If your company is online and you have not experienced a public relations problem, you soon will. The question is whether you are adequately prepared to handle it. Disgruntled customers, online trolls, security breaches and unintentional blunder can all lead to public relations problems. Unlike a public relations problem in the real world, an online public relations faux pas can snowball out of control much more quickly. Ignoring and/or mishandling the issue merely exacerbates the problem. Once the matter reaches a critical mass, it may become too big for a small, poorly positioned company to recover.
Harnessing the power of social media not only allows you to identify potential public relations issues early, but can even turn them into a platform for showcasing your company’s great customer service. By identifying problems early, your social media radar eliminates intractable headaches down the road and converts unhappy customers. Generating an evangelical social media following expands both your company’s reach and message. If a catastrophic problem does occur, stalwart social media followers often come to a company’s rescue, solving problems hundreds of thousands of dollars and a courtroom of lawyers could not. More importantly, social media increases your transparency, encouraging customers to contact you directly, before airing their grievances online. Social media solutions can only help however, if you have your social media framework in place before a problem arises. Educate yourself about social media, and implement a coordinated social media initiative sooner, rather than later.