Businesses operating in this fast-moving, digital world will be well aware of the challenges brought about by the major advancements in technology over the last decade. Depending on the business, the digital age is perceived as both a blessing and a curse – but regardless of what obstacles stand in your way, life is always easier when you have skilled support at your disposal.
What is the top priority of any business owner?
Many will say it is growing and expanding their business, turning a profit and the most ambitious will say changing the landscape of the industry they operate in for the better.
Your external communications could potentially make or break your brand’s image, particularly in a crisis. Who can forget the infamous United Airlines scandal in 2017, when online footage surfaced depicting a security team dragging a 69-year-old doctor from his seat on a plane due to the flight being overbooked? The PR handling of the incident left a lot to be desired. United’s CEO Oscar Munoz released an initial statement apologising for having to re-accommodate customers but he failed to highlight the use of force. If that wasn’t damaging enough, Munoz called the bloodied passenger “disruptive and belligerent” in an internal email to employees. This was then put online and, predictably, led to Munoz and the airline facing fierce criticism from all angles.
To this day, it is still hard to comprehend the apparent lack of any type of communications strategy from a behemoth such as United Airlines. From the lack of awareness that an incident of this gravity would inevitably end up online, to the bizarre justification, lack of a sincere apology and contradictory messaging both internally and externally – it was an unmitigated public relations nightmare for the airline, which has caused it lasting reputational damage.
The best communications plans will be both proactive and reactive. Having a strategy for the year ahead, led by your business objectives will keep your approach focused. Importantly, having a team of media experts at the ready to help develop meaningful content that can cut through the noise is a worthy investment for your business. During a crisis, having retained support will go a long way to protecting and enhancing the sanctity of your brand.
Remember, having a team available for your business that knows how to deal with the challenges of the modern digital world could make the difference between a good brand, and a great one.
Gray’s offer a free consultation service – if you would like to review your communications plan, or create a new one, just get in touch.