A digital intimidation campaign is only as effective as your fear of it. Franklin D. Roosevelt famously said that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. How does that apply to Public Relations and strategic communications? Online attacks have become a pertinent problem for public relations clients but are not impossible to thwart. The best defense against an online attack is a strong offense, starting with your strong and trustworthy digital presence. 

By monitoring online conversations, attacks can be prevented before they begin. Responding quickly and professionally goes a long way, and a loyal following holds the power to provide a meaningful line of defense. Along with crafting a strategic response, it can be appropriate to consider if there is any validity behind the reasons for the attack and to offer an authentic and transparent response. The only thing worth fearing in an intimidation attack is what might happen if you don’t respond at all. Consider these five strategies to guide your path.


Key Points From This Episode:


  • Why fear and intimidation are relevant concepts to the PR industry.
  • Where online attacks often stem from.
  • What a default approach to dealing with digital intimidation may consist of.
  • An alternative strategy to outflank and push back on negative feedback.
  • Examples of further reaching traction that might unfold if a campaign is successfully thwarted.
  • Why it is ill-advised to go against a well-meaning group that has a leg to stand on.
  • Who this advice is for: an organization under unfair attack.
  • The power of owning your own media, including social media. 
  • How a strong online presence can help to establish credibility and a loyal following.
  • Monitoring online conversations to prevent an online attack.
  • Why it is important to respond quickly and professionally.
  • How influencers can help to defend companies against an attack. 
  • Building transparency and authenticity.
  • Considering feedback.
  • Why telling the truth is the most powerful defense. 
  • What is worthy of fear in an intimidation campaign: not responding at all! 
  • Admitting fault to deflate bullies.
  • What happens to bullies when you start speaking the truth: they retreat!

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