4 ways to avoid PR disasters during the holidays

By Brooke Chaplan

The holiday season is a time for your business and staff to give thanks for the things they have in their lives. It’s about sharing time with one another and blowing off some steam to start the new year. However, sometimes blowing off steam and sharing time can lead to unfortunate public relations situations, especially when alcohol is involved. And given the stress many people feel during the holiday season, other types of blow-ups can occur, such as an upset customer expressing wrath on an online review site. If you’re worried about a PR disaster this holiday season, here are four ways that your business can avoid it.

Invest in your staff

Your staff is a big part of how your company’s reputation is crafted. When you have happy employees who love working for you, they tend to spread that reputation among others. When your employees feel underappreciated and overworked, your reputation plummets. If you need to add more employees during the holiday season to relieve staff stress, do so. It will help show that you care about the working conditions you’re providing.

Be active on review sites

One easy way to put a hit to your reputation is to have a past client or a competitor posing as a client post bad reviews of your company online. It’s important that you monitor the most popular online review sites like Yelp, Google, and Angie’s List. This way, you can be alerted right away if there is a negative review posted about your business. While you can’t delete them in most cases, simply reply in a thoughtful manner. When people see that the business is actively working to solve the problem a client had with the company, it makes your brand reputation better, not worse.

Stay social

Social media is a very popular way to communicate with your customers. You want to take the time throughout the holiday season to wish all your customers a happy holiday season and thank them for being part of your company. Remember that the holiday season is a time for appreciation. To avoid any sort of PR problems, ensure that you’re broad with your holiday wishes. While a post like ‘Have a merry Christmas’ may seem appropriate for many consumers, some that don’t celebrate this holiday will feel excluded. So, be sure to think broad in terms of how you post.

Ask for approval before posting about clients

During the holiday season, your business may participate in charity drives and other fundraising events. While you may think that everyone attending is okay with being posted on your company Facebook page about what they’re doing to help the less fortunate, that’s not always the case. Instead, be sure that you get consent from all attendees that you want to post pictures of for your social media account. For additional precaution, you can employ the help of law firm services to create a consent agreement you can have people sign.

The holiday season can be a time where we let our guards down and enjoy being close to one another. The truth is that for this reason, the holiday season tends to be the best time of year for a PR disaster. By following the four tips above, you should be able to avoid a PR disaster this year.


Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan.

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