Beware the recording smartphone, says PR head

The head of a corporate PR firm is warning businesses of the risk of reputational damage resulting from secretly recorded audio and video on smartphones.

The head of a corporate PR firm is warning businesses of the risk of reputational damage resulting from secretly recorded audio and video on smartphones.

Lyall Mercer, managing director of Mercer PR, used the recent media coverage of footballer Mitchell Pearce and advertising agency M&C Saatchi as examples of how recordings of private events can cause public problems for a brand.

While the former concerned an individual, Mr Mercer said the situation affected the entire club.

“Everyone now has the potential to take damning video or audio,” Mr Mercer said.

“If a customer complains, you must now assume they are recording the conversation, and if the boss gives a speech, he or she must do so knowing it could be on Facebook the next morning.”

According to Mr Mercer, business operators should realise the potential risks of leaked recordings and actively take steps to reduce exposure to such events.

“Small and large businesses must have a good customer complaint procedure and vet every speech and public statement before it is delivered,” he said.

He also recommended the implementation of a social media policy for staff, and also suggested that companies may be able to ban employees or guests from recording anything on their premises.

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