right a Wrong.

Sometimes a contest can be just the right thing to boost interest in your business. It gets you noticed by others and often will bring new "Likes" to your Facebook page which, hopefully, you can convert into actual clients.

Of course, all of this can blow up in your face when you handle things in awkward fashion.

Take the recent case of 1-800-Flowers who ran a contest back in March on their website, promising a year's supply of free dog food for the winner of the “There’s a New Bunny in Town Photo Contest.”

The winner had entered with the intent of dedicating her entry to the Lucky Dog Rescue, a 501 (c)3 non-profit operating in Mississippi. When her photo was actually chosen as the grand prize winner, she was elated . . . only to finally cut through miles of red tape to learn that not only would 1-800-Flowers not give her the award (based on a technicality), but they were denying the contest ever existed!

I won't bore you with all of the details, but you can read the whole story here on

Where I'm going with this is two-fold.

First, think about the damage this is going to do to the reputation of this company. While 1-800-Flowers probably won't go out of business because of this, the Facebook community, the Twitterverse and more will ultimately hear this tale and think twice about using their services.

So . . . in YOUR business, what things do you do with good intention that end up backfiring? More importantly, what do you do to make them right once they've happened? (Think about it, because we'll discuss this in a later blog post.)

Now, let's get everyone who reads the Camp David Blog to do a couple of things to help make this right:

1 - Let's NOT bash 1-800-Flowers. That's beneath us. (You know how you would respond to that kind of thing, right? It just won't get us anywhere positive.)

2 - Click the link at the top of this post to share it with your friends. If they own a pet, ever owned a pet . . . heck, even if they're not much of a pet fan (like me) but have everr petted an animal of any kind, send it along.

3 - Get out an envelope and a $1 bill. Put a note on the dollar bil that says "In memory of Angus and Rio, from a Camp David Photographer", then put it all inside the envelope and address it to:

Lucky Dog Rescue
PO Box 3224
Meridian, MS 39303

If you ever learned anything from one of these posts to help make your workflow simpler, save you some time or make more money in your photography business, then pay it forward.

It's only a buck . . . but enough of them will help with that dog food bill.

You guys all rock . . thanks for helping!

- David & Kirsten

(I know, you're wondering who Angus and Rio are . . . Angus, a boxer, belonged to Kirsten. She had to say goodbye to him last July after 14 faithful years. Two weeks ago, she and I celebrated our wedding on the one year anniversary of that date. Rio was a happy-go-lucky pound pooch who belonged to David Jones of Camp David. Rio died Saturday night after a battle with cancer.)


  1. Great idea David. I am NOT much of a pet fan, but like you said it is only a buck and a chance to play it forward..... I am with you on this one.

  2. Thanks, Marvin - I'm not a huge pet lover either, but I also know how much enjoyment others receive from them. I appreciate your support on this one!

  3. Great idea! Thanks for injecting some civility into the discussion. I cringe when I see inflammatory letters to companies; I feel like you can keep a polite tone and still effect change when you speak in high enough numbers and convince them that they will be losing your business. Anyway, you have proposed a great way to pay it forward, and it's only a buck. -Dave

  4. I'm out of town, but Simon is doing this from home. Hope the story has a happy ending!! xo ~Britney