NEW YORK: It appears that PR departments handling the recent attacks on sites like Yahoo! and Amazon have managed to keep the corporate reputation of their companies intact.
NEW YORK: It appears that PR departments handling the recent
attacks on sites like Yahoo! and Amazon have managed to keep the
corporate reputation of their companies intact.
According to a telephone survey of 529 American consumers with Internet
access conducted by Bruskin/Goldring Research for Stanton Crenshaw
Communications, 80% of those surveyed were aware of the attacks, but the
majority said that the problems would not impact their Internet use.
’We were surprised at the high level of awareness among consumers about
the hacker attacks, especially since other surveys have shown that 10%
don’t even know who the President is,’ said agency president Dorothy
’We were also surprised that no one seemed to care.’
Rather than attribute the survey results to customer loyalty, Crenshaw
suggested that consumers have grown tolerant of Internet outages and are
more sophisticated about the differences between internal and external
problems that can affect a site. And while she said that the way in
which PR pros handled the attacks helped maintain consumer confidence,
she added that responsible press coverage played a part as well.
Still, the attacks did have somewhat of a negative impact. For example,
8.9% of respondents expressed hesitancy to shop online following the
attacks, while 8.3% cited increased concerns about online stock trading
or financial management. Of those who expressed concern, 64% cited
security issues related to credit cards or personal information as the
reason they might be more likely to abandon the Internet in the wake of
Even in instances where customers don’t have to provide financial
information, some said they would be less likely to use the Internet for
accessing news (6%) or online gaming (5.9%).
Crenshaw said that she believes PR pros have already begun to reach out
to those few customers whose confidence was shaken.
’It’s happening at a very accelerated pace,’ she noted. ’The word is
getting out there that the Internet is safe. It’s not problem-free, but
it’s as secure as giving your credit card information to a
- See analysis, p21.