For PR’s Sake: Tinder Must Consider Change

Tinder in hot water

Tinder is in hot water. They need to make a decision about Sean Rad, and they need to do it fast. Sure, there are people on either side of the “Sean Rad” debate. Is he bad for business? Is he just misunderstood? Is he an evil genius using negative PR to drive interest in his social platform?

Does it matter? At some point, dead weight weighing you down is simply dead weight weighing you down, no matter how attached you have grown to it. Now, apparently, Rad crossed over into that category. At least, that’s what some critics insist.

One recent article excoriating Rad bolstered that argument by parsing an interview he did for the London Evening Standard. In it, Rad attempts to defend his product. His zeal and passion are genuine … but so is the awkwardness. At least, according to that writer.

Sean Rad

The author of the piece was not just critiquing Rad for one bad performance in an interview. He effectively called for his immediate ousting. Why? Because of what the author established as a trend of not only bad behavior but an attitude inconsistent with what is necessary to run a company of any kind, much less a social platform as popular as Tinder.

The rationale for this judgment and sentencing included comments Rad made about a previous critique in the same London Evening Standard interview.

After Vanity Fair writer Nancy Jo Sales criticized Tinder’s “role in promoting the hookup culture”, Rad put her on blast. Instead of going after the piece itself, or Sales’ assertions, Rad attacked her as a person, implying she has some unsavory skeletons in her closet that should all but negate her opinion entirely.

In debate circles and political campaigns, that is what’s called an ad hominem attack. If you are unfamiliar, search for examples using the tag: Trump, Donald.

Now, maybe you look at that and think, ‘what’s the big deal, journalists get personally attacked all the time.’ Well, that’s true. But do they get specifically threatened by CEOs of companies whose stock in trade is personal information?

In other words, is Rad blowing smoke or is he legitimately threatening to release personal information … or, at least, telegraphing that he has some dirt he could release if he wanted to.

Either way, it makes Rad come off as petulant and unprofessional. If nothing else in the hit piece against Rad were true, that one should give Tinder stockholders pause. Is this the guy you really want as the face and, more to the point, the mouthpiece of your business?

That’s a question for them to decide. But they better do it quickly. Wait too long and the consumer public – particularly online – will do it for you.

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