Shaping and Protecting your Corporate Image Online
It’s hard standing on the sidelines and just watch as your company gets bashed online. But doing so is vital in many cases. As a representative for your firm, you must know when and when not to react, and with what tone or information. And so must your employees. It’s neither uncommon nor unheard of that overzealous employees unintentionally (and even intentionally) reveal the organisation’s most closely held secrets in online forums.
From a broader perspective, when it comes to Pakistan, poor pay scales and long working hours can create armies of disgruntled employees over time. This raises the disturbing potential for industrial espionage and is one reason that Helium and Shell Pakistan have blocked employee access to social media like Facebook and Twitter. To ensure that data privacy laws are upheld, it is advisable to revise and update external affairs policies and rules governing the use of social media that outline what employees can and can’t say on public websites, and decide on whose authority it lies to respond to customer comments and queries.
Of course, a sensible strategy involves much more than simply worrying about what employees are saying. Communication departments also need to be proactive in shaping the right image online. And it goes beyond the product itself. Companies looking to differentiate themselves in the eyes of younger generations have used sites such as LinkedIn and XING to explore new avenues of recruiting and to spread a wider hiring net. Indeed, companies like Microsoft, Aga Khan University, SNL Financial and KESC have found success in hiring experienced candidates using LinkedIn’s job finder tools.
Some businesses, such as Google and Starbucks, utilise YouTube for public relations and to generate positive sentiments about their respective work environments. While Google’s videos focus on the culture of innovation and in-office benefits, those of Starbucks focus on the career path needed to become, say, regional director or district manager. Starbucks also shows how back-end departments like global development, store design and field operations continue to play a vital role in the retail and image game, changing competitive competencies everyday.
Click play below to watch Starbucks’ Global Development “behind the scenes” PR video:
The author works at Sociality360. Managers from the public relations division of that company provide guidance to their clients regarding reaction strategies to bad press and negative online comments in order to keep the company name and targeted brand in a positive light.
Tags: social media, management, innovation, human resources, creative recruiting, brand management, damage control, communications
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