In my past few blogs I’ve talked about the advancements that technology and social media have made for PR practitioners. This week I’ve noticed a serious downside to what they have done.
Anyone with a Facebook has probably realized that the sites’ newest overhaul has a lot of people extremely upset. This happens every time that the site changes anything. People get outraged that they would dare change something that people obviously don’t want changed. The generation that has been raised, has done so in an era of technological advancement like no other. They are used to being able to access everything at the tip of their fingers at lightning speed and when they have to deal with anything slower than that they are mad that they have to wait. Last week one the pages that I “like” on Facebook held a giveaway, but it was only available to US residents. This created a huge issue with fans in other countries. They were incensed that they too were not being offered free DVD’s as well. Obviously, that company hated all other countries. Why else would they discriminate against them? It didn’t occur to them that:
- They were FREE.
- The company didn’t have to offer prizes to anyone.
- Different countries have different release dates.
- Different countries have various companies to go through.
- Different countries have different DVD region codes.
All they cared about was that they were being denied something they wanted.
People have become impatient and entitled.
This is not good for PR. When people develop a sense of entitlement they feel as if they are owed something, and of they feel that they are being cheated out of what they deserve even thought they have no real claim to it. We are going into a field that will require one of two things.
(1) That we stay as current as we can with our publics so that they do not feel we have let them down. While this may seem unfair that is simply the kind of population that has been created with endless technological advancement.
(2) That we dare be the company/organization that doesn’t cater to their every whim and hope for the best. That is what facebook has done. They act in what they think is the best interest of their company, knowing that people are resistant to change, willing to take that risk to make things better for their users in the long run.
I’m not saying that one way is better than the other, though it might seem like it. They both have their advantages and disadvantages. It will simply depend on the image your company wants to give off.
(P.S. – If you think this past week was crazy with complaints, just wait till next week when Facebook makes the even BIGGER change they have in store.)