Is All Press Really Good Press? How to Deal with the Haters
The simple answer is no. Bad press exists, and unfortunately, some of it is malicious in its intent.
When bad press strikes, you have the opportunity to react to in a multitude of ways. You can lash out, get angry and essentially give the “haters” exactly what they want OR you can be calm, cool, collective and STRATEGIC.
Which do you choose? If it’s the latter, read on.
Your immediate emotions may not serve you in your reply to negative criticism or complaints. If the criticism against you is unconstructive and fuelled by sheer negativity, you’re better off not replying to it at all.
Never use profanity or all caps– keep your cool and remember you are a professional. Reacting poorly will directly reflect the reputation of your brand, business and yourself. How do you want to be remembered?
If a critic leaves a bad review or promotes negative feedback, ask yourself what legitimacy they have to your brand. Is the accuser a simple internet “troll” or a reputable media outlet? Just let it go — you can’t please everyone.
If you find yourself in the midst of a serious PR nightmare, seek consultation from a professional. The last thing you want is to lash out and make the situation worse.
Sometimes it’s best to take a sideline seat than arguing back and forth with a lost cause.
If you decide to react, be completely honest and factual in your response. Don’t fabricate lies or falsities simply to come out on top or “win.”
If you’re obligated to withhold certain information based on confidentiality or privacy agreements, say so, to avoid coming across as secretive or deceitful.
If you’re stuck in a sticky situation, give it some time before reacting. The best advice you can take is to “sleep on it.”
Your first reaction may be impulsive and harmful to your brand and image. Let the dust settle — if the “haters” keep on, they’ll only harm their credibility.
If a statement or article is completely unfactual or false, ask for a correction to be made and supply the true details.
If the content in question is based purely on opinion, a correction is unlikely, but you may be able to change their mind or find the middle ground.
An important note to keep in mind is to do so privately. Don’t issue a public Facebook announcement calling out the accuser. Otherwise, you’re just as bad as them.
Seek private discourse either via email, phone or if you’re truly brave (which you are), in-person.
Chances are, your accuser never imagined you’d contact them directly, especially to have a civilized conversation.
Hear them out, then offer a deeper insight into your business and brand, so they can understand what you’re really about.
Is there any truth in the feedback against you? Maybe the medium or tone of the message was unproductive, but once you strip that away, can you find any value in the content?
Maybe this is the feedback you’ve been missing out on and will be valuable to bettering your product/service.
If that’s the case, be humble in your reaction and show that you’re capable of receiving and implementing feedback — even when it’s hard.
That’s right, all press might not be good press, but it’s an opportunity to grow and learn. As we said, you might see yourself or your business through a new perspective and uncover an opportunity for improvement.
You’ll also gain a better understanding of how you react under pressure. Next time something happens, you’ll be better equipped to react appropriately or know to not react at all!
What is for certain is you’ll walk away from the situation with thicker skin.
You’re amazing, even if not everyone sees it! You’ve taken a risk by publishing your book, starting your business and following your passion.
You have so much to be proud of, and that shouldn’t be diminished by a handful of nay-sayers. If success were that easy, it wouldn’t be nearly as sweet.
If you’re struggling to see the light, sit down and make a list of everything you LOVE about yourself. Don’t be shy; this is for you and you only.
You’re courageous, creative, intelligent and ambitious — no one can take that away from you!
Have you ever been the victim of bad press? How did you react? Let us know, so we can learn a little something from you, too!