Nothing moves the media needle like a scandal. And nothing can be so damaging to a brand’s reputation as the ensuing bad press.
The number of companies that in recent years have been dragged through the media mud, whether rightly or wrongly, is basically endless.
A tiny taste:
Read: PR lessons from the Theranos debacle: defend the science
But there is one product that’s been more maligned over the decades than those above: marijuana, “the burning weed with its roots in hell”.
In honor of 4/20, and the seeming inevitability of Canada legalizing cannabis, now’s the time to remind you that bringing a product or a brand back from the graveyard of public opinion is eminently doable.
Start cleansing your image with these three tips:
1. Don’t try to be all things to all people
In essence, don’t waste your breath. Aim your storytelling at those most likely to change their minds and respond favorably, and don’t argue your points too emphatically with a wider audience that’s given to disagree.
2. Focus on the positives
It doesn’t pay to get stuck in the mud. Keep rolling out your messaging in a consistent manner, both in terms of timing and tone, highlighting the best parts of your product. As the Dalai Lama says, haters gonna hate, but you need to focus on the good things you do.
3. Monitor the conversation
That being said, you still need to listen to that hate. Watch your social channels and keep an eye on the media. Respond in a timely and productive manner to dissenting viewpoints, and address the issues. You might not be able to change the conversation overnight, but your steadiness and attention will reward you in the long run.
Your brand might be in trouble now, but don’t panic; it is possible to change public perception and restore your reputation.
If marijuana can go from this…
…there’s no reason you can’t do the same.
Just try to do it a little quicker than marijuana has.