How bad Public Relations can Damage a Brand

The primary task entrusted upon a PR resource is to keep a company’s image clean and positive and, to steer clear of any negative news. Bad PR in media is something that every organisation faces off and on. However, companies can regain their footing if handled tactfully, whereas mishandling of the issue may permanently damage the public perception.

Bad publicity affects how your clients view your business so much so that this could result in financial losses. In today’s time and age, people associate different businesses with their brands. Bad reputation has the potential to damage your brand equity in the long term. Inaccurate information in promotional marketing messages can result in customers having a negative perception of a business. It is vital that messaging reflects key priorities and cohesive thinking before being disseminated to the public.

A brand must acknowledge bad press, and if at fault, must fix the problem, broadcast the fix, and monitor carefully so the problem doesn’t recur. If not at fault, they must counter honestly with facts.

Plenty of times, a brand is caught off-guard and the media picks up on something which the brand is not aware of. If this happens then the brand should respond immediately and transparently, to show their concern, to the public.

An organisation’s character is measured by its action once an apology or statement has been issued. The key for every brand is, to regain and build the trust of clients, employees, and the public et large.

Reputation building and management is extremely crucial. The PR resource of a brand plays the most important role here as, often, they are the face of company for media, and at times, for public. They must be honest and positive about negative reviews.

Bad PR can be managed by sensible responses. When something happens to reflect badly on an organisation, it is the response of their PR resource that matters the most. If this response has more to do with how the brand looks rather than fulfilling their promise to the customer, or focusses on saving the brand from legal repercussions than doing the right thing, it is considered as a poor response.

Publicity and reputation have a direct impact on the performance of any business. Hence, it is important for a brand to ensure that it enjoys a good reputation most of the time. In today’s  world, consumers have become more discerning and have numerous options to choose from. Bad publicity can result in a business losing its customers to competition. Due to the presence of stiff competition, it is important for brands to take care of their public perception. They must undertake all possible ways to undermine bad publicity. Once bad publicity affects a brand, people shy away from associating with the brand, be it clients or employees. It is possible that prospective employees will stay away from seeking employment opportunities with a brand with a bad public perception. This results in the brand finding it difficult to attract the best talents in the job market. Not only that, the current employees of the brand also feel demotivated, which, in turn, ends up having adverse effects on productivity.

All the organisations, are faced with a reputation crisis at some point in time. Once they realise the effects of bad publicity on their business, they are likely to be in a better position to manage their reputation. This is where, a seasoned, wise and renowned PR resource comes into picture.  They are professionals who ensure that an organisation makes the most of the crisis situation, and also that the bad publicity is handled effectively and proactively with a lot of transparency based on facts.

Ritu Bararia
A passionate Public Relations and Communications professional with a progressive experience of over 18 years, Ritu is an expert in the realm of Travel, Hospitality and Aviation. Her forte lies in strategising communication plans basis the essence of a brand with a strong focus on media management aiming to create focused visibility and awareness.

Some of her professional milestones include, setting up of Aviation Industry Group for CII, facilitating launch of India’s first Premium Airline – Kingfisher Airlines and establishing the brand in media as the official spokesperson, facilitating launch of Luxury Retail Brands like Porsche Design, Bally and strategising and executing launch of the brand Roseate Hotels and Resorts.

Prior to founding Little-joy Communications, Ritu was Group Head - Corporate Communications with Bird Group/Amadeus India.

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