How should you handle negative PR? | SupportBiz

Sales and Marketing

How should you handle negative PR?

Being faced with negative public relations (PR) can be a daunting task for any firm, especially so in case of a small business which is trying to grow. A negative article about your business in a newspaper or magazine can damage your reputation, and even affect the morale of your employees.

It is, hence, necessary to deal with negative PR effectively. The way you handle such stories can make all the difference to how they affect you.

SupportBiz presents some tips for you to handle negative PR effectively.

Consider it carefully.

Consider the concerned news story carefully, and determine whether you should react to it or not. If the accusation on you is not from a credible source, looks like a rumour, or is the work of an internet troll, you might not want to justify yourself. However, in other cases, ignoring the article might actually have negative effects on your reputation. In such circumstances, do come out and clarify your stance on the matter.

Avoid over-reacting.

It is easy to get carried away by a slanderous article, and reply to it in equally slanderous language. However, this will only serve to damage your reputation further. Be polite and balanced in your reply, and project a professional attitude. Avoid over-reacting to the negative publicity.

Do not threaten.

Do not threaten the concerned newspaper or magazine for publishing a negative story about you. Instead, ask for a fair chance to defend yourself, by allowing you to publish a clarification. Most just newspapers and magazines will give you the chance to do so, if you are able to convince them justly.

Use facts and figures.

In order to convince readers against the negative publicity, cite relevant facts and figures to build your credibility. Speak about your achievements, including satisfied customers. Make a mention of your good track record in the past, and the ratings your firm has received.

Allow trusted ones to speak for you.  

If possible, allow your satisfied customers to speak on your behalf. Their recounting of their experiences with you can go a long way towards warding off any ill effects that the negative PR might have generated.

Be ready to apologise.

If the negative PR is due to a mistake you have made, or negative conduct on your part, be ready to apologise for the same. Instead of arguing continuously, accept the blame and state that you are sorry for it. Clarify that you will do your best to rectify the error, and ensure that a similar situation does not arise again in future.

Consider hidden opportunities.

Whenever you are faced with negative publicity, take the time to introspect about what it really means. If such news stories point out to real flaws in your products, services or other aspects of your business, work on rectifying them at the earliest. Grab the hidden opportunities that negative PR presents you with.

Generate positive content.

Once the rush after your negative PR dies down, generate a lot of positive content about yourself. Write some positive articles or blog posts. Give a speech, or get quoted in a news article. Offer to guest post on other blogs. This generation of fresh, good content will push down the content about your negative publicity on internet searches.