Watch it: Every customer can be a journalist!

Monday, 7 March 2011 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

With over 50 companies planning to launch IPOs this year in the stock exchange, safeguarding the reputation of the organisation will be a key task especially given the trend of where every customer having the potential of being a journalist by just a Tweet, Facebook wall post, A Four Square entry,

Social Text message, web site up loads or any other IT platform that can reach millions of stakeholders within a few minutes  commented Professional Marketer Rohantha Athukorala addressing a communications workshop that was staged at the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce auditorium recently.

A case in point shared was at an International star class hotel a customer who had caught a stomach bug updated millions of potential customers by just using a viral social media platform that resulted in the President of the hotel chain having to personally attend to the issue as it was hitting proportions to be a global PR debacle for the organisation. Which explains the importance of this new development said Athukorala.

What is interesting to note is that according to the 2010 Consumer New Media Study, 62% of consumers believe they can influence business decisions by voicing opinions via new media channels whilst almost a quarter having contributed their point-of-view in the last three months on product complaint that resulted in millions of on line viewers getting exposed to an issue.

The research also indicated that 24% had contacted a company directly and exerted pressure to react to the complaint reported which was alarming. But the most staggering was that 74% expected the companies to join in the conversations about their corporate responsibility practices post handling a product complaint issue on a social media channel which gives the new corporate the power of this media to hurt the brand reputation, reported Athukorala.

The speaker thereafter elaborated on the recent trends seen when it comes to industry communication campaigns. Here the corner stone of success accordingly to him was that the major players of the sector talking in one voice so that the state can be clear on the requirement of the private sector.

This will help fast track a single idea driven communication campaign just like what the Apparel Industry is onto with the ‘Garment without guilt’ campaign or more lately the ‘Ozone Friendly Tea’ proposition of the Tea Industry, commented Athukorala. He urged more sectors to develop industry specific campaigns so that together a Nation Branding campaign can be orchestrated which is the need of the hour for Sri Lanka.