Bad publicity is never welcome

Dealing with PR disaster – Bad Publicity is Never Welcome

Bad publicity is never welcome and the way companies respond to it could be the making or breaking of the business.

Believing that a company is immune from bad publicity is a sure-fire way of being completely unprepared when it inevitably strikes in some form or another.

If there is a clear plan in place for when a PR disaster happens, the company gives itself a much better chance of limiting the damage inflicted and staying in control of the situation.

Being prepared for adverse publicity can thwart a bad situation from becoming a terrible one, and also a good opportunity to show the business in the best possible way given the circumstances.

Here’s how to deal with PR disaster and avoid bad publicity:

Avoid It

One of the best ways to avoid a PR problem is by not allowing it to happen in the first place. To ensure this is possible, stakeholders and employees must evaluate and consider what could go wrong for the business in any given situation.

No Smoke Without Fire

Be strong advocates of reading between the lines when it comes to preventing PR disasters. Employees should be instructed to inform relevant personnel if they hear about an issue more than once, as there may be much more to the story that could eventually blow up into negative publicity, or hurt the company in some way.

Don’t Hide Issues Or Let Them Fester

A positive brand image can take years to cultivate, and can now be destroyed overnight thanks to the progression of news, digital and social media. Resolving issues before they grow into bigger problems is a fundamental tactic towards the prevention of PR disasters.

Employees are often guilty of hiding issues in an attempt to avoid responsibility and repercussions from management, so leaders must instil an air of open communication with them to create another blockade against potential PR issues.

Perception Is Reality

What matters is the customer’s perception – This is where the biggest mishandling of PR disasters occur, when companies try and tell customers, or even infer, that they have got the wrong end of the stick.

It is better to admit aspects of the problem then smoothly and calmly explain what the company is going to do about it, and if applicable, evaluate prevention methods to prevent re-occurrences in future.

Opinion Post by: Rachel Robinson, Managing Director of Syrac Inspirations (Sales and Marketing firm based in Sheffield).