Dealing with negative press has to be based on the type of press faced and its implications in the public eye. You or your company might be the victim of a vicious prank, unscrupulous propaganda from competitors or detractors, unreasonably irate customers, or unfair public derision for the faults of employees or partners acting out of line.
Each of these reasons is a serious threat that requires online reputation defense to a certain degree, but not all these situations should be handled similarly. Choosing the opening moves to salvage your online reputation is a critical first step.
One near-universal step is to have the necessary infrastructure in place to handle negative press: whether through feedback forms on site or online or through a social media platform with a dedicated team on hand to answer questions, negative customer feedback should be handled directly and politely. Not only does this earn back a customer’s trust, but it also builds up a reputation of trustworthiness and accountability. This also allows you to utilize more extensive reputation management campaigns when the time comes to ramp up the online reputation defense.
However, not all problems can be addressed directly; poor company or product reviews from external sites could crowd out the sterling reviews of the past, and even misinterpreted negative news may blow out of proportion. Actively engaging negative content, either through responses or threats of legal action, are likely to draw more unwanted attention to the problem.
In these cases, the usually complementary reputation management campaign could be brought to the forefront. This involves optimizing your company’s best reviews and content to help them rank higher in search engine results, thereby ensuring that the first thing anyone sees about you or your company are positive.
When it comes to salvaging or defending online reputations, swiftness and tact are crucial. It is important to recognize when to act quickly and appropriately, knowing when to take on a defensive role and account for your mistakes and knowing when to take a more subtle approach to addressing things beyond your immediate control.