Media is one area that is very important to a business and largely affects its reputation. According to Wilcox et al. (2015) there have been complains of how the activities of the mainstream media have had a negative impact on the reputation of companies to the extent that company executives have come out defensively on the way that journalists cover their businesses claiming that most of the media houses have been out to tarnish the names of their businesses. On the other hand, the media houses have indicated that they are faulted by the businesses because the CEOs and other executives do not allow them access to even the most basic information about their activities. However, it is almost impossible to allow media access to all the information on a corporate. It is therefore advisable that the corporate itself takes charge of its relations with the population instead of relying on the media which is likely to give false information about a corporate provided that they publish or disseminate information that draws the attention of the public. Social media is a development that has been taken over by corporates and is being used to replace the role that mainstream media has played in the functioning of corporates (Wilcox et al. 2015). In this light, an organization can use the available platforms to disseminate information about its activities and eliminate the chances of the mainstream media tarnishing its reputation. It is easy to get the attention of people by using sports. Corporates sponsor teams, tournaments and sports events and use them as a channel for communicating about their activities. Therefore, this paper will discuss how a company can reclaim its reputation by sponsoring a half marathon event event and creating an integrated social media platform that will be used to update people on both the track events and the operations of the company after a biased expose by a company in the mainstream media has damaged this reputation.
The company has suffered a blow in its reputation because of a story published on its recent hiring process. The media house published a story that indicated that the company had recently carried out a recruitment process and individuals from certain minority groups had not been represented. However, the management understands that the process of recruitment had been carried out purely on a competitive basis and there was no favoritism in the selection process based on any of the factors that had been cited by the media house that published the story. When contacted, the management of the media house and the journalist who researched on the story indicated that they had published it basing on the information that they received from the individuals who participated in the recruitment process. It is clear that the reputation of the company is damaged based on the reactions of the public on the sites on which the article was published. In addition, the group on which the allegations claimed to have been discriminated, women, have started to complain despite the fact they make 37% of the total employees in the company. The percentage of women was initially highest and though it has fluctuated to what it is today, it is a relatively high compared to that of men before the older generation of employees retired. In addition, it is impossible to obtain a 50-50 balance in an organization. Therefore, we cannot totally prevent such complains as there will always be a gender that will be above the others. Efforts made by the company in the past to achieve a balance led to a reduction in productivity because the hiring team had to deprioritize merit.
The objective of this campaign is to inform the public and the employees that the company has made efforts to ensure that there is gender balance in its workforce. Both the individuals who had access to the information that was published by the media house and our employees need to understand that it is our corporate policy obliges us to promote the development of both genders. In addition, the company understands that the female gender has undergone discrimination in the past in areas like education and employment. Therefore, as part of the affirmative action, the company has set aside 30% of the employment positions exclusively for women and there are no times when their percentage has gone below this. However, not all employees and the public are informed of this commitment and this is how the media was able to twist the facts about the recruitment process and tarnish the image of the company.
In the recent past, the company has not been able to connect much with people. Much of the media exposure has been done through mainstream media like television and billboards. These platforms are not very interactive as they do not allow the target audience to give their feedback and opinions. Therefore, this campaign is meant to get the attention of our market to social media where we will be updating them on the progress of the company.
The company will first sponsor a half marathon to commemorate one of the international days that mainly touch on the female gender. The event will hosted in the month of November which is the Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This event will be organized in collaboration with a women’s hospital and both the company and members of the public will be contributing funds that will help in organizing free checkups for women from poor backgrounds. Women’s breast cancer day is the most appropriate for this case since it draws the attention of people from all walks of life. Therefore, a social media platform with the company’s name will be created and will be used to get the attention of the public and invite its members into participating in the race. Mainstream media will also be used to advertise about the event and information about the social media platforms will be dispensed through this channel. To ensure that the public continues to pay attention to these platforms, there should be prior communication that the event will be taking place. Through this plan, the company will be able to redeem its image while at the same time spending very little money towards the whole event. All employees will be requested to actively take part in the event. However, the female employees will play the major part of organizing this event. The event is also meant to show to the public that women form a large proportion of our employees. In the subsequent days after the marathon, each employee will be posting updates and pictures about the activities of our organization. This will help inform the public about our activities and our inclusive workforce.
This PR plan aims at improving the company’s image both as an employer, a business entity and an agent of change in the society. Therefore, the first audience will be individuals who are looking forward to working with this organization. It is important that as an employer, we have a good reputation in public to be able to attract the best candidates whenever the company announces vacancies. The company is committed to helping the society overcome the social, political and economic obstacles. Health is key among these three aspects of social. Therefore, the company will target all local individuals who share these goals and have them run to contribute to funds that will enable women from poor backgrounds be screened for breast cancer.
The initial messages put on social media platforms and the mainstream media will be mean to draw the attention of the general public on the half marathon that will take place. The company will also use bloggers and also request the employees to use their social media accounts to spread the general public. During the event, the messages spread will be on the commitment of the company as a social agent of change and seeing that there is gender balance in the society. Afterwards, the employees will take over the platforms to inform the public about the need for gender balance and equitable access to opportunities like employment and amenities like health.
Three social media platforms will be created for this purpose; Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The name of the company will be used to refer to the marathon and also as the name of the three social media accounts. The other messages related to the marathon will be used to refer to these sites as they will be used in future to communicate about issues that are likely to create controversy on matters of gender like recruitment of new employees and general treatment of our employees.
August- Approaching one of the women’s hospital or a cancer facility and explaining to them our goals of creating a half marathon event on one of the days of the month of November which is the national breast cancer awareness month.
August-September-creation of social media platforms and promotion of these platforms by other employees and renowned bloggers using their own social media accounts.
October- Promotion of the day and the social media platforms using mainstream media like television and billboards. The social media promotion of these two will also continue during this month.
November- The marathon will be held on November 15th. During this month, we will also pen up participation of corporates and others can also join in this campaign.
November-August- The three social media platforms will be taken over by selected employees who will be using them to update the public about the activities of our company and developments in its efforts to act as an agent of social change, especially promoting equality within the labor force.
This calendar covers a full year and will keep recurring to ensure that we eliminate chances of companies in the mainstream media tarnishing the name of the corporate by publishing untrue information on our activities.
The budget for this plan is quite low. It will require that we increase our expenditure on advertising in the mainstream media in the month of October each year. In addition, the bloggers promoting our social media handles and the events will be given some payments. The budget will also include printing of banners, fliers and t-shirts and paying of the individuals who will manage the marathon. In addition, we will give some contribution towards the overall agenda of the event.
This program will be implemented in monthly segments. The ultimate goal of the program is to eliminate the ability of the media to negatively implicate the company. The success of this plan will depend on the number of people following our social media accounts. The target for each account is one million followers. The growth in the number of followers will be used to determine whether the implementation of the program is successful or not.
A company can take a lot of time building a positive reputation in the population. Such a company will be able to attract customers and also potential employees who will be willing to join it as a result of positive reputation. However, some companies in the mainstream media can easily spoil the reputation of a company in the eyes of the public by disseminating information that may be untrue. The only way to counter such events is by creating a close relationship with the customers and the general public from which the business draws its employees. Social media presents this opportunity where the employees and the management of the business can update the general public about the developments in the business. For our case, our company will create a half marathon event that will be used to raise money for free checkups for women from poor backgrounds. This vent will first draw the attention of the public to our social media followers. After this event, the platforms will be utilized to disseminate information about the activities of the company especially in promoting equality between the genders and as an agent of social change thus eliminating chances of a mainstream media company damaging out reputation.