Thursday, July 30, 2015
How do you do PR for a company in a death spiral? This is the situation facing Yelp, the user-driven review site. Its stock has crashed and its chairman has stepped down. There is little that looks good for the future of the company. Still, it is an entity that is in business, and it needs to build users, if it is to continue. The CEO needs to be present for the troops and keep them believing. Yelp has to continue marketing as well. The theme should be that Yelp doesn't know what tomorrow will be but it is continuing nonetheless. That is a hard sell to engineers and others in demand in Silicon Valley. Yelp may have to give retention bonuses to its key people in order for them to stay put. Public relations should focus on real progress rather than the ephemeral. Blizzards of releases won't help now. It would look desperate. Yelp isn't the last company whose valuation will crash. There are plenty of others teetering on the edge. It's painful to be first.