Being negatively assessed is any company’s nightmare, especially on social networks, which have become tools for instant judgement. One false step can reverberate all over the internet. With this in mind, it is important for companies to learn how to overcome bad publicity.
Having a crisis management plan is important, but it is equally important to integrate the team and establish communication throughout the company, in order to motivate everyone to face a period of crisis.
The first step is to hire a public relations professional. Choosing a professional who specializes in crisis management is the best way to define strategies for getting out of a crisis. As complicated as it may seem, it is important to face adversity head-on, acknowledging mistakes and using this to improve corporate actions.
Learn how to overcome bad publicity and minimize the impact to your business
All employees are representatives of a company. It is common for the marketing and sales departments to be in the spotlight when a crisis occurs, and become the company’s official spokespersons. But it is important that all employees realize that they represent the company too, especially in the era of social networks. Therefore it is important that all actions taken, regardless of one’s position in the company, are established together, and represent the best way to address the issue at hand.
When you anticipate a crisis becoming the subject of media attention, pre-empt this and use your platforms to emphasize the steps already taken by the company – not to contain, but rather to shift the spotlight on to your company’s positive actions. In this way, not all media coverage will focus on mistakes made.
Trust your team
If you’re certain you have a well-structured team, the best decision is to use the expertise of everyone involved to determine the best path for the company, and how to overcome bad publicity in order to minimize negative outcomes.
Tell the truth
The best way to face a crisis is to be honest, about the causes and the impact it will have on the company. Establish a trusting relationship with the team, and impress upon them the actions to be taken, and the impact that these actions may have on the corporate environment.
Know your audience
Regardless of the nature of your business, it is important to know your audience and your consumers, in order to establish a relationship with the brand. Therefore, when facing a crisis it is important to understand how it affects your audience, and their relationship with you. A good way to integrate your audience is to use positive reviews as references for the company – a way for positive consumer experiences to act as company spokespeople.
Be prepared for criticism
The internet has made it much easier to find information about companies and people, and this can either motivate or turn off new customers. That is why it is important to keep your communication clear and concise with online critics , to contain the crisis. This should be done in a controlled manner and in step with the crisis management plan, to avoid amplifying the attention paid to the company’s mistake.
Even with all the problems which a crisis can cause, the main takeaway is to use the situation as a motivator for your team, and prevent mistakes from being repeated. Choose a public relations professional qualified to deal with crises, set goals and be transparent with your employees and the public; they’ll help you understand how to overcome bad publicity, taking into account the specifics of your situation.
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