My husband came home from a bike ride the another night with another story about someone who had nearly run him off the road and come perilously close to having caused a crash with two other cars. This, unfortunately, if not such an unusual occurrence. What made it stand out in his mind was this–there was a company name on the car.
While he wasn’t very familiar with the local construction company named, he certainly has a negative image of them now. And here’s the thing, it has NOTHING to do with how well they construct buildings and everything to with his experience (unwitting or not) with one person.
Do you think he’ll have good things to say about that company when their name comes up in conversation? While my husband is a nice guy, he’ll uncountably recount his ONE experience with ONE person from that company. Sadly, that company may never know the harm that one employee did to their reputation.
I think we can all agree we may behave a little better under the watchful eyes of the boss. So how do you make sure that your employees are representing your company in an outstanding manner no matter where they are? A lot of it comes down to corporate culture and probably has as much to do with how the boss behaves and treats the staff as anything else. Show me a boss who cares for and supports their employees and I’ll show you employees who go out into the world and show that same care and concern to others.
You really can’t BUY the positive Public Relations (PR) that comes when one of your employees stops the company car at the side of the road to help someone change a tire. It may not seem like a big deal, but those hundreds of cars flying past are filled with people who will notice and file that positive impression away for future reference.
While it’s not the standard business school method for creating a PR plan, having a positive company environment and happy employees will go a long way towards creating the very best environment for a PR plan to flourish. So the next time you are thinking of investing in PR, start with your company culture and make sure that your people are delivering the company impression that you really want.