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The Internet may have opened worlds for businesses and consumers, but it has also created a public relations nightmare for businesses. Forums, opinion Web sites, blogs, and anything that is publishable can smear a company's name in moments.
Remember, "Yours Is a Very Bad Hotel" presentation that described one customer's bad experience with a hotel chain? Hotels are run by humans. Humans make mistakes. It's how you handle the mistakes that can make the difference in customer service. Since the hotel's employees didn't try to help the customer overcome a bad situation, the customer lashed back and bloggers blogged it.
If the hotel is on top of its game, it would unleash its crisis management (also known as reputation management) team to salvage its reputation while it can. It's possible for a company to overcome bad PR and come out ahead as in the case of PG&E (California's Pacific Gas and Electric company).
Another strategy is to use Internet monitoring to monitor online articles regarding a company's activities to prepare for negative publicity. Some go further and monitor chat rooms, newsgroups, and online discussion forums.
It's like the story of the town gossip who spread false stories about its people. One day, he felt terrible and went to the chaplain [Rabbi, pastor, priest, or other - take your pick] to ask for forgiveness. The chaplain said,"I will forgive you, but you must do something first."
"Take a feather pillow, cut it open, and scatter the feathers to the winds." The man thought this was a strange request, but it was a simple enough task, and he did it gladly. When he returned to tell the chaplain that he had done it, the chaplain said, "Now, go and gather the feathers. Because you can no more make amends for the damage your words have done than you can recollect the feathers."
The same can happen to a company without a crisis management plan in place. It's possible to survive the crisis and thrive as PG&E did. Don't expect Worldcom to pull out of its Enron-like mess. Fraud is not excusable. And Martha Stewart? She has hired a public relations strategist firm in an effort to do damage control. It'll be worth watching to see what happens in her case and how the PR firm attempts to save her reputation. Did you know there is a recall on one of her products? Adds fuel to the fire, doesn't it?
Meryl K. Evans is the Content Maven behind meryl's notes, eNewsletter Journal, and The Remediator Security Digest. She is also a PC Today columnist and a tour guide at InformIT. She is geared to tackle your editing, writing, content, and process needs. The native Texan resides in Plano, Texas, a heartbeat north of Dallas, and doesn't wear a 10-gallon hat or cowboy boots.
How Would You Ever Know?
Your important outside audiences behave in ways that stop you from reaching your objectives.Because you haven't paid much attention to their care and feeding, is it likely you'll know they are placing a hammer lock on your business in time to limit the damage?With some luck, you might save the day, but why let matters fester until you have a bad situation like this on your hands?Especially when a proven sequence can help you alter the perceptions, and thus behaviors of your most important external audiences making the achievement of your business objectives much easier.
Is This Any Way to Run Your PR?
You bet!Especially for business, non-profit and association managers who REALLY need to persuade their key outside audiences to their way of thinking. Then move them to behaviors that lead to the success of their department, division or subsidiary.
Recessions Dont Last Forever!
It could, but what if it doesn't?Will you be prepared?Will those key external audiences of yours, whose behaviors REALLY affect you, look favorably at you and your business?Because, once the economy emerges from recession, if they don't, you'll have one arm tied behind your back.Don't let that happen.
Public Relations Success Starts Here
For discerning business, non-profit and association managers, PR success is pretty much a matter of achieving their managerial objectives by altering perceptions leading to changed behaviors among those important external audiences that MOST affect their department, group, division or subsidiary.Period.
Publicity: Write a Letter to the Editor for Free Publicity
Ever wonder why papers devote a page or more to letters to the editor? Because subscribers love to read them!Letters to the editor are among a paper's most popular features, so getting your name underneath a letter can be even more valuable that being quoted in a news article.Letters to the editor can't just be about anything-they have to be related to the news.
Speaking to the Press
If you get the hang of speaking to the press and you can establish a few good relationships, their contacts and outreach can be extremely beneficial to the marketing of your organization.If you've never spoken to the press before - it can be an intimidating task.
PR: How Sweet It Is!
The public relations goal and strategy make sense; the message is persuasive and compelling; the communications tactics are aggressive and well-targeted. YES!!For those of us in public relations, how sweet it is when members of an important target audience appear to understand why the rumor was wrong and what they believed about the organization is simply not true.
Do I Really Need a Publicist?
Are you hesitating about hiring a publicist or, if you have one, do you stop before writing that final zero on the monthly check, and think "I can do that myself." Suuure, you can!But just to be certain, take this little test.
Is The Traditional Press Review Still A Business Tool Of The Future?
Press reviews are a common and basic feature for surveying the market situtation, your company's public image and the coverage of your competitor's business. Only if you are well-informed about theses topics, you can make sound business decisions.
How Video Production can be used in PR
At the core of any successful public relations campaign is effective communication.Yet in this technological era, there are now more methods than ever to convey important messages to different audiences.
If Your PR Cant Do This, Bag It!
As a business, non-profit or association manager, why continue a public relations effort that doesn't deliver the key external audience behaviors you need to achieve your department, division or subsidiary objectives?Time for a change. One that will base your PR effort on a fundamental premise that makes sense.
Managers Need Basic PR
True, because department, division or subsidiary managers for a business, non-profit or association really DO need a dynamic yet workable blueprint for reaching those key outside groups of people who have a big say about how successful those managers are going to be.Unfortunately, a primary emphasis on communications tactics does not take the place of a well thought-out public relations plan for persuading your most important external audiences to your way of thinking, then moving them to take actions that lead to your success.
Media Relations: How We Landed on the Wall Street Journals Front Page
Media relations is a great profession.On good days, I earn my living speaking to and learning from knowledgeable experts who ask for help in raising the profile of their cause through the media.
How to Write a Press Release
Why You Should Write Press Releases: A press release is another way of saying news release or an announcement. It's an easy and affordable way to get your message out to the public.
Public Relations: Why it Works
The short answer is, it works best when its fundamental premise is the guide, which insures that the primary focus of your public relations program is the behaviors of your most important outside audiences. Not less urgent matters like personalities, communi- cations tactics or administrative concerns.
How to Use Community Relations to Grow Your Business
Community relations is one of those marketing strategies that isn't talked about much, even though I venture to say practically everyone ends up doing it at one time or another. Basically, community relations is when you and your business become involved in your community.
Effective Media Relations Tips- What To Do After The Media Interviews You!
Effective Media Relations Tips - What To Do After The Media Interviews You! By Thomas Murrell MBA CSP, International Business Speaker You've done all the hard work - prepared a media kit, engaged with a reporter and they've listened to your message and asked questions.What now?Well, effective media relations doesn't just stop once you have been interviewed.
Dont Get Eaten Alive!
If you don't have a grip on public relations, how your most important outside audiences behave really CAN eat you alive.But that needn't happen, and for a simple reason: people like those who make up your key target audiences, act on their perception of the facts (like everybody else) which leads to predictable behavior, good or bad, about which something can be done.
Think Like a Reader, Viewer, or Listener to Get Great Publicity
About a year ago I read a feature story in the Wall Street Journal. It was about a new trend -- baby showers that were being thrown for grandmothers.
Pot Roast and Public Relations (or, How Your Web Site Can Be Your Best P.R. Tool)
Recently I had a craving for pot roast. I racked my brain to think of a restaurant that offered a great pot roast (as you can see, I'm not a whiz in the kitchen).
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