Negative Media Coverage – An Opportunity

How to Bounce Back from Negative Media Coverage

Negative media coverage

‘Negative media coverage’… it’s enough to bring any personal or professional brand out in a cold sweat, isn’t it? But it happens, and the most important thing to understand is that a reputation hit doesn’t have to mean the end of the road. Online reputation management techniques can help you bounce back and get yourself back on track. 


So what’s the best way to respond to negative press? It all depends on the situation. Either you’ve made a mistake, or you’re the victim of fake news. Here’s what to do when you’re the subject of negative media coverage:


  • If you’ve made a mistake, own up


Every person, and every business, makes mistakes. It happens. And in a digital world where your every move is watched, scrutinised, and shared, the worst thing you can do is to brush these mistakes under the rug. Instead, own up. Admit fault, position the mistake as an important learning opportunity, and take some sort of positive action. Personal reputation management isn’t about changing what’s happened; it’s about demonstrating that you’re able to take the right actions should things go wrong. 


A prime example comes in the form of actors Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively. In 2020, the married couple publicly apologised for holding their 2012 wedding at a plantation in South Carolina. They openly admitted to a lack of judgement, stated that they had educated themselves on the devastating history of the site, and committed to donating $200,000 to the NAACP. In doing so, the pair humanised their brand; they showed that they’re not perfect, but that they’re willing to learn and improve. That’s how to handle negative media coverage.


  • If you haven’t made a mistake, take action


Unfortunately, even with excellent oversight, care, attention, and planning, brands can still be affected by fake news stories that spread around the web like wildfire. Research by US fraud consultancy Kroll suggests that 84% of businesses feel threatened by the risk of fake news and false rumours. In 2019, London-based Metro Bank was hit with a WhatsApp rumour that it was closing, with messages urging customers to empty their accounts immediately. Over just a single weekend, share prices dropped by 9%. 


In situations such as this, while it is important to dispel rumours, it’s also important to consider the effect that these rumours can have on long term consumer confidence. Brands may want to remove fake news, or the evidence of these rumours, to minimise impact. An online reputation agency like Balanced Media can help to remove negative links from Google, as well as reduce the visibility of those links that cannot be taken down through strategic SEO techniques that work to push harmful content further down the SERPs. 


Turning Negativity into Opportunity


Negative media coverage can be difficult to stomach, but the truth is that with the right online reputation management strategy, it’s possible to turn negativity into opportunity. Negative media coverage is a chance to gain insight into your brand’s weaknesses, and identify solutions that can make you stronger and more resilient. 

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