The full quote is “United we stand, divided we fall” and surprisingly it is originally attributed to Aesop of the fables fame in his fable “The four oxen and the lion” written in the 6th Century BC. I hit on this title today as I was walking our retriever (Falco – named after a Roman Detective whose books are set by Lindsey Davis in the time of the Emperor Vespasian), he doesn’t have Falco’s intelligence needless to say – well he wouldn’t being a retriever – “an intelligent retriever” is an oxymoron after all. I hit upon this title gazing out to sea as dusk came on – the wind rose and the temperature dropped – the English seaside and winter don’t go well together, unless you have the physique of a Viking or the wearing apparel of an Arctic explorer!
The title stuck with me though as I thought back to November’s Board and Council meetings. There was a lot of discussion there, about how much effort and expenditure RDO should put in on the negative side of our industry i.e. pursuing the fraudsters and thereby protecting the industry from the adverse publicity that the activity of these operators create, as opposed to how much effort and expenditure should RDO be putting into the positives – to counteract the negative if not positively poisonous messages that some of these operators are putting out on the internet.
Now admittedly we can get far too hung up on what goes out in cyber space, and it is a fact that every lunatic and his dog (sorry Falco) can have his/her say and we should not get too hung up about this. It is nevertheless a truism, that RDO should be putting a similar amount of resource into promoting the positives of our industry and the great holiday experiences members provide to so many people each year, as we do to trying to get these fraudsters out of cyber space and where possible – into court.
So to that extent, we have sent out a letter to members, asking them if they can nominate someone form their organisation, who is responsible for their digital strategy/internet presence etc. to come to a seminar/round table/brain storming session – call it what you will, in January 2016 to work out and agree how RDO members can work together and contribute material to promote the industry on the internet and through social media – very much along the lines Jackie Murphy outlined at RDO6 last September. There is so much we can do by working together and pooling digital resources, as it were, before we start looking at more formal external projects that at the moment would strain resources – “united we stand ” as it were. Nikkie has sent out an email to all members and we are getting responses, it is essential we get as many as possible to this meeting in January as possible, as the positive message is equally as important as the, if you like – negative side, which we are actively pursuing at this moment.
On that later point, the letters before action on defamation proceedings have been flying thick and fast these last few weeks – involving our contractors and some members and others with whom we work closely. One can only think the sudden outbreak of communications from “m’learned friends” as Private Eye used to call them, can only be because we are really starting to hurt those we have targeted – a thought to keep you warm if you are not reading this in the Canaries or some other warm spot. From my point of view there is a large element of deja vue – I thought I had left all this legal stuff behind some years ago! It just shows you should never say “never”.