Bad Publicity

For years now, companies from Dell to Comcast to Tide have weathered negative PR that stems from negative customer experiences. But when those customers use social media tools like blogs, Facebook and Twitter to spread their frustration, the resultant backlash can even stun a stable brand like Motrin or, most recently, Dominos. Even web-centric companies like Amazon or GoDaddy can get tripped up by the speed of web gossip.

By the time most of these brands recognize the problem and mount a solution, the damage has already eroded their credibility, and they have to spend precious time rebuilding a level of consumer trust that they’d previously taken for granted. But having a social media presence and engaging your audience on a regular basis can help limit (or at least contain) the effects of a negative PR event because your company will already be in the water, where the accident happened, rather than having to swim out from shore.

As for the overarching effects of these PR disasters, two truths should now be obvious:

* Life on the internet moves fast, and
* Trust is never something you can take for granted

To learn more about using social media in your business, check out our Business Smart Tools Conference on May 5th!

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009 at 6:02 am and is filed under BST News, Conversation Starters. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
1 Comment so far

  1. Dick Pirozzolo, APR on April 22, 2009 4:10 pm

    Don’t wait for the crisis … then it is too late for you to get comfortable with Social Media and then build consensus within your organization to use Twitter, FaceBook, YouTube, etc. to help deal with the problem during a high stress time.

    If you need some historical references, radio pioneers thought the medium was only suitable for point to point communication, such as the Titanic Distress Call to a base station in NY — that call was received by an young radio operator by the name of David Sarnoff who went on to found RCA and with it launched the broadcasting industry. Think too of Ted Turner who faced naysayers when he proposed 24/7 cable new by the name of CNN.

    As PR professionals, our job is to be at the forefront of being able to adapt to new channels of communication. Some channels will succeed, some will go by the wayside (CB Radio, Laser Shows, 8-Track) but our job is not to pooh pooh communication technology from a position of ignorance.

    Dick Pirozzolo, APR
    Pirozzolo Company Public Relations
    http://www.pirozzolo.com

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