There’s an old saying, “Any press, is good press.” While this may have held true in a less connected time, our current hyper-fast communication age has proven the old saying wrong.
Today, brands have to deal with the media coverage immediately or face condemnation from the media and the public; just ask some of the biggest brands in America. JetBlue recently had to deal with a mess left by a flight attendant who swore at passengers, stole a couple of beers, and exited down the plane’s emergency escape slide. Meanwhile, Facebook has been dealing with a flood of bad press from criticism of their confusing privacy policies, the release of instant messages that paint Facebook CEO as less than trustworthy, and a new movie that tells the (fictional) story of Facebook’s creation. Then, of course, there’s BP. They found that their bumbling efforts to cap the oil well, which spewed into the Gulf of Mexico for nearly 3 months, did nothing to help their carefully crafted image — or their bottom-line.
Today’s brands have to be more responsive and media savvy than ever. All that can seem pretty daunting; from accidents, the actions of frustrated employees, or some unfortunate private comments coming to light, brands can take a beating in the press and online before the beginning of the business day. Luckily there some steps that can be put in place before an emergency to minimize damage and ensure that you can start repairing your brand as quickly as possible.
- Monitoring: Through monitoring social media and traditional media outlets brands can take action before a situation becomes a catastrophe
- Emergency Planning: Having a plan of action when an emergency happens is crucial. It’s important to know who is in charge, who will be meeting with press, and what will be said
- Establish Yourself: Even if you aren’t engaging in conversations make sure that you have your name protected.
Through these three steps, brands can be prepared for situations that may arise. By being proactive they are able to meet the situation head on and communicate their message before the media and the public construes a story of their own.