April 16, 2013


crack in stoneRBC has more marketing might when we do. That was not enough to spare them from PR trouble with iGate last week. They certainly looked unprepared. Were you surprised?

The unwanted attention continues. Today’s most recent articles are about how journalists spun RBC (Huffington Post) and that RBC doesn’t owe us an apology but the federal government does (Toronto Star).

The RBC story shows how quickly bad news spreads via media and social networks. The attention was difficult to predict since many other companies (including banks) operate the same way. There is no way to squelch or delete them the reactions.


Big companies have great difficulty making sincere apologies, especially if they don’t plan to change their business practices. Responses often come slowly and don’t feel genuine. They read more like an advertisement than a confession. There’s a reluctance to say anything that could bring liability or hurt share prices.

Here are some well-known but less-than-convincing apologies from Apple (IGN, Sep 2012) that even mega-fans would have trouble believing.

What Would You Do?

You don’t fix a leaking roof during a lightning storm. Ask yourself what would happen if you faced bad PR. You can pretend you’d be spared and stay unprepared. That's not a great strategy. The Internet has a long memory.

As a defensive strategy, you could behave well by doing the “right” thing. Your digital tapestry will show that an unfortunate event is an outlier. Most mistakes are forgivable.

You can't build a history the day you need one. You can start now. You build your history a day by day. You collect supporters in the same way. What are you doing?


PS I’ve got a workshop on how to earn public trust on Apr 23, 2013. Bankers are welcome too.

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