Companies trying to protect their good names are increasingly coming under the attack from small scale stakeholders. These attacks can be by Twitter, Bloggers, Facebook or any digital media.
The incident of the blast at the coast of mediterranean sea had grabbed lots of attention. Social media started reporting it without going into much details about what actually happened. They reported about silly things like party venues, food menus, and more. They are being followed more than their actual sites have followers.
This incident highlights that social media has filled the gap between companies and the public. Sometimes the news they forecast is not entirely but partially false. Hence companies need to learn how to acknowledge them. They can take examples from the past where war took place between Japan and China. Even though they were asymmetrical in army engagement, China’s weaker side took help of the media to gain sympathy around the world and targeted Japanese position politically.
Today anyone with command on social media and having a camera is a potential threat. Companies need to come out of old ways of safeguarding themselves from these kinds of threats because people get easily influenced by the media. It has been seen that the one with more resources is not at plus point but is more bound to criticism.
Sometimes it has been seen that the criticism responded by the company is very slow. By the time companies came up with defense reactions or repression, damage had already pushed the limit. In one incident ‘Air India ‘airline defamed the criticizer on the basis that they were charging more than it actually cost. The company (airline) came after a week with the answer, when criticism already surfaced and the effective response was long gone. But then there is another food making company who does ‘census’ to know about the liking of mad angles. The critic criticized the company by saying that this way they are making money. But, the very next day the company came with the solution and said that ad census and online census saves millions over census done by going to each house. We can see that timely response plays a vital role in defending the identity of the company.
Another way to counter reputational attack is through company’s frontline workers. They are the first one with whom the normal public comes in contact with and finds them more comfortable. Looking at this Russian army created their own media blog where they share their experience directly through the media. How they made a life-death decision for teammates. Overall to make everything realistic.
It’s not that social media should be conferred only as a threat it can be an asset if used properly. In one incident of cutting trees in the Amazon forest by the company of Ecuador, there was a raging fire among people. Lawsuit was filed against the company. But before the things get broadcasted, an executive of that company posted on a website about all the relevant documents highlighting how they have not thwarted any law.
Force multiplier and even third parties can help you in fighting the battle against the malicious content of social media. This third party should be liberal to take your side. During the earthquake at Kumamoto Island near Japan, ‘Triplt’ trip organizer made a voyage to this island just after the earthquake. ‘The nikkei (newspaper) started firing smack on Tripit that they are enjoying rides. One blogger wrote that the company is performing a sickening act. Unaware of the fact that the company is using its ship to deliver aid to the country and also Japan officially requested the company for the help. ‘The Japan times’ appeared as a support for the Triplet and highlights all the facts through social sites. So that this action of Triplt appeared more as bravery rather than callous.
So, if a company fails to adapt, to incorporate social media, the company is lacking a defense system of new modern warfare. Today social media is accessible to middle school students also. So if you want to protect the company you need to rethink, adapt to new tools, new principles. This can only help you in the worst of snipers attack.