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Publishing: Recovering from Bad Press

Posted by Janett Perry on Apr 27, 2010 7:23:00 AM

136410 reading newspaper 150x150 resized 600Although most journalists and publications are committed to presenting an unbiased opinion of the news, some make their name by dragging companies and individuals through the dirt.  

Getting bad press can end up hurting a company’s sales and reputation, especially if a publication has a wide distribution / readership.

There are several methods to recovering from bad press.

Some of these include ignoring it all together, publishing counter points and advertisements or issuing a public response.

Although these methods can help in the long run, they don’t immediately take away from the initial negative reaction. One strategy for a more immediate recovery is directly examining the piece of bad press and questioning the legitimacy of the article through fact checking.

The first question to ask: Is the article true?

In many cases, the ‘truth’ can be an opinion, however if the article blatantly makes up facts about a company or individual, this is a red flag. 

If facts are simply wrong or made up, contacting the publication or reporter to issue a correction to their story is common practice and should be adhered to by nearly all organizations.

The second question to ask: was the article written and researched in a legitimate manner?

The author may have copied unauthorized materials without attribution or forgone crediting the proper sources.  The author may have also directly plagiarized materials within the article.  If this is true, the piece of bad press loses legitimacy – it shows the author and publication are clearly unprofessional, and anything they have to say should be taken with a grain of salt.

iThenticate can directly check a piece of bad press for unattributed or plagiarized content – whether it’s only a few words or several paragraphs within the article.  It’s as simple as uploading a document and having iThenticate cross-check the piece with a massive database of on and offline content. 

Exposing a piece of negative press to be plagiarized can be an effective way for a company to immediately recover sales and make sure the public knows the truth about the matter.


Meranus, Rachel  “Managing Bad Press”  Entrepreneur 30 July 2007