Nobody who runs a business wants to experience the horror of bad publicity. Dealing with the inquiries of customers who want to know what next will be stressful for sure. Then comes the struggle of watching sales dwindle because there are customers who may not want to be associated with a pub that has gotten bad publicity. Sadly, if you run a pub, you should always expect the unexpected. When people get drunk, a fight could ensue, and when someone is injured, that is already news content for the media. It can also be from a bad review in the newspaper, or a client raising a complaint through the media. Whichever the case, be prepared.
Issue a Statement
If you are being accused wrongly, or if there was an incident that painted the pub in a bad light, issue a statement immediately. Explain the circumstances under which things happened. Do not trade blames. If the pub was on the wrong, issue an apology. Resist the urge to pay journalists or publicists to make the public relations nightmare go away. If there was a crime or death at the pub, empathise with the people affected. Do not make it all about business.
Take as many calls as possible especially from loyal customers. If the bad publicity involves a crime, do not get into the merits of the case. Just reassure them about the state of the business. Use your social media platform to connect with the customers and answer as many questions as you can. If the bad publicity was because of the services at the pub, reassure them of the steps you are taking to change things.
Always remember that prevention is better than cure when it comes to negative media publicity. Do not allow customers or employees to engage in activities that may invite negative coverage.