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May 19, 2011

Dealing with a corruption scandal can be one of the most difficult experiences for an individual or an organization. Corruption scandals are often overplayed in the media and lead to a slew of bad public relations. But how can individuals and companies weather the storm and curb the worst of the bad media? LookupPage offers a number of different methods to manage negative public relations. Here are a few of our best tips:

Be Transparent

If there has been a mistake, acknowledge it. This is the first and foremost important step in managing negative publicity. Respond by making a public statement and openly acknowledging the failure. Public statements can be made in a number of ways – via online media, like the company website (news section), facebook page, video or even photographs.

Nothing goes over as well as being transparent about the mistake and making a formal apology. Throughout history, there are a series of opportunities where brands --- governmental, commercial and non-governmental – could make public statements and apologies for the mistakes they've made. By acknowledging the wrongdoing, you illuminate the opportunity for critics to argue that you haven’t taken responsibility. Of course, these public statements must be backed up by real action, but making a formal apology – especially to parties that have been hurt or lost because of the incident – will surely help insure that you and your company end up on top.

Generate Positive PR

In addition to acknowledging the mistake, it’s important to start doing good as soon as possible. When BP’s oil spilled out into the Gulf of Mexico, the oil giant found itself in a PR crisis. However the company was ready and made sure that there were camera crews to capture them cleaning up their act. In addition to hosting this content on the BP website, BP can send it to news and other media outlets – who always love free content – in order to provide a positive image of the company.


Another great way to take the attention away from bad PR is to generate a new campaign. In addition to acknowledging the mistake and generating new content that directly related to the negative incident, it is a good idea to start a new, exciting campaign that will direct attention away from the bad PR. There are a number of creative campaigns that companies have launched to generate positive PR. Picking a holiday that can have some commercial significance to your brand or your company is a great way to divert attention in a discreet way. For example, Dunkin Donuts launched an incredibly successful social media campaign for the annual coffee holiday (who even knew there was such a thing). If you go online and search for holidays you’re sure to find calendars with loads of holidays that you weren’t even aware of. These holidays can serve as good platforms for publicity campaigns because most often, people will think that the campaign was pre-planned, in accordance with the calendar, instead of launched to cover up the mistake or bad PR incident that happened before.


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