If you are a celeb, a superstar, or the average Joe, your reputation means everything in growing and maintaining your business. Personal problems can taint your value and become more of a distraction. If an issue arises, the ability not to react and to ignore it can be more damaging than addressing the issue head-on.
Here are a few tips to manage a difficult situation:
1. Understand that some bad news is good news. Perceived negative exposure can actually have unexpected positive effects. Coming forward about a mistake and talking about it will create an opportunity to make a positive impact on the public and boost your reputation. You can use the media in a positive way to help others.
2. Understand that your opponents can see you as a threat. You’re obviously doing something right! Some people prey on others failing. We are all human and have the ability to rise above the noise. Take the high road and embrace where you are to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses for improvement.
3. Yes, everyone is entitled to privacy. Decide if the discrediting actually warrants a response. Some rants don’t require your involvement. But when it starts to spin out of control there has to be a point where you need to speak up. For example, Tom Cruise’s reputation was hurt with all of his Katie Holmes excitement and religious positioning. Once he did several interviews, including one with Oprah, the public perception of him improved. I think you really need to give the public, beyond your fans, a reason to fall in love with you again.
4. If you do decide to respond, make it factual, concise, precise, and don’t argue – that’s what they want. Arguing will trip you up. Stay focused, stay on point and keep calm at all times.
5. Don’t lose focus on growing your skills and your business. Ensure you actually have a product or service that is worth talking positively about. Address issues by taking personal responsibility for your part of the situation. Take steps to improve and prove them wrong with your positive actions. Show up for meetings or events to grow your business. Interact with customers, fans, etc. to address any misinformation that may be out there. It will give you, your team and the public a reason to believe in you again.