Are your customers upset? Are you getting a lot of complaints lately and things are turning a little hostile on your Facebook page? Is your Twitter feed blowing up with confused and irritated clients due to a misunderstanding?
Occasionally things go wrong with any company. A product will perform less than expected or customers will be upset for one reason or another. When this happens you have to react in a way that will calm the situation down. Sometimes, the best reaction is to take the steam out of the situation with a little humor.
A Little Goes a Long Way
This isn’t to say you should have a comedic routine readily available for every little bump in the road. When it comes to being fun and witty in PR a little can go a long way. Too much and it makes it seem like you’re practicing for the Chuckle Factory later rather than helping them with their problem.
However, that “little bit” can do wonders for a tense situation. If you sell bicycles, say, sometimes you could “put the brakes on” or “get back in the saddle.”
Of course not every situation is going to call for a good laugh. If you suddenly wake up one morning and find out your CEO has been arrested for embezzlement, no amount of hilarious jokes and “Oops! :O” will calm everyone down. In fact, it most likely will make the situation that much worse.
So naturally you have to use some common sense. However, that’s ultimately what separates the PR pros from the PR amateurs in the first place. Most of PR and social media is thinking quickly on your feet during every situation. If you’re making jokes when you’re CEO is likely going to prison then maybe PR is not the line of work for you!
Everyone’s a Comic
If you’re thinking of going this route you have to be prepared for at least a small amount of backlash. For whatever reason everyone thinks they’re the perfect judge when it comes to comedy or even the slightest amount of wit. Whether or not you’re actually funny is beside the point – some are just looking to tear somebody down.
This may be why many companies don’t try for all out humor in their marketing and PR efforts. Often when you see a “funny” commercial or PR campaign it stays in the “corny” section of comedy. While most people roll their eyes at the corniness it tends to stick with customers while being safe at the same time.
Speaking of “safe” – be careful not to go too far with any joke. Just because you laugh out loud in the privacy of the office doesn’t mean it’s ok to put up online. Make sure to consider your audience and if the remark can be taken out of context before you hit enter.
Do you try to make jokes and be witty online? Or is there too much potential for it to backfire?
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download your free copy of 8 Shocking Secrets Press Release Distribution Firms Don’t Want You to Know here: http://www.ereleases.com/landing3.html