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Success Recipe: Effective DIY Public Relations Campaigns Part 1

No matter how well you manage your business or your personality, things will go wrong when you least anticipate it.  Crises will happen.  Th...

No matter how well you manage your business or your personality, things will go wrong when you least anticipate it. 

Crises will happen. 

The big question is what is your strategy if your business is bombarded by loads of negative publicity, probably on social media platforms or leading news outlets?

Close shop?

By @Comic24Derick

Is that the most logical thing for you, then what's next? Wallow in your negativity and hope that it will just melt away.

The Starbucks response of 2018 provides a case study on how to effectively address a communication crisis using creative PR campaigns. After the arrest of two black men waiting at one of Starbucks’s cafes, there was an uproar. 

The company’s next move to close all 8,000 company-owned stores for workplace training, has been coined as a “courageous” or “genius” because it won many skeptics’ hearts. After a prolonged barrage of attacks, you feel you can’t stomach the negativity anymore.

Rejoice, you are not alone.

Even megastars or established companies have been victims at one a certain stage. Negative publicity or reviews are not limited to startups or ordinary people, no, they continue to shake the rich and famous and sometimes will leave them with an egg in the face.

Wait, there is more.

If you are thinking of giving up, then after you read this, you will realign your strategy. However, the company always has a plan step by step crisis plan to shield them in the event of a rainy day – a clear, defined plan to help them overcome any negative results thrown in their path.

Negative results manifest in different ways.

1. Fake news

One of the most prominent people to overuse this term was former U.S. President Donald Trump. His obsession with the fake news mantra made the news. But it shows the negative impact fake news can generate. If it troubled Trump so much, it should trouble you as well.

Businesses and individuals are constantly engaging online, churning out tones of information daily, with millions of posts created and circulated daily. Clients are commenting, reviewing, condemning, or praising your products on social media or by the word of mouth. 
Do it yourself (DIY) is a technique of doing things on your own, without hiring an expert or a professional. (Image: Pixels) 
The world is small, and never think you can progress by just ignoring people’s views, comments concerning your products, brand, or services.

2. Mistakes by employees

Employees are part of any organization, they share and discharge your vision and aspirations. As human beings, they however can make grave mistakes that can become detrimental to the company. This can be done willingly or through ignorance.

One of the common mistakes is when an employee makes a comment that might be detrimental to a certain brand. The worker might not be an authority, but the fact that they spoke about the company, can be constructed to mean something different, altogether.

That’s not all.

3. Negative reviews

Complaints on social media posted by disgruntled customers need to be addressed properly. Ignoring or deleting them will only solve half of the problem, it will not make the problem go away. 

Some review sites allow customers to share their personal experience on your brand, whether they liked or hate your product, they are free to air their views. Negative reviews generated on such sites can damage your reputation and reduce your sales.

Negative news by the media is not wished away, it needs to be corrected, promptly. A statement by Phineas T. Barnum that “There’s no such thing as bad publicity,” can be true to some sections, but a statement on TV, online, or print media can only be ignored at your expense, so read on.

Nestle is a respected global company, yet when they chose to ignore environmental issues a few years back, the response from people became more aggressive. These people altered their logo, which interfered with their brand identity, resulting in them shutting their interaction platform with its publics. 

We repeat, that there is no magic wand or formula to effectively combat negative results. The only way is to suppress them with positive content.

Do you follow?

4. Corporate secrets shared publicly

By now you know about Edward Snowden, a former computer intelligence consultant who became a celebrity for leaking highly classified information from the National Security Agency (NSA) in 2013. 

His documented disclosures compromised various, sensitive intelligence surveillance around the globe. After the leaks, many movies have been made in his honor, igniting a debate about national security and individual privacy.

In the workplace, employees can destroy or make a company through the secret information they might hold, this is why some reportedly protect their secrets from employees. The safeguarding of company information is vital, sadly, some employees have deliberately shared it with competitors for a fee. 

The leaking of company secrets is rampant, with employees not taking company security seriously, and at least 50 percent of employees agreed to send secret information via email.

5. Dissemination of misleading facts

The advent of social media platforms, blogs, and other devices means the spread of information cannot be monitored or controlled anymore. Social media users who may encounter false information may actively share or engage in it. People who thought the information to be true are likely to share the news.

How to address negative news?

Uber is a respected company with bigger public relations gaffs, but they always try to address their shortcomings. When some companies face such problems, the immediate remedy that they think of is defense or denial. You should also act swiftly.

When you act quickly and decisively, there is a high chance for you to generate positive press reviews because of your concern and decisive action. If you delay, like what Toyota, did, until their faulty airbags had caused hundreds of injuries, the harm could have unrepairable ripple effects.

Remember, never underestimate the role that influencers can create on a brand. Creating a loyal band of brand influencers on social media platforms, who always monitor online conversations, and deliberately creating a positive image can be a plus. 

Identify journalists who have previously offered you a positive review, and they know your respected community standing, and these are likely to be sympathetic to your cause.

What DIY means

Do it yourself (DIY) is a technique of doing things on your own, without hiring an expert or a professional. This can be motivated by a lack of resources, seeking to customise, or pursuing uniqueness. 

So, before you decide to engage an external professional for your public relations campaign, there are some deliberate actions you can embark on to address a crisis or build your brand reputation. What are these, you may ask?

PR campaigns meaning

What is negative PR or news? This is a deliberate act of disseminating negative news about a brand. So, what are PR campaigns and what purpose do they serve? They address negative events. But why do negative results or news develop fast legs than positive ones? 

Well, have you ever heard of a saying?

“When a dog bites a man that is not news because it happens so often. But if a man bites a dog, that is news.” There are various ways a brand can be discredited. Either way, such practices can cause harm.

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