How to Deal with Negative News


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Here’s how to make the best of a bad situation. When a reporter calls about bad news, follow these steps:

• Acknowledge the problem.
• Explain how the problem is being corrected.
• Tell reporters you will keep them updated – then DO IT!
• Ask if they have any other questions.
• Offer to let them speak to company executives.
• Be direct – don’t lie, hide the truth, or obscure the facts.

If you follow these steps, reporters will cooperate with you. If you don’t, they’ll treat you like a leper. Telling the truth is a cardinal rule in publicity. Smart publicity people don’t tell lies because they know any lies will come back to haunt them.

Similarly, smart managers and clients don’t ask publicity people to lie for them.