Assignment: How would you moderate the following audience/customer comments if left on your organization’s Facebook page?
To a hotel: “I am disgusted about the state of your restaurant on 1467 Justin Kings Way. Empty tables weren’t cleared and full of remains of meals. It makes me wonder what the state of your kitchen is?!!! Gross.”
I am shocked and embarrassed to hear about the condition you found the restaurant in. I can assure you that this is not typically and would greatly appreciate a brief amount of your time to discuss this matter in more details. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or you may call me at 000-000-0000. If I can get more information regarding the time and date during which you found the restaurant in the condition you mentioned, it will aid us in getting to the bottom of the matter and properly handling the situation.
I can assure you that our restaurant kitchen is clean and has received zero infractions by any restaurant management service. As a dining facility, we are held to strict requirements and have never been penalized for being below the standard. I would so appreciate the opportunity to prove to you that how you witnessed our restaurant is not characteristic of the norm. I would like to personally invite you to our restaurant to experience our exceptional dining environment for yourself. I also would love the opportunity to apologize in person and meet you first hand. If you would like to contact me with a preferred day and time to dine with us, I will schedule your reservation and make sure that I am personally on staff to ensure all your needs are met.
My sincerest apologies,
To a mainstream news network: “Your reporting on the Middle East is biased in the extreme. You gave almost all your air time to spokespeople for the Israelis last night and there was no right to reply for the Palestinians. The conflict upsets me so much and your reporting of it, saddens me even more and makes me f**king furious.” (Let us assume the reporting was balanced, with equal time to both sides.)
Assuming the reporting was truly balanced , it is clear that this individual was unable to see past their self-created blinders and has reached a level of anger that may not be capable of talking down. Although news networks are often criticized for their biases, as individuals we also have biases and often form them unknowingly. Even when we are aware of our biases, it is difficult to absorb information in a neutral manner.
For instance, you may write an apology letter to another individual and in it you equally share your role in the situation as well as theirs. When reading a letter of this nature with pre-determined biases of our own, it’s easy to remember the criticisms rather than the mentions of the individual apologizing and also taking responsibility for the situation. In situations such as these, it’s possible the person may never see the other side, or it will likely take a sit down conversation (which doesn’t seem like an option for the disgruntled individual blasting the mainstream news network). For this reason, I am unsure if I would advise replying, as the individual may not be able to see the other side and it is clear they are already quite perturbed, and it’s not unlikely that they will simply fire back with “colorful” language.
This may be an issues worth consulting with your co-workers or team about. If the consensus of the staff of the mainstream news channel involved in making these types of decisions was to reply, I would consider including a clip of the report she is referring to and timestamps where each party’s position is addressed to show that equal time was given to each cause, this way he/she can reference back to the clip. I would also express your deep interest, concern and respect for the matter as well (after all, that’s why you’re reporting on it), and determine amongst your team if an apology for how she felt the information was portrayed is necessary, or if it admits fault (for which we are told there was none).