It is no news that bad news spreads fast in this digital age. With the advent of social media, Managing potentially negative PR situations has become tough for many businesses.
Though it has been said that there is no such thing as “bad PR”, those at the receiving end of the criticisms that have arisen as a result – beg to differ.
The entire point of PR is to put the brand out there in a positive light. Bad PR however, does the complete opposite. It begins its destructive cascade right from the brand image. Once a brand is perceived in a negative light, it loses its credibility, and as a result, the business may end up losing customers, ultimately resulting in financial losses. So, to answer the question presented at the beginning, bad PR is damaging.
However, that’s not to say that businesses haven’t benefited from bad PR. Way back in 1985, Coca-Cola released a sweeter version of their product, but it wasn’t until three months later that they realised they had made a huge mistake. They received letters, phone calls and emails from customers saying that the drink tasted horrible. So, what did they do? They reverted back to the original taste and rebranded it as Coke classic. This was certainly met with a lot of positivity, It got so much attention that an entire TV show was interrupted to announce the news, and sales for the beloved fizzy drink!
In the end, bad PR turning into great PR is ultimately dependent on how it’s handled!