Whenever a company makes a change or endures a crisis, it must think not only of investors and management, but also of all stakeholders: employees, users, members and vendors. Profit is rarely everything, but reputation and credibility are also important.
This week’s featured PR items and stories point to change and crisis. In some cases, unintended crises occur when changes are poorly communicated.
Zell Snafu gives Bank of America a headache
what happened? On January 18th, a number of Zelle customers logged into their accounts and found that their funds had either not been transferred or had been completely lost. Some have even noticed that his Zelle account at Bank of America (BOA) has been debited. The customer complained on social, especially after he got disconnected from BOA’s busy customer service department.
Zell replied daily news, Blaming BOA (a co-owner of Zelle), transactions outside of BOA accounts were not affected. No details were provided as to how or why the outage occurred.
Correspondence lessons: Online banking is nothing new. Whether it’s PayPal, Venmo or Zelle, Americans are used to peer-to-peer and now bank-to-customer fund management. The majority of Americans use digital banking at least once a week (65.3% according to Statista), earning customer trust in a world plagued by cybersecurity issues remains a common goal of the banking industry.
If you are a BOA or Zelle user, this incident may reduce your trust in the platform.
Elizabeth Kenigsberg, Head of Cybersecurity and Technology at SKDK, said: “When that trust is breached, whether it’s a scam or a glitch, providers need to be as transparent as possible. Consumers should know if and how they’ve been affected. , we need to know what the company is doing to solve the problem.”
Zelle spoke out through numerous articles and social media platforms, but BOA appeared silent. It’s called crisis communication for a reason. Alerting customers to frequent updates on multiple platforms is a key challenge in 2023.
Amazon Smile’s Amazon Frowns
what happened: Amazon’s layoffs made headlines, but it surprised users when it ended its charitable donation program for customers. amazon smileThe member was notified via a nondescript email with the subject “AmazonSmile Update”. The email said Smile wasn’t making the impact it was hoping for.
“We are doing everything from building affordable housing, to providing access to computer science education to students in underserved communities, to building a logistical infrastructure to help the wider affected community. We will continue to pursue and invest in other areas where we can make a meaningful difference, from using technology and technology through natural disasters.”
The email also explains how Amazon is phasing out certain Smile charities. Amazon also released the information website.
Communication lessons: Many people find their email inboxes overflowing. Emails are sent and received from Amazon, many disguised as phishing scams. People might stare at such notifications or not see them at all because they go to their spam folder.
Outrage spread on social media after members as well as the charity discovered the news. Many charities, large and small, have debated Amazon’s claim that Smile has no influence.
Amazon claims that the Amazon Smile program was unaffected. As non-profit animals, I can say that it made a big difference for us. That $9400 meant the world. It’s nothing for us. #amazon smile #Amazon @Amazon Smile pic.twitter.com/O67cPhQ3rV
— Crouton & Friends 🏳️🌈 (@m_crouton) January 19, 2023
of The BargeBarbara Krasnov condemned the announcement. “Sometimes I wish the PR departments of these companies were a little more honest about these things,” Krasnov said.
Similarly, Dini von Mueffling, Founder and CEO of Dini von Mueffling Communications, demands honesty and detail.
“The pride Amazon felt in giving $500 million to charities over the years that this program existed is a neat touch on exactly why they chose to go in this new direction. I wanted to see a statement that explained.” How it would have a “major impact.”
Heather Desantis-Holmes, CEO and founder of Publicity for Good, said Amazon’s move has broad implications.
“Consumers want to be able to choose where their money goes, especially when it comes to charities,” she says. am.”
School goes out on TikTok
what happened: Auburn University, in addition to other universities, has Ban on TikTok In response to security and privacy concerns.The action is now 19 governors We also prohibit the use of video apps on government-issued devices. The Biden administration is negotiating security and privacy issues with China-owned TikTok.Some lawmakers are concerned TikTok is a national security risk.
The EU is also concerned about TikTok.
But students cannot go down without a fight. A New York Times article describes a workaround. According to the Pew Research Center, two-thirds of his teens in the US use his TikTok, making him second only to YouTube in popularity of social apps.
Correspondence Lesson: TThere are always workarounds here.
Remember Napster in the early 2000s? Other platforms popped up in its place.
My role here is to educate students and help them understand why banning TikTok is important. Communications should describe privacy concerns and issues in real language and post on student forums and social media platforms. This may help students understand potential issues with using the app, at least until privacy guidelines are agreed upon by Washington and TikTok.
Join us next Friday for another roundup. Until then, have a nice week and stay out of danger!
Nicole Schumann Senior editor of PRNEWS.follow her @Buffalo Gal