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PR Disaster? 10 Do’s and Don’ts to Recover Your Brand Image

Dealing with a PR disaster is easier when you follow these guidelines.

A PR disaster can happen anytime. Maybe one of your products was discovered to be defective. Maybe your CEO made a controversial statement. Maybe your social media team got political and offended your target audience.

In any case, you’ll need to work swiftly and consistently if you want to recover. Here are your top do’s and don’ts for this situation.

Do’s:

  1. Be proactive. Start communicating as early as possible. If you can, get ahead of the news breaking. The longer you wait to respond to a crisis, the angrier and less tolerant the public is going to be.
  2. Admit fault. It may seem like a weak move, but admitting fault will actually restore the public’s faith in you. Don’t be afraid to tell people you’ve made a mistake.
  3. Use multiple mediums. Not everyone is on social media. Make sure you’re communicating through multiple channels.
  4. Be transparent. Admit as many details as you can, even if they put you in a negative light. The truth is better than obfuscation.
  5. Offer consolation. Make an offer to your audience to begin the recovery process, such as a refund, a discount, something for free, or even a donation to a charity.

Don’ts:

  1. Hide information. In today’s age, if you try to hide information, that will only make people more desperate to find it.
  2. Argue with the public. If you take a confrontational or contrarian stance, you’re only going to invite more controversy.
  3. Give canned responses. If you sound fake, or like you’re reading from a script, people won’t see you as sincere.
  4. Again, the longer you wait, the worse it’s going to get.
  5. Be too professional. You’ll be tempted to address the public as formally and professionally as possible, but in the event of a PR disaster, it’s actually better to be casual, conversational, and friendly. You want to be seen as human, relatable, and sincere.

Recovering your brand image is going to take time, so don’t be intimidated if you don’t see an improvement right away. Keep following these tips, consistently, and eventually, the public will start to trust you again.

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