How to Handle Bad PR – by Angel Howansky
When managing a brand image, sooner or later, negative press will happen. Even if the news is wrong and the truth is on your side, you always face the possible risk that people will believe the lie. Bad PR is unpredictable and can destroy a person's reputation. In the age of the Internet and social media, bad publicity can go viral before you can even mount a defense. That it's extra important that you know how to handle bad PR as soon as it happens.The only thing worse than having your brand image hurt in the media, after you have tried to protect yourself, is to learn you really are the one responsible for the disaster. But there are proven ways to know how to handle bad PR after it happens.
Use The Opportunity for Good
You can build trust and improved relationships by solving problems. Want to turn an upset fan or customer into a dedicated one? Fix their problem! A negative experience can go viral through internet social circles pretty quickly. But a situation that can be flipped into a positive? That spreads well too. Be honest, address the situation quickly and apologize and or make amends right away. That is how you handle bad PR to turn lemons into lemonade
Point the Blame Away from You
If you have been misrepresented or can honestly place the blame away from yourself that is one effective way to handle the situation. Never lie and try not to make the situation worse for another person or company. How to handle bad PR? Treat the situation the way you would want to be treated in a similar set of circumstances.
Help the Story Go Away
What’s the best way to get away from a really terrible PR disaster? This is one of the best ways to handle bad PR. Outperform it. We’re all familiar with the story of Apple. If recall, twenty years ago, Apple was in bad shape. The press had a field day attacking the company when they were making mistakes. Just a few years earlier they had ousted Steve Jobs and weren't producing very good products. As they became increasingly irrelevant, Apple very well could have disappeared like many a technology company before them. I sold my Apple stock. Probably the dumbest things I ever did; but it made sense at the time.
Then, something amazing happened. Steve Jobs returned to Apple, and they started creating products that weren’t just technically superior to their competition, but sexier, too. Apple became very "cool company" Today, no one mentions their early 90’s struggles anymore, because they are one of the most profitable companies in the world.
Many will say Apple has their best years still ahead.
Joan Rivers was a washed up comedian who was really down on her luck. After an inspiring performance on Celebrity Apprentice with Donald Trump, her career was totally turned around. All those that said she was finished had to eat their words as she enjoyed renewed stardom on her own fashion critique show that was the perfect venue for Joan's caustic humor. She out performed all of her critics and up till her untimely death and reached the pinnacle of her career at the age of 81.
Look for my new book on "Celebrity Branding" coming out later in the year.