When the mask slips
A big talking point in UK tech this year so has been banking startup Revolut’s ongoing series of troubles.
While the Revolut CEO’s blog post this week
is a good start in setting a better tone for the future, the company’s ongoing storm of bad publicity is a reminder of just how important it is to mean what you say.
Companies with a positive public image that matches their positive internal culture are just so much more comfortable in their skin. The kinds of problems Revolut is suffering wash off them more easily because their public response isn’t a shield they have to invent.
Look at how Facebook rushes to announce new features
they haven’t event started building yet, just to deflect criticism, all the while continuing with the same practices that brought about the criticism in the first place.
And then there’s a company like Monzo – a rival to Revolut in many ways, but with a way more positive public image.
Have a look through the Monzo blog
. They come across as a company building its product in partnership with its users. They’re frank about their challenges and simply come across as more friendly than Revolut. From a public point of view this helps them accumulate goodwill capital to help them weather any serious publicity storms in the future.
But the culture communicated through to the public needs to track all the way back to the very top of the company. At its root, a lot of negative publicity comes from something happening that shows a person or organisation is not exactly who people thought they were.
But if your public image chimes well with reality inside the company, this is far less likely to happen. In the 21st century, customers value honesty and openness. The problem comes when companies don’t take that seriously, throughout their organisation.
Interested in this topic? I’m holding an online class about building strong, consistent messaging for startups, on Tuesday 26 March. Read more and sign up here.