Public Relations News | Uber CEO’s digital PR failure
Most startup owners have little problem communicating with their target audience through digital platforms. When it comes to big brands and businesses, however, there are many details and nuances that need to be considered when business leaders turn to social media.
Recently, Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of ride-sharing giant Uber, shared his experiences when he decided to use his own platform as an entrepreneur for a day. Specifically, Khosrowshahi took a day off from his corporate job to try his hand at delivering food for a few hours via Uber Eats and then shared his adventures on Twitter.
In its ten years of existence, Uber has often used various rather successful PR campaigns, most notably digital PR campaigns. More recently, however, the public, and especially entrepreneurs who work using the app, have started to see these PR efforts as a way for the company to distract from some of its issues. regarding its business model. Many entrepreneurs criticized the company for the low wages as well as the demands to work long hours without a break in order to earn enough money to survive. Some entrepreneurs have even resorted to sleeping in their cars in order to meet quotas and get into the multi-level platform system.
These reasons and more are why, when the CEO of Uber began to post tweets about his positive food delivery adventures on Twitter and share a photo of his earnings for the day, many members of the public have started criticizing him and the company itself.
The goal behind Uber’s digital PR efforts was obvious to many social media users, as they saw the CEO attempt to prove that the company’s rates and salaries for contractors were perfectly fair. . This is a long-standing statement the company has made throughout the time it has come under fire, while contractors have consistently proven that it is not.
In this latest PR effort, many said Khosrowshahi didn’t have to live off the income he shared on Twitter as he is the CEO of the company and used a Pro subscription on the platform. which allows him to earn more. In addition, many entrepreneurs have also complained about the unreliability of the platform’s payments, as there are certain times when people cannot make that much money, which the CEO himself noted when ‘he was delivering food.
While these types of digital PR efforts were quite effective just a few short years ago, many employees and contractors, in the US and around the world, have consistently criticized them lately. Indeed, although CEOs and business owners are encouraged to communicate with their target audiences through social media platforms, with such kind of efforts, employees often took offense and saw the efforts misinform them about the long-standing problems of the business. That’s why it’s sometimes better for CEOs to try and use other types of PR strategies instead.
Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR, a leading public relations firm.