Editor's Comment

Have you heard the rumours?

Published:  24 September, 2014

From time to time, a rumour will come around that can affect an industry. As a journalist, I feed off these rumours with investigation, checking with the relevant companies to see what is true and what is not. Waiting for confirmation can be frustrating at times but it is undoubtedly the right thing to do...

The problem today is the social media channels, which often start a game of Chinese whispers. One thing leads to another and before you know it, the wrong company is being bought by the wrong person, or a company is destabilised without any real reason. The rumour mill can be a devastating thing with the wrong words.

Unipart Automotive for example had been rumoured to be in trouble for some time prior to the official announcement of its collapse. Ultimately, the rumours proved true but how many heard the unconfirmed news and stopped buying from them in anticipation months before? There have also been various rumours flying around Automechanika, which may or may not be true and until an official word comes out I cannot say - but again, it involves a company name that if not true could destabilise it anyway.

In the wider world, rumours can be started by anyone - for example, a customer who feels they've had a bad service or someone who sees your workshop closed when you're away and believes you have closed. It is therefore essential to keep an ear to the ground and ensure that any rumours that are not true are addressed head on, either through your own social media channels or advertising. Word of mouth can be a good thing in a positive light, and rather bad in a negative. As a journalist I see both, but my profession means I also check the facts. Not everyone is so diligent.

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