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Association Management

Well, That Looked Bad! How to Recover from Bad Press

MemberClicks Blog Avatar MemberClicks Blog September 16, 2014
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2 min read

They say there’s no such thing as bad press… well that’s not completely true. It is if you consider the fact that any mention of your association brings you to light and gets you attention, hits on google, visits to your social media, etc, but most of the associations I’ve run across would rather have no press than crop up among a scandal. Let’s take a moment and take a look at the kinds of bad press out there and how your association can recover. 

You goofed

If you said or did the wrong thing that made a big public splash.

Someone in your association goofed

A member or someone closely associated with your group said or did something that’s controversial or has been negatively received. 

Your whole industry goofed

Your association’s industry stepped into the spotlight due to something that went on with a local chapter or even on the national or international level. 

Here's how to handle it:

Say something

It might be the best move to address it head on. Some leaders may choose to disassociate from the organization temporarily or even permanently depending on what the offense was, if it was super bad and it was their doing. If it was a member mistake, see if they are willing to make a statement or allow you to make one on their behalf. Craft the statement carefully, run it by several people, and then contact the media with a statement release. 

Keep quiet

If there’s one thing you can count on, eventually the attention will turn and your brief time in the spotlight will come to an end. For those enduring bad press, that’s a blessing. It is impossible to say the wrong thing when you’re staying silent, but there are a few things you must consider: If your silence speaks louder than words, it might be time to speak up. Also be sure to brief your members on your association’s official stance that way everyone is on the same page and nobody sticks their foot in their mouth. 

Above all, stay positive and honest with your members. Ask for their concerns and answer their questions completely and openly. Although there may be a lot of people asking you questions  at this time, your members are your first priority!

Need more help relating with your members during the good days? Download our guide to member engagement by clicking below! It’s free!

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