Mightier than the sword?
The slogan, the pen is mightier than the sword" is definitely at leastpartially true. Bad publicity helps no one. One of the hardest things in life to regain..is your reputation. When it
is bad, it could remain that way for whole generations. Whatever name or image is associated with it is usually ruined. The internet and social media andinstantaneous news has made this process even faster and more absolute. In less than a second, millions of normal, average people can disseminate information to millions more.
Cattle Abuse Goes Viral
I have heard of small companies losing a majority of business because of bad social media press. Even in the world of dairy cattle and production, the fear is just as real. Recently the
Wiese Brothers Dairy Farm lost a huge portion of their business when customer Nestle saw evidence of mistreatment of cows on video.
According to Newser, video was produced of workers at the dairy plant beating, kicking, stabbing, and whipping sick and injured cows.
The owner then said he was not aware of the abuse until late last month. And that may be true, but in a world where CEO's are thought of poorly, I do not think anyone is going to believe that. There are too many executives and criminals that say that exact phrase and it just will not work anymore. For the rest of digital time or the lifespan of the internet, Wiese Dairy will be associated with: beating, kicking,stabbing, and whipping sick and injured cows.
This is bad enough, but let us look at the collateral damage of this mistake. Wiese Brothers was a sub-supplier of Foremost Firms who supplied Digornio. Digornio is owned by Nestle. So basically their brand is poisoned with every milk supplier who is not going to risk a scandal. They are ruined with every cheese producer and of course the entire Nestle group, and their subcontractors worldwide.
I think the brand is done. The question is, what could have prevented this and how do you manage social media so that you are a beneficiary and not a victim. The answer to that is too
involved to mention in this one segment. Here is a good starting point.
Start A Culture Of Goodness
Treat your employees and your livestock with the utmost respect and make it abundantly clear you expect this of anyone who enters your property. Then publicize this culture over and over with images and web content of how you do this. Make positive news and do not
wait to become negative news.