Analyzed by: Shinta Widianti – PR Consultant of Fortune PR
The reputation of a company is essential to its survival. Reputation management is something that every PR practitioners must master in order to maintain the company’s existence for the long run But did you know that the press might have the power to damage your reputation instantly?
No matter how careful you are in keeping your company’s reputation, the chance of getting negative press coverage will still be there. This can definitely threaten your company’s reputation! As a PR pro, it is your duty to master the art of minimizing the impact of a negative press coverage, before it turns into the company’s worst nightmare.
In a challenging attempt to minimize the damage caused by bad press coverage, a PR pro must first stay calm, have a clear mind of what to do, and be fully aware of the current situation. As Richard Lorenzen wrote in The Huffington Post, let’s discuss deeper about the five ways to handle a reputation damage caused by bad press coverage:
- Stay out from virtual fights
When you encounter a negative press coverage in today’s digital age, the internet will be your worst enemy. The negative information can most likely be viral on social media instantly. When this situation happened, you can’t handle all negative comments from the public. To tackle this, do not respond harshly to those negative comments. Do not attack the haters by getting involved in a virtual fight. Leave those negative comments behind.
- Listen, and remember: “silence is golden”
Take a moment to listen to what the public is saying about your company. Negative press coverage might be a nightmare for any PR pros, but it can be a learning experience as well. Study all the negative comments and take it as a feedback to make your company perform better in the future. It’s better to stay silent until you officially issue an official public statement, rather than making emotional and harsh comments that might trigger a much worse situation.
However, do not stay silent and hide too long. This will make you completely weak on handling the issue, or worse, this can make the negative issue seems true! Take your time to think about the message for your public statement and the best way to answer all the complaints.
- Talk to your stakeholders
While in silence, you still need to communicate with your stakeholders. As a PR pro, it is important to get rid of any misunderstanding, share your positivity, and make sure that your team is still cohesive on the current situation.
- Find a spokesperson
Before giving an official public statement, make sure you appoint a proper spokesperson. He or she will have to be calm when talking to the press and must own the ability to handle questions from journalists.
- Start finding good press
Try to find positive angles and share positive stories about your company to the press. It’s okay if the information is short, but the more you do this, the more you can get the public’s attention. This will minimize the damage of the previous negative press coverage.
As a PR pro, you need to be well-prepare and be fully aware of all the situations that have the potential to damage your company’s future. So when you encounter a negative press coverage, make sure you stay calm and have a clear plan of how to handle it.
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