Study: Negative comments worsen the public’s view of a company

Organizations should respond to nasty remarks in comment sections or risk a serious blow to their reputations, even a boycott, according to new research.

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According to researchers at the University of Missouri, angry user-generated comments on the Web can “further perpetuate negative perceptions of an organization” in a crisis.

What does this (obvious, some might say) information mean to a company?

You had better respond to these nasty commenters.

“During crises, organizations need to make an effort to respond to negative online comments from users,” Bo Kyung Kim, a Mizzou doctoral student, explained in a press release. “They can contact the user directly, post a response on the site for all to see, or, in extreme cases, remove the comments from the site.

“In any fashion, organizations need to monitor their online presence closely to prevent the negative perceptions from spiraling out of control.”

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