From A PR Crisis To A New Conversation

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In the last few years, Facebook has been facing plenty of scandals. That, along with plenty of calls from regulators to break up this tech giant has led Facebook into a PR crisis. First, it was the scandal where Facebook had been giving its user’s information to a private consumer data company. Which meant that personal information of over 2 billion monthly users – data that people had shared on the social media platform, had been practically handed over to advertisers as a way to monetize the information.

Who Controls the Data?

Then, it came out that it wasn’t just one single company that got this information and then used it for marketing purposes – it was actually a number of companies. And finally, when the company announced that it would do more to focus on the privacy and the security of the users of the platform – the company took a plunge in the stock market. All of these scandals, coming out one after the other, ended up triggering plenty of outrage from its users, a lot of scrutiny from regulators around the world and within the US, as well as enough bad press that one would start thinking it would be the end of the company as we know it. Everyone around the world started thinking that perhaps Facebook wasn’t as invincible as everyone deemed it to be, and this would finally be its downfall.

Re-claiming your Data

Users of the platform started deleting their accounts and changing their online habits. People started really looking into the details of the terms and conditions they were required to agree upon when first joining a platform, and analyzing what all of that meant. Aside from losing support and users, Facebook tried various strategies to keep itself afloat, above all of the scandals that plagued it in such a short amount of time. And at that point in the PR crisis, Facebook resorted to using one of the oldest tricks in the book. 

Turn a bad PR day into something completely different.

So what did Facebook do? It rebranded. The familiar lowercase logo, that could be seen on the login screen, and followed users around both on desktop and on their phones, changed. The founder, Mark Zuckerberg, announced in a blog post, that the company logo was going to be changed. The new version would be colorful, and be in uppercase letters so that people can have a clearer idea about which products are owned by Facebook. Both Instagram and WhatsApp are apps that have millions of users, and both are owned by Facebook. 

But neither application has been plagued with as dire PR scandals as Facebook has. And, in an effort to improve their public image, they decided to show users that the tech giant isn’t as bad as it’s been portrayed in the news since it owns two other beloved apps. And in an instant, the public started focusing on the new logo. Facebook helped to begin to steer the conversation in a completely different direction.

Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR.

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