Even small communication mistakes can cause significant damage to a business. Here’s how to avoid the obvious blunders.
In the perfect PR world, journalists vyingly write about the business they’re promoting, and reputational crises don’t happen at all. And if they happen, then all employees are ready for them and are instructed in advance, how to behave and what to say to inconvenient questions from the media.
But in reality, companies regularly lose up to 22% of their turnover when potential clients find at least one negative material on the first page of search engines or in social media. Israeli writer and journalist David Grossman surveyed 400 companies with 100,000 employees each and concluded that the average business loss due to inadequate communication within the company is $62.4 million per year.
The perfect information policy is difficult to build, as interaction with a large number of people – employees, customers, contractors – generates misunderstanding, negativity, and conflicts. And it can happen in both modern companies, like an https://22bet.ug/line/, and in old-fashioned offline stores. But it is a mechanism that should be put on the rails once and then clap your hands for a long time with joy. Or not to clap if mistakes are made in the communication strategy.
Interruptions and Failures in PR Activities
The first mistake companies often make is inconsistent communications.
Here is a common situation: a PR person comes in and in a couple of months, he establishes relations with the media. Sometimes the employee gives some expert comments, answers reporters’ inquiries, and writes columns. And then he leaves in silence. In half a year the company finds a new PR person, and communications are renewed. But in the minds of the audience, there is no understanding: was the company closing down? Does it have staffing problems? What is going on? All of these questions are guaranteed to hit the reputation of the business.
You cannot remain silent for long periods of time. Otherwise your audience will forget about you, your coverage and citations will fall, and you will cease to be interesting. Even exceptionally seasonal companies and annual forums come up with ways to communicate with clients during the “lull”: contests, collaborations, live broadcasts and so on. The key is not to stay silent. Otherwise, there is always the risk of losing part of the audience and forgetting how the communication and positioning was originally built.
Poor Communication Within the Company
Sometimes the staff itself is not aware of the changes within the company. Sometimes employees are not even aware that they have special promotions, changes in personnel, new lines of business.
It’s funny about promotions in general. The business allocates budgets for advertising, the interested customer calls the call center, and they just throw up their hands. No one knows what it’s about. Do you sense that something is broken somewhere?
There are a lot of ways to solve such problems, from special mailings within the company to meetings with the right people and departments. The key is to make sure these steps are taken in a timely manner. Before the sales, managers asked the management what kind of strange people call them a hundred times a day with questions about the promised discount.
This is a popular mistake among young companies. When there aren’t too many infopods, but you want to broadcast to the masses.
Here is a typical situation. The business starts talking about itself on the blog and in social networks, and each post gets a dozen “likes” – from the mother of the manager and the employees. It is not easier with the media. Large publications receive several thousand inquiries every day and, of course, choose either the most offbeat stories or news from well-known companies. And then the PR person panics and starts coming up with “interesting” content on whatever topics he or she wants. As a result of such information strategy the company has a weak reputation.
In this situation, it’s much wiser to outline a content plan and add relevant news to it. If something on your topic happens, add it, and if not, stick to the plan. You shouldn’t expect an instant wow effect from public relations. It’s much more effective to slowly but surely create useful content and interesting stories about yourself. Over time, customers will pick up, and the brand will develop a strong expert reputation.
Positioning the Test Product as a Ready-made One
How else do you lose customers and incur reputational costs? Releasing a product that is not completely finished and not telling anyone that it is, in fact, a test version.
Often in the pursuit of a quick introduction and promotion of a new product, business skips several stages of verification and testing. But they generously pay the media and bloggers for advertising. Naturally, this approach leads to a lot of disappointed customers, many of whom don’t skimp on trashy reviews and reviews. Some companies try to sugarcoat the negativity from the raw product with purchased reviews, but this is just another nail in the lid.
Hyping on any topic and spamming with viral promotions is another mistake companies and campaigns make. Unless, of course, it’s done crookedly and crudely. In that case, the technique works once or twice, but then irritates the audience and makes the communication feel tabloid – this is hardly what a successful business needs.
Barefaced newsjacking looks ridiculous: entrepreneurs, traders and brokers comment on everything, and in the end lose the trust of even the most loyal media. The value of information in such commentary drops drastically, and so does the reputation of the “expert”.
Instead of jumping enthusiastically into commenting on everything and everyone, it’s better to rationally assess each viral or scandalous PR action and forecast dozens of possible scenarios in advance. Everything is good in moderation.
Contradictions in the Outgoing Information.
One more serious mistake of a PR person is not to follow the mistakes and inaccuracies in the published material and verbal statements of company speakers.
The PR-specialist cannot afford to let his guard down and let communications run their course. Businesses run great reputational risks if their representatives give outdated, incorrect or contradictory information. After all, this information then circulates in the public arena, causing a lot of questions from investors, customers and partners of the company. Especially now, in the age of unforgiving Internet. Finding out the right information is always costly and unpleasant.