A major American newspaper erroneously published Mark Twain’s obituary and upon learning this, Twain famously replied: “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” That was 1897 and if social media has taught us anything, it’s that click-bait headlines have always been a lowest-common-denominator attempt to attract a few more eyeballs.
So, when The Hacker’s Paradise jumped the gun by posting the following on its Twitter account at 7 PM on a Friday, “NEWS! Multiple sources telling me that @pxg has laid off several dozen employees over the last month with more possibly coming soon” it set off a predictable series of responses.
Some seemed to thrive on schadenfreude, assuming this was both accurate and indicative of darker times ahead for PXG. Others asked for clarifying information and extended condolences to the now unemployed, while many more offered unfettered opinions as to what series of events clearly lead to this inevitable result (over-priced product, unsustainable business model, market correction for ultra-high-end golf equipment were among the most common). Was the post inaccurate? Not exactly. Incomplete? Most certainly and given the speed with which information (and disinformation) travels in 2019, “correct but incomplete” just doesn’t cut it.
This isn’t new information, but the Achilles heel of social media is also its greatest strength – accessibility.
This also isn’t an earth-shattering fact – details matter.
PXG did terminate the employment of 26 individuals but hired an additional 41, a net gain of 15 employees. Bob Parsons, founder of PXG told MyGolfSpy “Twenty-six didn’t make the cut, but we hired 41 more. We have stores set to go in Atlanta and Minneapolis and more on the way. We’re growing.”
As further evidence of this growth, consider PXG recently hired a new CMO and VP of Sales and citing data from inc.com, PXG generated $79 million revenue while growing 2805% over the last three years. That doesn’t exactly sound like a company on the verge of demise.
If anything, the recent uptick in hiring suggests PXG is starting to create more opportunities for the brand to grow now that it’s established bandwidth across the globe – and because most of us tend to be equipment-centric, we ignore the massive popularity of PXG’s softgoods, particularly in Asia.
Modifying a business plan and adapting strategies (which often includes workforce reallocation) to mold a foundation capable of supporting future growth seems like something someone with the business acumen of a Bob Parsons might know a thing or two about. So, while it’s understandable given today’s media ethos and the incentives to offer readers breaking news there’s an element of discretion that needs to be honored. Any story including a partial picture leaves latitude for the masses to fill in the details however they see fit. In the absence of information, people will create their own and not only does this fail to move any conversation forward in a constructive manner, but it can also become an issue of credibility.
PXG is an easy target. From equipment prices to the persona of founder Bob Parsons, it’s a decidedly divisive brand, and while you likely either love or loathe PXG, everyone’s best interests are better served by taking a step back, a deep breath and examining all of the information before jumping to any conclusions – even if the Twitterverse might prefer the alternative.