We hear scandalously negative things in the press all the time. And, honestly, how often do we stop and research the story beyond browsing the headlines as we go about our busy days? But as this story about how social media ruined or nearly ruined three careers proves, bad press doesn’t always just blow over.
When you or your company is the victim of bad press, it may be tempting to hide your head in the sand and wait for the story to pass into yesterday’s news. And while, admittedly, this is sometimes a decent strategy, bad press can also mean ruin. Check out these bad press scenarios and what to do about them:
A company with a name very similar to yours was found posting YouTube videos of drowning puppies! Unfortunately, the reporter at a major regional paper didn’t fact check her story, and now your Google Alerts are popping up left and right that your company perpetrates animal cruelty.
Your PR strategy? Fight it and fight it fast! Ask for a correction in the original media report, post a correction on your website, and issue a press release. As quickly as stories spread these days, the damage could already be infecting your company’s reputation… and your SEO whenever someone searches your company out. Search out the story and make sure all instances of the erroneous company name are corrected.
A Group with an Agenda
This scenario can be a little harder to combat. Your policies have somehow upset someone, and they’re after you. While this can sometimes work for companies (see the recent Chick-Fil-A scandal), it can also leave your company high and dry if you are blindsided.
Your strategy? Be prepared first. Knowing the landscape of the news climate can help you foresee issues and combat them. From there, ask yourself what you want to happen should such an attack take place. Do you want a retraction from everyone involved? (Not likely to happen, especially if there’s a kernel of truth in the story about your company.) Or do you want to make sure that your side is heard? If it’s the latter, then get out ahead of the story by making your own blog, your own social media, and doing your own good works in preparation for any negative press that might come your way. That way, the public will get the chance to know you and your company before any negative press arrives on their doorstep or computer screen.
Have you ever been a victim of bad press? What did you do about it?
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download your free copy of 7 Cheap PR Tactics for Success in Any Economy here: http://www.ereleases.com/7cheaptactics.html