If you’re responsible for a high profile business, then it can be a scary time when something goes wrong. Attracting a lot of media attention can be hellish if you don’t know how to manage it, and it can have a serious negative impact on you and your family. Think back to the News of the World phone-hacking scandal; Rupert Murdoch was hounded by the press for months and was even attacked at his select committee hearing.
Whilst the repercussions might not be so serious for you, it might be the case that your business’ downfall attracts some media attention, whether that’s on a local or national scale. It’s important for anyone with a high level of responsibility within a company to have a basic idea of how to handle the situation on behalf of the business should negative media attention come your way. If you’ve found yourself in this situation, here are some tips.
Offer Incentives (i.e. Coupons) For New and Existing Customers
The first 48 hours are a critical time for a business, where prospective customers and even existing customers may make an emotional decision to walk away. Calming them and giving them discounts is a great way to show that you’re also concerned about the situation, and a discount offering shows that you are sincere. At the very least it will give them pause to reconsider making their decision to stay.
Be prepared for the obvious
If your business’ services are controversial, for example if you’re in charge of a payday loans company, you need to be prepared for backlash that’s likely to come your way one day. Look at the kinds of things your competitors are criticised for and identify how negative press might affect your company. Always have an articulate, reasonable comeback to these criticisms that can help to justify the way your business operates.
Keep calm and collected
The worst thing you can do is seem panicky in public, so calm yourself down on the outside, even if you’re internally stressing out. Seeming worried in public will make you an easy target for the media and will reflect badly on the company, as it encourages suspicion that you really are doing something wrong.
Wrap it up
Issue a professional, calm and articulate response to any negative media coverage as soon as possible, that way, speculation doesn’t have chance to snowball out of control. This part might require some help from an expert like Media Mentor, as you have to be very careful what you say when the media are involved, as they’ll jump on the smallest mistake and blow it out of all proportion.
Carry on as normal
Following backlash, you should continue striving to make your business the best it can possibly be. So, learn from your mistakes and rebuild your reputation as best as you possibly can.