Chick-Fil-A, BP Oil, and Paula Deen; what do these three companies and brands have in common? They were all involved in a public relations nightmare that caused controversies on a national level. In the world of a public relations professional, any one of their stories can be looked at as a worst case scenario when trying to maintain a positive image for the brand he or she is responsible for representing. But why did these three entities sink their own ship? Because they were not prepared for such a disaster and did not think it would ever happen to them.
In order to make sure your company, either large or small, avoids any negativity in the press or community, make sure all members of your team follow some simple steps:
- Communicate Effectively– From the bottom of the food chain all the way to the top, make sure all members of the team are aware of the company’s policies and views. Your public relations crew needs to inform all new and existing employees the protocol of working for your establishment. Employees have to remember that whatever they say or do reflects upon the company they are currently working for.
- Stay Objective– No matter what your personal opinions are regarding a specific subject, it is important to realize that it may not be the opinion of someone else. Showcasing a personal opinion, especially when you are the head of a company, could result in the whole brand taking on that opinion. In the case of Chick-fil-A, their CEO Dan Cathy let his views about gay marriage be known, which resulted in backlash. Although just one person’s view, some state leaders protested a Chick-Fil-A being built in their city and many pro-LGBT groups would not set foot in the restaurant under any circumstances, which resulted in lost sales.
- Listen to your Customers and Be Personable – Your customers are your best brand ambassadors and often spread the word of your services by word of mouth. Make sure to listen to the feedback of customers wholeheartedly. In addition, it is important to make the extra effort to build a personal relationship with customers. Visiting in person or writing a hand-written note will really show your clients you care, which makes them more likely to be in your corner when a PR disaster strikes.
React Quickly- There’s nothing worse than ignoring the problem rather than facing it head on. In an event of a situation getting out of hand, it is better to acknowledge the fact that a major mistake has been made rather than to sweep it under the rug. The quicker the problem is faced, the quicker it will be resolved.
For more information about Sharn Enterprises, Inc, make sure to check out http://www.sharndisplays.com or call 815-464-9715.
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