When does publicity become bad publicity, and what can you do to stop it?

On Sunday, my local local newspaper ran a little feature poking fun at the wording in a job vacancy. It was harmless, but it got me thinking about the old adage “there’s no such thing as bad publicity“.

Now that we live in a world where everyone has a voice to discuss issues and experiences, is all publicity good for our businesses or is bad publicity exactly that, harmful to our brand and image?

If your business receives a bad review online or on social media, it is recommended that the best way to deal with it is to respond quickly to lessen it’s overall impact. We don’t just shrug our shoulders and say “at least they’re talking about us”. This suggests that views on publicity have changed – we now all are actively seeking positive promotion from those around us.

So what can you do if your company receives bad publicity?

1. Take expert advice. Don’t make the situation worse by handling it badly.

2. Respond straight away, if not directly then at least by taking advice. Don’t ignore it and hope it will go away.

3. Don’t badmouth the person or outlet (i.e. a newspaper or similar) who has given the bad publicity.  It will only make you look petty.

4. Don’t keep a low profile and hope the situation will blow over. Counteract the bad publicity by generating some good profile – publicise a charitable act or demonstrate where you’ve made positive changes in the business.

Unfortunately,  every news story or social media comment now lasts forever as an online footprint. So make sure you put best practices in place from the outset across your marketing and customer care strategies, and hopefully you will be at less risk of bad publicity for your business.

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Published by

nicolaoloughlin

Chartered Marketer based in Bedford, UK.

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