Rick Murray: How to deal with negative word of mouth


11:15 — Erin McDaniel introduces Edleman PR‘s President, Rick Murray.

11:16 — Social media gives people the power to say anything, to anyone, at anytime.

11:18– What could spark negative WOM?

  • Something that doesn’t sit well with a follower. Either something you said or something you did.

11:22– How can you minimize the chance that negative WOM will occur?

  • Have an outline that your whole company agrees on, this will keep your social media on point.
  • Have have a plan that helps to stop negative WOM from happening.

11:25– How do you deal with negative WOM?

  • Keep calm!
  • Tell the truth.
  • Be clear and transparent with your response.
  • Use counter measures: Create content that is SEO’ed and share-able with your community. This helps to educate and neutralize your negative WOM.
  • Fight the urge to get into arguments: Sometimes people are just looking for attention.

11:33– Prepare now before it’s too late.

11:35– Identify influencers who can help your brand.

Q & A

How important is it to determine what channel or person should carry the message.

-It depends on who at the company can influence and demonstrate the most expertise in that subject.

Do you see a convergence of teams when dealing with brand image and crisis management.

– Yes. There is a need to have a cross organizational flow that allows everyone to be on the same page.

Should you respond to every negative WOM?

-Yes, it is good to respond to as many as possible. But at the same time you should engage people who have a large social reach first.

Should companies work to build social media channels before they have a crisis? 

Yes. Having an established community helps to battle a mass WOM problem. Companies should work to build out these communities instead of thinking about it when it’s too late.

What is the amount of time that it takes for a company to win back customers after a huge WOM crisis?

It all depends on the companies. If the company has an established trust with the public it can be less time, but companies must work to build back trust.



About Joseph Holguin

Joseph is an Austin transplant from the dry desert of New Mexico. He spends countless hours on social networks and enjoys helping businesses grow via social media. Offline he enjoys mountain biking and eating tacos, but eventually those experiences are shared online too.

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