How to Manage Negative Press

Tips on presenting your company's best face to the media.

April 30, 1999

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.

  1. Be a source before you become a subject."Cultivate contacts in the press,"
    Walsh says.
  2. Respond in a prompt manner. "Respond quickly. If you don’t know, say you don’t know, but you’ll get back to them."
  3. Have a plan. "Nobody is immune to problems," she says, "so designate a person for press relations."
  4. Avoid television. "Unless you can be candid and say what you have to in under 30 seconds, avoid it," Walsh says.
  5. Don’t take it personally. "A reporter is neither your enemy or friend."

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