Communication Can Define an Organization

The “protester” is someone that we hear about on the news and read about online and in the paper, but a majority of us would never label ourselves as a protester. We are a country that is fortunate enough to have the freedom of speech. We have the right to assemble and protest a cause that we hold close to our heart, but some people do get out of control. This is why many protesters have a bad reputation. Many non-protesters critictize the behavior of protesters, but TIME Magazine did the exact opposite. TIME named the protester their 2011 Person of the Year. TIME magazine was trying to tell the world something and I think that there are some people that are gradually catching on. Communication is the key to success and everyone knows this, but the way that we communicate is what defines us as people or organizations.

It is predicted that in 2012 one of the biggest trends will be the way communication defines an organization. This means that if an organization is bad at communicating with the public, their clients and any other stakeholders their reputation will suffer. I believe that this has been true all along, but people are just now realizing the effects of good and bad communication. The “protester” is the just a normal man or woman and if they can effectively share their message so can any organization. The protester is TIME’s person of the year because he or she utilized the communication tools her she has, phone, internet, T.V., to spread their message and to get people talking about them and their cause.

Communication is not always about selling and making a profit. An organization needs a stable foundation to have a great reputation and a stable foundations starts with good solid relationships. Relationships can be made by conversation. If an organization communicates effectively, that organization can form lasting relationships with clients, vendors, the public, etc. The relationships make a stable foundation. As an organization, you want people to be talking about you and you want that chatter to be positive. For example, on a Facebook page, instead of advertising a product, ask fans a questions and the person with the best answer wins a prize. It may be small, but almost half the people that only participated will go tell a friend. The quality of communication does matter. With their being so many media outlets out there and the fact that anyone can create news and start a conversations makes it hard to stand out, but an organization should know their target audience and have a meaningful purpose. It may take practice and advice, but quality communication is up to the communication generator.

It is not only about quality, quantity matters too. An organization should have a consistent communication plan and follow it, but the plan should not be consistently annoying. If an organization is constantly pushing their name and saying all the wrong things, it will make the public mad.  The public will just tune out there messages or complain. An organization should communicate enough so that people do not forget their name, but never too much.  Part of maintaining a good relationship is letting people know that you are always there for them, but you should never smother anyone either.

Communication comes down to quality and quantity. Both matter equally, but if both are done right and organization can have a great reputation.

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Professional Apologizers: As PR people, “Do we apologize too much?”

I found the PR Daily News website some time ago and I find their articles very interesting. The articles come from the professionals themselves. They reflect on their work, the work of others, trends and much more. The field of PR is so vast that not one person can know EVERYTHING there is to. This site is a great resource for anyone in the field of PR, interested by it or pursuing it.

“Do we apologize too much?”

The PR Daily News published an article on March 23, 2012 asking PR professionals, “Do we apologize too much?” I was drawn into this article by the title alone. In our world today, we have tried to define this term, political correctness, but does anyone really know what is really politically correct anymore? It seems to me that anything that may be remotely insensitive to any given group can be considered politically incorrect. According to the article Nike, Oprah Winfrey and McDonalds all made public apologies within the past two weeks. Most recently, McDonalds was the apologetic one. McDonalds aired a radio ad making a comment to the effect of petting a pit bull can be dangerous. Almost automatically, a group support the pet lashed back at McDonalds. McDonalds quickly composed an apology and tweeted it; “We apologize for running a local ad insensitive in its mention of pit bulls. We didn’t mean to offend anyone and the ad is being pulled.”

Should McDonalds have apologized? The pit bull has been a target breed of dog, but McDonalds had no intention of ruining the reputation of the household pet. One PR Daily commenter, replied to the original article saying, “Thank goodness for all these [politically incorrect] comments, it keeps PR folks employed.” Public relations professionals are capable of far more than constructing effective apologies, but it is part of the job. PR people must defend their clients and if a client is under attack from any reason, the PR people must do what is best for their client’s organization. It is understandable that a client would want to protect their reputation, especially with social media; a good reputation can go bad in a matter of minutes.  So the PR people do what they need to do, and apologize, even though they may think it is ridiculous.

I do not understand how as a society, we became so sensitive. I understand there are just some things you cannot say, but just because you do not like hearing something doesn’t mean that you do not HAVE to hear it. Comedian, Bill Maher, asked this question in the New York Times, “When did we get it in our heads that we have the right to never hear anything we don’t like?” I agree with his idea. We have rights and morals, but things are getting out of hand. Celebrities, politicians and companies are constantly under fire for things that they said or someone representing them said. I think it is a waste of time to be apologizing constantly. The question is: how many good ideas and strategies have been thrown away because it may offend someone and how many more will be?

Source: PR Daily News: “Do we apologize too much?”