The best tactic when responding to negative public opinion? Don’t get defensive. It’s easy to say, not always easy to do. Here are some tips from Cynthia Martinez, manager of corporate communications for Royal Caribbean, on how the cruise line succeeded in turning bad press into good PR.
• Know your messages and remain consistent when you reiterate them.
• Don’t waiver. If you stand by your decision or statement, continue to tell your story as often as you need to. “We felt we’d returned to Haiti for the right reasons, and we stuck with it,” Martinez says.
• The explanation needs to be from the heart. Royal Caribbean’s president/CEO wrote a personal response to the negative press on his blog. “People can see through blogs that are ghostwritten and have too much of a PR and marketing hand in them,” Martinez says.
• It helps if channels of communications are already in place with key constituents. “It’s hard in a crisis to start up a blog and expect people to find it,” she says.
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