Victim of Bad PR? Five Damage Control Tips To Try Today
Bad press happens for nearly every business, from small customer complaints to giant PR nightmares that can be involved with public safety. If this happens, there are a number of things businesses can do to help mitigate the damage. Bad PR cannot be erased, but it can be controlled and a response can be provided that satisfies customers and helps businesses get back on track in a shorter amount of time.
The worst thing any business can possibly do is falsify information. If your business made a mistake, admit it. While it may not seem true, many people still appreciate when a person or company can own up to their faults and say that they were wrong. Integrity is still important in the business world. It also helps for businesses to be upfront about issues. If the issue is large enough, consider issuing a statement, talking about the issue on social media, or otherwise informing people about the issue before they inform you. This gives you control over the information that is spread and lets customers know you are already responding to it.
Do Your Research
If you are going to respond to negative PR in a public manner, do your research first. Know all the facts of the situation, talk to everyone on your team to get everyone on the same page, and have a unified approach to how you are going to handle the issue. One of the worst things that can happen is if you are not aware of all of the facets of the problem and something pops up later that makes you or your company look even worse. Doing thorough research also gives you a better opportunity to completely follow through with the solutions to the problem. During this time customers will pay more attention to your company and how you are reacting, and missing the chance to tie up a loose end can be disastrous.
Don’t Be Too Reactive
Reacting immediately to an issue without forethought can cost you a lot more than the issue itself. Especially if you are posting on social media or any kind of public forum about the negative happenstance, take the time to thoroughly read your responses and possibly even have someone else proofread them for you as well. And think about other perspectives, as sometimes even the most well-meaning message can be misinterpreted by a person who looks at things a little differently.
Hire the Right Team
If the negative PR issue seems like it may be better handled by an outside team, do not hesitate to research a great digital marketing agency to help dig out of the hole. Keeping up with negative PR in today’s world, and especially responding to it in a helpful way, can be an extremely difficult thing to do. A good marketing team can handle responses and posts with a multifaceted approach that targets different customer bases and perspectives. Responding the wrong way, posting the wrong picture, or even minor things such as disabling comments on a social media post can be taken negatively by customers.
Counteract With Positive Output (If Possible)
Depending on the situation, it may be a good idea to try to counteract the negative feedback with positive feedback. Is this bad PR stemming from a bad review? Put your effort into gathering as many positive reviews in as many different places as possible. If it would not make the situation worse, publicly talk about positive things with the company or news that keeps a tone that is upbeat and happy. This also gives you the opportunity to get a feel for how your customer base is viewing you right now based on feedback to your positive media.
Bad press does not have to mean the end for a company, and if handled correctly can even draw in new business or boost the company’s view in a customer’s eyes. The most important thing is to start with a strategy and follow it through, and do not allow yourself to get angry. Use this negative thing as an opportunity to show what your business can do, and how it can step up to customer satisfaction even in the face of adversity.