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  • Writer's pictureEmily Garnham

The first rule of positive PR? Don't pick on the elderly

If you operate in an industry where customer complaints are unavoidable, reputation and crisis management is likely to be a big part of your PR strategy.

And it really isn't rocket science.

1. Act swiftly to rectify the situation quickly when you've done something wrong

2. Take the necessary steps to make sure it cannot happen again

3. Offer an apology and compensation that outweighs the inconvenience

4. Act like a human, not a faceless corporation

In light of a story I read on the Beeb today, I think we can add a couple more here:

5. Don't mess with vulnerable people

6. Use your noggin

I hope that Virgin Media's broadband arm is being taken to task by its PR team over this silly move.

Since when is it OK to stick a 5ft box outside anyone's window, obscuring both light and view? The planning loophole (i.e. not needing planning permission) is not an excuse. It will affect the value of this home, as well as the quality of life of its tenants.

People, and dogs, want to be able to enjoy looking out their windows


Worse, they've unwittingly picked on three pensioners in their 80s, who probably spend more time at home than most and are the least likely to have or need super-fast broadband.

Virgin is a company that consistently nails its branding, but this is one situation where the PR team should be (and hopefully are) all over it, ordering the rapid removal of this box to a less imposing location, in addition to the apology that has already been issued.

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