Many people are asking, “Why would Fallston Group support a controversial client like DaddyOFive?” Thank you for your interest and questions, they are very important to us.
A little background: when Fallston Group was contacted at the end of last week, we were briefed by an attorney who was working with the Martin family and by the Martin family themselves. In fact, our team went to the Martin’s home to interact with the entire family, including the children, for more than three hours before agreeing to take the family on as a client. Following this meeting, we had a choice to make – (1) walk away due to the fact that the mistreatment allegations from the public and the videos were very troubling or (2) engage with a set of parents who each put their hand up, said they were wrong, showed true remorse (with a lot of tears) and clearly didn’t know where to turn or who to trust to get the help their entire family so desperately needed.
Fallston Group was founded on helping people during life’s most difficult times – we thrive on helping people. It’s baked into our DNA. We work with clients who range from very large public companies to small restaurateurs and individuals. We routinely manage complex and controversial issues including data breach, cyber-attack, social media attack, negative press, natural disaster, bankruptcy, crime, litigation, investigation, compliance issues, employee relations complications, job loss, labor unrest, audit sanction, IT issues, board dissension, poorly managed mergers, environmental damage, workplace violence, whistle blowers, IP theft, rumors, death, terrorism, riots, accidents, health issues, strikes, product recall, regulatory shifts, competitive disruption, hostile takeovers, abuse, poor leadership transition, discrimination and many, many more.
The one common thread, regardless of the type of issue or the client type or size, is that if the client is willing to accept full responsibility for any lapse in judgment and desires to take whatever steps are needed to make amends and set a positive path for the future, it shapes our thinking.
The Martin family fell squarely into this category. That being said, what our team initially recognized was a family who truly seemed to love each other but was in crisis and desperately needed stability and a return to normalcy for the kids. We absolutely do not condone some of the content that has been posted to YouTube. But under the circumstances, we did have an opportunity to positively influence a distraught family with our experience, instinct, resources and mentorship, particularly the children. After much discussion and evaluation, our team decided to help this family through what they describe as the most difficult period in their lives and as they strive to set things right…it’s what our company commits to do with our clients. This is not a PR play, but a very serious crisis management situation which requires a broad, long-term view within our three core verticals.
The video apology released this past weekend was at the request of the family who wanted to articulate to the world how they felt, but didn’t feel they had the resources or knowledge to know how to effectively relay that message. The production was not scripted. The Martins described in detail how they felt, and the cuts and fades simply reflect editing to eliminate redundancy and keep the remarks to around three minutes.
There is no question the Martins, in light of the public concern, took another look at the content they had shared through the eyes of people who don’t know them personally, and upon reflection, recognized the error of their ways. They now fully understand that they crossed the line and they describe how what started out as family fun quickly escalated into shock value for the purpose of viewership and subscriptions. They were caught up in their own characters and popularity – they were blinded by YouTube fame and again, upon reflection, made some very poor decisions.
Our hope, moving forward, is that the public will take pause and realize the devastating effect the internet backlash is having on the kids. While we (and truly, the Martins, as well) appreciate the concern for the children’s safety, we can offer assurance that Maryland agencies, attorneys involved and our own company have all executed due diligence to ensure the children are safe, both physically and emotionally, and on the way to a much more positive future. This is everyone’s first priority.
The Martins are currently in licensed family counseling and working with professional services providers who, in essence, serve as life coaches. We fall into that category as well. As a firm that has worked with very high profile leaders to struggling private individuals, there is perhaps nothing more important than to provide perspective and a sense of hope for the future. The path forward is critical as many of our clients simply want to return to some semblance of normalcy. This is what the Martin family wants (all of them) and we are committed to helping them during their plight. Make no mistake, the Martin’s desire does not replace parental accountability. But, it is a firm step in the right direction for five wonderful children.
Our sincere hope is, as part of the professional team guiding the Martins, we can support them as they continue to work towards a life which involves very sound decision-making and a strong sense of peace and happiness.