A few years ago, if someone said Donald Trump was on the cover of People Magazine, most folks would just shrug and say, “of course he is.” Billionaire real estate mogul and reality TV star, why not? And, if you were to tell them the President was on the cover, those people would likely react with the same entire lack of surprise.
It was a story the readers of Rolling Stone were waiting for, practically salivating for. The tale of a real, tangible, horrible rape on a college campus. A woman only identified as “Jackie” claimed to have been beaten and raped by members of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity at the fraternity house during a party. It fit the narrative they wanted to read … and it certainly fit the narrative the reporter, Sabrina Erdely, desperately wanted to tell.
The Chicago Cubs are in the World Series for the first time in generations, and Cubs fans are feeling the love … but their favorite sports bars may not be sharing that love. Several sports bars in fabled Wrigleyville have started charging a cover for fans coming in to watch the games. Not all the bars are doing so, but some of the pubs are demanding upwards of $200 a head just to watch the game in their bar.
All is not well in the Philippines. President Rodrigo Duterte freaked the international community completely out by announcing his “separation” from Washington. The alarm was so loud and widespread, both in and out of the Philippines, Duterte was forced to come back and clarify what he “really” meant.
Taxi cab companies and ride services have been looking for Uber’s kryptonite for years now without much success. Lawsuits haven’t worked. Political action hasn’t worked. Petitions, drives, and commercials haven’t made a dent. People love Uber, and they are choosing the ride service by the millions.
It took years for Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and his negotiators to put together a cease-fire agreement with his country’s most violent and persistent militant rebel groups. But they did it. Then, when it looked like Colombia may have peace for the first time in most folks’ recent memories, the people voted to reject the peace accord.
All around the world, the stereotype persists of the millionaires and billionaires who inherit their wealth from Daddy and likely never worked a proper day in their lives. In America, however, the ‘American Dream’ reminds everyone that many of the wealthy were not born into wealth, but earned it through hard work and dedication. In fact, here are four billionaires in America, who inspire entrepreneurs everywhere to keep working towards their dreams:
Rapid response is one of the true boons for entrepreneurs and the businesses they represent. The ability to respond quickly on social media with a response to questions, comments, or news worthy developments is one of the greatest gifts that the age of instant communication has brought us.
Used judiciously, this ability can be an excellent public relations tool that places an individual or company directly at the center of breaking news and events. However, this is one media technique that must be used with restraint, caution, and a well developed sense of timing if it is to be fully effective.
Does Every Single Question Or Event Require A Response?
Perhaps the first question that will occur to the reader of this post is, “Does every single question or comment from a viewer require a response?” This might be quickly followed by another question, namely, “Does every single breaking event require a response?”
The answer to both questions is an unequivocal no. You don’t need to be on top of every single question that pops up on your Twitter feed, nor do you have to register an automatic response to every late breaking news event, particularly if the event in question has absolutely no relevance to your company or your brand.
Never Try To Turn A Tragedy Into A Marketing Opportunity
For example, if a tragedy occurs that gains immediate media coverage, do not try to turn your recognition of this event into a marketing opportunity. You are not required to post anything in response to a school shooting or disastrous fire or flood. If you feel the need to register a response, keep it brief, general, and purely personal, with no mention of the products or services you may have on sale at your physical location for that week.
What Are Your Qualifications To Make An Official Response?
Another important question to consider when debating whether to make an official response on your company’s official social media account is whether or not you are truly qualified to make any statement at all. For example, if a client posts questions concerning your company’s official cloud computing account, and you yourself don’t know anything about the process of cloud computing, it’s an excellent idea to let another, more experienced and knowledgeable, individual post a response.
Failing that, you might simply refer the client to your company’s FAQ page concerning cloud computing. In the end, it’s far better to post no response at all than to post a misleading or ill informed answer that proves you have no idea what you are talking about.
Never Post A Response In A Hurry Or Under Duress
The absolute worst time to post a response to a question or comment is when you feel you are being pressured by that client, or by other circumstances, to give a quick answer. In such cases, your response is guaranteed to be rushed, piecemeal, and probably very badly worded. In addition, the tone of your post could come off as abrupt or rude, thus creating a very bad impression of your company and its media skills.
It’s always better to carefully plan each response you make to a client, as well as each fresh new post that you make on your various social media accounts. What you lose in sheer spontaneity you will more than make up for in coherency and accuracy of expression. Remember always that every post you make to social media represents your company and its brand, whether in a positive or negative light.
It’s therefore to your advantage to always weigh your words carefully when speaking before an audience of millions.
The popular social networking website Reddit allows users to write messages in response to a submission by another user, known as a post. Reddit is divided into several categories called subreddits. One of the more popular subreddits, /r/IAMA, has over 7 million subscribers and averages nearly 12,000 concurrent readers.
AMA – Ask Me Anything
An Ask Me Anything (AMA) prompt is a way for an organization to interact directly with its user base. An organization registers a username and creates an AMA, which prompts users to ask questions about the organization.
Questions can include what the organization does, how it handles its day-to-day finances, how it deals with competition, or approach mundane topics such as what brand of butter the organization stocks in its kitchen. An AMA is an open invitation to the community to ask whatever it wants, however it wants.
Some of /r/IAMA’s most popular submissions include prompts from Barack Obama, Bill Gates, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Larry King, Bill Nye, Stan Lee, and Al Gore. In the case of Barack Obama’s AMA, there were a total of 23,907 comments and 5.28 million page views. Businesses make up almost 6% of the top 500 AMAs, with actors/entertainers leading at almost 16%.AMAs can provide a way for businesses to differentiate themselves from competitors. Rather than having to identify and target marketing points, a business can use the AMA format to learn what customers care about directly from the customers themselves. Not all AMA questions have to be answered; the Reddit platform allows users to sort comments by popularity, making it easy to separate serious questions from some of the sillier or more abstract questions. This is accomplished through a rating system where users vote on a comment or prompt, either approving it (upvoting) or criticizing it (downvoting) based on the nature of the submission.
Marketing through an AMA requires some initial exposure to the culture and atmosphere of Reddit. As of July 2013, Reddit’s largest demographic consists of young white males aged 18-29. Reddit users are somewhat less susceptible to traditional advertising approaches, instead preferring a more casual approach with genuine responses instead of generic pre-planned (or “canned”) responses. The benefit of Reddit’s comment system is that it doesn’t require immediate responses, allowing businesses to identify trends in user comments and formulate responses that will best answer a user’s question.
Creating an AMA is a fantastic way for businesses to gain direct user feedback without a significant time or monetary investment.
Innovation can be awesome. It makes something worse into something better. Unfortunately, innovation also costs whoever was doing it the “old way.” So, when it comes to changes in the marketplace, there is no win-win scenario. Someone is always left holding the bag. They are also left with a choice. Do they innovate along with the market…or do they try to stop history in the making?
Out With The Old
The past provides countless examples of both approaches, as well as the PR cost of trying to stem the tide of progress, but some companies refuse to learn from it. A recent federal lawsuit has shined the spotlight onto the practice of “hidden city” ticketing. This involves buying an airline ticket between two cities with a connecting flight, but ditching the rest of the trip. Harmless? Not so, say the airlines.
Travel gurus beg to differ. They are calling the practice “smart” and “cost conscious.” Airlines counter that they are losing revenue they could have earned by filling empty seats on those flights. Given the standard esteem with which consumers view airlines, guess which side is getting the most support?
Paying Extra Is Worth It To Consumers
It’s no secret that nonstop flights command a premium price. Airlines know that time and convenience conscious consumers are willing to pay more to avoid the frustration of layovers, lost luggage, and the innumerable delays that seem to arise from the otherwise simple practice of getting off one plane and getting on another.
Because of both what some consumers view as price gouging and the temptation to save a few bucks, many see nothing wrong with hidden city booking techniques. Then again, the airlines are legitimately losing money, so they do have a grievance. But regardless of how that grievance plays out in court, the airlines have already ceded ground in the PR battle.
Other airlines have chosen to take the, pardon the pun, high road. Instead of suing, they are enacting penalties on those who skip out on the last leg of flights. Consumers caught using hidden cities risk losing frequent flyer miles and, in some cases, repeat offenders risk having their accounts closed altogether.
PR Firm Needed to Fix Image
While this penalty may not mean much to the occasional flier, it could certainly give the business traveler pause. This is a solution most consumers would view as fair and viable. Try to skirt the system and pay a penalty. However, by pursuing this lawsuit, the airline in question has not only made millions more people aware of the issue, they have painted themselves as the enemy of cost-conscious customers.