Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Taking Your Social Media and Running With It

Working in the social media industry, I love to come across different blogs and online profiles and check out how people are using social media for their business, their causes or just their personal life. From time to time I can’t help but be surprised at just how well some people do it. I must admit it always makes me smile when I see someone truly devoting the time to doing it the right way.

Through my social networks, I heard about a young tri-athlete from Montgomery, NY that was really using her social media to her advantage. She not only posts frequently, responds to comments, and interacts well with her followers, but also sets a great tone with her posting. I can’t help but smile with every Feet In Flight Blog posting I read. You really get a sense of who Amanda is just by reading what she has to say.

Aside from her tone and interaction, one of my favorite things that Amanda does is diversify her postings. This is especially true in her blogging. She keeps it relative with stories about female athletes that have inspired her, great training tips, stories about past runs, do’s and don’ts, and some great recipes that are sure to stir up any appetite. How good does a Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Cookie sound? And it’s healthy? Can’t wait to try it!

Amanda is your classic story of a local girl that is going to do great things! Feet In Flight is a documentation of her journey as a new member of Team USA. She'll be blogging the next year of her life, tracking her training progress, her triumphs and her obstacles. She's headed to the World Triathlon Championship Finals in Auckland, New Zealand on October 18, where she will run in honor of The Wounded Warrior Project.

To follow Amanda’s Journey, check out her Facebook, Twitter or Blog. Help us cheer her all the way to the Olympics.

Kudos Amanda! We are proud to have you as a member of our community!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Crisis Management

Bad PR is definitely not something as business owners that we hope to experience. Yet time & time again we see it happen. Perhaps you take an advertising risk in hopes that the public will find humor in it. This is something Groupon is all too familiar with when they launched their 2011 Super Bowl ads making light of deforestation and the rain forest. It could be as simple as a disgruntled former employee spreading gossip or even just that something went wrong that you couldn’t anticipate. These are all possibilities that could generate bad PR. We see this happen to companies all of the time and though at times it is something we didn’t see coming, it certainly is something that every business should be prepared for.

I recently drove past a thriving local delicatessen that places funny signs out front to grab the attention of traffic that passes by. For the past few months the signs have gained some edginess dancing on the line of inappropriate. This particular time the sign wasn’t just dancing the line, in fact it was completely offensive to a large group of people. Within a couple of days the local media caught wind, in turn, making it front page news. What were they thinking? As it turns out, it was an inside joke among employees. This was clearly a circumstance where the joke should have been kept inside the circle among the employees.

More shocking than the offensive sign, was the response the business owner gave to the local paper when questioned about the incident. He stated “go on and write your story, there is no such thing as bad PR”. Well, he was wrong. The once packed parking lot is now empty. Even if the sign wasn’t offensive to all of the customers, many would not want to be seen patronizing the business. Later that week the new sign stated “We are better at making sandwiches than jokes”. Too little too late? Only time will tell.

If this deli had a plan in place for such a situation, perhaps they would not have jumped to their initial reaction so quickly. Bad PR is not always avoidable, but we should be prepared for such circumstances should they occur. In the case of the deli owner, it may have been more beneficial to release a public apology, or even explain to the media that it was one of his employees and that he was investigating the situation to resolve the issue immediately. Some follow up with community interaction would also go a long way with his local customers. Perhaps people might start to think, “they are not so bad after all”.

What is your plan for crisis management? Every business should have one. We never know when or how a situation may arise, but it is never a bad idea to be prepared for the worst case scenario.