It happens to the best of companies sooner or later. A misunderstanding or a jobsite accident can shape a remodeler’s reputation for years to come. But if you’re prepared, managing negative press can prevent fallout, according to Lynn Walsh of The Network Public Relations, a Chicago-based firm serving the building and real estate industries.
- Be a source before you become a subject."Cultivate contacts in the press,"
- Respond in a prompt manner. "Respond quickly. If you don’t know, say you don’t know, but you’ll get back to them."
- Have a plan. "Nobody is immune to problems," she says, "so designate a person for press relations."
- Avoid television. "Unless you can be candid and say what you have to in under 30 seconds, avoid it," Walsh says.
- Don’t take it personally. "A reporter is neither your enemy or friend."