How to handle bad publicity

While we all hope that everyone will only say nice things about us, sadly it’s not always the case.

Sometimes you will do something wrong, or – perhaps more importantly – someone will feel you’ve done something wrong, and the result will be a tonne of bad publicity.

It’s vital to plan now for what might happen in the future and how you will handle it. To get you started, here are our top tips for dealing with bad publicity:

Plan in advance

Depending on what your business is or does, you can consider what could go wrong with a relative level of ease. For example, if you’re a motorsport team, think about the potential for accidents on the track, contract disputes with drivers or sponsors, or a team member saying something out-of-line on social media; all of which have the potential to cause bad publicity.

By setting out how to approach a variety of problems, you’ll ensure that you’re better prepared for when a time of crisis or uncertainty occurs.

Have someone on your side

Working alongside a PR agency, such as Top Step Communications, is invaluable during times of bad publicity. Firstly, our proactive PR work will have already ensured that there is a regular stream of good, positive news about you widely available, meaning we can be certain that people won’t only be hearing negative things about you.

Secondly, when something does occur, our team of experts will be quick to react. We’ll know what to say when, through which channels to say it, who in your organisation should say it and how they should deliver it. Every detail needs to be considered and our years of experience means we can advise you accordingly.

Alternatively, you don’t have to work with us on a regular basis to have assistance when things go wrong. If you find yourself in a crisis situation and subjected to bad publicity, get in touch immediately. We can help you quickly and simply to assist as soon as possible.

Don’t say too much

A deluge of negative messages through social media makes it all too tempting to defend yourself via the same platform. But there’s real danger in saying too much. Have one statement, deliver it and then leave it there.

Of course, you should monitor the reaction and decide how to respond if you see inaccurate reporting. Each situation requires a judgement on how or what to say, but in times of crisis, less can sometimes be more.

Learn from it

Don’t just pretend it never happened; instead examine exactly what did occur. Think about the actions that enhanced your reputation and those that simply increased the negative publicity. Taking onboard the lessons will ensure that you are prepared for the next time.

And don’t be afraid to get back out there and start promoting yourself positively again – it’s one of the key things you must do after a period of bad publicity.

If you’d like to chat to us about how we can help to promote your business in the best ways then get in touch today!

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