Responding to bad press when you're an iconic brand

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How should you respond to an unflattering news report about your business? That depends on many factors, only a few of which I'll mention here. One factor, of course, is what the report claims.

It also depends on who published the report. Calling the report into question means calling the reporter(s) and their publication into question. It's easier to cast doubt on the work of a supermarket tabloid, for example, than that of, say, the Associated Press. Regardless of who published the report, proceed with great caution unless you've got a smoking gun for journalistic misconduct.

How you respond also needs to account for your business's perceived image. Being familiar with that image, whether or not it's fully realistic or accurate, is part of your job as a business owner. If it's healthy and positive, any response should generally try to match that.

Keeping all this in mind while responding in a timely manner is very, very tricky, which is why an entire professional field exists to help businesses do it. Even allowing for that, though, one prominent brand's recent response to bad press was bafflingly tone deaf.

Read my article about it on LinkedIn.

[Image courtesy Nesster, via Flickr: Used under Creative Commons license]