Damage limitations – can life be the same after a crisis

10/19/2011 // United Kingdom // emilie.legrand // Punch Communications

In an article reported in the Media Guardian, BlackBerry smartphone maker Research in Motion (RIM) has announced that all of its customers affected by its outages over the past week will be entitled to $100 or £63 worth of free apps as a thank you for their patience. The Sims 3 and Bejeweled might be a nice sweetener for customers, but is the damage rectifiable for prospects, asks online PR agency Punch Communications.

“Handling a crisis is never any easy task,” explains Georgina Dunkley account director at social media agency, Punch Communications. “There are certain rules to follow, including being transparent about the problem and rectifying the situation as quickly as possible, but for a global consumer brand like BlackBerry will the damage be irreversibly severe?

“Take Toyota over 2009 and 2010, the brand was in and out of the news following a series of global announcements of faults with its cars which resulted in the recall of in excess of 5 million vehicles. As a communications professional I certainly felt for the brand but as a consumer any interest I ever had in buying or leasing a Toyota quickly evaporated.

“Although a fault with a phone is not as potentially threatening as the risk of a car failure, I still noted the many mentions on social media channels of people rejoicing the fact they didn’t have a BlackBerry while those that did, were happy to publically blast the brand. Giving away ‘free stuff’ is always going to put a smile on people’s faces and for those customers already committed to a BlackBerry contract is it just business as usual? Indeed it would be interesting to learn the impact the negative news will have on those who will be perusing the internet or visiting mobile phone retailers now and over the next few months, looking for the best smartphone deals to tie into – will their perceptions of BlackBerry be tainted by this recent misdemeanor or will the premise of ‘paying to make it all better’ go a long way to making people forget there was a problem in the first place?

“Either way, BlackBerry’s generosity has made national news, an effectively positive PR stunt to detract from the negative stories of last week. In will be interesting to see what its long-term reputation management strategy will look like.”

Punch Communications is one of the UK’s leading SEO agencies and it handles a number of integrated PR briefs for clients operating in the technology, retail and telecommunications sectors. For further information visit www.punchcomms.com.

Social Media Tags:Online PR, Public Relations, Technology PR, Damage PR, Crisis PR

Newsroom powered by Online Press Release Distrubution – SubmitMyPressRelease.com