How to Handle Bad Press

Remember the bad girl of Laguna Beach, Kristin Cavallari? She was the villain on the show and even after the The Hills wrapped still had to deal with drug and party rumors. However, look at the star now. Not only is she married to a football player and has 4 kids but she’s a successful businesswomen with a line of shoes, jewelry, multiple books and a show coming out soon. She’s a great example of taking control of her brand and turning negative press into good press.

According to the OG of public relations, P.T. Barnum, “there’s no such thing as bad publicity” but is there really? We’d say it’s what you make of it. However, let’s say you do get some bad press, something every brand, business and PR firm will have to deal with at least once, what do you do to recover?

  1. Own up to your mistakes- this is the most important step in getting your brand’s image back on track. Make a public apology for whatever it is you did wrong (or that the public perceived you did wrong).
  2. Come up with a solution- once you’ve apologized, come up with a plan to make it right. For businesses that are a product or a service this could be a full refund or a discount towards your customer’s next purchase. If you’re a public figure this could be a donation to a charity, an effort to do better by volunteering or getting help for yourself through rehab or therapies well as the promise to not do it again.
  3. Be humble- once you’ve apologized be humble and gracious fro the forgiveness
  4. Move on- of course, don’t forget about your mistakes, instead learn from them and move forward. Continue back to normal business, focusing on what you’re good at it. Eventually people will forget, there will be another scandal and people will remember why they like you or business. Don’t let the past freeze you, instead grow from it.

 

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