eBrandz Blog

What are the steps to take when faced with negative publicity?

Social media is probably most effective and the most affordable channels of sales & lead generation. But it’s a double-edged sword that can also harm your business credibility owing to impending negative publicity from aggrieved users, if it’s not tackled in time. However, there is no magic formula to repair the damage done to your business credibility through adverse publicity. Such content simply cannot be erased or tucked under the carpet.

Prevention is always better than cure when one deals with social media monitoring. So what are the logical steps or measures that you should be taking when your business is faced with negative publicity from unexpected quarters?

  • The most effective step is to come up with factual, thoughtful and timely rejoinders to any negative comments or allegations made.
  • As part of your damage control strategy, you may also encourage your actual clients, with whom you share a good rapport, to help you in the process and do the same.
  • Ideally, you should continue posting comments prominently on your own business site as well as through the other popular publishing channels that you have been using.
  • Experience suggests that the bravado of legal action is not the wisest of choices. It will come into play, albeit only as a last resort. There are reasons behind such thinking simply because legal procedures are very time-consuming and costly. Also, the ultimate outcome might not necessarily be in your favor.
  • In certain instances of negative reviews, even the identity of the reviewers or people/ companies posting them is not known. They may or may not be belonging to your home country. Tracing them and taking action against them in form of slapping a lawsuit is not always a practical thing to do. Instead, the best way to deal with such negative campaigns is usually to counteract.
  • Legal experts also harp on the importance of archiving social media presence of a company. According to them, the owner may even get sued for the content of their social media put up without their knowledge or the data generated in the networking sites may be relevant to the suit. This is another critical component of online reputation management.
  • You can be reasonably assured that the anonymous commentators, if so, will give up at some stage and will eventually stop creating the negative reviews if they are not valid. Though the campaign may be short lived since it will take a sustained and conscious effort on the part of the group or individual will be needed to keep it going, once having started it, and that too without revealing their identities.

In the final analysis, it’s in the best interests of your brand image and business credibility to challenge defamatory comments instead of trying to erase them.