No Such Thing As Negative Publicity?

All Publicity is Good Publicity Right?

Many people would have you believe that all publicity is good publicity. Sure it may get you in the news, it might even get you on television or get you a lot of “buzz” on your favourite social media site. That’s good right? Yep, it’s really good…if your goal was to get slapped three ways from Sunday!

I just read a recent post from Gini Dietrich of Arment Dietrich called Is All Publicity Good? Go ahead and read it for a second, I’ll wait right here.  You back? Alright, here’s one part in particular that caught my attention;

Sure, not all news will be good news. Even the best companies will have some negative things written about them, but it’s in how you respond that makes, or breaks, the game.

This is the other part that caught my attention in the comment section

You Can’t Contain Shit Hitting The Fan

Have you ever seen shit hit the fan? It’s not a pretty sight, and it’s a mess to clean to up.  It takes all hands on deck, a great plan, communication between said shit cleaners, and you can’t be afraid to put your hand in the crap.

If that’s the kind of planning that needs to go into cleaning up feces hitting a fan, shouldn’t your company be doing more to manage their brand? Here are a few things to think about before you have to clean up your next shit storm;

  1. If you build it they will come: Alright, that may not be true, but here’s my point with this one…you need to be purposely building a strong community.  The stronger the relationship between your brand and your community, the more willing they are to “go-to-bat” for you, the more receptive they will be towards your explanation of your screw up, the more willing they will be to accept your apology.  Why? Because they trust you because you have done the same for them.  Yes, you will need to re-build the trust that you wrecked, but if there was no trust to begin with, the gloves are really going to come off!
  2. Have a crisis plan: Please, please, please, have a plan set in place! A plan can act as your map as you steer through the muddy waters.
  3. Do a fire drill: Sure, having a plan is good, but if you’re not sure how it works, you need to test it out! That’s the whole reason we have fire drills right? If a crisis hits, you should know what to do and how to approach it, you should know to stop, drop, and roll! If you have no idea of where to stop read Jeremey Owyang’s post
  4. Monitor and Listen: I say both monitoring and listening because I view them as two very different things (which I’ll explain another day).  Keep your ear to the ground and listen to the chatter, engage, ask questions, find out what the underlying problem is.  Just don’t give away the farm!
  5. Timing is everything: Because you’ve been monitoring you know what’s been happening.  Don’t  wait to long to respond or it may be too late to mitigate some of the damages.
  6. Take Responsibility: Own what’s yours.  If your brand caused someone else hardship, own it.  If they screwed up someone’s bill, own it.  I don’t care what it is…this is part of that trust building that we were talking about earlier.  Own what’s yours and apologize accordingly.
  7. It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it: It’s not always the message of what you are saying when you apologize, respond, or issue a statement.  It’s how your saying it.  Look at the tone of the message, look at it’s surroundings, keep in mind; No one can hear you say it.

 

Your turn: Do you think all publicity is good publicity? How do you “contain” it? Is it even possible?

Like This Post?
There's more where that came from!
  • http://twitter.com/rdopping Ralph Dopping

    Hey Jason, I’m not a PR guy or marketing guy so I am remiss to comment on the topic at hand other than to say the list sounds logical.

    If I was to apply this to my work which is not dissimilar to yours albeit, I am not purely a conflict management guy but simply a management guy, I would have to say it’s a good list of actionable steps to manage any type of situation; on-line or IRL.

    These steps would work well when building a team or a project. Good stuff for me. A list I will keep at hand.

    • http://www.absolutionmediation.ca Jason Dykstra

      Thanks Ralph, I find there is quite a bit of overlap between the “online world” and the “offline world” in how we handle conflict situations. Many of the same theories/models apply.

  • http://twitter.com/rdopping Ralph Dopping

    Hey Jason, I’m not a PR guy or marketing guy so I am remiss to comment on the topic at hand other than to say the list sounds logical.

    If I was to apply this to my work which is not dissimilar to yours albeit, I am not purely a conflict management guy but simply a management guy, I would have to say it’s a good list of actionable steps to manage any type of situation; on-line or IRL.

    These steps would work well when building a team or a project. Good stuff for me. A list I will keep at hand.

    • http://www.absolutionmediation.ca Jason Dykstra

      Thanks Ralph, I find there is quite a bit of overlap between the “online world” and the “offline world” in how we handle conflict situations. Many of the same theories/models apply.

  • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

    And the other thing? Even brands that have great reputations screw up. Your first piece of advice reminds me of a recent mistake I made. I’m on book tour and on my 20th week of travel in a row. Needless to say, I’m exhausted and really looking forward to October, when I’m home for more than two days at a time. But that also means I’m paying less attention to the details…something I’m very good at it when I’m not overly tired. A few weeks ago I blogged about Chick-fil-A and boy oh boy did all hell break loose. But, because I’ve built a strong community, not only did they go to bat for me, they had my back when I apologized. I heard things such as, “Everyone makes mistakes.” And everyone does…it’s in how we apologize that makes it all good again.

    • http://www.absolutionmediation.ca Jason Dykstra

      I think this is just the beginning of brands screwing up…more and more brands are starting to use SM and I think we’re only seeing the beginning of the screw ups.

      Your example really speaks loudly to the investment into your community. I know many people think that it’s hard to measure the ROI of that investment, but in situations that you describe above, it speaks loudly that the investment is well worth it! Thanks Gini!

  • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

    And the other thing? Even brands that have great reputations screw up. Your first piece of advice reminds me of a recent mistake I made. I’m on book tour and on my 20th week of travel in a row. Needless to say, I’m exhausted and really looking forward to October, when I’m home for more than two days at a time. But that also means I’m paying less attention to the details…something I’m very good at it when I’m not overly tired. A few weeks ago I blogged about Chick-fil-A and boy oh boy did all hell break loose. But, because I’ve built a strong community, not only did they go to bat for me, they had my back when I apologized. I heard things such as, “Everyone makes mistakes.” And everyone does…it’s in how we apologize that makes it all good again.

    • http://www.absolutionmediation.ca Jason Dykstra

      I think this is just the beginning of brands screwing up…more and more brands are starting to use SM and I think we’re only seeing the beginning of the screw ups.

      Your example really speaks loudly to the investment into your community. I know many people think that it’s hard to measure the ROI of that investment, but in situations that you describe above, it speaks loudly that the investment is well worth it! Thanks Gini!

  • http://armentdietrich.com/ ginidietrich

    OMG! I must be better at writing comments that are more professional. Ah…who am I kidding? 
     
    I really like your first point. We were just laughing during our staff meeting about the crisis I created when I blogged about Chick-fil-A. I was in Toronto and was on stage or networking for most of the day so I wasn’t around to respond to comments until after dinner. And oh my! But the really interesting thing that happened was, because I wasn’t there to mitigate the name calling and feces throwing, my community did it for me. It was pretty incredible to watch and, even though I call the community the crazies, it was awesome to see them debate as I would have wanted had I been there.
     
    Also, I don’t know what I just saw this. Sorry for missing it before!
     
    P.S. Have YOU ever literally seen shit hit the fan?!?

    • jasondyk

      @ginidietrich Hey Gini, you definitely didn’t miss it, I recently combined two sites into this one and imported some of the content from those sites, but for some reason the comments didn’t migrate with them from this site :( (but you did actually respond to this before (http://socialmedi8r.com/no-such-thing-as-negative-publicity/)…it’s kind of like a weird deja vu right? 
       
      It is incredible how building a strong and conflict resilient community can be both defensive and forgiving though!  And as creepy as it was I actually remember that day because I was at the conference that you were presenting at I believe
       
      P.S. My father-in-law’s a chicken farmer and my dad use to grow chickens….so yes…I have literally seen shit hit the fan :-)

      • http://armentdietrich.com/ ginidietrich

        @jasondyk HAHAHAH! And almost the same comment. At least I stay on message. Lordy.
        Do you grow chickens? Or raise them?

        • jasondyk

          @ginidietrich consistency is key isn’t it :-) Good thing you don’t have a false persona…that would have sucked…haha 
           
          I don’t, but members of my family do…I just help out where I can with it :)

        • http://armentdietrich.com/ ginidietrich

          @jasondyk OMG! Do you get fresh eggs?!?

        • jasondyk

          @ginidietrich nope…they are broilers…so they are grown for their meat…so we do get some good chicken, just not their eggs :)

  • ruzzel01

    Smart writing here. Im totally impressed. logoworkgloves.com