The Public Relations Blog
Why reading from notecards is not in your best interest
Anyone who has made a presentation or spoken in front of a large group knows how nerve-wracking it can be. So, wouldn’t it make sense to prepare notecards before your speech to be certain it goes smoothly? In a word, no.
3 ways Macy’s effectively handled its Black Friday virtual traffic jam
According to data collected by Adobe Digital Insights, Black Friday sales hit a record $3.34 billion in e-commerce. This marked the first time sales surpassed $3 billion. Successful companies know they must provide an optimum online shopping experience for consumers (75 percent of worldwide shoppers will abandon a company’s site if it’s buggy, slow or prone to crashes) and that includes preparing months in advance for the busiest shopping days of the year.
5 lessons you can use in your own company
When Ben Franklin said, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” he was referring to fire safety. But this adage applies to many situations, including a corporation’s crisis management strategy. Planning makes for the best success, and this includes planning for an accident, an illness or an attack on a company’s principles.
PR tips for handling routine business and crisis errors
“To err is human,” according to Alexander Pope. But accepting that mistakes will happen is one of the biggest challenges top executives identify in their personal improvement plans.
Having a great team in place is the first step in handling mistakes, and public relations professionals provide rapid response to do the heavy lifting during the good times and the bad. Even if you aren’t certain of the cause of a crisis or the potential solution, responding in a professional (and fiscally appropriate) manner maintains your company’s reputation.
A crisis can happen to any business and the results can be devastating. Even something seemingly insignificant, like an off-the-cuff remark by a CEO or other top executive, can snowball into a major public relations nightmare. When it happens to your company, what can you do?
Here is a checklist your business can use to ensure you handle the problem in the most effective way.
Prepare for the worst so you perform at your best
Consumers are irrational. It’s part of the thrill of doing business: seeing if your company can decipher the right combination of wants versus needs and create an optimum strategy for pricing products for maximum profit.
Businesses generally have policies or processes to handle expected variables such as low inventory, staff illnesses or a new product launch. Rarely, however, are companies in the mindset to pre-identify triggers that would help them recognize when events start drifting outside of the realm of normal operations.
The right words paint the best picture
When you want to say exactly the right thing, you spend a lot of time thinking about it. Selecting the best words is crucial in delivering the appropriate message. Words and phrases take priority in the algorithm that search engines use to pull the best content to the top of results lists, but inappropriate use actually lowers rankings.
When your CEO creates a firestorm
An instance of self-induced crisis cleanup began on Wednesday when Verizon workers went on strike over several key issues – which, in itself, wasn’t the crisis.
In the presidential campaign events the next day, both Democratic candidates took to the stage to support various aspects of the Verizon workers’ decision. This is common for politicians; it only became an issue for Verizon when the company’s CEO chose to respond to only one candidate, Bernie Sanders, but remained silent regarding Hillary Clinton’s similar statements on the same day.
Don’t dig yourself into a hole during a PR crisis
Not having your customer’s pulse for your brand can hurt your business when the public is expecting a response from you, but so can a knee-jerk reaction. No matter what noise is in the background, responsible corporate statements always need to stay on message, on time and be delivered via the appropriate channels.
Improving your brand’s online reputation
When your company gets negative press, you may hesitate to publish anything online in your defense for fear of fueling the fire. It’s a Catch-22 because if you don’t control your message, everyone else will. If you are ready for your customers to move beyond a recent incident, here is how you can be heard through the firestorm.