The situation: A major corporation has noticed that a blogger has started to bash them on a regular basis on his blog. In addition, the blogger has launched other blogs that bash the company and solicit readers to leave negative comments, as well. Apparently this blogger had a particularly bad experience with the company and now is out for revenge. He also begins leaving negative comments on other blogs, generating more traffic for his own. The company consults its law department and begins to set about trying to shut down the blogs with lawsuits and cease-and-desist paperwork from the lawyer.
The solution: The Spotlight, in his guise as a mild-mannered PR company employee, overhears a conversation at the large PR firm he works for about the incident. Immediately the ring on his finger, The Spotlight of Truth, begins to glow. He knows it’s time to change into his identity as The Spotlight.
Flying to the law offices where the CEO and department heads of the major corporation are meeting, the Spotlight shines his light in their eyes to stop the legal proceedings in their tracks. By attacking the blogger with a lawsuit, the company will be perceived as the villains, trying to shut down the humble blogger who will be thought of, by his readers, as the “little guy” battling a rampaging Goliath. Instead, the Spotlight shines his Spotlight of Truth on the situation and sees another solution.
The company should respond to the blogger’s comments by placing comments of their own. They need to find out what the problem is and what happened to make the blogger’s experience such a bad one. Is there validity to his claims? And if there is they need to publicly, using their own blogs and social media initiatives, make the situation right.
Using this knowledge, and his superhuman speed, the Spotlight quickly discovers that the blogger had a bad experience, just once, at one of the major corporation’s outlet stores. By leaving comments where the blogger discusses what went wrong, the CEO of the company himself publicly offers a solution.
By offering a full refund and a coupon for a discount the next time he uses one of the company’s outlets, the company quickly diffuses the situation and publicly turns a bad situation into a good situation, without having to crack down on someone seen as the “little guy.” In fact, the blogger turns around completely and begins writing positive stories about his experience.
The Spotlight says: It’s your company and when you see it being attacked; your first instinct may be to attack back and shut down the negative comments. However, in the world of social media, this can cause an even greater backlash against you. Try to turn the situation around, publicly, and not only win back the initial customer, but show that you care to other potential customers and win new ones. Be cautious and if the blogger is being outright libelous, legal action may be required, but let that be the method of last resort!