Damage Control When a Client Goes Viral

Apr 23, 2019

In our ultra-connected world, there’s a video camera lurking at virtually every turn. Each one of us literally holds one in our hands. The consequences of bad behavior have never been as swift and far-reaching.


The story of New York attorney Aaron Schlossberg and his viral video rant last year made lots of headlines, and was yet another lesson for everyone that in today’s digital era, anything you say anywhere, can, and will, be held against you in the court of social media.


Over 2.5 billion people worldwide are on social networks. So when you have a client or an employee who’s a viral sensation for all the wrong reasons, what do you do?


In this era of trending hashtags and topics, it seems that ‘innocent until proven guilty’ often no longer applies.

Crisis Management Mode – Tell YOUR Story


If a company is facing bad publicity from an employee who’s gone rogue on social media, the old fashioned advice of “no comment” just won’t cut it anymore. Between Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and more, you can be sure there will be plenty of comments. So it’s best to get out in front of it ASAP, according to Pete Wentz, an attorney who specializes in crisis management and communication strategy.


Put out a comment, get on social media, apologize, tell your side of the story, and protect the business’ reputation.

“If there’s a problem with one of our employees, we’re going to look into it, and correct it”.


Not commenting, even on litigation, is something companies have been moving away from for years. Wentz says the thought now is “If we don’t comment on it, it’s going to look like we’re guilty.”


And just as social media can hurt a client’s reputation, it can also be used to put out a positive spin and set the record straight from a corporate standpoint.


Sometimes, Wentz says, using a 3rd party is a good solution: Finding experts, influencers, and bloggers who are commenting in your space, and asking them to put out a message in your favour.


It’s important to remember, if you do find yourself on the wrong end of a viral outbreak on social media, that very same technology can help provide the cure as well.