No Publicity is Bad Publicity – Or is it?

A local restaurant was recently featured on national television reality show. As a result, it received a lot of attention on social media – some positive and a whole lot of negative – which got us thinking, is the old saying “No publicity is bad publicity” true? I believe it’s all in the way the business handles it. Social Media can ruin a business’s reputation, but can a business use Social Media to build or restore its reputation?  The answer is Yes!

In 2009 Domino’s Pizza faced a major Social Media crisis and their response to the crisis is a model that other business owners can learn from.

Steps to Restore a Business Reputation Online:

  1. Have a plan in place – It only takes one upset customer to create havoc on Social Media. Have a response plan ready when a crisis takes place.
  2. Use Alerts – Tools such as Google Alerts allow a business owner to know when people are talking about the business online as well as on social media.
  3. Get involved – Business owners need to become a part of the conversation. Thank people for comments both good and bad, and use the bad comments as tool to improve your business.  On issue like this the business owner need to be involved – People want to hear from management. Don’t leave something this important to those who have less at stake.Remember…the customer may not always be right, but they are always the customer!
  4. Involve your loyal customers – One way to stomp out bad publicity is to create good publicity by having your customers talk favorably about their positive experiences with your business.

The website tells us to try to understand that even bad online reviews have silver linings:

• You just learned something about your business, now you know what can be fixed.
• Your upset customer could have remained silent, but now you know who to fix the problem with.
• This is a perfect opportunity to establish a genuine relationship with a customer by reaching out, contacting the reviewer, and potentially changing his/her perspective for the better. (… and it allows other to see your attempt at making things right!)

Whenever I give my seminars on Social Media, I always tell my audience, “even if you don’t plan on using social media to promote your business, you better know how to use it to save your business!” This is vital!

For additional information … feel free to contact The University of Scranton Small Business Development Center at (570) 941-7588 or email .

Keith D. Yurgosky
Manager of Internet Business
University of Scranton SBDC

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