Listening to the Komen Backlash: Why Social Media Monitoring is Important Before Crisis Hits Your Brand.

Posted on Feb 10, 2012 by

We live in a digital age.  Everyone is armed with technology, plugged into the digital world in all directions, sending and receiving information instantly.  Technology allows people to connect globally, connecting like minded individuals across geographic barriers, adding greater numbers and power to interest groups through their collective voices.
Last week the Susan G. Komen Foundation experienced the power of the collective digital voice when they announced that they were pulling funding from Planned Parenthood.  Regardless of the reasoning behind the decision, the Foundation underestimated the opinions and voice of those opposing their decision.  Komen, apparently, had not been monitoring or listening to what their audience was saying, and were forced to find out the hard way as a barrage of online criticism and national media coverage flooded the organization.  While much of the discontent was coming from the general public, some outspoken figures within the organizations board and ranks joined the masses, creating a significant enough threat to the reputation of the brand that the decision was reversed with resignations occurring at the top of the organization.

This is not the first, and definitely will not be the last example of public digital influence.  Most recently we’ve witnessed how powerful the public voice can be in response to the changes in Netflix’s business plan, Bank of America’s attempt to add a debit card fee and SOPA.  In an interview for CBS, Wired.com’s New York Bureau Chief, John Abell stated, ‘information is so rapid, so accelerated, so available to everyone, there’s no doubt what is going on in the psyche of civilization anymore.  So you have more pure information to decide what to do.’

Too often brands wait until a crisis has hit to begin listening to their audience.  While monitoring is critical in managing a crisis, knowing what your audience is saying about your brand prior to making changes is the most effective way to shape messaging, strategy, and decisions to preserve and even promote brand reputation, rather than putting it at risk. As we say at BuzzMgr, Inc., maximize benefits and minimize risks.  Monitoring can enrich and protect your brand. Monitor your buzz and listen to the whispers to prevent the screams.

Monitor. Listen. Engage. Measure….then lead!
Do you know what is being said about your brand? Who is saying it? If you want to change the way you engage with your audience contact BuzzMgr for a free demo of OUR  monitoring, social strategy and education services: info@buzzmgr.com, or call 1.704-541-5942

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