Every organization, even the largest of companies, is subject to making public relations mistakes when responding to a crisis. As many have learned the hard way however, the most important factor is often how you respond. Ensuring your fintech’s public relations strategy includes a comprehensive crisis communications plan can help prevent a small mistake from turning into a much larger disaster that can erode customer trust. The latest white paper from William Mills Agency, Top 10 PR Nightmares of 2018, reviews PR mistakes made by some of the biggest companies in the world. Just one example that is highlighted is Lockheed Martin’s failed Twitter campaign.
Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest defense contractor, found itself in a social media frenzy last summer when what seemed a simple tweet asked followers to send an “amazing photo” of a Lockheed Martin item. Keep in mind, much of Lockheed Martin’s business specializes in the development of weapons systems and supporting material, so it’s perhaps no surprise that this campaign quickly went up in flames as angry “Twitterati” began posting graphic images of war in response.
The lesson here? Know your products and have a realistic idea of how your brand is perceived beyond just employees, customers and partners. Twitter campaigns that encourage followers to post images always carry a degree of risk – even for the most inoffensive of brands. Lockheed Martin failed to consider what types of images would be posted and how some members of the public would exploit the opportunity. Even if followers had posted “amazing” photos of fighter jets in flight, employees in manufacturing facilities or Lockheed’s products in space as part of a NASA mission, it would still have likely triggered some negative responses. In hindsight, the defense contractor would have benefited from a less controversial campaign, for instance, inspirational stories about veterans.
It’s easy to see how a creative campaign idea can easily -- and quickly -- backfire on a company. Working with a public relations team that specializes in your industry and that carefully considers various points of view can help prevent incidents like the one Lockheed Martin faced last year. The Top 10 PR Nightmares of 2018 white paper outlines ten case studies where companies ranging from Burger King to Marriott faced a public relations crisis and offers actionable insights that can be applied across industries, ultimately helping fintechs prevent a crisis of their own.