Ten Years Damaging Reputation: The Streisand Effect and How to Avoid It.
via Experience the Blog by Augie Ray
This is not the first time I’ve written about the Streisand Effect, and something tells me it will not be the last. Of course, preventing the Streisand Effect is really quite easy. If a piece of incorrect or damaging information begins to circulate, the recipe to avoid danger is:
- Stop! Do not act until dispassionate logic has the upper hand over emotional reaction.
- Do not rely solely on lawyers for guidance. For both action and communication decisions, involve PR, reputation management and social media professionals for counsel.
- Appreciate that the offending information is on the Internet and will never disappear. Your goal is not to get it removed but to react in a way that mitigates damage.
- Do not overreact to the situation. Take stock of how much the information is really spreading, if the company’s customers and prospects care, and whether it will impact the company’s reputation and business. Sometimes, no action is better than anything else.
- Be transparent and embrace openness. Show people you have nothing to hide, care what they think and are open to feedback.
- Do not hesitate to correct—but not censor—erroneous information. Combat misinformation in the same channels it is spreading. For example, fight video with video—you cannot counter a viral YouTube video with a press release.
- Engage consumers, advocates and influencers in a conversation. This is not a shouting match but a dialog.
- Admit fault where there is fault. You cannot hide from the court of public opinion, and pleading guilty will often do more to end the spread of damaging information and enhance reputation than trying to evade.
- Do not, under any circumstances, post and tweet the same canned language time after time. This is like throwing gasoline on a fire, and it will only make matters worse. Avoid corporate speak and talk like a person.
- Lastly, do not wait for a reputation event before you consider how to address one. Be prepared. Have a plan. Drill on it, to make sure your tools, processes and people are ready.
Remember, these situation are not about information but about People (people who need people). If you want the Internet to not Rain On Your Parade, avoid Emotion, and soon Happy Days Will Be Here Again—you and your customers will be back to The Way You Were.
Augie really nails it here with data to back up the issue for a decade and actionable solutions for brands, networks and agencies alike. Brilliant.