The implications of negative online PR

May 16, 2010

If you thought that a bit of negative online PR didn’t hurt businesses, look at this outstanding article from Mathew McDougall regarding the ongoing BP oil spill. The corporate PR fallout is proving as damaging for the company (estimated at $14 billion to date) as the environmental impact on Mother Nature.

It raises the question for me – can a business afford not to monitor, measure and manage its own messages online?

In this age of constant online comment, blogs, tweets, customer forums, 24-7 News sites and the ever-increasing power of individual platforms – such as the recent impact of Nestle’s share values from the implosion of their Facebook Fan page – it seems more important than ever before for companies to address issues online as soon as they are raised.

We’ve seen the disastrous effects of non-positive action, denial, finger-pointing and the like in recent weeks here, too. That particular blog is costing Kwik Fit 100 customers per day, but in the absence of a responsible management team on board, one expects nothing more – or less, really.

So, my top tips to handling negative online PR? Well, three simple steps really:

* Be open and transparent in approaching the issues.

* When you’ve listened to the issues, listen some more.

* Do whatever it takes to put it right. Whatever it takes.

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