9 Ways Bad PR is Killing Your Business
However, you must be careful about what information you put out there. Remember that your online reputation can harm your business. For example, if people search for information on a particular company, they might find that you have been posting offensive comments on various social media sites. Then, they might avoid buying from you.
In addition, if your online reputation is not excellent, it could also hurt your business. People may think you are dishonest. They might stop using your products or services.
It would be best if you tried to be positive and helpful whenever possible. You shouldn’t post anything that someone could interpret as harmful or rude. If you do that, you will negatively impact your online reputation. So, make sure that your online profile is clean.
Today’s way we communicate is different from how we communicated a few decades ago. Just think back to the early 2000s. At that time, PR companies were all the rage.
Everyone wanted to build their PR empire, and every startup looked to hire a press relations firm. But as the market evolved, that trend shifted, and startups started looking for agencies to help them manage their PR on their own.
You need to know if your company’s been getting bad press.
1 – Don’t Be Afraid To Go Public With Your Issues
Don’t be afraid to point out publicly that your company is being harmed by bad PR. By being transparent, you give your employees a chance to see that others feel the same way about your company.
You can also provide them with opportunities to talk about the situation and hopefully learn what steps to take next to solve the problem.
I’m sure you’ve read the countless stories about how people have dealt with bad PR. It’s a hideous thing to happen to you. And yet, many businesses still try to keep quiet about bad PR.
There’s only one reason for this: Most businesses are terrified of what the public’s response might be. But this is a big mistake.
Even if no one ever finds out about the incident, it will still have affected you. If you are going through the pain of dealing with an issue, there is no need to try to hide it from the world.
2 – Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late
Many companies try to hide bad press from their customers. But don’t let a negative situation go unaddressed because you’re afraid of how your customers may react.
It’s not always possible to remove the stigma, but there are ways to minimise the damage. Once a crisis hits, you should implement a PR plan immediately.
First, contact your media contacts and let them know what’s happening. Do your best to explain the situation and what actions you’re taking to remedy it.
We’re all guilty of this. Whether a blog post or social media post, the temptation is always to wait until a situation blows over. The problem with this is that when it’s too late to fix a problem, it will not be a good experience for your brand. You might even lose a lot of potential customers and damage your reputation.
3 – When You Can’t Control The Press, Deal With It
The press doesn’t always respond to what you want them to. Even if the public loves you or hates you, the media often treat your brand the same way. They’ll cover what you want them to cover and ignore what you don’t want them to cover.
So, when the press doesn’t report on your products or services, take some time to analyse why they’ve ignored your story. What are the stories that are being reported by the media right now? Is there a way to get your message in front of these audiences?
We’ve all been there. You did your best to give a client a great response to negative press, which was disastrous. It’s frustrating, but you shouldn’t worry too much about the PR situation. It would help if you were more concerned about the quality of the PR coverage than the quantity.
4 – Stop Failing to Communicate with Your Customers
When people complain about bad publicity, you might feel defensive and inclined to defend yourself. But that is the worst thing you can do.
If you have a public relations problem, you need to take responsibility and apologise. You also need to admit that it’s your fault. But what happens next is just as important.
Once you’ve apologised, you need to commit to fixing the problem and making sure it doesn’t happen again.
A study by G2Crowd found that brands with the best reputation across the Internet had an average of 3.9 stars on Google, while the brands with the lowest reputation had only 2.6 stars. (A star is Google’s way of saying a review is trustworthy.)
If you want people to take your product seriously, you’d better start making sure it’s reviewed well on sites like Google and Amazon.
It’s no secret that bad PR often leads to bad reviews. So why do companies continue to fail to address them?
One reason is that they don’t understand how their customers view their products. The way they communicate is the way that they understand it.
If a company doesn’t understand what its customers want, it’ll never understand what its customers say about it online. By changing your communication, you change your relationship with your customers.
5 – Start Doing It Right Now
Once you have identified what needs to be changed, the next thing to do is change it. Don’t procrastinate because that’s a surefire way to make it worse.
Instead, take a hard look at the problem and see if there’s anything else you can do to make it better. If the problem is terrible, it should be addressed quickly and thoroughly, and you can bet it won’t get fixed unless you’re willing to commit to the process.
You should set up your blog or other social media accounts right away if you’re new to PR because this is a perfect platform for responding to negative reviews.
“It’s too late to go back. You’ve done it now. You can’t undo it; you have to live with the consequences,” said David E. Kelly, the former head of the PR firm Burson-Marsteller, in a presentation titled “How to Make the Most of a Bad Press Release.”
His key takeaways: Don’t put the release out until you’re ready, and don’t wait for the media to call. Instead, call them and ask whether they’d like to cover your story. If they say no, then hold off.
6 – Make the Media Your Best Ally
Avoid bad press at all costs. If it’s a bad PR situation, you want to be able to point to some positive news or some feature that you’ve done that makes it clear that you’re not the evil company you’ve been painted.
It’s possible to make the media your ally. It’s something you can take advantage of if you’ve got the opportunity to reach out to the media or explain what you’ve done. That way, they can help you by pointing out your good deeds.
Every company that wants to be successful needs media support. The challenge, however, is that if your company is already struggling financially, you probably won’t be getting much free press. That means that it’s up to you to build media relations proactively and strategically.
7 – Use Publicity as a Way to Grow Your Business
Publicity is often one of the first things entrepreneurs think about when building up their businesses, but it’s rarely one of the first things they do. Yet, publicity is vital to growing your business and creating a following.
The problem is that many entrepreneurs don’t even realise that they should be getting publicity. They assume that their audience will find them. But, if they want to grow, they have to let people know that they exist and that they exist because of something people can do for them.
Bad publicity is a risk that every entrepreneur has to take. Whether you’re a startup or a small business, every new business faces challenges along the way, and there will always be negative press.
It doesn’t matter how much work you put into the planning. You can’t control what happens in the media and the online world.
8 – Don’t Allow Unfounded Criticism to Discourage You
You’re opening yourself up to problems and pitfalls if you allow a negative review or lousy press to influence your decisions. When people write bad reviews, they rarely tell the whole story, and there’s a reason why.
They may have personal feelings about something in the company, and they may be jealous of a competitor, or perhaps they don’t like what your company stands for. Negative reviews are never a fair reflection of your company, product, or services, no matter their motives.
So if you do come across some negativity, don’t let it discourage you. That doesn’t mean ignore it, but rather, treat it as data that you can use to position your product or company better.
A negative comment or a negative review can sometimes indicate how something is—or just how something is being perceived. Sometimes, reality and perception are different.
9 – Put Your Best Foot Forward, Even When it Feels Tough
After a lousy press release, there’s a natural reaction. You start to feel sorry for yourself. You may even get a little nervous because you’re afraid of getting another one. But in reality, you have nothing to worry about.
Here’s why: You’ve probably made your mistakes before. Now is not the time to feel sorry for yourself. There are still plenty of opportunities ahead for you to get this right. What you should feel instead is excited about the future!
It’s tempting to focus on your brand image, but the truth is, you don’t want your customers to perceive you as unprofessional like you don’t care.
The only way to ensure that your company doesn’t experience any bad PR is to keep all of your marketing and public relations channels aligned. This is a lot easier said than done, especially when dealing with multiple brands and different communications methods.
If you don’t have a PR specialist on board, you’ll need to hire someone to coordinate everything. This is likely to cost you, but it’s worth the investment.
When it comes to building a brand, being transparent and sharing real-time updates is the best way to maintain a positive reputation and ensure your customers know where you stand.
The bad news is that bad PR can damage a brand. But the good news is that you can use the right tools to create positive publicity and get rid of the naysayers.