Public relations scholar Lisa Lyon makes the point that reputation, unlike corporate image, is owned by the public. Reputation isn’t formed by packaging or slogans. A good reputation is created and destroyed by everything an organization does, from the way it handles conflicts with outside constituents.
I totally agree with Lisa Lyon statements about how reputation are created and destroyed. My Dad once told me: ” You can’t control what is said about you, but you can control what is said.” To take Lyon thought a little further the King James Version bible states that:
“A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.”
So therefore you would think that would be the motto of all companies or organization. However, that is not always the case some companies choose to have riches over a good name.
Netflix + paid actors = Epic Failure
In 2010, VP of communications Steve Swasey hands were caught in the cookie jar when customers learn that hired actors to attend a press event in Toronto. The extras were told to act “very excited,” and especially be cheerful to the media. As you could imagine Swasey spent the day attempting putt out this fire the more he tired to put it out the more he just fanned the flames. Making what was already an embarrassing story into a Epic PR Failure.
Eventually, Swasey waved his white flag in a blog post cleverly titled: “We Blew It.”
He confirmed the story is true:
“The launch included the shooting of a corporate video with some hired extras, who, it turns out, were given improper direction to talk with the news media about their enthusiasm for the Netflix service. This was a mistake and was not intended to be part of our launch plan. Simply put: we blew it. We didn’t intend to mislead the media or the public, and we can understand why some have raised questions. We’re sorry that our misfire has given Canadians any reasons to doubt our authenticity or our sincerity.”
Sooo, NetFlix has money to pay extras to deceive. Not that i would want to be deceived but i would rather to be deceived by famous actors. Extras Netflixs Really Extras! Then out of the blue Netflixs announced a new pricing structure that will raise some customers monthly bill by 60 percent.
According, to Think Public Relations:“Public relation professionals must develop communication strategies and process to influence the course of conflicts to the benefit of their organizations and, when possible, to the benefit of the organizations’ many constituents. The deliberate influence is called strategic conflict management.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said,”Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”
From the reputation side of things i have tip my hat to Netflix for owning up to their mistakes. I felt that Swasey truly lived the above quote of Ralph Waldo Emerson that day and the days after this pr nightmare. Sometimes it’s the pr job to take one for the team.
However, from Image restoration side of things Think Public Relations also states that:”reputation repair and maintenance is a long- term process, but one of the first steps in the process is the final one in the conflict management life cycle.”
Commentors accused Netflix of being greedy and alleged it was trying to “choke more change” out of its customers. Others suggested refreshing the streaming content to justify the price change. Others said they would be leaving Netflix. From reading some of the customers comments Nerflix has a serious image restoration reputation to repair.
Deceiving reporters and the public in this manner violates several principles of PRSA’s Code of Ethics:
– Failure to disclose information. Netflix was not honest about the identity of the attendees. This decreases trust with the public.
– Failure of free flow of information. Honesty and accuracy are vital in maintaining a good relationship with the media and the public.
– Failure to enhance the profession. I’m sure many PR professionals are shaking their heads in disbelief right now. Many professionals work constantly to strengthen the public’s trust in PR, and blunders like these are a big blow.
For those reason and other reasons I feel is the main problems that Netflix is losing the public’s trust. I must admit I am a user of Netflix services the price increase has yet become an issue for me. I share the service with my parents and my older sister and we split the cost amongst ourselves. I am I upset with the price increase?- no i am not because my family and I no longer has cable. Compared to what my sister and I was paying for cable at out apartment and what my parents were paying we are happy with the price of Netflix. I do understand the frustration of customers when you get use to paying for something at one price and all of sudden it changes without any heads up. That is no way to treat loyal customers or new customers. If they were planing on making these changes then they should have made their customers aware of these possible changes a head of time.
I feel Blockbuster is a great example of a company that was too big and too slow to make changes in their business philosophy and strategy soon enough. Instead, the changes they made were re-active, not pro-active and too little too late. Blockbuster CEO’s were content solely on being greedy. This is a PERFECT example of what will happen to a company, if/when it refuses to consider it’s own longevity, in the grand scheme of things. As a result, Blockbuster CEO’s had no choice to have a intimate business date with Chapter 11.
I strongly suggest that Netflix tighten up those britches the service they offer is a Great one don’t go messing up a good thing. Deceiving and messing the cost is not the route you want to take for increasing success. Netflix should learn from Blockbusters mistakes and try their hardest to avoid making the same mistakes. They will get hit where it hurts them the most and that is in their pockets ” company’s shares wise.” I feel that Netflix is still a new enough company to bounce back from their mistakes. There maybe be a bitter-sweet relationship with their customers but i am sure “Some” will remain loyal. As the old saying goes: “if it is broken why fix it?”
– Dee Moore