Cash4Gold created an entirely new industry of direct-to-consumer mail-in gold-buying, was first to market with this concept and advertised its services aggressively. As the price of gold skyrocketed and the country slipped into a recession, Cash4Gold experienced exponential growth and high demand for its services. However, serious complications arose when Cash4Gold struggled to manage its rapid expansion and became the target of an onslaught of media scrutiny.
The national attention was especially fierce after Cash4Gold ran an advertisement during the 2009 Super Bowl. A wide range of challenges to its reputation erupted simultaneously and the company found itself the focus of numerous investigative reports that attacked Cash4Gold over its customer compensation and problems related to its security and shipping practices. Press interest, much of it hostile, flowed continuously for months from top-tier and lower-level media outlets across the United States and around the world.
Cash4Gold meanwhile faced an array of legal challenges, becoming embroiled in series of class action lawsuits and litigation with competitors and other business partners. The organization was the target of a Congressional inquiry and was placed under investigation by the Office of the Attorney General in several states.
Amid this legal firestorm, the company was also confronted with serious blows to its reputation from the consumer sector. The Better Business Bureau and other consumer advocacy organizations engaged in high-profile disputes with the company. The internet was set aflame with articles and postings by bloggers, disgruntled former employees and competitors, who anonymously assailed its reputation.
Each of the concurrent crises was extremely sensitive and directly affected the company’s bottom line. Red Banyan’s principals provided expert crisis PR counsel and helped Cash4Gold competently handle its simultaneous challenges.
By effectively explaining the business model and extensive security protocols, the company was able to dispel an enormous volume of false information. Responsive press engagement was essential to addressing intense interest from hundreds of outlets ranging from CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post and the BBC to local television stations across the U.S. Extensive media training was conducted with Cash4Gold’s CEO and other executives, including preparation for live national TV interviews. A carefully tailored strategy was established for engaging legions of hostile bloggers. Media inquiries were handled on a case by case basis at the highest levels to ensure optimal communication of Cash4Gold’s perspective.
With the help of Red Banyan’s team, Cash4Gold was able to provide credible and easily understood responses in complex situations where the company was harshly criticized. By crafting a robust public relations strategy and executing it aggressively, Cash4Gold defended itself in the press and overcame its legal and public affairs hurdles. The company implemented recommendations for improving its business practices, which led to Cash4Gold dramatically improving its Better Business Bureau rating.
Expert public relations counsel from the principals at Red Banyan enabled Cash4Gold to overcome the media firestorm. Hundreds of articles were turned from unfair attack pieces into balanced stories that allowed the company to publicly voice its side of the story. Wherever possible, high-risk challenges were flipped into opportunities for Cash4Gold to increase the public’s understanding of the company and its business model.