Social media has radically changed the way consumers convey their feelings to businesses.  It has also radically changed the way businesses must give top attention to remaining agile, alert, and responsive to those consumers.  Transparency, honesty, and accountability are more important today because they are more visible.

A crucial strategic piece is for companies to take advantage of quiet times to strengthen their public relations and their reputation.  This enables those companies to respond quickly and persuasively when any kind of a crisis arises about their behavior, decisions, or policies.

Doing all this online is an absolute must, and many tools exist to leverage social media to the company’s advantage.  Felix Gillette describes the increasing refinement of the technical tools (“It’s Getting Tougher to Bully Brands” Bloomberg Businessweek 8/6/12–8/12/12, pp. 20–22):

“These days, brand strategists possess precise social media monitoring software, which can tell them exactly how many people are expressing disgust and whether the outrage is growing or dissipating.” (p. 22)

These kinds of tools allow companies to assess risk, public sentiment, and strategy.  Armed with those insights, maybe they can even get their public relations to move as fast as social media.  Wouldn’t that be nice?

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About James Meadows

Currently I serve as a training team manager for Johnson Controls at a customer-care center in Kansas City. Additionally, I am a business consultant, a freelance corporate writer, an Assembly of God ordained minister, a Civil Air Patrol chaplain, and a blogger. I believe we are living in the most fascinating times of human history. To maximize the opportunities these times present, I have a passionate interest in leadership development and organizational success, both of which I view as inextricably linked.

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