PR & Conflict Resolution
There Is No Conflict Resolution Without Conflict
PR should be a strategy you consider at every level of your organization. For example, being known as a company that handles conflict resolutions in an effective and professional manner will let the market know you trust and empower your staff. That will result in more people wanting to work for you and stay there.
If, on the other hand, you are known for abusing your people and treating them like shit…you know the story. Eventually that hard driving attitude takes a toll on people and they quit, get resentful and do a terrible job, and your reputation is damaged in the process. This kind of PR is oft forgotten or avoided.
It Is What It Is – Perception
Your brand is not what you say it is. Your brand is what other people say it is. That’s all that matters. If you run around claiming your brand is A, B, and C, but the market all collectively say it’s D, E, and F, the proof will be in the pudding. Or, the lack of revenue. So never fool yourself into believing that you are so smart or charismatic that you can convince people of a lie.
Conflict Can Be Good For Business
If you do it right. Don’t just go poking the bear – metaphorically – because you can get bit. But these days if you’re not making some noise, you’re invisible. That isn’t good. The old adage about “there’s no such thing as bad PR” may actually be truer today than ever before. Somebody should more deeply research the impact of PR on companies and their overall performance by several metrics.
There have been countless times, especially recently, in the news about brands massively messing up in their public relations. Think about how many airline incidents you’ve heard of recently where somebody gets dragged out and the world erupts in support of them for no reason. Kylie Jenner’s Pepsi commercial.
While H&M’s stock has gone down since the two cited PR upsets, that is not the whole picture. Their stock has been steadily tumbling since its peak in 2015, long before these incidents came up. Heineken and Pepsi on the other hand have been climbing steadily for the same time period.
On the other hand, Samsung & Apple have consistently been at odds in the courts while also flourishing as business partners. Keeping both companies’ names in the press has fueled both sides’ loyal following to continue pushing their side of the “who’s better” debate, which keeps both brands strong. That can help ward off 3rd or 4th competitors. This kind of conflict can be good for business, but not forever…
Stocks Dip Sometimes, Dipshits
The day one of these stories hits the internet people are always clamoring about how the company is going to go under immediately. They often site stock price dips (of 2% or so) as evidence of how turbulent the economy is and how fragile brand can be. I’m not sure that’s true. In fact, if you look at those companies above and their stock prices since those incidents, it’s pretty much business as usual.
The point of this is to remain calm when conflict arises with your brand in the public. Don’t shy away from it or recoil. Don’t lie about it. Don’t take actions that you can’t explain or justify.