Bad PR
angry screaming young woman holding megaphone

By Anica Oaks

Every company or business is vulnerable to negative press or a bad public relations scandal at some point in time. The bigger the business, the greater the chance that a disgruntled client or employee will publicize their bad experience. So, what can you do to turn bad PR into a good marketing opportunity?

Promote Your Strengths

A good way to turn bad PR into a marketing opportunity is to counter with good publicity. You can effectively drown out your detractors by releasing a barrage of press statements, social media posts and emails that tout your victories. You can limit the reach of bad PR by simply dominating the conversation.

Give Voice To Your Clients

Another way to turn bad PR to your favor is to invite feedback. This is a more conciliatory approach that acknowledges the opinions of your affiliates. Perhaps there was a mistake made on your part, but you can renew faith in your business by allowing people a venue to voice their concerns. You can start a feedback page on your website or a survey. This will leave a favorable impression that you are concerned about their grievance.

Play The Victim

Take a page from the political playbook and publicize your victimization. A reputation management specialist with a public relations master’s degree says that, when politicians come under fire, they often rally their base by appealing for support. There are clients and employees who will support you no matter what, and a bad PR moment is the best opportunity to reward their loyalty. Engage them frequently and invite them to become more involved.

Fix the Problem

Perhaps the most obvious way to create a good marketing opportunity out of a bad PR situation is to fix the problem. Handle it at the source; nourish the root causes and not the branches. If the problem was due to a fault in management, then reorder your company. If it was due to a faulty product or bad service, then start over and offer a new solution. Fixing the problem lets future clients and employees know that you aren’t deaf to complaints against the business and you’re committed to creating positive experiences in your line of work.

A piece from Entrepreneur suggests that doing nothing to combat bad PR is the best response, but you don’t have to sit idly by while your company or business is being vilified. You can take some proactive steps to turn your bad press into a winning marketing opportunity. Maintain an air of professionalism at all times, listen to your associates and highlight your strengths. In the end, the market will be the judge.

Anica is a professional content and copywriter who graduated from the University of San Francisco. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.