Nobody likes to be bullied. This is precisely why Tinder used the Twitter platform to respond to negative press. Should businesses see this as good practice or something to avoid?
The World Wide Web is not often fair or truthful; at times it acts as a breeding ground for half-truths and misinformation. But what if this misinformation is about you and your company? What is the best road to take?
Tinder was recently targeted in a Vanity Fair article claiming that the dating app has created what the article calls the “Dating Apocalypse”. The article, written by journalist Nancy Jo Sales, was not specifically targeted at badmouthing Tinder but to analyze the current trend of dating to ‘hook up’; Tinder was just caught in the crossfire.
Sales displays the world of 20-something dating as a shallow, animalistic bowling match with each singleton looking to knock over as many dates, or pins, as possible. It doesn’t exactly show Tinder in the greatest light, but the young singles are shown to be much worse.
In response to the ad Tinder lit up the Twittersphere with a series of defensive retorts, over 30 tweets in all. The orchestrated defence blew up news sites and retweets around the world.
If you want to try to tear us down with one-sided journalism, well, that’s your prerogative.
— Tinder (@Tinder) August 11, 2015
Talk to the female journalist in Pakistan who wrote just yesterday about using Tinder to find a relationship where being gay is illegal.
— Tinder (@Tinder) August 11, 2015
Tinder’s point was to show that their app can be used for good too, but is this really the most effective and professional way to respond to bad press? Probably not. While some of Tinder’s tweets reflected well on the company, the tantrum as a whole did not.
So where did Tinder go wrong?
While Twitter rants are entertaining for the masses, and Tinder certainly got their point across, we wouldn’t recommend that your business do the same. There are quite a few more enticing options that can build your reputation rather than tear it down.
Option #1: Take the high road.
When bad press comes knocking silence is an option; in situations that are particularly in bad taste the best course of action may be nothing at all. Take the advice we all received as children and don’t sink to their level.
Option #2: Outshine the negativity.
As those in show business say, all press is good press. Take the opportunity of your name being in lights to showcase some of the amazing things your business does. Talk about your great employees, how you give back and how you continue to be the best you can in your industry. It might sound cheesy but these actions can also show integrity and strength as a company.
Option #3: Talk to someone in charge.
Rather than attacking the messenger it might make more sense to talk to an editor or manager of the specific bad press item. Bad mouthing the author or journalist is usually seen as bad form and quite petty. Take your complaints to the top, after all the journalist is just doing their job (even if it’s not the way you would prefer).
Option #4: If you must respond, write a press release.
If there is no other option and your company must respond, do so in a press release, not on social media. Spend some time developing a professional response to air through the pipelines in an appropriate manner. Almost every business gets bad press and is quickly forgotten unless the company responds poorly.
How does your company handle bad press? Let us know with a tweet @Midphase
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