Public Relations is a key area for any business or entrepreneur. Even if we are a sole proprietor without a designated PR department, public relations is integral to our success. It is there to bridge the gap between our business and the consumers we hope to serve.
If we aren’t bridging a gap and leave more questions than answers, then we are failing.
Poor communication begets speculation-Jake Gambino
Public relations is
The NPC Meme
The NPC Meme was popular on Twitter and right-wing/conservative subreddits for a very brief period of time. For those who are unaware, the idea is that many arguments are so uniform that they resemble an NPC (non-player character) in video games.
Essentially, they are interchangeable statements and no one would notice if we swapped who said them. The meme was short-lived because Twitter started banning people with NPC handles or the NPC face as their avatar. It still occasionally pops up on some online forums, but it will never reach its past peak.
I bring this meme up because it is an all-too-perfect reflection of many business PR departments. They are ultra-passive and could easily be exchanged with other business PR releases.
Heck, I’m going to put on a tin foil hat and say that it has the appearance of 1-2 public relations businesses that get all of the contracts with major companies by using template responses. That’s how empty many companies appear to the public.
As an example of this, we will be taking a brief look at a recent PR blunder from the newly formed Blaze Media. My intent is not to belittle but to shine a light on what can happen if our PR strategies are poorly executed.
Blaze Media – Case Study
Blaze Media was recently announced as a merging of Conservative Review TV (CRTV) and The Blaze into a new media platform. For those unfamiliar with CRTV, it is an online video platform of various personalities that host their own show. The merged product, Blaze Media, is marketed as an alternative to the mainstream media and a platform where disagreements are allowed.
Around the same time that the merger was announced, Gavin McInnes’, a controversial figure, shows were removed from the platform. The most likely scenario is that it was contract time, negotiations were made, and an agreement couldn’t be reached. However, the combination of the merge, the departure of a controversial (and popular) figure, and the platform encouraging disagreements made for a nasty PR storm.
There was a lot of outrage, and what the customers got was a Tweet from Blaze Media, embedded below.
Talk about poor public relations. The goal for PR, as mentioned earlier, is clear communication between the business and the consumer. Poor communication breeds speculation, and almost immediately, there were claims that Glenn Beck (founder of The Blaze) is purging controversial voices.
I am of the belief that when there is a choice between malicious intent or poor communication, I lean towards poor communication. Poor communication is the root of so many issues in our personal and professional lives.
To add on to how big an oversight this appears to be, consider their audience-largely conservatives and libertarians. Moreso than others, conservatives tend to be reluctant (possibly paranoid) to trust large mergers and large institutions. We tend to be more tribal than those elsewhere on the political spectrum. When this merge happened, they should have come together to address this very primal reality of its base. And yet, the release we got was empty, devoid of any specifics, and ripe for speculation.
Now, I don’t want to be Captain Hindsight and only critique. I want to also provide some solutions that Blaze Media could take for their own use, and can be adapted to our own PR strategies.
Solution for Public Relations
In the case of Blaze Media, they should address this issue head-on. As of this writing, just under four days have passed since the Tweet announced the separation. That being said, silence is deafening and speculation continues to run wild.
By their own admission, Blaze Media’s policy is that personal matters will not be discussed. The first thing that should be done is take a look at that policy. Any policy that gets in the way of our customers and our business should face considerable scrutiny.
Next, I think Blaze Media and Gavin McInnes should consider a joint release. Without any information, there is only speculation.
There is a way to put information out there without sharing too many specifics. As an individual who does contract work, I understand the importance of NDA’s and non-competes. However, if our agreements cause a chasm between our business and the consumer, they are hurting us. Full stop (the kids still say that these days, right?).
In the case of
This is a hill I am willing to die on because it is such a universal concept. Clear communication, standing by what we are, standing against what we are not, and making sure to connect with those around us will provide success and satisfaction for all involved.
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If you have any feedback to give regarding this post (or others), please reach out to me. I want this content to be as engaging as possible. Please reach out to me on Twitter or email me at JakeGambino@marketingboon.com with any critique or ego-massaging praise.