ChicExecs VP of Public Relations and Digital Media, Kristen Wessel, shares how public relations is all about navigating political correctness in a politically incorrect world and three steps when taking a stand for what’s right on Forbes blog.
Businesses usually want to appeal to all customers and clients. That’s why so many organizations devote themselves to public relations — to develop a positive relationship with the public.
Recently, businesses have been responding to the Black Lives Matter movement in a variety of ways. In moments of crisis or during social movements, the way she sees it, your business can’t afford to stay silent. Passivity will not only harm your image in the long term, but it can also put you on the wrong side of history.
You have to draw a line in the sand. You can’t embrace naivete, color blindness or passivity when the world looks to you for a response. But how can your business show support where it matters without alienating your customers?
Three Steps for Navigating Social Movements as a Business
1. Know where you stand. First of all, what does your business stand for? What are your values? What do you believe in? If you believe in equality, for example, showing support for the Black Lives Matter movement aligns with your brand values.
2. Write messaging that reflects your values. Let’s say your values include being an anti-racist business. That’s great! But now isn’t the time to quietly uphold your values. Social movements require speaking up, especially when it’s hard to do so. There’s an inherent risk in taking a stance as a business, but if you stay true to your values, you’ll likely keep your best customers anyway.
3. Use your influence for change. Here’s the thing about political correctness: You can be politically correct, but you still have to take action. It’s not enough to simply voice your disapproval of violence against transgender women, for example.
Read Kristen Wessel’s full blog for more on how to remain politically correct in a politically incorrect world.