I’ve come across a lot of discussions about organizational conflict during the past years of my study in organizational communication. It’s not that much of a surprise that its one of the most common research topic every year. Not only is it interesting, its also very important to every communication specialist, HR, or PR practitioner. Conflicts can be good or bad depending on how you handle it. But one thing that is know to every communication specialist out there is that internal conflict is a lot easier to handle than external conflict. External conflict directly involves the people that should be buying your products and messing up in handling external conflict can deal a devastating blow to every company.
Now, imagine that external conflict being ‘excalated’ to the internet. Yes, I meant to use the word escalate because internet conflict gives the power or anonimity and broadcast communication to your adversary. This is unlike in real life where you can actually contain the problem before it gets ugly. The internet is the nest of bad news hungry people that love beating the hell out of big companies and bashing their products. So how do you solve Internet Conflict?
Calm down. Seems like your generic advice when it comes to anger management but it actually is the most important of all the tips you can get. Dealing with an idiot spouting nonsense about your company with a hot head can attract more idiots to bash your company. Do not give people more reason to hate you. Never fight fire with fire, or in this case, flame with flame.
The thing you’d want to avoid the most is more people joining in on the discussion and rallying against the big bad company. Calm down, and end things quickly. Avoid caps lock. Do not sound arrogant. Do not be too apologetic as it may give flamers more confidence to flame. Do not use ill words. Listen to what the other person is saying.
Remember that not all people hate you for valid reasons. Sometimes, there are just people that love to hate. They are more commonly known as “Jackasses”. There’s nothing you can do to stop them because they flame you for flaming’s sake. It is important to remember that dealing with these people is like studying tornadoes. You go near and examine it but get too close and you’ll be the last person I’d want to be. Ignoring people like these can be potentially dangerous as people may view the rant and end up believing it. That’s where you come in. Go in the battlefield,give your two cents and try not to feed the attention hungry troll too much. The more people see how calm and collected the company is in handling a flamer, the better the rep your company gets and the less the people that listens to the jackass.
Do not be agitated by trolls. Do not be absorbed in a flame war. Leave immature ranters alone to make idiots out of themselves. Empowering your supporters is more preferable than attacking haters. Do not give he impression that you’re company is on a defensive stance on an issue.
Avoid conflicts as much as possible. As they say, “prevention is better than cure” The more controversies and issues your company gets involved in, the less credible it seems to people. You’d be surprised on how a couple of red marks can affect your company. The internet is one to blame for this. People write on the internet and these writings can be viewed by other people all over the world. And they’ll blog about it, and blog about it and blog about it. And that shit is potentially permanent.
Before you know it, an issue on the delay of pays can transform into an issue of employees not receiving any compensations at all. Then you’ll become a national phenomenon and that image will stick to you for a very long time.