You’re sitting at your computer, typing up another article or queuing up your social messages for the week, and you’re probably not sure how this headline has any relation to your business, but you might be surprised.
More so than from the actual content of the story itself, you stand to gain from paying attention to the reaction to it around the world, or to the fact that it was even a story at all.
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If you haven’t heard yet, and investigation by BBC Panorama recently uncovered that two of the UK’s biggest and most well known clothing stores have been using Syrian refugees in Turkey for their clothing factories.
The problem is that these people, displaced and often without formal register, can be paid far under the minimum wage of the country they’re working in, and often can be young teens whose usage can be considered a breaking of child labor laws.
The reaction has been loud and unanimous in its condemning of the practice and a large amount of outrage has been leveled at the brands, with many consumers vowing to avoid shopping there in the future.
The reason this is important is because brands are finding out the hard way every single day that consumers dictate the discussion and flow of information now, and not the other way around. Furthermore, more people in general are sensitive to humanitarian and potential moral issues than they have been in the past – and they tend to find out about them faster due to the interconnectivity we all experience today.
For the solo entrepreneur, this may seem unimportant, right up until it all of a sudden is, indeed, important.
It’s only been a year or two since a PR firm employee traveling to Africa tweeted out something that could be construed as racist over her personal twitter storm, and by the time she landed some 16 hours later, found that she had lost her job due to the outrage the tweet had sparked while she was completely disconnected and in the air.
What this means for you isn’t necessarily walking on egg shells, but considering how people will react to what you have to say and they content you have to share, and then using your ability to think critically about that to attract more of the people you want in your marketing funnel.
For example, you can leverage the political leanings of the average member of your market to dictate content marketing and alignment. You could make sure that anything published as officially from you or your brand falls on the right side of a raging debate or issue in popular news.
Sound fake? It’s smart, and its just business.