PR departments are there to manage the conversation around a business and keep their reputation on track. But even the best PR team has to put out fires sometimes when the business has a severe image problem. It might be a marketing stunt that comes off in the wrong way or an employee that is involved in illegal behaviour that reflects badly on the business.
Whatever the cause of the PR crisis, it’s important that you take action right away. It’s easy to panic and assume that there is no coming back from this disaster, but that isn’t the case. Some of the biggest brands in the world have been through PR crises on multiple occasions and they always bounce back. If you are in the midst of a PR disaster, here are some simple damage control tips to help you get things back on track.
Own The Problem
People don’t like excuses, so if you are in trouble for something, you have to own it. If your marketing campaign came off as insensitive and people didn’t like it, don’t try to explain it away. Just apologise for the misstep and tell people that you will learn from the experience and do better in the future. As soon as you start making mistakes, you end up digging yourself into a hole that is much harder to get out of. It also keeps the conversation going, making it harder for you to move on and shift attention onto other things.
Obviously, the way that you are doing things right now is not working. You’re in the middle of a PR crisis and consumers have a negative impression of you. Carrying on as you are will only make things worse, which is why it’s important to change tack. Start thinking of new marketing campaigns and new ways to operate the business that address the problem and improve it.
Consider A Rebrand
In some cases, if the situation is particularly bad, you should consider a rebrand. It’s a great opportunity to get a fresh start and take things in a new direction, so you can leave past mistakes behind you. You can use this website project plan template to help you revamp your website and attract new customers. You should also rethink your overall values and consider your priorities as a business. By rebranding, you can separate yourself from your past mistakes.
Learn From The Experience
The most important thing is that you learn from the experience. If you can demonstrate to your customers that you have taken their criticism into account and you have made real changes to the way that you do things, you can start rebuilding those relationships. So, make sure that you analyse the situation and work out exactly where you went wrong, so you can avoid making the same mistakes in the future.
At the time, it seems like you will never be able to bounce back from a PR disaster, but if you follow these damage control steps, you will be fine.