Here’s How to Use Bad Publicity to Help Your Business
Most of the time people say that bad publicity does not exist. They might be saying horrible things about your business, but at least people know you. If you think about it, bad publicity could ruin your reputation if it is not kept under control.
For instance, Amway was once accused of being a pyramid scheme that prevented people from buying their cleaning products, supplements, and beauty products. They defeated this myth by advertising about the truth on their company website. After that, people started buying their products again and they recovered.
This is a demonstration of how bad press can be turned around if it has been confronted than ignored. This kind of discovery also comes when the companies are addressing other kinds of negative publicity thoroughly and quickly.
In this article, you will find out how to handle bad publicity and make it into a good one. It is important to handle and minimize them to make it work to your advantage.
Counter Bad Press
You need to step back and carefully analyse the situation. Identify the shortcomings that might have led to a negative press. You can take note of shortcomings to rebuild the relationships with the aggravated party.
You must make corrections no matter what happens. You need to be sure that everything can be seen by everyone. Even if criticism is in the public, the point of view of a brand must also be publicized and it is a big help if people want to know their story.
Be Transparent to Reinforce Your Brand Quality
When Lulumon found out their pants have a problem, instead of quietly pulling out their product and hoped for the best, they did something else. They chose to reveal it publicly and used the issue to reinforce that they make quality products. The response of public relations was good for the company.
They reinforced their commitment to quality by recalling all of them and gave a replacement for the pants. The way they responded to the issue was very transparent, as well as the resolution.
A negative comment about the company can be a chance to rebuild its credibility and reputation. People know that problems happen, but what they are not aware of is that companies try to hide the problem and they avoid it or pretend it never happened. Whether the PR situation manufacturing, technical problem, customer service, or late delivery, properly handling it is important to maintain trust with customers.
- Admit what the issue is and explain it to customers
- Provide and talk about a clear path on how you are going to resolve the problem
- Give customers the chance to give their feedback, communicate channels to answer questions
- Communicate the plan to keep the problem from happening again
- Put the changes in place to show how committed you are to avoid incidents in the future
Let them Vent
Some websites include a feedback form so that people can talk about their experiences whether it is good or bad. Customers can promote the form by using their business cards and posting signs about it. After someone has submitted the form, they receive a message that thanks them for giving a feedback and they can give their name and contact number. This way, someone can call them if they want to discuss it more. This system helps them reduce bad reviews significantly.
Recover from the Poor Decisions You Made
It is important to have creative advertising, but there are ideas that do not work well with consumers. In the increasingly diverse marketplace of today, it is simpler to find a group that misinterpreted something you said. For instance, Starbucks was criticized after they announced their intention to hire immigrants to support the protests they have against the immigration ban of Trump. Some people thought Starbucks meant to only hire immigrants compared to other disadvantage groups like the veterans.
If you think that you are getting negative feedback because people are annoyed with your campaign or have misinterpreted it, you can try to use humour.
Comparing marketing campaigns is a good example of making bad publicity.
Repetition can make a good ad have a negative impact to the public. If the audience will see it too many times, they will get bored and irritated with it. Ads that come too vague will later be associated with your company. However, dramatic change could also be bad.
Bad Press Must Have Leverage
Most people’s quick response to a bad press is to make it disappear. What you can do is to leverage the attention of the press by calling different reporters from other media. You will realize that the original story can open the door to reports that wants a different way of doing it. They want to hear the story from someone who works for the company. The version you have must mitigate the bad press a little. At least you have it on record.
Counter Negative or False Reviews
When your product or service is of good quality, a stranger who is critical about your business in public forums or social media can frustrate you. Normally, the review is because of bad customer experience. However, sometimes someone posts a false review because they want to vent about something you have no control over. It could be an unethical behaviour of a customer, disgruntled employee, or a competitor who wants to make you look bad. Regardless of what it is, you can use bad feedback to your benefit by using simple techniques.
Negative comments make anyone unhappy, but you should not delete or ignore them. You must also not respond if you are angry. You must wait until you have calmed down so you can respond responsibly and professionally.
Make sure to empathize with the customer and show concern. Even if the person is unreasonable, give an apology and try to make things right. If something was wrong, admit to it and but promise that you will fix it.
By responding like this, you can show your audience how much you appreciate customer feedback and want to make them happy. Even if there is harsh criticism, responding positively and responsibly shows that your brand can be trusted. When you do this, you will have a lower risk of losing customers and your possibility of gaining new ones will be bigger.
Do Not Offer Freebies to Respond to Bad Reviews
When your business has a bad review online, it is important for you to post a response quickly to address it. However, you must never post about offering something for free to fix the situation. You must post professionally instead of being emotional or defensive. You can ask the person to contact you directly so you can discuss the issue further with them. This guarantees that you are communicating professionally to your potential customers.
Embrace the Good Side of Your Company
Since bad publicity is focused on the bad side of your company, a way to counter this is to emphasize the good side of your company.
Publicity is playing with the emotions of consumers, and competitors are going to use that against if they get the chance. That is why you must counter this by appealing to the emotions of your consumers, which means having a good PR or public relations.
Your PR efforts should be focused on that. Show consumers and audiences that there is a human side to your brand Aside from that, you can show them that despite the mistakes you commit, your brand still dedicates itself to do what’s right for everyone.
Prevent Security Breaches
Network breaches and losing customer data is very serious today and it creates bad publicity. Big organizations like Sony, PayPal, and Target were once the headlines because their customers’ personal data were hacked. This kind of data breach causes the public to lose trust in your company which badly affects your revenue.
If the personal data of your customer gets stolen, they might become identity theft victims. It is very important that you are aware of how to prevent this from happening. In order to be safe from hackers, you must regularly update your security systems. The applications for anti-malware and hardware options are needed to prevent security breaches. Safeguards such as data encryption, firewalls, threat detection, spam filtering, and more are extra layers of protection. They will not cause serious loss in network performance.
If there is a disaster and occurrence of data breaches, react right away and get a digital security expert to help you fix it. Do not try concealing the breach because that is the worst response. The customers would rather receive an email that explains what is happening and the steps you can take so it will not happen again. Then, you can also include your apology in the email. You must also update them about the progress of things.
If you need assistance, our marketing experts can help you with online reputation management services. You must not let bad publicity stop you because these are ways to rise from them and use it to your advantage.