In the digital age, the barriers that once stood between the media and PR firm clients have come tumbling down with a few key strokes. Personal blogs, Twitter feeds and Facebook pages provide unprecedented access to clients.
More access, increases the likelihood of a digital crisis and has many PR professionals on high alert.
Without proper guidance (read: common sense), clients run the risk of alienating their audience using tools designed to bring them closer together.
Here are 5 ways a PR firm client can hurt their brand online:
Personal opinions on sensitive subjects and jokes during a major crisis are inappropriate and make the culprit look like an asshole.
Clients need to understand that once you post something online, it’s there forever. And by the time it gets deleted it’s been indexed by Google and someone has already captured a screen grab and sent it to 10 of their friends.
Advice to clients: When in doubt, leave it out. (Oh, and if you’re never in doubt…LOG OFF NOW!)
Spamming the Media
I’ve seen clients from various industries do this, but aspiring musicians are the worst offenders. Instead of spamming music bloggers, journalists and pedestrians with notebook avatars with links to your music, artists should be using that time to build relationships and understand how their target outlets work.
Note: Nobody wants to listen to your music…(yet).
Sending Naked Photos
If any of my clients get outed for sending naked pictures, I will probably react like this:
When a client tweets or blogs about something newsworthy in their career prematurely, they can undermine the work that their publicist is doing on their behalf. Admittedly, this rule is tough and really depends on the type of client you’re dealing with because in some cases this can be a good thing.
Just to be on the safe side, clients should let their team know when they’re going to use any type of digital technology to make an announcement. Everyone should be on the same page.
Seriously, if a client doesn’t have time to engage with their community ( ex: Best Buy CMO, Diddy), then advise them to stay offline (ex: Beyonce). Pissing off an entire community of fans is not good for anyone’s wallet (or ego).