When you run your own business, you know that in an extremely competitive market where customers are increasingly capricious, your reputation is everything. Your reputation is what tells repeat customers and new leads alike what they can expect from your business. It bolsters your brand by imbuing it with a set of standards to which you as an entrepreneur and all of your employees hold yourselves. As such, when someone levels a false allegation against you, your business or one of your employees, your reputation is in danger of being seriously and irrevocably tarnished. You’ve worked too long and for too hard on your business to let its good name be dragged through the mud. Don’t let false allegations mire the reputation of your business. You need to take quick and decisive action to restore public faith in your brand and mitigate any fiscal damage that might be wrought.
Make sure you know that the allegations are false
If allegations have been made about one of your employees rather than the business itself, decisive action must be taken to ensure that your name is not dragged into disrepute. The employee in question must be suspended while you carry out a full and thorough investigation. If your employee has been found to be blameless and the accusations proved to be false, you can proceed with defending yourself without the risk of getting egg on your face. Plus, showing your employees that you have your back not only boosts workplace morale but adds PR value to your brand.
If you or your business has been accused of malpractice that is criminal in nature, unless your business has its own legal team it behoves you to find a criminal defense lawyer. Look for an attorney with experience in defamation suits. Not only will they be able to help you defend your name, they will also help you to prove a case for defamation which can be notoriously difficult.
As states law vary somewhat a lawyer will be able to help you determine whether the allegation was made against you or your business and determine whether the accusation made was slanderous (spoken) or in print (libel) and how you will build a case in front of a judge. Only with expert legal counsel will you be able to protect your reputation and sue for damages against your accuser.
Fight bad publicity with good publicity
There may be circumstances under which a court case would be a lengthy, expensive and unprofitable undertaking. In these instances, your best bet may actually be to frown out the negative publicity with good publicity. You’d hardly be the first company to do so. Many businesses have reversed their fortunes and turned PR nightmares into PR wins. In order to do this, you must lay a foundation to ensure that your business is ethically and morally unimpeachable.
Giving back to your community or the planet by making charitable donations, investing in greener working practices or demonstrating that you are a bastion of employee care are all great ways to positively boost your business’ PR.