Cleveland Business Connects

For immediate release (October 6, 2017) Media Contact: Judy Abelman Email: Phone: 440.725.8861...

Make a PEST of Your Marketing Plan to Avoid Social Backlash

By Katherine Miracle

Protect or promote? What is your marketing strategy? Before you judge, check out what you can learn about marketing from the Cavs.

We love our Cleveland Cavaliers. But when the video of a Cavs fans throwing down his girlfriend, a Bulls fan, went viral, many took to social media to protest the video and ask the question, “How could they share a story of domestic violence?”

Sadly, the team releasing the video did not use a PEST analysis. Before you judge, do you use PEST analysis or are you in a hurry to say something or release something before you double-check? PEST is an acronym for:

  • Political
  • Economic
  • Social
  • Technological

There is also a PESTELI analysis that covers the same factors as the PEST analysis with the addition of Ecological (or Environmental), Legislative (or Legal), and Industry Analysis.

The PEST analysis can be used for marketing and business-development assessment and decision-making. The PEST template below encourages proactive thinking rather than relying on habitual or instinctive reactions.

Example: For the Cavs, the current social culture and recent events have shown domestic violence as a hot issue, especially in sports. Looking at the video from a societal impact could help a team rethink the choices of showing violence. A focus group on a private video channel could also determine that the societal impact of the video would be a problem.

The good news: The Cavs gave a quick apology and acknowledged the feelings of their external stakeholders.

Why should this matter to you? Your personal brand and company brand need to be promoted and protected. Here are eight ways to promote and protect using the examples above:

  1. Check in with your external stakeholders before you release marketing campaigns, videos, and enewsletters.
  2. Do a PEST analysis and focus group.
  3. Set Google alerts on your name and your company name to see what others are writing and, if necessary, protect your name and company name by engaging legal counsel.
  4. Do a reverse search by pasting your headshot in any search engine. (I advised a client to do this, and, sadly, they found their face was used in an ad that did not fit their personal brand and the person never gave permission to use that headshot.
  5. Create a great product that people want to be a part of. Make your product a culture to grow a community.
  6. Speak the truth about your product. Do not make false claims.
  7. Build brand equity like our Cleveland Cavaliers. If you make a mistake, the brand is so strong that external stakeholders know it was just a mistake and that mistake does not truly reflect your company culture and brand.
  8. Respond quickly and accurately when you make a mistake (crisis communication and legal counsel should be engaged to be sure you are protected).

Katherine Miracle is the president of Miracle Resources, an award-winning full-service marketing and training firm that helps clients increase revenue and awareness. She is a personal branding expert and the author of “Ignite Your Revolution.” Please connect with via email or Twitter.


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