Bad press/publicity will give your business the recognition it needs but for all the wrong reasons. Here are 5 ways to avoid bad press for your business.
People in the business world have often said, “Bad publicity is better than no publicity.” While this might have worked for a few businesses, it is really not the hill you want your business to die on.
The bad press might result in a lot of people being offended, and as a result of this, you spend the rest of your business life making up for it.
5 Ways to Avoid Bad Press for Your Business
The adverse effects of bad press outweigh its advantages. Hence, the bad press must be avoided at all costs. Looking for ways to avoid bad press? Look no further. Here are five ways in which business owners can avoid bad press for their business.
1. Be accountable
Maybe the damage has already been done; maybe it even took you by surprise. Well, do not fret; it happens to businesses all the time. What you should not do is shy away from it. Rather accept responsibility for whatever mistakes your business has made. Apologize to those that it may have affected one way or the other.
Never try to prove that you are right. You would further drive the knife in by doing that. We are all humans, and entrepreneurship doesn’t strip anyone of their humanity. We are all bound to make mistakes, but make sure to own up to them and not shift blame. Also, do not only express apologies by words. Better customer service will go a long way to pacify all those that might have been hurt.
2. Do not engage in all controversial topics
Businesses need to know where to draw the line when it comes to engaging with the public. It is not every news, hashtag, or controversial topics that you get to hop on (especially online). No business is a single entity as long as it is in the public eye.
A comment under a controversial post can mar your business reputation. Carry out research on trending topics before engaging and supporting them. Even after you carry out a thorough research on the topic, think of the ways your contribution could be perceived by your followers. If you know it wouldn’t be good for your business, then do not bother.
3. Respond to negative comments on time and professionally
Immediately you hear a gossip of anything that would smear your brand image, address it. Not saying anything will leave room for assumption and speculations. Silence speaks volumes and people are likely to believe what they think it is your silence means.
Do not address the gossip or review in private; address it publicly. Let everyone see your views about the rumor and tell them how you plan on being better.
4. Do not make empty promises
People in general; tend to make unrealistic promises when they are over-excited or too sorry. Business owners suffer from this a lot especially when they want to promote their brand or when emotions are involved. If you use Twitter, you might have come across the internet slang that reads “the internet never forgets.” Indeed they do not.
If you make a promise, especially one that involves incentives, and then you couldn’t see to it? Just be ready for a lot of snide, sarcastic, and negative comments from customers. So, if you know your brand is not sufficient enough to make promises, do not make promises. Leave giveaways and other incentives to bigger brands and focus on other little things your business can afford.
5. Always have a plan B
To have a plan B is to proactive. Every business owner alongside their PR team, needs to have contingency plans ready in cases of bad press. This way, your business is never caught off guard. Business scandals can arise at any time, even without you foreseeing it.
Do not go into business thinking you can avoid it forever? There is no successful business in this world that hasn’t suffered from one or two business scandals. However, having a backup plan contains the scandal and prevents it from being blown out of proportion by the public.
How to Deal with Negative Reviews Video
From the video: How do you deal when haters have written negative reviews about your company? While most of my clients have been happy and written positive reviews, there’s a few nasty ones out there on the internet that bug me and can still be found through the Google. Of course I’ve learned from the bad reviews and and am ready to launch a new product, but I’m paralyzed with fear that many people will throw the old reviews back in my face.
The fear is stopping me from wanting to try again, which I hate because I know there are still so many more people I could help. How do you handle the haters who haunt you when trying to move forward?
Negative reviews can be really painful. Let’s face it, no company or person is perfect so this is something that potentially all of us have to deal with at some point or another.
One thing my dear, I notice that you refer to people who leave negative reviews as haters. But you know what? Criticism isn’t just from haters. It could be from someone who bought a product from you who had really high expectations that weren’t met.
You want to take that as legitimate feedback.
That stuff is gold girl. What it really is an opportunity to learn how you can improve your business, and, depending how you respond is an opportunity to show people what you’re made of. As you know, you can’t erase negative reviews from the internet, but what you CAN do is handle the criticism with a very smart strategy. And guess what girl? You can even make negative reviews good for business!
Here are 3 steps to take to deal with negative reviews.
Step 1. THANK the reviewer and apologize
Kick off your response by thanking them for taking the time to offer feedback, and genuinely apologize. If you don’t know how to genuinely apologize and most people don’t, you can check out this video here here coz will help you!
Take responsibility for what went wrong and do not be defensive. This is about owning up to it and letting the reviewer know that they’ve been heard.
For example, on a popular site like Trip Advisor, you’ll often see a negative review followed up by a response from the hotel saying something like this: “Thank you for taking the time to comment on your stay with us. We acknowledge that problem and sincerely apologize”. Whenever you have the opportunity to comment back, do it because whoever is gonna see the bad review, will also see your thoughtful response.
And.. this is very important: do not criticize them for criticizing you. You wanna always take the high road.
Step 2. Explain EXACTLY what you’re doing to fix the problem
You can mention things like new policies, new technology, or additions to your staff. The point here is to give specific details on the issues mentioned and tell them what you’re doing to ensure this never happens again.
Step 3. This is THE MOST important -You need to make it right
Let the reviewer know that you are committed to making this right. Give them an email address or phone number and invite them to contact you offline. Understand that making it right can mean giving a full refund or giving them an opportunity to experience your product or service again on the house.
Once you’ve taken these steps you need to refocus all your energy on providing outstanding products and services.
Conclusion on Avoiding Bad Press
The aforementioned tips are just five of the best ways to avoid and handle the bad press. Like I said before, bad things are bound to happen; we don’t always have foresight. Hence, take the necessary steps to control them if they arise. You can go as far as hiring a PR and market strategy team that would oversee issues that concerns your business relationship with the public.