3 Things You Should Know About Protests

There’s a large group of people holding angry placards in front of your headquarters. An accusatory tweet has garnered sympathetic shares. Protests seem easier and more frequent these days, so what should companies do about them?

Nothing. Well, at least not initially.

The rules for communicating during such crises have changed since they were first written back in the days of 3 broadcast TV networks, 24-hour print news cycles, and a consumer audience who, generally, bought into the same facts and believed the media people who delivered them.

Here are three things you should know for when the next protest finds your business:

First, don’t become part of the media event. It might seem counter intuitive, but protests are less about a targeted offender and issue, and more about the protest itself. They’re “pseudo-events,” as Daniel Boorstin named them in 1961, created solely to be covered by media (versus “real” events occurring in business or life that might subsequently get media attention).

It’s no surprise that a self-reflective tool like Twitter is the most common place to start or build such an event; while nominally about an “it” or “them,” the message is really about “me.”

So why would you add to it, or extend its lifetime?

Read the entire essay at Linkedin