It isn’t always easy to stay calm and not get angry when the media reports something about your company or industry that you think is biased or wrong. While letting off steam might feel good momentarily, it has several far-reaching negative consequences, such as damaging employee morale and influencing employee retention. Poor judgments in reacting to media could adversely affect the company’s overall image.
So how do successful leaders keep their emotions under control?
- Restrained Social media Behaviour – If something that harms your company’s brand image is out there in the world, in any form of media, the best thing to do would be to avoid getting into an argument with the journalist who has written the piece or other public figures, especially on social media. Knee-jerk reactions get you nowhere except toward more bad press. Worse, the internet will remain forever as an example of untoward behaviour.
- Find solutions, not problems – Leaders who own responsibility instead of appointing blame to have a good chance of actually solving the issues before them. To do this, they need to focus on what went wrong and not on who can blame Furthermore, by accepting responsibility for the team, good leaders can project the right image to the employees, earning big loyalty points.
- Look at the big picture – The news today might make you wince, but what long-term ramifications does it have? Will it still matter five or ten years from now? If you can sit down with your team and discuss this, ask this question. If the answer is no, maybe everyone took a break and returned to the problem with a fresh perspective. But if the answer is yes, you must focus on the next steps, especially for damage control.
- Damage control – If the situation requires intervention, discuss all the steps you need to take with your team, especially consult with your PR team. Decide on the approach that you will take and stick with it. What consumers must know is your consistency in how you handle the situation. If there are ways in which you can redress the case, then go ahead once the approach has been finalised and work on how you can rebuild brand perception.
If a situation appears unfair and makes you angry about media and its role in developing your brand perception, the best thing to do would be to stay put and not take any impulsive steps. Focus on all the good that your company has done and craft a counter-narrative that can be used to bolster your PR and rebuild your brand.