How to Save Your Brand from Negative MediaCustomer reviews, feedback, mentions, and word-of-mouth are all crucial elements for your brand’s reputation.

All brands are vulnerable to rumors, complaints, and negative publicity about them whether it’s through blogs, online review sites, social media, or in the media.

What do you do when your brand has already received bad press?

Nick Nanton and JW Dicks, contributors to Fast Company wrote an article on branding catastrophes and what to do to turn around negative publicity.

Get in Front of the Story

Get your side of the story out before bad publicity could snowball, suggests Nanton and Dicks. Use the power of social media to your advantage.

The authors provide an example of Tracy Myers, owner of the Frank Myers AutoMaxx dealership in North Carolina. He found his business under attack by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)  for a single phrase he had used in YouTube videos. They claimed the phrase was deceptive so he pulled them down even though he claimed it was just the dealership’s policy.

A few months later he found the FTC publicly accused him of deceptive advertising even after he complied with their requests. He took to his social media networks and told his side of the story. He posted videos of what happened with the FTC and why it was unfair. He received positive comments and some supporters publicly supported Myers.

Don’t wait before it’s too late. Act and find ways to diminish the damage along the way.

Be Honest and Transparent

In an era of instant connections and sharing, people will discover your mistakes. Transparency on negative and positive issues defines who you are, it strengthens customer trust and loyalty, and breeds media respect.

Look at David Letterman’s sex scandal. “The incident did little to no damage to his career, simply because he handled it as honestly as possible, even though he was guilty,” says Nanton and Dicks.

Take the Ball in Your Court

Nanton and Dicks say the worst thing you can do is put yourself in a reactive position to what is said about your company. You can control how the message is delivered and presented to the public if you’re proactive. Myers did this when he used his social networks to get his message out.

“Every second you don’t take action is another second you’ve lost to repair your reputation,” says Nanton and Dicks.

Everyone will face a challenge that threatens their company or brand. The key is to be proactive and manage your online reputation.

How do you handle negative media?

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