Keep a crisis management plan
Nothing beats proper preparation. As a business, you should have a crisis management plan stored somewhere; it should consist of how you would respond to bad publicity. You do not have to wait for crisis to draw up a standard procedure for handling negative publicity. Put together how you want each member of your team to respond, what should be posted on social media, your public statements, how to liaise with blogs and the media. This way you are prepared for the rainy day when your business finds itself needing to deal with bad publicity. It is advisable to draft this plan when you are calm, when you can think straight and not when everything is in chaos.
Respond with facts
If you’re getting unfair publicity, respond as soon as possible with the correction or your reasons for acting in a particular manner that caused the backlash. If a negative story based on erroneous facts about your business emerges, let the public know, firmly but politely, what was wrong and the evidence or facts you have to back it up.
Admit your mistake and proffer solution
If you’re getting bad publicity because your business did something wrong, admit it, apologize and offer to fix it. Denying or lying will only make matters worse, this won’t make the situation disappear so it’s better to face it and deal with it. Respond to the negative news honestly and decisively, and communicate with the media or public throughout the process. Staying silent or lying encourages the public to dig more. Apologize, fix the problem and explain how you’re going to do better in the future, and do a follow up of how you have rectified the issue.
Use the opportunity to collect valuable feedback
Don’t get lost in the madness. Use the golden opportunity to collect feedback and observations about your brand. Analyze the bad statements made against your company. Take them as your feedback which is needed in any organisation to grow. Subsequently, take it as an opportunity to build better relationships, customer experience, products and services. View this process as a way of solving problems associated with your brand. Whatever action you take should put you in a better position for recovery and success.
If you properly handle a bad publicity about your company, you might end up acquiring new customers. You can switch things around to favour your brand. We can comfortably say there’s no such thing as bad publicity only when we implement good crisis management plan or strategies. So it’s all up to you and your business.