The Resident Connection, Written Posts

I Have Yet To See A PR Superhero Save The Day

0 Comments 09 January 2012

Thanks to mhaithaca on Flickr for the picPeople make bad decisions.  This is reality.  Unfortunately, when people take to the internet to proclaim their dissatisfaction (due to a bad decision) it can become a PR nightmare for a company today.  Papa John’s took an absolute beating the past few days since the “lady chinky eyes” racial slur debacle.  Here’s a bit of the story: Papa Johns Apologizes

It seems like these situations are rarely handled well, and a PR superhero has to try and swoop in to save the day.  And when they do we see little success as the damage is already done.

So what do you do if this happens to you and your company?

– Take your licks.  You or a representative of your company was wrong.  Admit it and don’t dance around it like a politician.

– Respond.  A simple apology is probably best, but if you’re taking some type of action a brief and general description of what you’re doing can be shared.

– Apologize some more.  Dedicate some time to apologizing to everyone you can and you’d be surprised at how that can help your situation.  I like what Vaynermedia is doing apologizing to New York Jets fans for not making the playoffs.

– Don’t get caught up in the hate.  There will be plenty of people that never forgive you.  GoDaddy still lost over 20,000 registrants in one day after their apology and flip-flop on SOPA.

– More marketing can just make it worse.  Sorry NY Jets.  Great Twitter responses, but a terrible call on the Pepsi Max deal.

– Get over it!  From what I’ve witnessed, very few people are talking about these things 2 weeks later.  It will likely pass.

– Help it pass.  Focus on new initiatives to help customers and enhance their experience.  You can’t fix what happened, but you can make your next customer’s experience even better.

I’ve handled a few of these things in my Toyota/Lexus days and now in my J.C. Hart days.  They feel like doom and gloom in the moment, but you can live for another day by innovating and changing how you do business tomorrow.  Some things are more difficult to change than others, but caring more is always a possibility.  Too often we try to ignore things we can fix or make right, but many times just acknowledging a situation can be the solution.  I hope you don’t have any of these nightmare issues, but if you do at least know that they can be overcome without the Justice League needing to save the day.

Pic courtesy mhaithaca on Flickr.












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