About Us |
Contact Us |
LexisNexis Business Solutions
Could a negative tweet from a celebrity send a social media company values plummeting? How about rampant complaints aimed at a fast food company? Based on events last week, the answer depends a lot on the PR crisis response. Consider two events from last week: Kylie Jenner’s tweet bemoaning Snapchat’s redesign and KFC’s chicken shortage in the UK.
Staying alert to social media influencers
After Kylie Jenner—who has 25 million followers—tweeted that she no longer opens Snapchat, Wallstreet got nervous, resulting in a $1.3 billion drop in market value. Can the onus be placed squarely on the reality TV star’s words? Probably not, although it certainly solidified investor concerns in the wake of widespread user dissatisfaction over the redesign of the app. Jenner isn’t alone in her unhappiness with the app. Chrissy Teigen had voiced a similar concern a week earlier, tweeting, “How many people have to hate an update for it to be reconsidered?” And CNN recently reported that “More than one million people have signed an online petition calling for Snapchat to remove the update, saying it's more difficult to use. The company has also been bombarded with negative app reviews, prompting one analyst at Citi to downgrade the stock.” Despite a better-than-expected earnings report, the backlash has investors worried that user engagement will decline. A recent statement by Snapchat CEO
Evan Spiegel probably hasn’t calmed those fears. CNN said that at tech conference a few weeks ago, Spiegel noted that “One of the complaints we got is, ‘Wow, I used to feel this celebrity was my friend and now I don't feel like they're my friend anymore.” He continued, “Exactly. They're not your friend,” but the statement shows little understanding about what users liked about the previous version of the app. Thus far, the company’s PR crisis response has been a lackluster “We hear you” which has failed to quiet the murmurs of dissent.
Turning a supply chain snafu into a PR win
Fried chicken fast food chain KFC recently faced public backlash of a different sort. Changes in the company’s supply chain led to a big problem: no chicken for its UK locations. As you might expect, social media erupted with complaints, jokes and memes about a chicken restaurant running out of chicken—which left the company feeling ‘peckish’ to say the least. But PR crisis management flew into action, and the full-page mea culpa ad taken out in newspapers across the UK—and shared liberally across social media—certainly switched the focus of the conversations to a more positive note. The lesson: Tackling PR problems with humor and honesty helps.
Four ‘A’s of PR Crisis Management
How can companies successfully navigate reputational ups and downs? Here are four ‘A’s that PR crisis response should encompass.
The nature of today’s always-on media landscape means that PR professionals need to stay on their toes—and have access real-time media intelligence—in order to stay alert to the next tweet or breaking news story that could signal a PR crisis. Do you have what it takes?