The Intersection of PR & Social Media Means Good Business

Sep 2011

Social media is a fabulous tool that businesses can use to assist their PR.  It can help a company get in front of an issue they know is coming or allow them to communicate directly with their audience.  It is also like the Wild West in that it opens up the company to the good, bad and ugly.

When Netflix raised their prices in July it was poorly handled.  The reason for the increase was not unexpected, given that streaming content requires less employee cost and is easier for the consumer.    The overall number of people that stream movies now may not be that high.

However, Netflix must have realized that it was worth cutting back, even sacrificing one aspect of the business for overall success.  The quote that was put out there was that they were afraid of being “AOL dial-up or a Borders bookstore.”

This week Netflix announced that it was separating the DVD from the streaming division.  The new company in charge of DVDs, Qwikster, already has some major problems.

  • The website for Qwikster is not live.
  • In a search for Qwikster on Facebook you get 3 results, none of which look legitimate.
  • The twitter handle for @Qwikster is owned by a teenage kid who rambles.

The twitter issue is one of the most embarrassing for the company.  Reserving a company’s twitter domain is simple and takes 2 minutes.  As it stands now the owner of @qwikster is ransoming, errrr selling, the name to Qwikster.  If there is any good news it’s that the current owner of @Quikster changed his avatar from Elmo getting high to something resembling a family crest.

How can a big, successful company like Netflix make so many mistakes?  In a vlog this week the chairman of Netflix said that he apologized and that the company got a little overconfident when they announced the price increase this summer.

If you’re thinking about starting a business learn from the lessons that Netflix taught you.

  • Have the website live when you announce the company
  • Do your research on social media platforms for the company’s name.

If the desired company name is not available then change the name of your company or see what’s available on social media.  In the age of social media you’re not only worried about one domain name, you need to go to every channel you can think of and reserve is ASAP.  If you do all that then it’s one step forward towards good business.

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