Companies should always be seeking to boost their image to create a more positive light for them to their clients. The success of a company relies on this positive image. While companies do their best to hire people who are capable of keeping this positive image afloat it sometimes goes horribly wrong. It can be an employee or even the head of the company that makes a comment or does something that totally destroys all the previous work done to create positive relations with the public. These mistakes happen and it’s hard to put the cap back on when all breaks loose. There was the case where the head of Abercrombie announced that the clothing line was only for cool kids. There was also the American Apparel store that put a 20% off sale for all items in the store in case anyone got bored in the storm during Hurricane Sandy. Both these companies had a lot of cleaning up to do afterwards to create a positive image and some things are just hard to undo once it’s out. Companies don’t always make a full recovery when bad pr goes out. In the end prevention is always better than trying to clean up a big mess.
According to Forbes (2014) these are the top five ways to avoid public relation disasters:
1.) Prepare a strategy
Help make sure employees are aware of what’s allowed to be posted and how to keep it professional. Make sure to keep an eye on the web for reputation control so you can catch it before everyone else does. Let employees know of the consequences ahead of time if inappropriate things are posted.
2.) Pre-craft your messaging
Preview the material before someone can post something. Make sure to have a filtering system so that employees don’t start posting without some knowledge of what’s going up there.
3.) Practice and post content regularly
Post regularly so that the first time you post isn’t when there is a tragedy. Become a trusted communication source with clients ahead of time.
4.) Praise participation
Encourage employees to post positive things about the company and when they do reward them for it.
5.) Provide alternate resources
Provide alternate more private resources for both clients and employees to communicate you if they have frustrations. Be there to listen to their complaints so they don’t turn to more public ways to voice their opinion.
You may still just be a college student, but learning these things for the future can be valuable for when you graduate and are in the workforce. Start now and prepare yourself to be the best public relations specialist you can.
Aanenson, Aaron. (2014, April 23). Avoiding PR Disasters: Five Tips For Integrating Social Media In to Your Communication Plan. Forbes.
Kelly, Jeff. (2013, January 7). 10 Totally Ridiculous PR Disasters. Pop Culture.