Wednesday, 3 June 2015

What smart companies do to avoid smeared images and social media scandals

Social media is a wonderful tool for business, but it can also be the bane of your existence if you or your company representatives are perceived to have donesomething wrong. Juicy news travels fast through social media, and most of the popular web based news sources now favour sensationalism over traditional news reporting. That just adds fuel to whatever scandal your company is being hit with. 
The decisions of both customers and shareholders are heavily influenced by social media, so it is more critical than ever to guard your public reputation. Below are some suggestions to avoid harming your public image as well as some things you can do to establish a strong public reputation.
Never do any of these:
  • Lie, cheat, steal
  • Disrespect the environment
  • Disrespect other people verbally or physically (including your employees)
  • Skirt the law to make a buck
  • Get arrested for breaking the law (DUI, prostitutes, drugs, kiddie porn, etc.)
Never do anything that would cause your integrity to be questioned. If you make decisions for a large or growing organization, or if you are a public figure, you need to be very careful about what you say and do in public and private, because people talk. 
The best thing you can do to protect your public image is to keep it in mind at all times. In order to establish yourself as being a highly respectable brand, follow the suggestions below.
Do these things instead:
  • Host charitable events
  • Donate your time and money to making the world a better place for others
  • Speak publicly about your philanthropic endeavors
  • Establish strong corporate social values and live by them
  • Show the world that you live by your values through advertising, press releases, public speaking appearances
  • Become a spokesperson for something good
  • Establish a strong Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) plan and follow it
When you become known for good things, people will forgive you more easily when you make mistakes. The best course of action is to get caught being good long before you ever get caught being bad, because sometimes the bad happens anyway.
Renée Cormier is a Public Relations & Communications Professional. Need help with your public image? Contact Renée through her website at: www.reneecormier.com
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