Surviving Bad Publicity and Blackmail
How do you handle bad publicity? What if your business is receiving attention in all the wrong ways? How do you deal with criticism?
What if we tell you that there is a way to prepare yourself for this?
In today’s Midwest Mindset, Matt shares his personal story of bad publicity and blackmail after one very private picture was stolen from his phone.
After very difficult moments and many lessons learned, he gives us his five-step action plan to overcome bad publicity without letting it affect your mental peace.
Bad Publicity in Business
When we discuss negative publicity in this context, we’re not referring to a misfired marketing campaign or a social media strategy that didn’t quite hit the mark; we’re delving into the realm of business and entrepreneurial reputation.
When you own a business, you become an important part of the business’s public image. This public role means all eyes are on you, scrutinizing your every move.
Why Your Image Matters
When you have a business, you can sometimes become a public figure, and your actions carry weight. They can significantly influence how people perceive you and your business.
If your personal life is portrayed negatively, so does your business, especially in the age of the internet, where bad publicity can spread rapidly. So, how can you effectively manage this situation?
Matt’s Story with Bad Publicity
A few years ago, Matt found himself in a sticky situation. He was being blackmailed with private photos stolen from his phone… you know, the kind you wouldn’t want your grandmother to see.
The blackmailer demanded a hefty ransom, a ridiculous sum of money that was nearly impossible for a radio host to have.
Matt felt everything from humiliation to panic, and he was left wondering, “What on earth am I going to do?”
His options were limited, and after exploring various solutions, including considering a career as a fugitive, he found himself at the police station.
Facing Bad Publicity Head-On
However, Matt realized he had to face the problem head-on; there was not much that the police could do.
So, he did the most logical thing he could when faced with impending public embarrassment: he formulated a strategic action plan for once his intimate picture hit the internet.
Armed with his damage control strategy, Matt bravely confronted his blackmailer. When the picture was finally leaked, it was undoubtedly challenging and embarrassing, but Matt was prepared.
He managed to wipe the image from most devices, and the issue was quickly forgotten.
Sure, the entire ordeal was a rollercoaster of emotions, but not many people ended up seeing the picture, thanks to Matt’s quick thinking and proactive measures.
Life moved on, and to his surprise, this incident didn’t end his career. Instead, it served as a valuable lesson on overcoming bad publicity. Here are the five bulletproof steps he took to overcome his bad publicity streak
How to Deal With Bad Publicity
Sometimes, we can’t control how people perceive us or the way they talk about us, but we can survive it and stop letting it affect us.
In business, we need to be prepared for these types of situations that are more common than we might think.
Accept the Situation
The first step in managing bad publicity is acceptance. Acknowledge that there’s a problem and that it needs to be addressed.
Ignoring the issue or hoping it will go away on its own is not an effective strategy. Instead, take a proactive approach and start planning your response.
Be Transparent to Yourself
Transparency is key when dealing with bad publicity. Be honest with yourself about what happened.
If you or your company made a mistake, admit it and review how this can affect your business and the people in it. This self-awareness is crucial for crafting an authentic and sincere response.
Be Comprehensive and Prepare for What’s to Come
When responding to or dealing with negative press, it’s important to be comprehensive. Address all aspects of the issue and provide as much information as possible.
If there’s nothing that you can do, that’s fine; don’t be so hard on yourself. This shows your audience that you take the situation seriously even when there might not be a solution.
Determine If It Is Even Worth It to Respond
Choose your battles. Not all negative press requires a response; this could be exhausting. Sometimes, it’s best to let minor issues fade away naturally.
However, if the issue is serious or could significantly damage your reputation, it’s essential to respond swiftly and appropriately.
Review, Edit, and Post
Before releasing your response, review it carefully. Make sure it addresses the issue comprehensively, aligns with your brand values, and is respectful and professional.
Editing is crucial to ensure clarity and prevent any potential misunderstandings. Once you’re confident in your statement, post it on the appropriate channels, whether that be social media, your company website, or a press release.
Dealing with bad publicity can be challenging, but it’s not the end of the world. Following Matt’s five steps, you can navigate through the storm and come out stronger on the other side.
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