Tag Archives: crisis

49: Take it down!

It’s a public relations nightmare: Some blogger posts an angry rant about your company. A few other curmudgeons join in and pretty soon you’ve got a gripefest going on. Or maybe someone gets hold of an internal memo that’s not meant for public distribution and posts it for the world to see. What do you do?

In the old days, we had back-room procedures for handling problems like these, but bloggers and consumer advocacy sites don’t play by the old rules. In fact, your cease-and-desist notice is likely to become more blog fodder.  In the new world of crisis communications, protests and threats don’t get you very far. You need to negotiate, admit when problems exist and not take yourself too seriously. Not that that’s easy, mind you!

Download the podcast here (11:10).

38: Boo hiss

ThumbsdownPaul was attacked in the blogosphere last week, and it got him thinking about dealing with negativity online. The risk of blogger attacks is one of the biggest reasons companies avoid social media, but Paul and David argue that fears are overblown. Sure, you need a thick skin to invite customer feedback. But companies with good products and happy customers aren’t likely to be hurt by one bad seed. And companies with poor products and angry customers should research their situation thoroughly before wading into the blogosphere.

Negativity can be an important indicator of future trouble, so it pays to monitor customer conversations. Also, the speed at which a story spreads these days can catch businesses flat-footed if they don’t react quickly. A recent story involving AT&T and the California wildfires demonstrates this; the story was “dugg” more than 2,100 times in the six hours before AT&T issued an apology. The good news is that fast action and a willingness to admit mistakes can quickly quell negative publicity.

 Listen to the podcast (9:32)