Someone exploits a potentially negative issue regarding your small business. What do you do? Any hesitation can be damaging, so knowing how to deal with bad PR or perceived negative issues quickly and professionally can make all the difference in the success of your business.
- The Truth Will Set You Free. When your reputation is at stake, nothing is worth the risk of tainting it. Remember, you’re not just dealing with your customers; you have to consider your suppliers, vendors, potential customers and any other business relationship that you work within. Be honest and straight forward to preserve the integrity of your company.
- Tackle It Head On. Don’t hide from the issue; it will only make it worse. Keeping a hand clamped over your mouth will only fuel speculation about your business. Show that your business is ready to take on responsibility.
- Look for a Positive Spin. Stay calm and show the press the positive changes that you are doing to remedy the situation. Even if your business is just associated with a perceived negative issue, show the public that you are responsibly handling the issue. Look at how IKEA handles child labor laws in countries where their products are manufactured.
- Use your website. Notice how IKEA makes this information readily available and accessible on their website. Your website can be used as the perfect avenue to circumvent the media and get your side of the story before the public.
- Watch and Learn. Pay attention to how other small businesses handle their PR crises. Look for the good strategies – and the bad habits – to make sure your small business handles the situation correctly and professionally.