Trylon Communications  - Volume I Issue 8
       

Promises Unkept

What is one of the biggest PR blunders a company can make? Failing to live up to promises has to rank near the top of the list. When companies try to stand out from the pack, they must fight the urge to take a little "license" -- as later events can place you in dire circumstances.

It is easy to make a casual remark to a journalist, to promise something to a shareholder, or to "leak" expected news that you can't verify or substantiate. With all of the pressures on executives to perform, optimism can turn quickly into irrational exuberance. That's when your company's reputation can take a hit.

What is the easiest way to keep your name from being sullied? It's a major plus if your internal corporate communications are clear and everyone is on the same page. How many times has a marketing person said something to the media, and then asked the company's IT person if what was just said could even be possible? When all your executives share common goals and objectives, a more cohesive story can be circulated.

Many companies delegate all media inquiries to a single staff member or outside agency. By keeping all correspondence and external communications originating from a single point, the possibility of issuing compromising statements is reduced substantially. Take a good look at your PR structure and be sure that all employees are trained to refer outside inquiries to the appropriate parties.

Professional public relations executives at an agency make sure they verify statements and stories before contacting the media. Because they are not a part of the company, they can be more objective about information and how it is presented. The goal is always the same - to receive attention in the media - but the path followed can be different, with differing results!