Businesses today understand the nuance behind public relations and the legality of reputation management. Excessive competition and visibility in the market may be necessary for companies to gain leverage, but this can quickly be turned around into an unfavorable situation. Several times, brands are faced with false charges or fake news, which can be precarious for their revenues since their valuation can change based on such happenings. If a company is listed in the stock markets, this becomes an even more volatile situation where any speculation can change the stock price in a flash. To avoid such uncertainties and consequences, it’s imperative that a business learns how to protect its interests, especially from malefic publicity. Here are seven ways in which you can step up your legal protection so that you know how to deal with or prevent an opening for fake news and bad PR from taking place.
- Learn about your business rights: Several entrepreneurs find out the rights of their business the hard way, where they realize they could have taken preventive measures. Instead of waiting around for a negative piece of news to surface about your business and then remedy it, it’s essential that you look up the legal rights of your business to understand where to draw the line. If someone attempts to publish or extract information unlawfully, this knowledge will give you an opportunity to counter the attack on your brand name. From rebutting, countering, and denying a response, there are several options available that you can exercise during such times.
- Get your business PR-proofed: There is a huge emphasis on every business having an active PR team to represent them today. If you haven’t created a team for your company due to capital and size constraints yet, you can hire an agency to work with you. Not only do they have the manpower but also possess years of expertise to conduct campaigns and activities that will build a positive brand image in the market. When your brand is actively engaged with the public and stakeholders with transparency, churning fake news becomes difficult for troublemaking elements. This would also provide your business a good opportunity to bring first-hand accounts and news to the public, boosting your credibility.
- Sign a legal representative: Every business requires a legal team or professional to help them with various affairs that may occur on a day-to-day basis. However, there could be times when your lawyers may need to deal with false lawsuits and allegations. Not only are these occurrences extremely detrimental to the leadership and management, but can also crash the image of your organization in a matter of minutes. It would be highly beneficial if you got in touch with a team of brilliant criminal defense attorneys to help you reinstate your business reputation. From rebutting, counter-suing, and defending, these professionals are well-versed in what needs to be done if there are any fake cases or news being circulated against the business.
- Establish a source of communication: Having too many streams of communication increases the chances of information leaks and misunderstandings. When allowed to be taken too far, it can also be a hoard of misinformation that can quickly become a catastrophic event for your reputation. Ensure that you streamline all top to bottom communications and have a singular channel for major updates reaching the masses. Not only does this remove any scope for grapevine, gossip, and speculation, but reduces the credibility of such sources.
- Focus on data privacy: There are several ways where data can be leaked from the inside without your knowledge. From hacks to insider information, the risks are plenty enough to not ignore them. Make sure that your cloud is protected and firewalled from the inside and outside, along with any communications that flow in your business’s cross-channel system. Hiring an IT surveillance team to take care of devices being used and monitor activity can help you in the long run.
- Make sure your employees are scanned: Your employees are the biggest asset for the business’s welfare, but can be used against you. To ensure that your reputation remains spotless, create rigorous hiring standards with checks on your candidates so that you don’t overlook their ability to leak information. Conduct regular activities and training to ensure your employees remain loyal to your business and actively protect its image too.
While there are so many steps that can be taken to prevent bad PR, suing and defending is the option if there is a piece defaming you being published. Knowing which steps to set up when can help you prevent negative PR altogether rather than jumping on the defensive side. We hope this blog helps you bring things to perspective.