And if that’s the case then a video is probably worth 10,000 tweets.
Something I’ve surmised from living in this new 2.0 world, and by studying public relations is that the media is what gives you your reputation.
A topic that’s been covered in multiple classes I’ve taken is reputation management.
[You’re supposed to] manage your reputation proactively, actively, and after the dust has settled. It’s a never-ending process. Even more so now with the speed at which information travels via the internet.
Utilize the Media
Good companies can get bad press. It happens, but you can use the media to show everyone just how great you are.
Ways to do it:
A proactive action when using the media is feature, or soft, news stories. A feature piece is one that covers an event of human interest but the reader will enjoy it just as much one day after it happens, or a month after it happens. Journalists sometimes refer to them as “evergreen” stories.
Writing a feature piece about the community work your company does such as trash pick-ups, volunteer days, community picnics, and the like will put you in the minds of your audience as a good hearted company.
Another way to be proactive is to make sure your spokespeople are trained on how to deal with the media in case they’re approached out of the blue.
When your spokespeople know how to properly sit or stand for interviews without swaying or any other nervous ticks it gives them a confident and professional image. Training them to speak clearly and with inflection will make them sound knowledgeable. The better trained they are, the better the interview will go–the better you look.
Actively managing your reputation should be the easy part. Be honest, and be genuine. Everything you or your spokesperson (or any employee for that matter) does will reflect back to your company.
Remember all those relationships you’ve cultivated? You’re killing two birds with one stone here, maintaining those relationships and your reputation. Be personable and friendly on camera and that’s how your publics view your company.
After a crisis occurs, reputation management is always necessary if the company wants to regain any credibility. The easiest way to explain this is through a hypothetical example involving an oil company we’ll call “XY.”
XY had a crisis occur on one of their oil rigs and now millions and millions of gallons of oil have poured out into the ocean killing sea life and tourism on the shores.
After the dust settles and the mess is cleaned up, XY should pump out a feature story about how great a job they did and about all the money they’re giving away, right? WRONG. These tactics aren’t going to settle well with your audience, who already quite perturbed with you.
Actions speak louder than words. Telling someone something and doing something are two totally different things. So don’t write that story, take some action.
If I was in charge of PR for this XY company I would suggest donating money to wildlife funds, or by sponsoring events to help boost the economies of those cities affected. (Which BP did with Deluna Fest this last weekend in P’cola– smart move guys). Those kinds of things will generate their own coverage and you won’t have to beg an editor to print your story.
One screw up anywhere along the line, a drunk CEO caught on tape, a spokesperson contradicting themselves in an interview, a picture of an employee littering..can go viral in a matter of minutes. And your reputation starts to sink.
Take the steps to keep your head above the water.
A picture is worth 1,000 tweets– so make them good ones.