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Managing Negative PR

The expansion of online platforms and vehicles for generating positive public relations also means that there are more vehicles for generating and circulating negative PR.

Take Ray Rice for example. It used to be that the authorities and the news media would have been the only people with access to the video documenting Rice’s behavior in the elevator. Now, it was posted, tweeted, retweeted, and shared on YouTube for the whole world to see, multiple times.

Now more than ever, it’s critical for you to take necessary precautions to protect your business reputation in the marketplace, online and off.

1. Set Internal Standards

Set the tone for public relations within your company by clearly communicating your standards of excellence and what is expected from leadership and staff.

2. Accentuate the positive

Proactive distribution of your positive company attributes across all communication platforms and within the media will enhance your reputation, so if something negative occurs, it will help ease the blow. For example, Applebee’s weathered the storm in the aftermath of the news of their recent E-Coli case tied to the dressing on their oriental chicken salad. Their “see you tomorrow,” neighborhood bar and grill perception begged forgiveness and fast. They changed up the dressing and continued to push out positive PR and pull in business. Google the word “Applebee’s” and nothing pops up about E-Coli.

3. Prepare to react

Implement a Crisis Media Policy, so if for some reason, a skeleton pops out of your closet or an employee gets into trouble and it leaks to the media, you’re prepared! Make sure you’ve reviewed the policy with your staff, so they know what to do if the media calls.

Hollywood agents have been known to say that “any pub is good pub,” but that doesn’t hold true for business. Bad public relations actually has the power to put you out of business, so take the necessary steps towards positive press now.

Published on: October 3, 2014