Good Public Relations
by Clay Marafiote
Here is an
article on Developing Powerful Public Relations.
If you could develop a powerful public relations program without
spending a dime, would you want to know about it?
I'll tell you how. But before I do, let me ask you question.
Have you ever been on the receiving end of a lame excuse? More specifically, have you ever called a company to check on a
problem or complain about an error, then have the person on the other end give you a canned response?
Did it tick you off?
Last week, we called our local phone service/DSL provider, I won't use their name, but it kind of sounds like "horizon" because our DSL went down. Customer service said the problem would be handled that day. Well,
to make a long story short, it wasn't. We called the next day only to be told a technician would be right on it. When it wasn't fixed by 2:00, we called again. This time, the response was our DSL would be up by November 9. "November 9? You said someone would be here today!
"Sorry sir," came the reply, "but the computer sets the schedule. We don't have any control over the matter." He continued with a meaningless, uncaring, corporate sounding explanation, nothing
more than lame excuses.
So, what's the moral behind this customer service episode and ticking public relations bomb?
This: It's a huge PR mistake to underestimate a customer's intelligence by making them settle for a shallow, canned answer.
If a customer tells you that your price is too high, tell them why you have it priced that way. If you mess something up, tell them "You're right, I messed up."
If you don't know the answer to a customer's question, be quick to admit it. Promise to find out and get back to them. Even an angry customer will suddenly calm down when they see you are genuinely interested in helping.
To build a powerful PR program without spending a cent, start with the way you handle customer call-ins. With every problem comes a PR opportunity. When you give genuine answers, you'll find that most customers are taken aback by your honesty and come away admiring your character - and chances are, you'll win that customer for life.
Marketing Public Relations Resources:
- Advertising, Marketing, Promotions, Public Relations, and Sales Managers