3 PR Tips You Can Learn From Netflix

Photo courtesy of Helge Thomas

Netflix’s recent release of its fourth quarter earnings greatly surpassed Wall Street expectations. The company added a whopping $5.59 million total streaming members in a matter of four months. With over 70 million members in over 190 countries, it’s no wonder that Netflix is the world’s leading streaming service.Netflix offers more than 125 million hours of TV shows and movies per day, where members can watch whenever, wherever and on whatever device. The streaming service is growing, thanks to the added popularity of binge-watching, but Netflix has dealt with its fair share of bumps in the road.

Through careful examination, Netflix can provide three tips for public relations professionals.

  1. Always Be Transparent

In 2011, Netflix decided to split into two different sites, one for steaming and the other one for renting. The change caused outrage among many customers because they enjoyed both of the services provided by Netflix. Rather than being transparent about the reasons for the change and what it meant for the public, Netflix lost the trust of its customers and eventually shut down Qwikster, the DVD rental site.

Companies should remember to think about the public before implementing change because you’ll avoid backlash and help make the change easier.

2. Embrace Change

Netflix realized DVDs were not going to cut it because of the emergence of new technology. The company knew it had to stay relevant and change with the time, so it opted to add the streaming service (thank goodness it did).

The shift to the streaming market has certainly paid off and although other services like Hulu and Amazon Prime tried to compete, Netflix added more features. It began creating original content such as “Orange is the New Black”, “Breaking Bad” and “House of Cards”.

Companies should remember to stay-up-to date and follow in the footsteps of Netflix.

  1. Use Effective Damage Control

Issues will arise, no one is exempt, but knowing how to put out the fire is the real challenge.

When Netflix decided to raise its monthly membership, its stocks fell and the public once again was displeased. The company realized that it needed to focus on lost subscribers through a strategic campaign. This led Netflix to “re-recruit old customers, address consumer needs and attempt to deliver new benefits and services to make up for the price increase.” Its emphasis on previous customers rather than new ones helped the company get back on track financially.

Companies should remember to address an issue as quickly as possible, while thinking strategically about the situation at hand.

Stacey Miller, a Senior Manager of Journalist Community Engagement at Help a Reporter Out, said, “A cautionary tale can be a valuable learning tool when taken to heart.”

By following these important PR lessons and learning by example, you can help companies and clients achieve success.


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