Advertising
Advertising

How to Improve Your Company’s Image After a PR Disaster

How to Improve Your Company’s Image After a PR Disaster

After a public relations nightmare, it might feel as if someone dug a large, dirty hole, and tossed your company’s carefully-built reputation into its depths. It could be a horrific review that everyone can see, or a scandal that hits the news. Fortunately, there are ways to bring your company up out of the hole and brush the dirt from it.

Responding to a Bad Situation

You’ll need to decide who will be the face of the company. This person will be the one to respond to bad publicity events, scandals or terrible reviews when they happen. If reporters are involved, you don’t want them to hear conflicting stories from people in the company. There should be one person responding to inquiries or dealing with the public.

Advertising

The company cannot ignore a bad situation, or it could escalate. A formal statement admitting the problem, along with the steps you’re taking to fix it, is often the best way to respond to a scandal or bad publicity that has hit the media. If it’s in the form of reviews, you should respond to the complaint directly and take steps to remedy the situation.

A Positive Campaign

Once you’ve acknowledged the problem, the best thing for your company is to drown out the negatives with positives. Nothing is ever gone after it has been published on the Internet, but you can control what shows in the first few pages of search engines. You can start by becoming involved in charity work or a community event. That will create some positive buzz around your company, which will start pushing bad publicity down in the search results.

Advertising

Bad reviews don’t have to be the end of the world. You can take this opportunity to fix something that is wrong with your business. A scandal or bad publicity might not seem positive, but you can turn the situation around with some focused attention on your SEO and public relations.

Using white-label marketing software will help your company project the right image to the internet, correcting any misinformation that’s been spread through negative PR. An experienced SEO company can help you focus on increasing your positive visibility online.

Advertising

Listen to Feedback

You should respond to negative buzz as much as possible because you can’t hide your company’s face in the ground hoping it will go away on its own. Along with responding to negative feedback from unhappy customers, you should be considering changes within your organization based on that feedback.

While it might seem appeasing to tell a customer you’re looking at the problem internally to find solutions, be prepared to come back with those solutions. If people are upset with your customer service, find ways to create positive experiences. Implement strategies that allow customers to talk directly to your company. Send them follow-up emails after they’ve used your service. Learn from both the positive and negative experiences customers have with your business.

Advertising

Social Media and Positive Reviews

Creating profiles on many of the social media platforms where your audience congregates is a good way of providing a positive experience that will reflect on the company. You can use these profiles to build a bigger audience to drown out the recent negatives about your company.

When you have happy customers who are thrilled with your product or service, encourage them to leave positive reviews in online review spaces, like Yelp for one example. If you see people talking positively about your company on social media, contact them directly and ask that they head to a review space and leave their positive opinion there.

A PR nightmare doesn’t have to be the end for your company. You can come back from a bad review or scandal if you respond properly to the situation and work towards improving your reputation.

Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

More by this author

Kara Masterson

Freelance Writer

5 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Health Policy The Next Stage: 4 Tips For Successfully Navigating Retired Life entrepreneur 7 Ways to Become a Successful Entrepreneur 5 Online Degrees to Help you with your Teaching Career DIY Designs: Four New Projects to Take on That can Help you Save Money

Trending in Entrepreneur

1 How to Start a Startup Fast: 5 Essential Steps 2 How to Become a Successful Solopreneur and Thrive 3 5 Books You Must Read if You Want to Be a Millionaire in Your 20’s 4 8 Life-Changing Skills You Can Learn in Less Than 6 Months 5 10 Successful Entrepreneurs Stories About Getting Through Tough Times

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on July 15, 2019

10 Signs of a Bad Boss and How to Deal with Them

10 Signs of a Bad Boss and How to Deal with Them

This is an article I didn’t want to write. Even if it appears that way on the surface, few things are black and white. Between the two colors is a world of gray. Notwithstanding the bosses who behave criminally, some of the people who carry the “bad boss” label have possibly been, or have the capacity to become, a “good boss.”

This is an article I didn’t want to write because I understand that depending on whom you ask, many of us could be labeled either a good or bad boss.

Perhaps another reason I didn’t want to write this article is because context matters. Context for the organization and context for the individual. What is happening in the organization? What is the culture? Is the “boss” in a position for which the individual is equipped to do the job? Is the person in a terrible place in life? The office culture, the relationship a team member has with a boss or board and the leader’s personal life can all influence how the person shows up and leads and how others perceive the individual.

But since I am writing this article, I will share a few signs that bosses are bad and in need of a timeout.

1. Bad Bosses Don’t Know and Haven’t Healed Their Inner Child

If you plan to lead people – well, if you plan to effectively lead yourself – you must get reacquainted with your inner child. Just because you are in young adulthood, middle age or the golden years doesn’t mean your inner child matches your chronological age. If you experienced trauma as a child, your inner child may be stuck at the point or age of that trauma. While you walk around in a woman’s size 10 shoe, your behavior may showcase an inner child who is much younger.

In a June 7, 2008, Psychology Today article, Stephen A. Diamond, Ph.D., observed,[1]

“The fact is that the majority of so-called adults are not truly adults at all. We all get older … But, psychologically speaking, this is not adulthood. True adulthood hinges on acknowledging, accepting, and taking responsibility for loving and parenting one’s own inner child. For most adults, this never happens. Instead, their inner child has been denied, neglected, disparaged, abandoned or rejected. We are told by society to ‘grow up,’ putting childish things aside. To become adults, we’ve been taught that our inner child—representing our child-like capacity for innocence, wonder, awe, joy, sensitivity and playfulness—must be stifled, quarantined or even killed. The inner child comprises and potentiates these positive qualities. But it also holds our accumulated childhood hurts, traumas, fears and angers.”

Sometimes the key that your inner child needs tending to is conflict with someone else’s inner child.

Advertising

Good bosses are aware of the ups and downs of their childhood, have worked or are working to heal their inner child and are aware of their triggers. Good managers use this awareness to manage themselves, and their interactions with others. Bad bosses are oblivious to how their inner child impacts not only their life but the lives of others.

2. Bad Bosses Are Unable to Accept Feedback

Bad bosses are not intentional about creating an environment where their peers and colleagues can share feedback about their leadership. They don’t solicit feedback. Given the power dynamic that managers, CEOs and others in leadership yield, they must go out of their way to solicit feedback, and they must do so repeatedly.

Before being completely honest, most team members will test the waters and share low-stakes information to get a sense for how their boss will respond. If the boss is angry or retaliatory, team members are less likely to risk being candid in the future.

So being unable to accept feedback takes on two forms: failing to proactively and repeatedly ask for feedback and reacting poorly when feedback is shared.

3. Bad Bosses Are Unwilling to Give Timely Feedback

The flip side of accepting feedback is giving feedback. Both require courage. It takes courage to open yourself up and accept feedback on ways that you need to grow. Similarly, it takes courage to share honest feedback about a team member’s or colleague’s performance or behavior.

Since not everyone is open to accepting feedback, whether they’re a manager or not, having an honest conversation about areas a team member or colleague has missed the mark, is not always easy. Still, good bosses will find a way to share feedback, and they’ll do so in a timely fashion.

Withholding feedback and sharing it months after a situation has unfolded or in a snowball fashion is unhelpful to the employees. One of the ways we grow as leaders is through feedback. When people have the courage to tell us the truth, that information allows us to progress.

4. Bad Bosses Are Unable to Acknowledge Their Mistakes

Owning their mistakes is like a disease to bad bosses; they do not want it. Instead of being risk averse, they are accountability averse. The problem is that they can only gloss over their weaknesses or failures for so long; the people around are able to see their flaws and weaknesses, and bad bosses pretending they don’t exist is not helpful. It is infuriating.

Advertising

However, bad bosses are masterful at reassigning blame. They are unable or unwilling to accept responsibility for mistakes — small or large. But career expert Amanda Augustine told CNBC “Make It” in May 2017, that “good managers also admit their mistakes.”[2] They don’t pass the blame or pretend they didn’t make a mistake. They own it.

5. Bad Bosses Are Unwilling or Incapable of Being Vulnerable

Vulnerability is an underrated leadership skill. But well-placed and well-thought out vulnerability enables employees to see their leaders’ humanity, and it creates a way for leaders to bond with their teams.

Bad bosses may talk about vulnerability, but they don’t practice it in their own lives, particularly in the workplace.

6. Privately, Bad Bosses Do Not Live Up to the Organization’s Stated Values

Bad bosses may publicly spout the values of the organization they work for, but privately they either don’t believe or don’t embody those values.

If they work for an environmental group, they may not practice sustainability in their private lives. Their words and actions are incongruent.

7. Bad Bosses Are Unable to Inspire Others

When bad bosses are unable or unwilling to take the time to inspire others, they lead through fear or command. Neither are helpful.

A culture dominated by fear will stifle creativity and risk taking that can lead to innovation. An autocratic management style will have a similar effect in that team, members will not feel they have the space to step outside of the box they have been placed in.

A good boss is someone who takes time to share the big picture and time to inspire their teams to want to be a part of it.

Advertising

8. Bad Bosses Are Disinterested in How Their Behavior Impacts Others

They are narcissistic and focused on self-preservation. In “19 Traits of a Bad Boss,” Kevin Sheridan said,[3]

“Terrible bosses are endlessly self-centered. Everything is about them and not the people they manage or what is going on in their employees’ personal lives. It is never about the team, but rather all about how good they look. Conversely, great bosses lead with integrity, honesty, care, and authenticity.”

Rather than seeing their team’s talents and seeing people’s full humanity, bad bosses believe their team exists to serve them. Families, personal life and priorities be damned. Bona fide bad bosses believe that their comfort should be prioritized over their team’s needs and desires.

9. Bad Bosses Have Likely Received Negative Feedback

Bad bosses have likely been told that they are poor supervisors. They have likely been told time and time again that their behavior is harmful to the people around them.

Perhaps they do not know how to change or are unwilling to change. But bad bosses certainly have received clues, insights and direct feedback that their management style and behavior are harmful to others.

Even when someone hasn’t explicitly said, “Your behavior is harmful to me and others,” the absence of feedback indicates a problem. It can mean that the leader’s team doesn’t feel safe enough to share feedback, that people do not believe the leader will act on what is shared, or that people have determine the best strategy is to avoid the boss as much as possible.

10. Bad Bosses Are Perfectionists

Bad bosses are driven by an internal urge to be perfect. Perfectionists don’t just want to be perfect; they want everyone around them to be perfect as well. This is a standard that neither they nor their team can live up to.

Since perfection is illusive, they spend their time chasing their shadow and being frustrated that they cannot catch it. They are unable to enjoy the journey and often block others from doing so as well. They let “perfect” be the enemy of “good.” Rather than embracing a growth mindset that desires to learn and improved, they are compulsive and toxic.

Advertising

If you are like me and you see yourself in parts of this list, do not despair. A bad boss can change. The key is seeking honest feedback and being willing to work through that feedback and your triggers with a therapist or coach.

The Bottom Line

Regardless of your age and the mistakes you have made, you can change and become a healthier leader whom others respect and appreciate.

Conversely, if you are employed by a bad boss, do everything in your power to take care of yourself. Understand that your boss’s behavior, even if directed at you, is not about you. Your boss’s reactions, if and when you make a mistake, is a reflection on that individual, not you.

To survive the work environment, think about the lesson you are meant to learn. You can do this with a trusted therapist or capable coach. However, if you deem the work environment to be toxic and harmful to your health, seek employment elsewhere.

In the end, this is an article I did not want to write, but I’m happy I did.

More About Effective Leadership

Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next