Blogging about layoffs builds trust, stems bad PR

For some companies, social media is the best way to announce bad news.

For some companies, social media is the best way to announce bad news

The first rule of holes: When you find yourself in one, stop digging.

That’s good advice for a number of life situations, but how does it apply to firms who have been forced to downsize because of the weakened economy? Is it better to say nothing or to broadcast the potential for job cuts and risk making a bad situation worse?

In the social media age, many companies are opting to communicate despite the risk, using blogs to get out the news about layoffs and weaken any potential PR blows by maintaining control of the story. is one example. The online clothing and shoe retailer recently cut its work force by 8 percent, a move that CEO Tony Hsieh announced in an e-mail to employees that was followed by a blog post.

“This is one of the hardest decisions we’ve had to make over the past 9.5 years, but we believe that it is the right decision for the long-term health of the company,” Hsieh wrote in his Nov. 8 blog post. The posting said that Zappos would pay all of its laid off employees for at least the next two months and reimburse them for any COBRA-related health-care costs.

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