PR Challenge: Damage Control for the Bruised Reputation

Image

How vital are brand reviews? Very in the consumer product space. Research reveals that approximately 97% of shoppers read product reviews before buying. Equally striking, one heartfelt evaluation may be enough to sway opinion (generally the number falls between 1-6). So, yeah, reviews, pack some power -- particularly for consumer products. Which is why negative assessments can be so disheartening and damaging to a brand.

Thanks to the proliferation of channels such as Google Reviews and social media platforms, negative reviews can spread uncontrollably. Public relations crews, therefore, must be prepared to stem the tide. What, then, can they do?

Unfortunately, brands probably can’t wipe all the mud from a sullied reputation. Nevertheless, PR crews can improve brand standing with various damage-control countermeasures.

One solution is simple and neat – the rapid response. Stop moping. Stop worrying. And start publishing convincing explanations. Had a few late deliveries? Tell the world why. The same holds true for all other negatives. Nothing comforts like a full explanation. And nothing worsens the problem like ignoring it. Remember, the longer you delay, the more you invite shoppers to abandon your brand. Act quickly and boldly.

Also effective is the sincere apology. No gushing. No sugarcoating. Just a straightforward acceptance of blame and a sympathetic “I’m sorry’ for whatever your deficiency happened to be. Often works like a charm.

Additionally, a brand should offer dissatisfied parties some type of remuneration. Coupons, freebies, discounts. Whatever you can muster. There are three reasons to go this route. First, the compensation probably is deserved. Second, the move will help restore your reputation in the public eye – “They’re not so bad, after all.” And finally, the show of generosity may encourage repeat business.

If you have questions or comments about counteracting negative brand reviews, or about any other brand-related topic, feel free to send them our way.

You can connect with the Young Company team at 949-376-8404 #4033 or bart@youngcompany.com. And be sure to follow us for the latest brand marketing news and tips.