The word ‘Neighbour’ or in US parlance, ‘Neighbor’ is very much part of the political lexicon at the moment, not least because of the deterioration of relations between the USA and Mexico, thanks to President Trump’s intention to separate the two nations with that wall.
When it comes to business though, many companies struggle to communicate effectively. Indeed, there are plenty that, based on public opinion, seem to make it their business to put up metaphorical walls to make it difficult for customers to contact them.
A business needs to be aware of what people think and say about them and have the pulse of its customers. This requires tact, diplomacy, empathy and pragmatism. Companies need to manage expectations and keep people informed. This becomes even more critical in times of crisis. The world has become very transparent and companies ignore this fact at their peril. Reputations can be lost in a matter of hours on social media and it can take years to win back trust. According to the boss of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, ‘We inhabit the world of public relationships.’
According to St Albans PR Blackbird, managing customer expectations should be at the heart of all communications and PR activity. When planning content generation, always consider its effect on brand reputation. Huge growth in social media and the advent of ‘citizen journalism’ has created a need for companies to cut through the noise and dross with clear, appropriate, meaningful messaging.
As a business, consider your customer relationship. Think of it in terms of your customer being either a ‘friendly neighbour’ or ‘long lost relative’. That might help to understand how best you are communicating with them.