In today’s day and age, each brand’s public relations strategy needs to move at the speed of light. Or, at the speed of Twitter. But, essentially, they’re the same thing.
Not to give him any more attention than he deserves, but if we look at the case of Tiger Woods, we can learn a lot about how people will always fill the void if nothing is being said. It took him excruciatingly long to come out with his side of the story, and what happened? Everyone and their mother came out with their side of the story. Now, if Woods had come out with his side at a much more reasonable pace, the fourteen or so women most likely all wouldn’t have tried to claim they had the inside scoop.
The exact same thing happens in business. If something negative and newsworthy happens, and a business keeps their lips sealed for more than an ample amount of time that it would take to whip up a press release, quick tape a YouTube video and start tweeting about the issue, people will begin to fill that void. Whether it’s with assumptions and rumors, or just plain bashing the brand for the simple fact that nothing’s been done.
So, the moral of the story is that if you want to avoid the rumors and the negative chatter, especially in a place as visible as the web, it’s imperative to create a plan of action for public relations mishaps and act as quickly and efficiently as possible.
However, on the other hand, a void can work to your advantage – but only if you already have a very loyal fan base. Take Apple for example, they rarely come out with information about new products until it’s time for Steve Jobs to give his keynote. This void often creates a lot of hype, and positive (although potentially led astray) rumors. So, if you are going to allow a void, make sure it’s only about things that will create hype around your brand.