Doing Damage Control in Online Forums

November 16th, 1999

Seminar by

Discussion forums in the forms of Usenet “newsgroups”, email- based “lists” and Web site “virtual communities” can be a powerful tool for branding. However, seldom are companies really “in control” of these online forums. The tide can quickly turn against your company: one solitary message triggering a flood of negative comments from disgruntled users. One doesn’t have to be “on the Net” to suffer the effects of negative branding on online communities. In one of the most powerful demonstrations of the influence that Usenet wields over large corporations, the “Pentium bug” PR fiasco stemmed from a college math professor’s posting to several discussion groups that he discovered a calculation flaw in Intel’s Pentium chip.


  • proactive and reactive techniques for dealing with negative posts
  • how innocent company postings can backfire
  • participating vs. moderating


Special Luncheon Workshop

How does my web site stack up to my consumers’ expectations? Can he/she easily maneuver through the site? Delegates will enjoy a brainstorming and open discussion assessing the effectiveness of a select number of attendees’ sites over lunch.