Ah, the famous quote from P.T. Barnum, “There’s no such thing as bad publicity.” It’s a quote that makes a pretty bold claim. While it couldn’t be further from the truth, many people like to refer to it when they have a major f*** up. You don’t have to be a PR pro to know bad publicity exists at this point. In the age of social media, bad publicity is enough to end your career. We talked about Harry Styles major f***up at The Grammys, but let's go back to the basics of how to not mess up in the first place.
Think of the absolute WORST case scenario and plan for it. Having a brand message that works means looking at every angle it could be taken in. One group of people could find your message funny, while another could find it offensive or distasteful. Your lack of planning could result in your brand looking like total a%*holes on social media. The time you put into weighing out every scenario will save you time figuring out damage control after the fact.
Be transparent and honest in everything you do with your brand. It sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised at the messy situations brands get themselves into through lying or withholding information. Once people don’t trust you, it's over for your business! Once your lie is exposed, expect it to go viral on Tiktok, Twitter, and Instagram faster than you can even post an apology.
Monitor your online presence. Another fun thing about having a business in the digital age is how fast false information spreads! Even if you’re completely transparent, you’re bound to get at least a few pissed customers. Regularly check all your social media channels, review sites, and other online platforms to make sure you’re addressing any negative reviews about your business. Engagement is crucial and customers need to feel important!! I mean what’s a bigger turn-off than when you Google a business and there are like 100 unaddressed bad reviews?
But you messed up and now your rep is RUINED…we get it, mistakes happen. Missteps are all a part of having a business and chances are you’ll end up ruffling some feathers. When you thought you did everything right and still end up in a PR nightmare, relax, act quickly, and own your sh*t. Be open, and honest, and work to resolve the issue. There's nothing more annoying than a business that can’t own its mistake!
Does this whole thing sound stressful? Don’t know where to start? Lucky for you, we’re experts in crisis management. Our team isn’t afraid of anything and loves a challenge. Schedule a chat with us..