Whenever I mention running an integrated marketing communications program, everybody in the room nods in agreement, as if to say, “Of course.” Whenever an individual marketing idea or subject comes up, however, everybody seems to jump at getting the task checked off the to-do list without putting a comprehensive, multi-pronged campaign together.
As a communications director at one of the largest public REIT’s at the time, I helped put together one of the first insourced reputation management programs in the industry.
That’s what makes multifamily reputation management so difficult to navigate for anybody who works for an organization they love and believe in. The moment you read a negative review from an angry resident, you feel it to your core, whether you were involved in the situation or not. You might feel angry, annoyed, hurt, sad, confused or any other negative emotion for that matter.
If you’re not monitoring what they’re talking about, you’re missing an opportunity to gather data that will be critical when you respond to them. Check the social media and review site feeds immediately. But don’t respond just yet. Wait for the facts to become clear.
Reputation management is a public activity and it requires the same attention that a media response would require. You are, after all, making a public statement and don’t want to harm your reputation while trying to manage it. To do that effectively, you need to collaborate with the experts in your organization for several reasons.
It’s easy to make critical mistakes that cost you more than help you when sending out communications in a vacuum. Collaboration is key to sending the right message to the right people no matter the situation, even when that crisis strikes at 5:30 p.m. on Friday.
Reputation management is as old as public relations itself. You might even be able to argue that they’re synonyms.
After all, that’s the job of the public relations professional – to manage the reputation of people and companies in every communication channel possible.
Finding legal and PR teams that collaborate well with each other is difficult, but when you do, the results are well worth the effort during a crisis. To do this, you have to understand why PR and legal differ and know how to effectively consider their positions and make decisions that are right for your organization.
“Build a booth and they will come” is not at all how it works, because, if we’re honest, we know hitting the trade show floor isn’t the first thing on the list for most owner/operators.