To put it mildly, Volkswagen has a PR crisis on its hands. With legal and recall challenges mounting and the story lingering in the press, we have some advice for Volkswagen and other companies facing public relations crises, namely to call their Consumer Insights Team to help navigate and influence public opinion. Several tools from the market researcher’s toolkit are essential for crisis communication management:
Social media sentiment analysis provides a rapid scan of the buzz and is available around the globe, with only a few exceptions. Tracking the day-to-day volume, valence, tones, topics and themes can help a company know how news and information are seeping into the public consciousness. These tools can monitor responses to events and news on a day-by-day basis. That said, social media will only tell you part of the story because not all opinion makers or impacted parties are active on social media.
We suggest taking a broader look at the market by utilizing real-time reporting from your Continuous Brand or Ad-Tracking Program. In our digital, social and mobile world, more and more companies are using real time trackers to enhance their ability to be nimble marketers, testing and tracking the impact of their tactics. Being in the midst of a PR crisis calls for this type of nimbleness. Real Time Brand Tracking can also provide a deep dive into important sub-groups such as current customers, key demographics or geographic targets.
A big part of crisis management is shaping and reframing the conversation, and Influencer Analysis can point your PR team to the loud voices swaying the conversation both online and off. Influencers can extend the reach of your messages and information to the broader market more swiftly.
Using Social Media Sentiment Analysis, Real Time Continuous Tracking and Influencer Analysis, your PR team can quickly gather the information they need to understand exactly where public opinion stands, accurately set a new course for the future, and adjust that course for potential hazards ahead.