Ok, so something went wrong. What are your PR saving tactics?
Step one – marketing professional apology.
The first step in your PR strategy to recovery is to apologize. Do not justify or explain your actions. The audience is already upset, and justifying how and why you did what you did that made them angry will naturally upset them further. A PR professional will likely advise you that justifying yourself comes off as an excuse or not communicating that you hear the customer’s complaints. The customers need an apology. Instead of explaining what you meant to relay in your communication and inadvertently failed at, apologize and recognize their feelings. Be honest and sincere. See things from the customer’s perspective and let them know you understand and sincerely apologize.
Step two – take a marketing time-out.
Second, on your list, and only to be followed by step one, is to let things settle down. Now that you have offered an apology and the audience knows that you heard them take a step back to let the waters calm down. Dial down marketing efforts to a minimum. Please don’t throw in their face the rise of the next big thing. Rushing into the next media campaign makes them feel like you’re trying to avoid or undermine the issue by moving on to something else. The audience needs time to heal. Moving forward too quickly with a new campaign takes away from your apology.
Step three – thoughtful followthrough marketing.
The next step is to follow up on your claims. Follow through with actions that show value to the audience. Bring your advertising back in a way that helps support everything you just promised them as a correction and apology. Your marketer will focus on your wording so as not to undermine or instigate the audience further. Follow through by showing your company values and supporting the importance of your audience.
For example, covid vaccinations are a touchy topic and must be approached delicately so as not to be offensive. Budweisers social consciousness covid vaccination marketing campaign addressed the issue from a brilliant advertising viewpoint. Budweiser’s content marketing strategy focused on social occasions and the feelings we get from social connections. It did not attempt to push people into a decision about getting the vaccine but recognized the people’s concerns. The message of, “Good times are coming. Now we have a shot.” rang true for the audience and came through clearly as understanding the importance of connections. In this way, Budweiser supported its audience’s values and beliefs. This PR advertising campaign is a prime example of focusing on the wording to support your target audience’s views. It is not an easy thing to master.
Step four – generational marketing.
Finally, consider the generation of your target audience. Hone in on what matters to that particular generation. Generations do not all hold the same core values. Each generation, having gone through different world experiences, actually sees the world differently. If you are going to connect to a specific era, you’ll need to understand what they value and why. Generational marketing helps you build a stronger bond with your customers. Concepts creating a generational marketing plan develop from within the beliefs, attitudes, and world experiences that the specific generation lived through and was brought up in. These feelings and events distinguish them from other generational groups. Find your target audience’s age and decipher what values that generation is known to hold as important. Your new marketing tactic will work around the values for your generational target audience.