Internet harassment against women is at an all-time high in India. With social media platforms being an open space for public dialogue, there’s always room for unwanted trolling and bullying especially towards women. We at OYO Hotels & Homes, have today launched a one-of-its-kind Online Relationship Management (ORM) initiative to address such lewd and unwanted comments targeted towards women on our social media platforms including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
At OYO, we have always advocated in building safe ecosystems along with creating safe spaces for women. It is with this thought we took on online harassers across our social media platforms by identifying offensive or vulgar comments directed towards women and reinforced trollers to spread positivity and cheer. To achieve this, our in-house Brand and Social Media teams creatively leveraged ORM. A first responder function that is used to curb negative sentiment, instead got it to motivate users to respect women. Through a creative take, we discouraged users who left smutty comments and pushed them to opt for compliments on our social platforms. This initiative led to improved behaviour on our social media channels, with a 42% drop in negative sentiment towards our brand in less than two weeks (precisely 11 days). Further to this, we also observed some users deleting distasteful comments. Additionally, post our active outreach campaign, our social media platforms are now witnessing a higher share of positive or neutral speak at 26% and 62% respectively in comparison to only 12% comprising negative comments.
Mayur Hola, Head of Global Brand, OYO Hotels & Homes said, “Have we ever come across a woman who hasn’t faced online threats, trolling or harassment at least once in her life? And how are we as members of a responsible society tackling this menace? These are the questions that moved us. As a hospitality chain, it is our responsibility to provide safe spaces for all our guests and especially women, be it offline at our hotels and indeed online on our social platforms. With this core thought, we mobilised ORM, usually, a function that deals with consumer complaints and transformed it into a first responder that supports women and corrects lewd behaviour. This is brand building at its simplest yet deepest level. This campaign started out as a Women’s Day initiative and has now become a policy at OYO. We are now tackling this issue on a daily basis by identifying lewd trolls targeted towards women and schooling them through positive reinforcement.
He further added, “A brand has to influence behaviour, both within the organisation as well as our consumers or external audience. We as a brand want to set an example and not stay at the surface level. This policy does both. It essentially walks the talk of our content. We’re super thrilled to share that since the past couple of weeks since this has gone live, there’s been a significant drop in online harassment of women on our platforms. Similarly, we will continue to mobilise every part of our organisation to address various issues that exist in the social media world. This is a first but very important step in tackling lewd behaviour against women. By creatively addressing such social issues, there is a lot more we will continue to fix going forward.”
This is one of its kind industry-first initiative that we at OYO Hotels & Homes have rolled out in order to tackle online harassment against women. While many brands actively take a stand against online bullying through film spots; this is the first active outreach campaign undertaken by any brand in India.
Watch the video below to see how we overtook bullies who were harassing women with their lewd comments!