Small businesses often underestimate the power of public relations. In fact, most small business owners do not see the point in investing in a public relations team. Since small companies operate on tight budgets, investing in a public relations department and resources is regarded as an unnecessary burden. Overlooking the potential of public relations, however, can turn out to be a costly mistake for small businesses.
Increased competition has made it imperative for small businesses to focus on highlighting their strengths and achieve competitive advantage. Ruining public image is, therefore, not an option for them. Yet, PR disasters are not uncommon and there are several instances where small businesses have lost customers because of a lackadaisical approach to their public image.
Here are some examples to show how poor public image can destroy business.
Ignoring Customer Complaints
In the age of social media, customers are empowered to not only voice their opinion but also turn the tide of public opinion against businesses. Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter allow users to express and share their views with millions of people all over the world.
So if a business fails to respond to a customer complaint on time, the customer can go online, post damaging updates about the company and spread negative word-of-mouth.
Lacking a Well-Defined Social Media Strategy
Popularity of social networking sites has made it imperative for businesses to pay close attention to them. Most businesses today have a Facebook page and a legitimate Twitter account to connect with customers. Without a proper social media strategy, however, PR disasters are just waiting to happen.
Businesses need to know what they should share with their target audience. Confidential information, for instance, should never be shared with anyone outside the company. Likewise, maintaining no control over who can share information can lead to public embarrassment.
Responding to Negative Criticism with Aggression
Arrogance on social networking platforms does not go unnoticed. Yet, companies lackin
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