July 24, 2024

5W Public Relations: 5W PR Blog

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3 Responses to a Smear Campaign

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We all know that haters are out there, and they will, without any doubt, hate. They hate success. They hate progress. They hate innovation. And, this hate inspires jealousy, and all it’s ills. Eventually, some hater will try to smear your good name. How this will be done, and when it will come, will be a surprise.

But you don’t need to react like you are surprised. Surprised reactions inspire mistakes, miscues, and missed opportunities. But, that doesn’t mean you should just pretend it didn’t happen. Ronn Torossian, CEO of 5WPR, offers three possible reactions to a negative, or attack PR campaign. And, Torossian has a strong opinion on which one you should pick.

Ignore it

The temptation is to ignore the issue, to not “dignify” the smear campaign by addressing it directly. While this may be a popular idea, it’s a dangerous position to take. Refusing to confront an issue may make some people assume there is some truth to the allegations. It will look like an admission, or at least a concession. This is exactly why this tactic is a bad idea.

Argue it

Have you heard the old saying about arguing with an idiot making both people look foolish? That’s exactly what happens if you choose to argue against the allegations. First, the opponent will try to keep you arguing by offering little proof, but extended accusations. This works great for them, and just wastes your time. Plus, it has the added effect of elevating them, and demeaning you. Again, this is a bad way to go.

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Demand proof and present evidence

When an allegation is false, the easiest way to make the accuser go away is to challenge them to present evidence. This must directly be followed by an act of good faith, or good business. To the audience, not the accuser. Give the audience something, and they will be more likely to take your side, particularly when the allegations are either nebulous, or unproven.

Sure, everyone likes a salacious story, but they like someone who takes care of them even more. So, don’t let the bad press get you down. Get on top of it by being good, and putting the burden of proof on the liar.

Read more from Ronn Torossian:

Ronn Torossian on Forbes
Ronn Torossian on Medium
Ronn Torossian on LinkedIn
Ronn Torossian Update
Ronn Torossian on Business Insider