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How to tell your story like IKEA

By Lisa Goldsberry

1085513_497589-630371-edited.jpg5 ways to get creative and find the right angle with help from PR

In business, everything doesn’t always go your way. There can be crises, negative reviews or just plain old bad news for your company or industry. The trick is to find that silver lining and keep moving forward. Learn how IKEA did just that and how your company can employ some of the same tools with help from public relations.

The scenario

Instead of focusing only on how and why people buy, IKEA decided to also learn how people define the American dream. Their research found that consumers value experiences more than material possessions.

This may seem like a death knell for a company built on selling products, but IKEA was able to use the information to its advantage. For example, when survey respondents reported that events centered around the kitchen table held special meaning, IKEA realized that they should design kitchen furniture to facilitate these occasions.

In addition, the company capitalized on the fact that they offer low-cost furniture, allowing people to keep more money in their pockets for these life experiences. IKEA highlights the message that making a purchase from their company ultimately gives people a better life.

How your company can take advantage of a bad business situation and achieve success

  1. Don’t make rash decisions.

While it’s human nature to want to solve the situation as soon as possible, it’s important to slow down and make sure you see the big picture. Even though customers or reporters may be clamoring for answers, use PR to craft the right messages and ensure that you deliver them effectively.

  1. Don’t hide negative information.

While IKEA could have buried the research and acted like it never happened, they capitalized on it instead. Take control of your bad news and release it before someone else does, putting a different spin on it along the way. Figure out what you can salvage, decide on a course of action and get to it.

  1. Learn from your mistakes.

If the problem occurred because of some error in your organization, quickly learn what went wrong and fix it. Then later, put the right programs and policies in place to prevent the same situation from happening again.

  1. Embrace change.

It’s easy to get so stuck in one mode of thinking that you can’t see a way out. For instance, you may really want to see your decades-old company as steeped in tradition, but your research shows that so many things have changed, there is almost nothing left of the original institution you started with. In this case, you might have to change your story to one of a company not afraid to innovate.

  1. Hire a PR firm to help you.

When you are in the middle of a bad situation, it can sometimes be difficult to see the forest because of all the trees in the way. An outside PR agency is better able to create some distance and notice different angles. They can also act as an early warning system to help keep you out of trouble in the first place.

The professionals at Axia Public Relations can help by asking the tough questions, thinking strategically and using creative techniques to tell your story. To learn more, contact us or download our e-book Maximizing Your Public Relations Investment.

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Lisa-G-Color-SM.jpgLisa Goldsberry is a blogger for Axia Public Relations with more than 15 years of public relations experience. She specializes in business and technology PR. Lisa has worked for Axia since December 2013. Learn more about Lisa Goldsberry. Connect with Axia on Twitter @axiapr or tell us what you think in the comments below.







Featured image credit: Creative Commons

Topics: public relations

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