What To Do When … You Receive Bad Publicity

Published on 31/08/2021


Businesses rely upon positive feedback and publicity in order to thrive and grow. When companies receive positive praise, it encourages new customers to give them a try. That in turn increases market share. 

However, bad publicity can be a disaster.

Of course, there are varying degrees of bad. It may just be a small amount of negative publicity that can easily be solved and moved on from. However, a large amount of bad publicity could damage your business reputation beyond repair. Maybe it came down to poor customer service on one occasion, but even that can quickly spiral out of control. 

Let’s hope this never happens to your business, but if you want to learn how to handle any bad press that comes your way, or perhaps you already have had some and you want to know what to do next, check out this video. 

If the publicity is only minor, there are a few steps you can take to overcome the problem. However, if it’s major, you may need to bring in the experts to help you put into place some damage limitation. 

  • Figure out why - What has caused the negative press? Be as clear as you possibly can be, even if it brings up some difficult truths. 
  • Rectify the situation - Work out how you can change it. What can you do to turn the situation around as quickly as possible?
  • Go on the charm offensive - Unfortunately, you’re going to have to turn on the charm. Be honest, explain the problem, talk about how you’re going to do better and make sure that you’re seen to be holding yourself accountable as a business. 
  • Prove yourself to people - This is a longer process, but you need to put you changes into place and actually prove to people that your business has changed and isn’t going to make the same mistakes again. Focus on customer service and what you can do for people. 
  • Make sure it doesn't repeat itself - Finally, you need to set strategies to ensure that the same problem doesn’t happen again. One small amount of bad publicity is survivable for most businesses, but if it repeat itself, you’re looking at a disaster. 

Out of all the workplace problems you may face, negative publicity has the power to make or break your business. If you manage to turn it around and show a human face to your customers, it could take you on to greater success. However, if you handle it badly, it could be the one thing which breaks your business. 

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