A survey conducted by Makovsky & Company with respect to the new media indicated alarming gaps in corporate preparedness. Only one-third of respondents claiming to actively monitor the Internet to learn what is being said about their firms. Barely 25% of those replying to the survey said they feel they have "good" knowledge of what is being said about their company, and 40% believe they have a "poor" or "very poor" grasp.
Where does the danger lie? Only a few years ago, the two major types of individuals with considerable potential to cause corporate damage � the dissatisfied customer or disgruntled ex-employee � had limited options to make their complaints public. They might parade in front of the company headquarters, write a hostile letter to a newspaper, or perhaps attempt to contact a reporter at a local TV station. Only rarely would such efforts attract attention from supporters who might bring pressure to bear to help resolve the problem.
Today the state of affairs is dramatically different. The Internet makes it possible for people with a grievance � real or imagined �to put their complaints before a vast audience, many of whom might provide willing support. And at the same time, the Internet allows those parties to locate people willing to blow the whistle on problems at just about any company. Message boards and chat groups on virtually every imaginable subject can be easily accessed from any computer with a modem and ISP.