Because blogs circulate quickly, companies are finding they must respond more urgently to stories that could damage their corporate reputation.
Example: When a blogger wrote about the harmful effects of diacetyl, an additive in microwave popcorn that provides a buttery taste, the story started snowballing. Cathy Yingling, managing director of Young & Laramore, a public relations firm that represents Pop Weaver, read the blog item that morning via Google Alerts.
Within hours, she wrote a note to the editor saying that since Pop Weaver had removed diacetyl, it was just as healthy as organic popcorn. Within days, Yingling’s team had written letters to about 100 blogs that had republished the story.
Why? “We see blogs as equal to mainstream media,” Yingling says, since most consumers don’t differentiate between them.
The result: Because of its proactive response, Pop Weaver’s sales have stayed constant while overall microwave popcorn sales are down.
—Adapted from “Don’t Let Blogs Pop A Firm’s Reputation,” Gary M. Stern, Investor’s Business Daily.