Brand Management – Responding to online criticism – Part 4- The Misguided Individual

According to the Air Force Response Assessment the first step toward dealing with online criticism is identifying the type of person the website owner, blogger, reviewer, or forum poster is from among four choices defined by AFRA.  We have already covered the first two categories, the “troll” and the “rager.”

The third category is the “Misguided Individual.”

Unlike trolls and ragers, misguided individuals do not necessarily have bad intentions at heart. They may simply lack enough information to clearly and accurately communicate their point of view. As a result, they end up jumping to false assumptions or conclusions.  Misguided individuals are often followers. Rather than taking their own vindictive course of action as the “troll” or “rager” does, misguided individuals often follow in the shadows of “trolls” or “ragers,” paraphrasing what they think they’ve heard, seen, or read.  As a result, their postings, reviews, or comments are often laced with inaccuracies.

The AFRA recommends responding with factual information to clarify the misguided individual’s misconceptions.  A response should be well formulated, not off-the-cuff, and should contain supporting links, videos, or information if possible.

Next we’ll discuss the last category in the AFRA, the unhappy customer.