08.12.2013 | Heather Campbell
Communications professionals (including the Communiqué team) often tout corporate blogs as a way for businesses to create a voice, connect with their audience, drive thought leadership and increase website traffic. While this is all true, corporate blogs can become especially handy when a company has a crisis on its hands – especially if the company is a small to medium business that does not typically draw massive media attention.
When a company like Microsoft or Apple has a crisis on its hands, any statement it publishes on its website will be widely distributed and rehashed in the media. However, when a smaller to medium- sized business is embroiled in a controversy, this might not be the case. And, smaller businesses can still be involved in media crises – whether it be a bout of food poisoning from a franchise of restaurants, a hack of a company’s information, or the behavior of an employee (like the recent twitter controversy between food truck Milk Truck’s employee with Glass Lewis & Co.). Having, and making use of, a corporate blog can be an effective way for smaller to medium businesses to handle crises. Why?
- Blogs provide a platform for an immediate response. Journalists and consumers alike might ask for an official statement if your business’ name is brought into a scandal, and by publishing a blog post you can articulate your perspective, clarify any inaccurate information and explain what you are going to do in response to the situation. And, with your own blog have control when it goes out – you can post it immediately.
- You can share your unfiltered point of view. Your blog presents the opportunity to tell your story, your way, and to get your perspective and point of view across. No, this is not the time to play the blame game – you’ll still want to abide by crisis communications best practices (see “What Not To Do in Crisis Communication,” for more insight). However, you’ll be able to clearly communicate your business’ involvement in the crisis.
- You create authenticity. A blog is a vessel for you to speak to consumers, media, investors and other interested parties. While the blog may have been carefully crafted, it does not have the deflected feeling that an official press release might create. Rather, readers are getting your opinion, emotions and voice, which will come off as a more real reaction, rather than a stiff corporate one.
- Blogs remove the middleman. Rather than interested or affected parties hearing about the crisis from an outside source, they’ll hear directly from you. A lot can be misconstrued in a chain of communication; much better to deliver the news yourself, in the way you want it delivered.
If your business is in the midst of a crisis, or you are simply looking for ways to prepare, consider creating a blog or how you might leverage an existing corporate blog. A blog can be a great way to reach consumers and media alike, and to control the message your company is putting out about an issue at hand.
For more on crisis communications from Communique PR, see:
For more on corporate apologies, see:
- The Art of the Corporate Apology, Forbes
- Best Corporate Apology Ever Posted on Twitter?, AdWeek
- Apple’s Map Fail and More Corporate Apologies, The Daily Beast
- Tim Cook Apologizes for Apple’s Maps, the New York Times: Bits