Business 2.0 – The Power of Blogging

The Transport Security Administration has been tanned in the media today over the actions of some screening personnel. You can read the details here.

I was impressed with the way that they handled the news of this on their blog. You can read the post here, with the announcement of policy change here.

You can tell from the tone of these posts that the TSA is not enthusiastic about the news coverage. However, the post on their blog was direct, honest and clear. There are good reasons for their security rules, but policies can be modified to be more accommodating of differences between customers.

I’d also encourage a look through the comments on the TSA website. Corporate bloggers can run into as controversial situations, and the wide variety of comments will give you a good idea about what can and will be said about your own embarrassing incidents.

I’ll repeat below my principles for dealing with a public crisis in the internet age

  • Be honest, your company reputation can be significantly harmed by a lie
  • Negotiate with this customer in good faith
  • Communicate your side of the story with the website publishing the accusations
  • A crisis management officer empowered to monitor and address these concerns can reduce the stress level of the entire board

Communication, Communication, Communication!

Yes, the TSA situation is embarrassing, titillating (sorry) and practically made for making the front page. The announcement here, however, was well done, clear and correct.