Monday, September 10, 2012

Avoid Bad PR In Telemarketing And Other Marketing Channels


Don't be fooled when a few na├»ve individuals assume bad PR is only a B2C disaster. It's very much a real threat in B2B marketing too and can occur as the result of bad practices including telemarketing, social media, as well as email.

Whether a product or service is B2B or B2C, you do not want your marketing tactics to result in a bad public image. In fact, even the act of switching from, for example, telemarketing to social media, will not necessarily cleanse the stigma your business has put upon itself.

If you want to start with a basic example of what bad PR looks like, you can check out this article from Jezebel:

... it seems that consumers have now taken the mocking of the product into their own hands via Amazon UK, a site where you can now find page after page of brilliant and hilarious fake product reviews from clever users...”

Do you want your own product to be the object of similar humor? If not, then take note of how each marketing tool can result in bad PR, what you should do to prevent these disasters from happening.

Telemarketing Services

There's never a shortage of telemarketing parodies out there. The examples range from call center agents with strange accents to raging arguments between a representative and a customer/prospect. This is, in fact, a real shame because even cold calls can turn out well if they're done professionally. To avoid this, make sure your agents record their calls and allow you to review them on occasion. Be the first to discover something that's worth turning your business into a laughing stock so you can quickly act before it escalates into a disaster.

Social Media

Social media marketing may be new but that's exactly what makes it ripe for easy PR disasters. Pam Moore of socialmediatoday funnily describes one example:

You are not alone if you feel that your social media program has gotten a bit out of control. Do you wish you had a social media policy? Have no idea what is being published when by your social media team? Have nightmares about a PR crisis or waking up to see a picture of you passed out at your desk on the cover of your Facebook timeline as a joke by your social media team?”

The article gives a lot of its own advice on prevention but the bottom line is, make sure your business doesn't embarrass itself on any social network. Stick to a relevant image and establish focused objectives centered around why you're using social media in the first place.

Email

Here bad PR can occur in a more subtle yet sinister way. One day you think your email blasts are being received and read. All of a sudden you learn that you're being marked as a spammer. It's as if nobody makes fun of you but everyone quickly ignores your message. That's just painful (especially when your lead generation group is now pressed for time). You can't afford this kind of delay so take a good, hard look at your templates and subject lines. Be unique. Be personal. Avoid looking like spam. It's that simple.

If you're outsourcing any of these tools (or even all at once), it's even more important that your provider doesn't embarrass you! It's not a matter of what method they use but how it ultimately results in a good image that can't be mocked. Cheap lead generation means nothing if it results in bad PR!

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