Should you respond or clam up? Here’s a primer for businesses

Public relations professionals offer their advice on when to respond to a reporter or social media troll, and when to stay quiet.

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A representative from ICR, which is handling media and investor relations for Lululemon during the yoga pants recall, was forthcoming with information and statements until last week, when the rep politely declined our request for comment

“We will not be providing comments at this time,” the spokesperson said.

One of the most important parts of a PR professional’s job is to counsel clients whether to respond to allegations or consumer complaints in mainstream or social media channels.

While the phrase “no comment” is generally verboten, or the more genial “we choose not to respond at this time,” the power and reach of media outlets plays a large part in the decision to respond, as is the author’s influence.

It’s becoming increasingly difficult for companies in the middle of a media maelstrom to tread the fine line between transparency and “we’re done talking”—and it’s a challenge PR pros are faced with on a daily basis.

But it appears the rules are different when it comes to mainstream vs. social media channels.

Social media

The ‘comments’ section—beware the trolls

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