Last Updated on October 7, 2021
We’ve spent a lot of time talking about how you can nurture a good relationship between your event firm and its clients. We’ve examined marketing techniques, methods for handling any event management catastrophe that gets thrown at you, and how you should approach the matter of social media. Amongst all that talk, there’s one thing we haven’t really addressed to any satisfactory degree – negative publicity.
What can you do if – in spite if your best efforts – your event management firm’s managed to foster a bad reputation?
Poor publicity’s sort of like a nasty cold. No one actually ever wants to deal with it – it’s unpleasant. Unfortunately, like a bad cold, ignoring a negative reputation is only going to make things a whole lot worse.
The best thing you can do in this situation, in other words, is be proactive.
Figuring Out What Went Wrong
First and foremost, you need to figure out exactly why you’re getting bad press. Did you botch an event? Are you receiving a torrent of negative reviews online? Are there guest speakers and vendors complaining on social media about your poor treatment?
As an event management professional, you need to have you finger on the pulse of your industry – this is doubly true if you’re running your own firm. That way, you’ll know immediately when people aren’t happy with your business. And the sooner you know, the better equipped you’ll be to mitigate the damage incurred by a stained reputation.
Responding To Bad Press
No matter where the negative publicity is coming from, the best thing you can do is be candid with both your clients and the press.
“If your firm is getting critical coverage in the media or online,” explains Marketing Donut, “respond quickly, honestly, and decisively. If you are in the wrong, it’s vital to own up and apologize. Never say “no comment” – it sends the message that you’re in the wrong and suggests that you feel no remorse – and the press may keep digging for dirt.”
The key here is to keep people informed. Talk to them, and show them that you’ve their best interests at heart. Make absolutely certain every channel you’re speaking through is clear and that there’s no miscommunication happening anywhere down the line. The last thing you want to do is cause a misunderstanding that exacerbates everything.
This can be applied to negative reviews, as well. If a client’s taken the time to write a bad review, that means that they’re probably going to respond if you reach out to them. Further, that they might even sing your praises if you manage their concerns skillfully enough.
Repairing A Damaged Reputation
Now, let’s say all the mitigation you did in the face of bad press wasn’t enough. Your firm’s image has been sullied, and you’re losing out on clients because of it. What can you do to reverse the damage?
Simple: get your name out there in a positive light.
Basically, this means that you’re going to need to run your next few events flawlessly – and then market the results to prospective clients and partners. And while you’re at it, make sure you do everything you can to fix whatever caused your reputation to slide in the first place. It’s no good to kick your event planning into overdrive if you’re still missing something as basic as providing your volunteers with a green room or giving your vendors a guidebook.
Nobody really enjoys dealing with a negative reputation – but sooner or later, everyone in the business world has to come face to face with negative publicity. Mismanage that poor publicity, and your event firm might well be dealing with a broken brand.
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