Never before has bad publicity, in other words, bad Public Relations – or reputation – been so vital to business success as in today’s digital age. If a likely customer reads only negative publicity and bad press/media about your business while checking you up online, you know your image is bad, which is worse than not having any image at all!
So what really is bad PR? It’s PR that lacks strategy, cohesion and purpose; that does not provide a reliable image of your business and the products or services that you offer, or an article you got published that was completely opportunistic and self-serving and made your brand look incompetent.
Bad PR can also be the result of a poor product launch, a customer service blunder, a faulty product, customer complaints and anything that gives your brand an awful reputation online and that can have ruinous consequences for your company in the long run.
Like the Shakespearean character says, your reputation is the undying part of your business and you can’t afford to lose it easily.
However, unlike in real, personal life, a company or business can retrieve its good reputation, if it takes some of the remedial measures that are listed in this post. In reality recovering good brand reputation can be easy if you follow these steps.
- First of all, bear in mind that bad PR also gives you an opportunity to show that your company is actually a very decent one. You can build up this image by not shying away from apologizing for any mistake you have committed, make amends for it and tell your customer your plans to avoid such gaffes in the future. In most instances, your customer will respond positively to this and forgive you.
- Give your consumers multiple choices to complain, like email, online grievance forms and helpline services. Read the criticisms and deal with each one individually – and fast. Your response to your customers will depend on their temperaments. Some may be aggressive and expressive others analytical and passive. So you have to style your answers accordingly. Offer multiple and visible channels to submit concerns such as email, online form or helpline and deal with each complaint individually and in a timely manner. Draft your answers according to your customer’s personality and tone.
- Use digital media releases to post positive content on the main search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. Look for free and paid for options to distribute your press releases. PR releases are generally crisp and simple news stories that range from charitable undertakings of your company to a new product offer or a new hiring.
- Don’t forget the social media. Profiles on Facebook Google Plus, Twitter and Instagram are likely to rank fairly high in search so be up-to-date and produce new and relevant content. For images, use Pinterest and for videos, YouTube.
- The objective of your Good PR plan must be to establish a reliable image of your company and get a positioning that states what your business stands for, like ‘Old Reliable,’ ‘The Tech Company’ etc. If you are that ‘reliable’ company, then all press releases, case studies, white papers, testimonials and articles reinforces your firm’s claim of reliability.
In sum, boost the fastest growing PR functions like thought leadership and reputation management to repair bad press and establish positive branding using approving consumer references online.