How to Be Smart and Avoid PR Scandals
Make smart decisions regarding your business's PR strategies
Public relations needs a plan to keep controversies controlled
Public relations perception can help or hurt a company. A scandal can cause a company to lose business quickly. There are ways to keep most problems from happening. It takes a good amount of leadership and the hiring of the right people. There needs to be a concerted effort to make sure that there are ethics within the company; that does not mean a political one. Companies should focus on business and attracting customers and clients. People do not want to associate with themselves with controversy. Staying away from scandals will help a company grow in many ways. Here are a few ideas on how to have this happen.
Many people and companies have hit big controversies with social media. They may have not meant something quite the way they worded it, but it still became a major issue. There have also been instances where old posts from someone have come back to haunt them, even when their opinion has changed. Companies must be aware at all times of what employees post. The employee or employees that post must be monitored or trusted completely. This means that employees that handle social media have to be in sync with the values of the company and leadership.
One major public relations scandal that is difficult to predict is a breach of network security. There have been some major hacks accomplished in the past few years, which has made people not trust many corporations. Sony's PlayStation game network and Target are two of the biggest names to have been affected by this. Public relations teams are not able to contain the problems that such hacks cause. People have their credit card information taken. Identity information is taken. All of this causes worries that people do not need or want. The PR issues are something that has to be considered before it happens.
A crisis communication plan is something that has to be developed. Such a plan will let people in the company know what needs to be said when a crisis happens. Following such a plan can make sure that the crisis does not need to become a public relations disaster. Those authorized to give statements are the only ones who should do so. Only one voice should be heard. A company can lose more than the current losses if this occurs. Make a plan and make sure everyone sticks with it.
One thing leadership has problems with is that treating employees correctly will save a lot of controversy. Many companies are known to let employees go as soon as they legally able to after they have been hurt. Bad management is usually protected, while employees are let go if they go against them. This causes employees and former employees to speak against the company. That is a public relations disaster that is not easily contained. People do not want to do business with companies that mistreat their employees or people who work for them. That loses money for a company.
Public relations is a difficult path to deal with. Planning will help people within the company know what is acceptable to do when a controversy arises. Planning will also make sure some of the problems will not happen. Some of the problems that can happen are employee issues that the right leadership will keep from happening. Network issues can be tough, but are easier to handle if security is a priority. The correct planning helps all of this, even if it does not get stopped.