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When your company is in the news
Good or bad publicity is still publicity. This is a common saying in show business. But does it hold true for companies, as well?
These days, companies are also often in the news. Media has learned to treat organizations just like individual celebrities, tracking their every move - from reviews of products and services to monitoring of their impacts on stakeholders such as their own employees, shareholders, the communities they do business in and the general public. Both internal and external issues are prime fodder for coverage. All these create public perceptions and opinions that contribute in establishing the company’s reputation - something that was previously only created by advertising.
The big difference nowadays is that media coverage is largely beyond the control of the company, even with public relations. Although your PR can create messages through its media releases and quotations from the company CEO or spokesperson, these may be picked up by media but will not make up their full story since they have their own independent sources, too. The company cannot, therefore, create a false image of itself. Well, you may do so through advertising but at your own risk because it will surely be unmasked by media and the backlash could ruin your company’s reputation for a long, long time, if not for good.
As it is, the popularity of blogs and word of mouth campaigns has developed a public that is keen on distinguishing hype from independent and objective opinions and assessments. There is a high level of distrust for company-generated propaganda and people tend to check this against other sources of information. Companies need to prove their openness, honesty and sincerity in their own communications.
Studies show that the quantity and quality of media coverage does affect the impact of the company’s advertising on public opinion.
In times of normal media coverage, news about your company works together with your advertising in creating positive attitudes toward your organization.
When news about your company increases and is extremely positive, the positive impact of your advertising becomes lower than normal. People “do not need” your ads anymore since they have already been influenced positively by media coverage.
On the other hand, when news about your company increases but is extremely negative, your advertising no longer has a positive impact and may even have a negative impact. Again, people trust the media coverage more and may think that you are trying to cover up or put a spin on the situation.
The bottom line in these studies is the realization that news has become much more powerful than advertising. With this information, your company should, therefore, adjust advertising to the level of news coverage your organization is receiving.
Of course, this is another incentive for corporate social responsibility so that your company earns only good news, and a lot of it, too.
ORIGINAL ARTICLE SOURCE:
About the Author: Global Business Watch aims to provide more and better avenues for sharing business-related ideas, by inviting community interaction primarily through blogging. Only a few years ago, blogging was proven to be one of the most effective tools for disseminating information on the Web. Professional blogs, especially, are valued as resources on data regarding the freshest and most relevant issues. The force of blogging rests mainly on its power to inspire insight and influence opinion, so that no one is left behind, or left without a voice. GBWatch aims to become a discussion hub for industry bloggers everywhere, and to become a powerhouse of business-related information on the Web.
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