Media today is more than press releases and the occasional television news report on a staged publicity event. It’s YouTube videos, blogs, social media like Twitter and FriendFeed, podcasts and a hundred other ways to reach your audience and engage them.
While the digital water cooler brings you more opportunity than ever to talk with your customers or stakeholders, it also presents a ot of challenges.
Do you know where people are talking about you? Do you know what they’re saying? If they say something derogatory, how would you respond?
It has been said that news travels fast, but bad news travels faster. That has never been more true.
Many company’s and organizations have hired firms to place positive comments on blogs only to find their public perception went down, not up. You can hire someone to say nice things about you, but depending on how they say it, where they say it, and who they say it to, it may be more harmful than helpful. It is easier than ever to harm your brand while trying to save it.
Just as the media environment is changing, your public relations tactics must change to reach your target audience using the media they’re consuming. As part of our practice, Wade Strategic Communications will assess your message, and your existing communications infrastructure to identify methods and media you can employ to move your message.
From e-mail list development and viral marketing campaigns to text messaging and social media, we provide expertise to help you navigate the turbulant and ever changing media landscape.
In addition, we can provide media monitoring and forecasting services so you’ll not only know who is talking about you, but who is repeating it and whether the conversation is likely to gain traction in other arenas.
Blogs & Social Media
Customer service advocates used to say, “For every unhappy customer you have, you really have ten.” The theory was that unhappy customer would tell everyone in their circle of influence – family, friends, co-workers. Based on that bad report, you would lose more sales than you knew.
In today’s media age, the idea that someone would only reach ten people with their complaint is a quaint notion. Today, unhappy customers turn to blogs and social networks to vent their anger. They share that bad experience with anyone who reads their journal. They share it via the status update on their Facebook page, they send it via SMS to their Twitter followers. That unhappy customer’s complaint may reach hundreds or even thousands of people.
Treat them poorly enough and they might start their own site to mock you. Untied.com was created by a customer tired of being abused by United Airlines. The site has gained an almost religious following and is circulated frequently by people with bad air travel experiences (even with other airlines.)
It is critical that your public affairs program (and your customer service team) monitor and respond to angry stakeholders. New media give you more opportunities to track your reputation and act quickly to disarm the dissatisfied.
More than that, however, social media give you more power to understand your customers by interacting with them. When talking with your stakeholders, there is no more powerful tool than the web to converse with your audience.
The web can be used to create an open discussion that can disarm opponents and turn stakeholders into champions. The first step in defending and promoting your brand is up to you.