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How to Handle a Media Crisis

Posted by Jane F. Bolin, Esq. | May 02, 2014 | 0 Comments

Social and electronic media is great when it's all positive, but sometimes, community associations have to face unwanted national and local attention. You've probably heard that any press is good press, but ignoring unwanted negative attention can cause a lot of issues. To properly respond to any media crisis, you need to be prepared for and know how to handle it.

Here are 3 tips to help you prepare for and manage negative attention.

  1. Create a plan: There are a ton of media mediums out there, but you don't necessarily have to be on all of them. It's better to pick a few where you can best reach your audience, and make sure that you're doing those right. If you're on every social media site, but not actively engaging with your followers, you're not really helping yourself or your community association. Electronic media gives you the opportunity to send your message directly to your audience, and get them to trust and engage with you in return. Don't spread yourself too thin. Figure out what works for you, and excel in it.
  2. Know your rights: Much of the negative attention you may receive will have to do with legal issues. Even if you're acting well within your rights, anyone can post anything they want online. You need to know what exactly what you can and can't do so that you can respond properly to any negative attention.
  3. Counter negative attention: Do not, we repeat, DO NOT, just ignore negative feedback. Sure, getting negative attention isn't always great, but it gives you the opportunity to turn it around into something positive. Did someone complain about the state of your pool? Great, now you have the opportunity to fix the problem and let them know that it has been solved. Responding to negative feedback shows that you actually care about the thoughts and opinions of residents. Make sure you think before you react and don't let your emotions take control. An “i'm sorry” can go a long way and may be all it takes.

Even if you're super careful, sometimes, we all get some negative attention. As a community association, negative attention can be really detrimental to your success if you don't handle it correctly. You may not be able to avoid a media crisis, but that doesn't mean you can't turn it around and use it to your advantage. Don't let a media crisis get the best of your community association. Even if its negative, someone is still talking about you. The only thing you need to do is find a way to turn it into a positive. It isn't always easy, but it is possible, and these tips can help.

About the Author

Jane F. Bolin, Esq.

Founding Member, Managing Partner


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