A couple of years ago, I had some brief conversations with JT Foxx and decided not to ghostwrite a book for him because of his attitude and approach to doing business. He’ll tell you it’s because I wouldn’t lower my professional fees to the level he could afford. Both are true.
But that’s not the point. Recently I was talking with someone else about the current players in the “get rich” and motivational industries, and JT Foxx’s name was mentioned. He and a couple of his senior managers have been sued by several former employees for sexual harassment.
Because I knew some of the people involved, I did a search on “JT Foxx lawsuit” – and what I saw was a truly clever reputation management strategy. There was one news release from the plaintiffs’ law firm outlining the details of the lawsuit. Here’s the clever part: There were multiple Foxx-sponsored pages announcing the Foxx organization’s efforts to teach small businesses how to avoid being extorted by frivolous lawsuits.
On those pages, he never mentions the specific lawsuit that charges JT Foxx personally with attempting to initiate a sexual relationship with a high school student (the suit was filed by the girl’s father) who had signed up for a $35,000 coaching program. Nor does he mention allegations of sexual, racial and religious harassment from multiple former employees.
This is an absolutely brilliant reputation management strategy: Flood the internet with websites and blogs that are optimized for the keyword phrases that people are likely to be searching on when looking for something negative, yet make the information those pages contain positive.
I’m not commenting on the merits of the lawsuit. I’ve only talked with JT Foxx on the phone and exchanged emails with him; I’ve never met him in person. While I found his approach to negotiating insulting, it didn’t rise to the level of harassment. But whether you are a JT Foxx supporter, detractor or you’ve never heard of him and don’t care anything about him, there’s a lesson to be learned from what he’s done.
What do you think? Join the conversation below.
This blog has generated a great deal of interest from people who want to comment on JT Foxx’s business practices by posting complaints, criticism and/or praise. My intention was to discuss his SEO/ORM strategy. I have never been a customer of JT Foxx and he has never been a client of mine. To avoid the time and expense of defending a lawsuit, I have removed all comments and complaints about JT Foxx, his organization, and his employees that do not directly relate to SEO/ORM, and will not publish any further comments that do not directly discuss the SEO/ORM strategy or other SEO/ORM techniques.
Click here to read JT Foxx’s apology to Jacquelyn Lynn