Public Relations made easy.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Comment #4

My comment is in response to :  THE 7 ELEMENTS OF "GOOD" PR

Hi Todd,

I really enjoyed your post.

I think that some people get so obsessed with tactics that they don’t see the big picture. They can’t see the forest for the trees, so to speak. They rush the process.

Yes, you could do that, but do you really want to?
Are you targeting the right people?
How is your message going to be perceived by the public?
Is it even the right message?

In my opinion, not enough research and listening is the worst blunder by PR pros.

I think that we feel it’s expected of us to know all the answers right away. Tell me your PR problem and I’ll give you an answer.

It doesn't work that way. You need to be able to listen, ask questions and walk away from your client.

After some careful thought and research, then you can come back with a tailor-made solution that will satisfy everybody.

(If course, in times of crisis, you give the best advice you can and hope for the best!)

Comment #3

My comment is in response to :  Newsjacking: When is it appropriate? 

I think it’s fairly simple.

Newsjacking is (pretty much) only appropriate when the event is either neutral or good news. If it's a tragic event, newsjacking could be acceptable if your client/company is asked for its expert opinion. Even then, it’s a short drive into opportunistic-land.

For example, during Hurricane Sandy, Sears tweeted the following message: “Did Hurricane Sandy affect your city? Get your generators, air mattresses & more in one place.”

They got some flak over it. Was it opportunistic?

As one person responded to Sears’ tweet: “Poor taste trying to make a buck off people that have lost everything in #HurricaneSandy, dontcha think? #newsjerking #poortaste.”

I don’t think their intention was evil but it was off the mark. Somebody in advertising wrote that message when someone in PR should have written it. Had Sears been my client, I would have advised against tweeting a message altogether. Had Sears insisted, I would have suggested something like this: “To those affected by Hurricane Sandy: we have generators on sale. Store hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. #staysafe.”

In this type of situation, any messages should strive to inform, not persuade.

Comment #2

My comment is in response to : Using Humor in PR

Hello Elena,

I enjoyed your post. You made some very insightful comments.

I think humor is a powerful tool in the public relations toolbox. I also agree that self-deprecating humor is usually the safest route.

Another recent example of a company capitalizing on an unexpected opportunity is Bodyform, a UK-based company that sells feminine hygiene products. When a man posted a tongue-in-cheek comment on their Facebook page, they responded a week later by producing a funny video. In a six-day span, it’s been viewed 2,735,454 times. To see their Facebook page, click here. The cost to make the video is minimal when compared to the world-wide exposure they’ve gotten for it. It took someone with creativity to dream up the concept and a management team with spirit to get behind it.

People embrace humor. They seek it out. They forward it, post it, tweet it, instagram it.

That being said, humor is definitely not for all companies and of course it comes with risks, especially when not properly executed. It takes a gentle hand to guide it.

Comment #1

My comment in response to : PRNewser - American Airlines had a terrible week in PR by Patrick Coffee 

Bad move on AA’s part, no doubt about it.

Problem is - and I ask speak from experience here - that Customer Service Agents are quite often given very little leeway by management.  Their very employment with the company is threatened should they make exceptions.

What you see as a customer: “What an unsympathetic agent.”

What you don’t see: “I feel terrible for this person. I wish I could make an exception but I just can’t afford to lose my job”.

What’s the solution?

I think better training is the solution. I think front-line agents should feel comfortable to make judgement calls. I’d like to think that in this particular instance, AA would have allowed the family to be reseated together without any additional fees but the agent was too scared to make that decision.

I think that too often, these agents are given too little training and, let’s face it, they ARE the company to the person who’s calling in. Agents need to think more like a PR pro and management needs to help them with that.

1 comment:

  1. The problem really does lie within management. Knowing that a route change was made, management should have been aware of possible customer service issues that may emerge as a result. Without proper initiatives by management, there's not a whole lot that a customer representative can do (nor PR for that matter). However, if PR and management were in synergy at the executive level, PR could have made them aware of possible repercussions and advise them on options to ensure a positive customer experience and avoid negative publicity. And the agreed upon mandate could then be passed down to the customer representatives for execution. That said, customer service mishaps like this one happen all the time. AA should have swiftly made this right, advised customer service representatives of the situation and how to act on similar scenarios to avoid the mishap, taken all the appropriate measures to ensure a positive outcome. And if the press or social media caught wind, address the importance of the issue, apologize, explain the steps that were taken to remedy the situation and the steps taken internally to ensure such mishaps don't happen again. And then hope for a better week in PR!