No business is immune to negative press. In fact, it can be downright unavoidable at times. If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of dealing with any negative press as a business, don’t panic. There are things you can do to mitigate the damage and protect your reputation.
The Jimmy John Shark picture, which was taken off the coast, showed Johnstone riding on the back of a shark. While some people praised the man, others criticized him for the nudity involved in the photo. In particular, some commenters felt that the picture was disrespectful to sharks.
Step 1 – Assess the Situation
The first step is to take a deep breath and assess the situation. What exactly is being said? Is it true? If so, can you do anything to rectify the situation? If not, then you’ll need to prepare a response that sets the record straight. Either way, you need to know what has happened and whether the negative press is justified.
Step 2 – Respond
Sometimes, people will speak negatively about your business simply because they’re unhappy with a particular product or service. In these cases, you can reach out to the customer directly and try to resolve the issue. This will show other potential customers that you’re willing to go the extra mile to make things right.
In other circumstances, it might be that your sales team made a mistake and that the displeasure of the customer is justified. If this is the case, you should apologize and offer to make things right. This shows that you’re willing to take responsibility for your actions and that this is a mistake (something not likely to happen again).
Elsewhere, the negative comments could be way out of line and simply vindictive against members of your team. If this is the case, you might want to take a preventative measure and hire a PR firm to help protect your business’s reputation. Pure PR agency in Melbourne has dealt with everything over the years and their experience could be the difference between recovering after negative press and faltering.
Step 3 – Act
The next step is to act. This means that you need to work on fixing whatever it is that caused the negative press in the first place. If it was a customer service issue, then you need to work on improving your customer service. This might mean hiring more staff or training your existing staff better.
If it was an issue with your product, then you need to work on improving the quality of your product. This might mean redesigning the whole product or changing your manufacturing process or even materials.
Whatever the issue is, you need to take action to fix it. If you feel as though your business couldn’t have done any better, then you need to work on your PR strategy. This might mean hiring a PR firm or working with a marketing agency to help improve your image. Just because a complaint has been made against the business doesn’t necessarily mean that huge changes are necessary. However, even if the party is incorrect and perhaps even lied about the business, you can’t just ignore it.
To summarise, if your business is facing any negative press, the best thing you can do is follow the three steps above:
- Assess the situation
- Respond appropriately
- Act to improve
By taking these steps, you can ensure that negative press doesn’t damage your business too severely. In some cases, you could even convince people to choose your brand just because of your response to complaints. Whatever the situation, don’t ignore PR this year because it could be the difference between survival and closure!