Got A Bad Review?

 Be Responsive, Not Defensive

Public relations is designed, theoretically, to let you put your best foot forward. Its where and how you get the attention you deserve, the attention that will drive you and your message forward.  But sometimes that’s not what happens. The design collapses and you actually feel like you are losing your footing. Reports and reviews aren’t adding up to the message you and your public relations team carefully and diligently worked on and then delivered.

It cannot be said enough that intentions matter but that actual results may be more reaction than anything else. And reactions, by their nature, are often very difficult to control. So what do you do when reviewers suggest that your message isn’t on track? That your product or services don’t match their promise?

We know that the first response is to take a deep breath. Let’s face it, there are times when our best efforts do fall flat, when it’s not what we think it should be. When the media thinks that, too.

According to George Beall, a Huffington Post blogger, there are some things you can do help repair the damage that may have occurred.

“Whether it’s a rant on a popular social media site such as Yelp or Facebook, or a scathing review from a professional critic, in order to survive as a company, you and your team must learn the art of response. The best way to learn? Observe others who have dealt with the same.”

He’s so right. Learning from the mistakes and successes of others in similar situations (and industries) may be the best tactic yet to overcome the unwanted and, perhaps sometimes, undeserved critical attention.

We agree with him that lashing out and ‘hitting back’ will not help you maintain credibility with those you are trying to reach. Is there a kernel of truth in the responses? If so, the sooner you can own up to that, the better. From there it’s a matter of rectifying and/or clarifying an oversight or exaggeration that may have triggered the negative feedback.

Taking time to learn to respond with grace under pressure is much more effective and productive than being defensive and aggressive. In the final analysis, the way you handle a situation says more about you than had there never been a unflattering review in the first place.

To read the full Huffington Post article, click here

Related Information: Crisis Media Spokesperson 


March-June Conferences

Upcoming conferences

Public relations conferences can provide opportunities to learn for those who seek them. Whether one is looking to network, expand client reach, or update invaluable skills, here’s a list of four upcoming conferences that could provide you with the information you are seeking. 

PR Week Awards - March 16th, 2017, New York City, New York. One of public relations most prestigious events awards those corporate, agency, nonprofit and education teams that have gone above and beyond and deserve recognition. Details

Government Social Media Conference & Expo  – April 11-13, 2017, Dallas, Texas. Explore social media’s growing role in government communications efforts and hear from specialists who know first-hand how powerful this form of communication can be. Details.

Illuminate: 2017 Canadian PR Society National Summit – May 28-30, 2017, Kelowna, B.C. Network with some of the leading experts from around the world and increase your global influence and client reach with a trip to the national summit. Details

International Association of Business Communicators World Conference – June 11-14, 2017, Washington, D.C. A longstanding, global professional development event focused on the rise of innovation across all communications professions. Speakers will represent communications as a business-crucial part of an organization and highlight the need to make a real impact world-wide. Details

Later in the year

Public Relations Society of America International Conference – October 8-10, 2017, Boston, Massachusetts. Meet some of the most influential professionals in public relations including practitioners and industry vendors who are highlighting the best strategy tools, products, and more. Details.  

National Information Officers Association Annual Conference – Date: TBD, Clearwater, Florida. Leading public information officers will attend perhaps the best conference of the year for government communicators. Learn about crisis communications and how to effectively manage your efforts from first responders. Details

Related Information

2017 PR Trends

Why E-Newsletters?


Allow Others To Sample Your Work

Let's face it,  sometimes people are reluctant to part with money. That’s especially true in today’s difficult times. So how can you get potential clients to trust you, let alone hire you before they've had a chance to really know the quality of your services? You have to have a method for them to sample your products and services without having to make a sizeable commitment. 
We know what you're thinking. You can't afford to give your services away for free, right? We get that. However, people won't use your services if you have not built up the important (and basic) know, like, and trust factors. So how can you get people to let potential clients sample your work?  You can produce an e-newsletter.

E-newsletters showcase your expertise

When you publish an e-newsletter you have an opportunity to show others how much you know about your chosen subject. In time your readers will recognize you as an authority because you provide them with useful and original content on a consistent basis.
You can decide which schedule works best for you. Some choose to produce a weekly e-newsletter. Others send an e-newsletter every two weeks, monthly or even quarterly. Timing doesn’t matter as much as regularity, so you’ve got to know what level of output you can provide on an ongoing basis.

Delivery Matters

The best way to deliver an e-newsletter is to through an autoresponder service. An autoresponder is exactly what it sounds like. You schedule a series of messages to get delivered at specific intervals. Autoresponders can be very expensive so you have to determine a budget you can comfortably (reasonably) afford. You also need to decide which features are important for your purposes. Some autoresponders have very good tracking methods while others may allow you to import existing email lists. There are literally dozens of autoresponder hosting companies to choose from. Here are four of the more popular ones:

  • Aweber
  • Constant Contact
  • GetResponse
  • MailChimp
Be cautious of using free autoresponder services. Some have been known to pull the plug on the service without any warning. That would leave you without an autoresponder and email list.
An e-newsletter can be an important part of your public relations campaign. It is usually one of the first ways people find out about your products or services. E-newsletters not only help introduce you to others in a non-sales environment, they also serve to remind others that you are around and ready to serve, should the need arise.


On a final note, remember to include levity in the content. When possible, we include a few links to funny or uplifting videos, blogs or articles in each issue that DO NOT have anything to do with public relations.
We learned early on while working in newsrooms that people want to find enjoyment as well as valuable information in what they read.

Related Information