Nobody wants to deal with negative press, but it’s an unfortunate reality that sometimes occurs. And when it does, you’ve got two options – put the fire out or add fuel to it. We’d imagine that you’d rather go with option one.
Fortunately, it’s often not difficult to reverse a difficult situation. We’re going to provide you with a couple of tips on how to do just that in this blog post.
The worst thing you can do in response to negative press is to try and cover things up. Because that in its own is a sign that you’re scared about something bigger being revealed. Instead, own up and admit your wrongdoings.
You can look at two real-life examples of this in action. Look at the case of Toyota, who didn’t recall cars with faulty airbags until things had gotten out of control. A *literal* accident waiting to happen.
In comparison, Nest immediately ordered for their damaged smoke detectors to be returned before anything could happen to customers. Displaying a willingness to fix the problem displays honesty, which can help to restore your audience’s faith in you.
Don’t start an argument
Remember the fire analogy we used in the introduction? Yeah, well starting an argument is fighting fire with fire – and then burning your entire house down.
If you’re sending aggressive messages back to respondents, either through social media or email, you imply two things. First of all, you don’t have control of the situation. And secondly, you lack self-awareness – feeding back into the point we made in the previous section.
Instead of putting on your armour and firing away on the keyboard, take a moment to pause. Calm down and get clarity on the situation. Is the request genuine or a troll? How can you defuse their anger? What are the logical next steps you can take? Don’t reply until you’ve taken all of these into consideration.
Take the feedback on board
Negative press doesn’t always have to be “negative”. Often, it’s actually for helping you determine areas of improvement.
Think of complaints as constructive criticism. Ultimately, that consumer wouldn’t have had to make such a request if said area of your business was in order.
Acknowledge that you aren’t perfect. Even the biggest businesses still have flaws and you’re no different. Take the initiative, improve on areas that need this and who people what you’ve done to get better. Then, you’ll show that you take your audience’s input seriously and are constantly striving to improve their experience.
Negative press can be a positive thing if you approach it with the right attitude. Obviously, the best form of cure is prevention. But sometimes, that’s not always how things pan out.
Take a moment to step back and think about how you should defuse the situation. Sometimes, it’ll be as simple as responding to a social media post and getting them in touch with customer service. Other times, things might have blown up on another level. Either way, having the self-awareness to acknowledge where you went wrong is vital.
Demonstrate maturity by approaching things in the appropriate manner, along with thinking about how you can stop this from happening again. Ask for recommendations to improve. By taking ownership of the situation, you’ll ensure that your reputation isn’t tarnished.
Get more advice like this every Monday and Friday by subscribing to our newsletter.