Recovering from a PR disaster
By Dteve Conway
Sometimes in business problems occur, mistakes happen, and accidents mean that your PR can take a big hit. For your business not to suffer too greatly when problems happen to and around your customers and products, it’s hugely important to know how to recover from a PR disaster. The sooner and more proactively you can recover and put things right, the sooner any trust that was lost can be regained. Here are some of the ways that you can fix things before they get too bad.
Acknowledge the problem
Whatever the problem is, it is crucial for any business to acknowledge that it has happened. A hospital that ignores medical negligence solicitors, for example, is never going to look trustworthy and capable in any other patients’ eyes. Do whatever it takes to let people know that you understand there has been an issue and that you are working on fixing it. This could be:
- Organizing an independent investigation (or allowing one to take place)
- Communicating well with those involved
- Working quickly to resolve the issue
- Preventing anyone else from being hurt, or any other problems from happening by stopping production, pausing work or putting any workers involved on a leave of absence if necessary
Do these things quickly and without being told to, and you will already look more competent.
Who are your friends?
After acknowledging the problem, you need to look out for your ‘friends’. These are people such as brand ambassadors and influencers. Let them know that you want to make amends, and see if they can help you. It will depend on your sector and your audience, but if you can find the ambassadors that people are going to trust, you can build your business back up quickly.
Compensate the affected parties
Putting your money into additional advertising after a PR disaster is not going to be of great use. Depending on the problem that has occurred and how serious it is, you could just be wasting a large amount of money.
It is better to use that money to compensate those who have been injured or inconvenienced by the problem that happened within your business. The cost might be a high one, but can you really afford not to do this? This is the perfect chance to say you’re sorry.
It is also important not just to compensate the one person or group of people who were affected, but to ensure that everyone who might be affected is helped as well. The fact that you are doing more than you technically need to will look good for you and will help to mitigate some of the bad feeling and issues that you are experiencing.
Work on your reputation
After the initial steps of acknowledgment and compensation, you will need to work on rebuilding your brand’s reputation. What do you need in order to do this? One way to rebuild your brand is to work in partnership with another, highly regarded brand. Another is to ensure that the next product you start to sell or focus on has been rigorously tested and will show everyone that you are taking safety seriously.