Today all businesses must be aware of their exposure in the media. Whether you are a for profit or a not-for profit company does not make a difference. It is important to monitor the exposure you get via all types of media; print, social media, emails, the airwaves, etc. Not only are company activities fair game for reporters, but in recent years the availability to use electronic communications for advertising, announcements, event notifications and other messages has become easier and commonplace. This article will not review the steps on how to use these various media, but will suggest processes to review reader reactions to your company’s actions and messages.
With today’s divided and skeptical public environment, a company must stay vigilant when there is media exposure, whether good or bad. A business typically has a mission statement and an ethical code by which it acts and communicates. How the public, both customers and potential customers, react to our actions and communications can be important to your overall business. By monitoring the news, and feedback from the public, we are able to respond to both positive and negative exposure. A common phrase we ask owners and managers is: “Would you like to see that on the evening news?” We like to see reactions and comments if they are positive, but many times they are not.
When I mentor a business on setting up email marketing, Facebook pages, web sites, blogs or any internet communications the first thing to remember is that reader feedback may be almost instantaneous. Comments on our Facebook posts, or sent to us via our web sites, could be damaging for our business. A dedicated employee should be assigned to monitor and review this electronic feedback daily. We suggest that you not start using these applications unless you are willing to regularly monitor reader feedback. The designated employee must also have the knowledge and understanding of the company’s mission, objectives, and ethics to sort out the troublesome feedback and either respond directly or relay it to the appropriate person in the company for a response. In most circumstances a quick acknowledgement and response is welcome by readers. Communication is what is important.
SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship. We have been doing this for more than 50 years. SCORE is associated with the Small Business Administration (SBA) and has 11,000 volunteers nationwide. SCORE.org has some wonderful resources available to everyone.
Tip of the Mitt SCORE is partnered with the Petoskey Regional Chamber of Commerce and mentors there on Tuesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon. We mentor in pairs and if the scheduled times don’t work for you, we will schedule a meeting outside of those hours at various locations such as the library in Petoskey, the library in Boyne City and various coffee shops. To make an appointment with SCORE in Petoskey, just call (231) 347-4150.