Thanks to technology and the internet, just about any Public Relation efforts can be considered global. With a couple clicks of a mouse, information can be gathered from around the world and communication is nearly instantaneous. Any organization could be scrutinized by any group at any point in time. To some, this poses as a problem to others, a solution. Either way, for the organizations with strong moral fiber, this could be free publicity and for the less morally sound companies; it could act as free publicity. However, your success is rated on the message receivers rather than the amount of messages you send so it is vital that you can relate to whatever audience you may have.
A great man by the name of Nelson Mandela has recently passed away. He was a global voice of reconciliation and well respected by all nations. According to the article, http://www.cnn.com/2013/12/10/world/africa/nelson-mandela-memorial/index.html here were world leaders from all around the world that made and appearance at the gathering to praise the “Giant of History,” including President Obama.
Simply showing up to this event is communicating to the people. It says that you appreciate everything Mandela has done in his lifetime and everything he stood for. The social impact of President Obama not showing up would devastate his remaining time in office.
President Obama also decided to go the extra mile and deliver a very moving speech at the gathering as well, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46wLTVNiUrI. As the leader of one of the most powerful and influential nations in the world, he felt it was his responsability to do so.
In order for an organization to be successful, there has to be a firm line of communication between leadership and workers. If an entire business can move forward with the same goals and attitudes, it would be a perfect world. It’s almost as if the decisions are being made behind the curtain. This is why having a strong relationship between your corporate decision makers and your worker bees putting in the effort. By communicating well with your employees it avoids suspicion and rumors flowing through your ranks because they trust your judgment.
However, there will always be turmoil to stir the fire. For example, an article on Bank of America recently having an intern suddenly die on the clock http://money.cnn.com/2013/11/22/news/boa-intern-inquest/index.html?iid=HP_River . They say he died of natural causes due to a rare disease, unfortunately they are also associating the results on stress and overworking with long hours. This draws a lot of negative attention to an already stereotyped industry. Naturally, employees are curious to what really happened and if not communicated with properly, the rumors will spread like wildfire. On top of that, their public will start to perceive them with a negative image which brings the question to your integrity as an organization.
Bank of America has some important decisions to make on the best way to handle this situation in the next few days. This clip describes the expected plan of action by Bank of America. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTr7EDpE0j4
The business world lives on the fine line that is considered “Ethics.” This is becoming an issue for PR professionals since there is always bone to be picked with most of today’s corporations. Unfortunately, there has to be more than moral fiber for a firm to become successful. This is where that fine line comes into play. Some will dance around the corners in order to make a profit even if it may provide a blow to their image. If that is the case, there is work to be done to reestablish a respectable reputation.
Wal-Mart is an excellent example. They are being accused of unlawfully firing employees who participated in protests last black Friday. These workers were fighting for better work conditions and should have been legally protected by the laws established by the union. This looks poorly un Wal-Mart’s reputation, it tells people that they want to intimidate their employees into playing by their rules. This negative publicity may cause an impact on their business, especially one black Friday, coming up next week. Wal-Mart must react positively in a way that can reestablish trust into their customer base.
An article, http://money.cnn.com/2013/11/18/news/companies/walmart-workers/index.html?iid=SF_BN_River gives more information on this case and states that there are more and more cases like that are popping up for Wal-Mart.