An app has recently hit Android and iOS app stores that seems to have smashed the world right in its collective face.
I'm talking about Pokemon Go, a game that has really exploited the augmented reality we've been promised would be everywhere by now. In the game, people walk around with their faces buried in their mobile phones peering through their cameras. On their cameras wee Pokemon appear on the screen as though they were there in the real world.
It's the gamification of life.
And you might wonder, why are you telling me this Dave? What does this have to do with PR and reputation and publicity?
Well the answer is that this Pokemon Go craze has seen just about every single PR wave lap over it in just the one week it's been in existence.
There's been huge publicity in a positive way, two Pokemon hunters got a colour photo in the Dominion Post for kayaking out to a fountain and 'claiming' it for their side. Stories are emerging that talk of previously empty places 'teeming' with people hunting Pokemon. Businesses are asking that their employees stop hunting Pokemon and instead do their jobs. It's a good news bonanza!
Except on the other side we're seeing negative stories come out simultaneously. We've heard stories of people being mugged at popular hunting rounds, gang members using the game as a means to lure people into traps and people injuring themselves while trying to grab Pokemon in difficult ways.
Inevitably the snooping stories are emerging too, with suspicions being cast upon how much of your privacy you're giving up in order to hunt a Pokemon (this is a sentence I didn't think I'd ever type).
But the most telling story is the one of its success. Already Pokemon Go is bigger than Tinder on Android and is looking likely to surpass Twitter for active users. Not bad for a game that's a week old. And one that gets people out into the streets too!
So my point in all of this is that with every huge success you need to prepare for a backlash. There will always be haters. It's just part of society. You can either keep your head down and let success speak for itself (the riskier strategy), or you can do your due diligence and prep for all the possible terrible outcomes that may occur and what your answers will be. Obviously we'd recommend that you do that. But there are almost an infinite number of events that *could* occur, and to that say, well, ya gotta catch em all.