Often they must give an opinion about a matter trending in the media—that’s a tough spot.
You want your CEO or company spokespeople out there driving positive PR, but in the blink of an eye, things can go south. A boycott hashtag with your brand’s name attached appears on social media, and the news goes viral.
When asked to provide a perspective about something happening in the world, it seems there are no right answers. You must pick a side. That might seem unfair, but this is the world we live in, and all brand reps should beware.
We are seeing this more than ever in our polarizing political climate. Millions of social media users have their itchy typing fingers at the ready. They want to react with passionate opinions and jump aboard the latest boycott. Just ask the slew of brand managers who have been forced into crisis response mode by having a stance blow up, thrusting them into the amplified news cycle.
Crisis response planning
Such preparation is essential in today’s hypersensitive and sensationalized digital landscape. Managers of brands large and small, national and local, should be preparing for an unanticipated backlash surrounding a controversial social issue.