Back only a few short years ago—say, a decade—if your company became the focus of attention for the wrong reasons you had plenty of time to prepare a response. You could compose your media releases, prep your CEO and organise your mainstream media response.
That was then. This is now. Today the social world spreads news and gossip at lightning speed, giving organisations a scant few hours or minutes to react, not days.
A recent example of how our communication environment has changed was given on that immeasurably important podcast, For Immediate Release (seriously, no communicator should miss an episode).
Discussing the ‘Carrier IQ’ PR fiasco, Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson reinforced just how much the communication landscape has been shaped by social media. As they pointed out, even the tone that organisations use must be different from days of yore.
Perhaps some communicators have forgotten, but it is useless to combat emotional outpouring with dry facts; facts won’t change an audience’s opinion – 0nly peer opinions will change an audience’s mind. So appealing to rational judgement in a heated emotional environment is a sure-fire way of ensuring your voice goes unheard and not spread (no twitter retweets, no facebook ‘shares’).
Below is an excerpt from FIR #628, where Neville and Shel talk about the Carrier IQ kerfuffle and its implications for business. I know it’s over 15 minutes long, but I believe it is vital that you listen and pay attention. That’s why I edited their podcast down to this excerpt and share it with you.
PLEASE listen closely to both the outline of the PR fiasco and the commentary about its implications for we communicators.