Maintaining good public relations at Stone Age Climbing. Photo: Stone Age
By John Burgman
“I always say that you need to do damage control right away. Correct the problem with a solution before it gets out of hand,” advises Nicole Dunn, CEO of the health and wellness PR agency Dunn Pellier Media. “If five people hear that your business has issues, imagine how fast that word of mouth will travel, and soon enough you will find yourself with a big problem—no customers.”
“Remember, you may not always agree with customer criticism (e.g. consumers often draw conclusions on false information), but if enough of them are forming a negative perception, then it is real and needs to be dealt with swiftly,” says Duffy. “Brand management is perception management.”
While climbing gyms might seem tangential to health and wellness, the dearth of PR experts in the climbing industry means that it’s prudent to reach outward—to strategists like Duffy and Dunn—in an attempt to construct PR protocol for gyms. Specifics for PR correlate to whatever your facility adds to the community, explains Dunn. Figure that out first, and then make an effort to spread the word through media.