Let PR Be Your Umbrella to Keep Out the Rain

Yes, it’s raining again and that brings to mind the practice of “saving for a rainy day.” All too often, that rainy day can sneak up on a company and surprise them. However, if your company has been regularly depositing goodwill into its “rainy day fund,” then when the storm comes, you’re ready to withdraw some of that goodwill that you’ve built up over the months and years of business.

Consider this, Company A does its best to provide great customer service, treats its employees right, and gives back to the community. And, it communicates with its customers, employees, and the community on a regular basis. BAM, when Company A’s payment system gets hacked, they immediately inform their employees and customers, explaining the situation and offering free credit monitoring. More than likely, Company A will get through this storm because it has built a strong relationship with its stakeholders and filled up their “goodwill account” for the rainy day. Now, Company B doesn’t communicate on a regular basis with its customers or employees so they don’t really know much about the company. Then, when Company B gets hacked, it doesn’t know how to communicate the problem and has no system of communication set up. Delays happen. Employees talk and customers hear about the problem. Rumors start. The storm for Company B is just beginning.

Think of public relations as your umbrella. On rainy days it can help protect your company by having strong relationships and consistent communications already in place. Here are a few ideas:

  • Formalize communications with your stakeholders and make sure you provide them with information on a regular basis.
  • Listen to your stakeholders. Conduct a survey, invite them to listening sessions, monitor social media, and offer opportunities to provide suggestions.
  • Be an employer of choice – staff can be your best advocates but only if they know what’s going on and feel connected to the company.
  • Play an active role in your community. Have an employee volunteer day, donate time and money to a worthy cause, make a positive difference.

Don’t be like Company B. Establish an ongoing PR effort to deposit goodwill into your “rainy day fund.” So, when a storm happens (and it will), you’ll be better prepared to weather the storm.