By Paul Pannone
A flood of private emails and anonymous calls continue to arrive involving the closure of Get Married that give personal feelings of why the company failed. Some are posting publicly in various blogs and newz sources but most discussions and statements are coming in “off the record”.
It was party, party, party! for the Get Married crew, seen here at their 2009 launch party in New York. Ah, the good old days when there was plenty of investor money in the coffers to blow– more champagne please! In their last months, eWedNewz is discovering the company operated as if it was on home relief. Now, they’re out of business.
Helen Driscoll goes back to when Get Married was first founded and asks, “Does anyone else find it remarkable that Get Married was sold to Taylor one year after it was founded? It always seemed odd to me that nearly every episode of the TV show had a Taylor company segment (either invites or favors) – but I figured that they had just made a sponsorship deal. Almost all of the cable wedding shows are pay-to-play.”
The investment made by Taylor was significant and fueled the attempt to become the next Knot. Sources familiar with the story say that whatever the Knot or their “face” Carley Roney did, Get Married had to do bigger and better. It became an obsession and battle of the bulge– in the pocket– that led to a series of dud promotional projects that could no longer be funded. Meanwhile advertisers that became disenchanted and were not getting the desired traffic lost interest and bailed out. From their standpoint, the value they expected continued to deteriorate.
“At first they had their act together promoting the website with the on-air TV show. Then followed up with the magazine. They really were a force to be reckoned with; TV, Website and Magazine. Then once the vendors jumped on board to gain on-air presence as well as online presence, they became greedy by attempting to take the business away from the vendors (excuse me, assisting the bride to make it easy) who were paying to advertise on the website & in print. Bascially, the vendors were supporting and paying them to be a competitor. They were offering everything on their website & magazine for sale other than a service like photography, videography, alterations etc.
By the time the bride got to view local vendors, the bride had already had passed through Get Married’s barrage of invitations, favors, bridal party gifts, big-box sponsors, DIY ideas for flowers, music and the like. The local vendors caught on really quickly and pulled out immediately. Their site & publication became very self-purposing and self-indulgent. Sorry for my rant, just sharing how I feel when corporate greed changes the flow of business which in turn is not always for the best,” according to Joyce Gill, a New York vendor.
Get Married appeared as a successful organization that was well-capitalized and properly run. But behind the scenes the company was a playground for its owners that spent lavishly on parties and outward appearance. Ex-employees say top officials had no clue of the real inner workings of how the website performed or what it was supposed to do.
“There was this one guy Chris; he knew nothing. I was in sales and was supposed to look pretty and go out to sell. But because I knew a bit about SEO, I would get asked all these questions. I could basically go to a book, read a few chapters and fudge my way through and that’s how this place operated,” according to one unhappy ex-employee that left in 2010.
Higher officials say the company traded for leads with other vendors and one told eWedNewz the company bought web traffic “probably from India” to bolster web site numbers earlier this year to show improvement to would-be advertisers.
Though it all, Get Married frittered away major money and in the end had to scale back on talented employees that were either fired or left out of frustration. Top officials lived large and spent money to mask a very sick business from advertisers that in the end are the real losers.
Our coverage of this story continues. Please feel free to post your views or contact us at Paul@ewednewz.com or 516-312-0090
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