The thought of receiving bad publicity has always been the worst fear for any PR practitioner .We live and work dreading the day we will wake up in the morning and find our brands languishing in bad press.
But on many occasions we release some news knowing that we will receive bad press for it and we can do nothing about it. When your client decides that they are reducing on their head count, all a spin master can do is to try and sugarcoat the whole exercise by calling it a “restructuring process that is aimed at re engineering the brand route to success” Ha-ha!! You are simple firing people because you cannot afford that wage bill.
|Kenya Presidential Debate|
Coming back home, it is clear that the first quarter will see the politicians dominating our dailies (see my previous blog) while many of the PR practitioners are cursing the editors for denying them an opportunity to boast their brand’s AVE, I see this period as an opportunity to do a lot of ‘house cleaning’ as a brand. This is the right time to carry out all the activities that would easily have generated bad publicity.
Incase your client is planning to carry out a restricting exxcersice, sorry I meant planning to fire people, this is the right time to do so because it will not only generate little interest in the media but it also a time where you can evade sensitive stakeholders like unions (FKE & COTU) because they are all focused on aligning themselves with the next government.
Recently, a local Telco successfully revised their mobile money rates, but because all and sundry were busy finding out who their next governor would be they literally survived a customer’s uproar. To me, that’s a clear case of a would-be PR crisis being executed well and in a timely manner.
My interaction with many crisis PR teams have revealed that marketers tend over-estimate the negative impact of bad publicity on their target audience. So this is the time to convince them to drop that shitty product that they have feared to pull out of the shelves ,after all most people do not have the attention span or inclination to pay close attention to the details until after they elect the new President, Governor, Senator, Women Representative, Member of Parliament and County Representative respectively.
Young PR Kenya speak: If the attention that was accorded to the Kenyan presidential debate is anything to go by, then any corporate can ‘escape with murder’ because we are all immersed in politics