The worst thing that can ever happen to a business is a PR crisis. It can hurt your reputation, alienate customers and partners, and even put you out of business. So what should you do when bad press hits?

Here are some tips on how to deal with negative publicity:

Don’t Ignore It

You must first understand that you cannot ignore it. If someone has made a disparaging comment about your brand, don’t try to make it go away by deleting the post or pretending as though nothing had happened. This will only make things worse in the long run and will make your company look very unprofessional.

Instead of deleting anything, try responding with a well thought out comment or tweet that acknowledges their point of view but also sets the record straight on some key details that might not be clear in their original post (e.g., “We appreciate your feedback about our policy changes; however, we do have some additional context for you.”). This will help show customers that what they posted was wrong but also give them another chance to understand a different perspective on an issue without making them feel attacked by yours directly.

Step Back and Take A Deep Breath

When you read a degrading comment or remark about your brand, in which you have put a lot of hard work to develop and grow, it’s easy to get triggered. It’s important thing to keep in mind is that getting panic won’t get you anywhere so take a deep breath, sit back and relax.

Additionally, trying to explain yourself publicly will only worsen a situation so don’t get too defensive or try to excuse yourself out of it. It’s too late for that, and it won’t help anyway, as your words will be taken out of context by your detractors anyway. It’s best to maintain your calm and avoid doing or say anything that will make you regret later.

Investigate The Issue

Remember, first we need to make sure we know what the real issue is and only then we can do something about it. Your next step should be gathering all the facts and proofs regarding the issue only then we can address it. Then comes the major step which is, taking the help of your team members to further investigate the issue.

Then comes the step where we finally get to the root cause of the problem and identify the people involved and find out how did it actually happen. Finally, it is time to find out why it happened so that you can prevent similar incidents from happening again in the future if possible.

Plan Your Response

Before you issue a statement, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I have all the facts? If not, how quickly can I get them? How much time do I need to gather more information and put together a thoughtful response?
  • What is my brand’s reputation in this industry or community? Do we have a reputation for being honest and transparent or for being overly aggressive and condescending. Is our brand known for responding quickly or slowly. Does our response reflect this reputation in any way (e.g., does it feel rushed)?

Work With Your Team To Craft A Response That Fits Your Brand

  • Be positive. Don’t be afraid to show that you’re human and have a sense of humor.
  • Be honest. You don’t have to share every detail, but do apologize for any missteps or mistakes.
  • Be empathetic. Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person on a deep level—and it’s about more than just having feelings for your audience; it’s about knowing how they think and what they want from you.
  • Keep it short and simple—no more than two sentences in length is ideal! And if possible, don’t just say what happened; show us how you’re going to fix it: “We’re so sorry for our mistake; now we are working on solving this problem by doing [action].”

Keep It Short And Simple

When you’re addressing the public, remember to keep your response short and simple. You cannot explain everything to everyone so try to keep it as simple and as you can. Also, while writing down the response make sure you don’t get too defensive. It’s easy to get carried away sometimes but it’s crucial to not portray yourself as if you’re deeply affected. In addition to that, make sure the language you use is understandable for all and you can do this easy by not being vague and using jargon or words like ‘hopefully’, ‘possibly’ and ‘but’.

Try To Re-frame The Problem In A Positive Way, Highlighting The Best Of You And Your Company.

  • Use a positive phrase to describe the issue. For example: “We’ve learned from our mistake” or “This is an opportunity for us to grow stronger.”
  • Use a metaphor or analogy to describe the problem. For example: “Our team is batting hundreds right now”, or “We’re moving forward with our eyes on the prize”.
  • Use a quote from someone else (not necessarily related) who has faced similar problems before, and whom you admire as an authority figure.

Implement A New Policy To Prevent This Issue From Happening Again

This should be a very specific and detailed explanation of how the policy will work, what it will look like, and why it’s necessary. I recommend including examples of how this policy would have prevented the issue in question, but only if they’re realistic. If you have a history of failing to follow through on policies, or if the person who was hurt by your policy isn’t willing to trust you anymore because of past offenses (and rightfully so), then don’t pretend that your new policy will be any different from any other failed attempt. Explain exactly how the monitoring process will work—how frequently is it checked? Who does the checking? How are offenders punished for breaking the rules? What happens when someone reports another employee for being late or showing up intoxicated?

You may also want to include some information about how people can report violations without fear of retribution from management—whether that means anonymously or publicly speaking out against an unfair decision made by someone with greater power over them than themselves

Consider Taking Your Response Offline, If Possible.

There are many things in life you can’t control, but you can control how you respond to negative publicity. If people are talking about your brand online, it’s important that they see a response from your company as well.

Here are some ways to take the conversation offline:

  • Contact the customer who made the negative comment and ask them for more details about their experience so that you can address it directly with them.
  • Share a positive customer experience with others on social media or through email marketing campaigns. Show off the great things customers say about working with your company!
  • Host an event where employees get to interact with happy clients in person (if possible). This will help remind everyone of all of the good relationships that have been built thanks to hard work and dedication from both sides of this equation!

The bottom line is that negative publicity is bad for your company. It can be fixed if you handle it properly. You need to respond quickly and in a way that fits your brand. The key is to respond quickly and calmly, keeping your emotions in check so that your brand doesn’t suffer any more damage than it already has.

Payomatix Technologies Pvt. Ltd.

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Ruchi Rathor

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