August 25, 2014
PR tips to make your communications healthy and strong
Businesses in this country may be facing an epidemic of worldwide proportions. It’s a case of everyone owning the latest communications devices, but not using them to communicate correctly.
The symptoms are evident in every inappropriate tweet, unprepared spokesperson and mishandled customer complaint. In many cases, the underlying cause for these issues is lack of communication about company goals, objectives and rules. Without effective communication to attract customers, the rest of the sales cycle may fall like dominos. Don’t let your company become a victim of this outbreak.
Symptom #1: A crisis
Your company is confronted with a bad situation that may or already has become public. It could be due to a personnel issue, a misstep in business practices or a harmful accident.
The misdiagnosis: Some of your executives might advise that you bury your head in the sand and hope it all goes away. The rest are wasting time by squabbling about how much information to release, who should release it and when.
The cure: PR can show you how to tell the truth, convey the right tone and effectively communicate how the crisis is being fixed (or will be). This will help you to get in front of the crisis, manage it successfully and then move on quickly.
Symptom #2: Poor consumer reviews
You’ve noticed that your company name is being trashed on online review sites. The cause might be just a few disgruntled customers, former employees or even your competition posting fake negative reviews.
The misdiagnosis: You decide that the reviews can’t possibly be true and waste time trying to get them removed from various sites. In addition, you resolve to write fake reviews about your competition to get revenge.
The cure: PR pros can handle negative reviews the right way by managing your online reputation and working to protect your company against any further damage. They accomplish this through tactics such as blogging, social media campaigns, communicating effectively with all unhappy stakeholders and flooding the Internet with positive information that may serve to downplay the negative posts, pushing them further off the first page of search hits.
Symptom #3: Your spokesperson doesn’t appear confident in front of the media and public
This leads everyone to speculate that you’re not telling the whole story. As a result, your messages don’t resonate with your target audiences.
The misdiagnosis: To solve this problem, many companies keep changing their spokespeople, but this only serves to cause internal upheaval and actually makes the issue worse.
The cure: PR pros can first work with you to determine what your messages should convey to customers as they move through each stage of the sales cycle. Then they can provide training for your spokesperson to give him/her the tools to convincingly speak on your behalf in any situation.
The PR Vaccine
Customers need to know that behind all that brick and technology there are real people ready to respond to their requests. Similarly, all companies should remember that beyond those dollar signs and market projections there are human beings who can easily take their business elsewhere if not treated with attention and respect.
A top-notch PR firm can help you determine which communication methods will be most effective in each situation. At Axia, we will show you how to integrate a comprehensive communications component into your overall strategic plan to meet your customers’ needs at every level and encourage repeat business as well as recruit brand ambassadors for your company. Register today for our 60-Second Impact to learn how we can help you grow your business.
Lisa Goldsberry is a writer for Axia Public Relations with more than 15 years of public relations experience. She specializes in business, higher education and technology PR. Connect with Axia Public Relations on Twitter at @axiapr.