The most important element of a PR Management team is to understand the environment and the business dynamics that the company, and to be able to proactively create communication and interactions that create a positive image of the company and in essence avert a crisis situation in an amicable manner in a business changing environment or any social issues that may hamper the image of the company (Hill, 2016).
In an article by Peters, M. & Silverman, E. R. (2016), on the Big Business Speaking Up on Social Issues, in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), clearly showcase a PR issue that needs to be taken care of before it blows up.
Avoiding hot issues and not responding in fear of a backlash from customers and staff can lead to even bigger disasters.
The legislative issue with regards to the discriminatory bill in relation to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Missouri, might be an issue that cannot directly affect the business, however, since we are living in a digital world, it is important for companies to be part of social issues that creates debate amongst the masses (Peters & Silverman, 2016).
Companies such as, Monsanto Co. is leading a fight against the bill, in view of the fact that it stands against the company’s human rights policies, however, it may come at a cost of losing or alienating the conservative farmers who buy the Monsanto Co. seeds.
Standing against the bill, was a proactive effort to avert a future issue on the legislative bill controversy, given that, the different research done, points to the fact that, consumers and workers, do want to work and do business with companies who share their belief.
In spite of a non issue affecting Monsanto Co, the company proactively participated in the PR efforts to gain traction with a bigger majority.
As stated in the article in WSJ, by Peters, M. & Silverman, E. R. (2016), 8.1% consumers buy from a company that shares their beliefs, and 8.4% are less likely to buy. The proactive decision of Monsanto is further validated, by the survey done by, Global Strategy Group of more than 800 adults with different beliefs from a political standpoint and found that 78% Americans agreeing that companies should take action to address important issues facing society.
The best plan is to plan follow the consumers’ pulses in relation to their needs and wants to be able to proactively churn PR communication that create an emotive connect with the consumers and in the case of Monsanto, having a strong employee contingent of 5,300 people in the state of Missouri, a positive image by challenging the controversial bill, holds the key for future growth and expansion.
As evidenced in the case of Apple, the strong message of support shared by the CEO Tim Cook, against the religious-freedom law in Indiana, that was passed last year, it reflected in a significant boost to the business, as customers were more prone to purchase Apple Inc products, by knowing the position of the CEO on the issue.
In this era of social media and the viral effect, it is of paramount importance for companies, to tackle, proactively on the social issues, since; people are more aware and opinionated and the word of mouth is a very strong tool to affect a business in a positive or negative manner.
Monsanto Co, plan needs further include, news feed on the issue on their Facebook, Twitter and Monsanto Blog, besides, creating messages to targeting the issue on YouTube channel (Monsanto, 2016). Press Conference by the management and Online Surveys are other contingency plans that need to be formulated as contingency plans.
Hill, B. (2016). When Do You Need a Proactive Crisis Management Plan? Chron.
Retrieved from h http://smallbusiness.chron.com/nead-proactive-crisis-management-plan-61693.html
Monsanto (2016). Follow Us on the Web.
Retrieved from http://www.monsanto.com/pages/default.aspx
Peters, M. & Silverman, E. R. (2016). Big Business Speaks Up on Social Issues. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ).
Retrieved from http://www.wsj.com/articles/big-business-speaks-up-on-social-issues-1460936193