The Importance of Being Transparent

Despite the ever growing popularity of social media and user generated content organisations still insist on holding back the truth from the public!

For a long time it seemed that organisations didn’t always believe that honesty was the best policy. Companies would frequently bend the truth’ or completely withhold information from the public in order to ‘save face’. Before platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, this could be easily managed however now that user generated content and social networking sites are becoming some of our main sources of information, organisations need to realise that transparency really is key.

Just within the last couple of months there have been incidents that highlight that information can no longer be with held from the public. The case of the super injunctions where public figures obtain court orders to stop scandalous stories being sold to the press about them. Ryan Giggs’ injunction became the country’s worst kept secret after it was leaked on Twitter about his long term affair. Most recently Blackberry’s horrendous handling of their system failure, where RIM declined to acknowledge the severity of the situation to their customers, caused many people to loose faith in the brand. Had Blackberry been upfront and honest from the start they could have come out of the situation a lot better off.  Social media played a big part in both of these cases whether it be in leaking the information directly or as a platform for consumers to relay their negative feedback on an organisation.

It used to be that you just had to worry about journalists digging through your dustbins but now we are in the age of social media, everyone can be a whistle blower. A company’s reputation and brand value can be hit a lot harder if a scandal is leaked through Twitter instead of the CEO coming forward and addressing the public directly. The internet really has made it integral for companies to to be up front with their consumers, it now costs organisations more with holding information than it does just being honest from the start.