As PR folks we love the power of the Internet as our blogs are picked up by Google news, our Tweets are re-tweeted and our Facebook pages have growing number of new fans on a monthly basis. Even TripAdvisor is a source of referrals with the caveat the referral is positive. Even if it is negative, a quick explanation and/or an apology helps soothe unsavory posts.
What we as PR professionals need to be aware of is the other side of negative publicity that can be found with disgruntled employees. Hotel News Now had an interesting story about Marriott’s encounter with disgruntled employees and their reaction or non reaction to these events. The online buzz caused quite a stir.
Advice I always give my clients is to use facts and explain your side of the story. I’ve learned long ago there are three sides to every story; yours, mine and the truth that lies somewhere in between. I also promote humor as a way to negate negative publicity. The employee that used the marching band video could have been countered with Marriott using a video of the GM heading his own marching band — all in black morning the lose of Joey! Without knowing all of the details this could be totally off base, but you get where I am going.
PR pro’s need to get creative when dealing with a crises, but first and foremost they need to educate clients that the goals should always be; honesty, integrity and transparency. If the hotel is at fault state it, correct it and move on!
The Internet has made the world a more interesting place, a bit trickier to navigate, yet way more thought-provoking than ever before. If you have an interesting story to share please leave a comment as I would love to hear from you.