As in-house marketers and agency mad men we spend the majority of our time assessing different ways our brands get noticed, become relevant, engage an audience and trigger a sale, all whilst protecting them from negativity along the way.
Fairly standard fodder for most of us today. We know social media has exposed us, Max Clifford’s hide and leak approach is weak, and MumsNet can bring down News of the World.
So what’s the answer for effective brand management in this social media era? Well, I just read a blog by Paul Adams, ex Googelista and newly appointed Facebook man.
The title, “Why negative comments are good for your brand”. Adam makes a very interesting point, that for brands to achieve success today they have to be believable, and for anything to be believable, it simply can’t be perfect. Social media is the recommendation behind brand power. As marketers we’re already “buying” word of mouth and incentivising likes.
It isn’t working, and our credibility is diminishing.
So what’s the answer? Well, honest and open discussion is the last hiding place for any brand, and probably the only way forward. Brands! Be open about negative comments, share them along with your answers.
People will remember you not for what you get right, but how you deal with what you get wrong. Now who’s going to fire the PR department?