How to deal with negative press release as a small business
Negative press releases, if not well controlled can kill a business faster than you can ever imagine. These negative press releases can come from anywhere but the most common sources of negative press are your competitors, your customers and the regulatory authorities.
Having a negative press release is not the end of the world. The problem lies in the ability of managers to control the damages that can potentially be done by bad news.
Ideally, bad news should not be let out, but the inevitable can happen. Well, you don’t need to bite yourself if this happens as below are simple tips on how to manage negatives presses when eventually out.
5 ways of managing negative press releases
- Don’t compound things by telling lies: the most common mistake made by directors of small businesses in the bid to defend their brand is telling lies to cover up the true nature of the negative press. That is a wrong approach because you cannot hide the truth for so long from the general public. People will prefer an apology to lies. Tell the truth and you will be amazed by the positive response your business will receive.
- Clearly state corrective actions: once you have explained how it all happened by telling the truth, clearly state any corrective action that the management has deemed necessary. If possible, include a time scale of when the plan will be fully actioned.
- Compensate those affected: the next step is to compensate those that are directly affected by the action of the business. People appreciate compensation no matter how small it might be.
- Give to a popular charity: the general public will quickly forget all the negative press if they realise that the company involved has given to a charity organisation. The amount of money given to the charity makes no difference. Just make sure that the public relation officer of the company promotes this charitable act.
- Put controls in place to ensure that the cause of the negative press does not repeat itself: the efforts put in the above four actions in rectifying the damages caused by negative press can come to naught if the root cause of the problem is not identified and corrective actions put in place to make sure that it does not happen again.
It is not yet catastrophic for a company to make some bad headlines. It only becomes a problem when management cannot take decisive action to ameliorate the potential effects of negative press releases. Also, don’t forget the importance of having sound corporate governance in place.