Two weeks ago I wrote a post about Chick-fil-A, and I tried to focus on their poor handling of public relations instead of picking sides. While the post got one of the highest click-thru rates we’ve seen, it also ticked off some people. One credit union even let me know they saw the post as a smear against the company and its owner, and unsubscribed. So I read it again, just to see where I crossed the line, but I still don’t see what they apparently did.
I understand that some people tend to get upset at any perceived slight, warranted or not. And it’s human nature to have an opinion.
But when you add in a way for everyone to broadcast their opinions on social media platforms, then mix in a media culture of using talking heads full of opinions to fill airtime, with an election year full of political parties and PACs running negative ads, on top of a weak economy that has elevated insecurities – well, let’s just say there is bound to be a whole bunch of ticked off people out there.
And I don’t see it ending any time soon.
So what does all this mean for your credit union?
Well, it doesn’t mean your credit union can’t stand for something you believe in. You just have to be willing to deal with any consequences. As long as everyone understands the difference between something that is crucial to your business v. just an opinion, that not everyone will agree with you if you state that opinion, and that you need to have an open channel for communication when someone disagrees with you, then you might have the beginnings of a PR crisis strategy.
You know, just in case.