With the advent of social media in recent years, the concept of public relations has shifted dramatically. In the past, public relations companies may rely on fellow constituents to mitigate harm in the event of a crisis. It might take days or weeks to clean up a client’s or company’s image; they had the luxury of time. However, in today’s image-driven social media industry, the time has shrunk. It is, in fact, about anticipating responses before the Facebook and Twitter feed kick in. Though gut instinct is still useful, there are tried-and-true methods for monitoring and controlling public relations on social media. To remain ahead of the game, you must first understand the new rules. The term “public relations” has evolved.
Any client or organization may literally be made or broken by public relations. While all commercial companies aim for spotless online reputations, problems do occur from time to time. These issues may arise from within the organization, as well as from industry mishaps and common errors. Without proper public relations management, these challenges may have a long-term negative effect. When tweeting about your customers, media experts advise you to be cautious. In reality, if you are unable to cast a positive light on any circumstance, I would advise you to refrain from posting.
Also, never promote anything at the expense of the failure of another client or company. This is considered “cheap” and low on the social media totem pole from a tactical standpoint.
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Remember to do the following to ensure good public relations results:
- Learn the modern rules of public relations and social media interaction. This will allow you to stay ahead of the competition.
- Keep an eye on the breaking news client. If you are going to promote your company’s latest health care product sale on Facebook or Twitter, make sure there haven’t been any unfortunate incidents involving the brand you are promoting.
- Even if time is of the essence, do not react immediately if a crisis occurs. Instead, plan for damage management when thoroughly analyzing and assessing the situation. If a plan of action has been established, simply carry it out as professionally as possible.
- Be open and honest. Even in a negative scenario, your candor would be valued and respected in the social media industry.
- Leave thoughtful and polite remarks. Avoid negative posts, which can easily backfire on you and the customer, business, or firm you represent. There is a well-known story about an executive who tweeted negatively about a client’s hometown (FedEx and Memphis) while on his way to meet with the client. The next day, he was shot.
- Make use of common sense and courtesy. Never participate in “online battles” with those with whom you disagree. Just be the larger guy.
- Keep it respectful and reasonable when disagreeing with others or specific posts. Being respectful will help you establish a genuine sense of professionalism.