When it comes to business, having a few angry customers ranting on social media about how bad and how ugly your services are is inevitable. You’re always going to have those few angry customers right outside your business doors.
No matter what kind of brand you are, no matter how well you handle your business, and no matter how hard you manage your brand image, you’re still going to get bad publicity. And because of social media websites like Facebook and Twitter, your brand’s reputation can get severely damaged if you ignore these bad publicity.
So how do you address bad publicity? You turn it to your favour, of course!
Turning “Bad Publicity” To “Good Publicity”
Spinning a bad brand image into something you can use to attract more customers takes a lot of creative thinking. After all, you’re dealing with a negative image of your brand and whatever you say will be questionable to the eyes of your followers.
Bad publicity often comes from mishandled or disgruntled customers. Maybe they were served the wrong food by your staff or perhaps your project manager failed to deliver on time. Whatever the case, much bad rap comes from a small issue that wasn’t deescalated properly, forcing customers to post their bad experiences online for others to see.
If you’re having this problem with your brand, here are some tips on how you can change these negative publicity to something you can use:
Respond professionally and responsibly
When your brand is faced with negative publicity, one thing you should not do is ignore it. Ignoring negative publicity only strengthens the idea that your brand doesn’t care about its followers and customers. When this happens, it will be hard to gain back the trust and confidence of your consumers.
First, get to the bottom of the problem and see what really happened. If the incident involves a staff of yours, try to investigate the incident before responding to negative claims about your company — And make sure to address negative claims professionally and responsibly.
Do something about it
Another thing you have to remember about bad publicity is that it’s a call for you and your brand to take action on something.
Whether the bad publicity is done by your brand’s competitors doing an anti-branding campaign against you or some dissatisfied customers who had a bad experience, it’s a chance for you to prove to them that you’re willing to take action against their call.
By doing this, you can prove to your loyal followers that you’re a brand that cares and listens to the comments of others and are easily approachable. You might be thinking that this is crazy, but here are real-life examples of this:
See how these brands made use of the bad image they were getting from competitors and dissatisfied customers? They decided to take action against it and it turned out to be a really good marketing move for them.
Embrace your company’s good side
Because bad publicity focuses on your company’s “bad side”, a good way to counter this is to shine a light on your company’s “good side”.
Publicity plays on the consumer’s emotions, and your competitors will use that against you when they have the chance. So you will need to counter this move by appealing to your consumers’ emotions too—and that means generating a good PR.
If you donate to charity or have your own foundation, focus your PR efforts on that. Show your consumers and audiences that your brand has a “human” side and that even when you commit mistakes, your brand is still dedicated to doing the right thing for the community.
Continue to deliver good service
Sometimes competitors will do dirty tricks just to ruin your brand image, especially if you’re a leading brand in the industry.
But despite launching an elaborate smear campaign against your brand, you shouldn’t let it worry you if you’re giving customers good service. Your services will speak for itself and you don’t need to worry about customers turning away from you out of uncertainty in your delivery of service.
If you continue to monitor your operations and deliver goods in time, you don’t need to worry about your competitors giving you bad publicity. Remember: actions are stronger than words.
Combat bad publicity now
Whether you’re a well-established brand or a small start-up, business owners should always be ready to combat bad publicity. Bad publicity is like a virus – when ignored, it can cause major damages to your brand image and hurt your sales.
Brand management and damage control is not easy, and it requires an elaborate set of skills to properly handle bad publicity. If you’re dealing with negative publicity online that you want to be managed properly, it would be best to hire the help of a competent SEO team to help you out.