The saying” all publicity is good publicity” is not always true. A band must be prepared to deal immediately with certain rumors and unfortunate mistakes that may unfold and tarnish its brand image. Good news travels fast, but bad news travels faster. Inspired by business consultant and USC Professor Ira Kalb, here are six tips to crisis management that can help save your brand.
A rumor is information (usually unflattering) that is passed from person to person, but has not yet proven to be true. When an unflattering rumor circulates, you might consider the following:
1. Do not publicize the rumor by repeating it. Repeating it, of course, only helps to spread it.
2. Promote the exact opposite of the rumor by reminding people of all the good you do, but again, without mentioning the rumor.
3. Deal with the person(s) who started the rumor by letting them know you are upset and that you will even take legal action if necessary.
4. Admit to the problem and apologize publicly (it’s always better to own-up to your own bullshit). “We deeply regret and apologize to all of our fans for our behavior and poor performance on stage last night. Clearly our drinking has reached a point that is out of control.”
5. Limit the scope of the problem by putting it into perspective (this helps to deflate the issue). “In several years of performing live and playing hundreds of gigs on the road, we have always delivered for our fans. This is the first time an unfortunate incident like this has ever occurred.”
6. Outline a solution that shows you’re taking responsibility (this can rebuild an even greater level of trust and respect than what you had before the incident). “There is nothing that we can do to make up for our behavior and the cancelation of the show last night, but we can refund everyone in the audience, and return back to your city to give you a performance to remember!”
Crisis management is not something that exists for just big leagues artists and bands, it is something that local DIY artists must take very seriously too.
To learn more about crisis management, be sure to read up on the general topic of public relations, brand management, and crisis management. You can also check out Crisis Management by Harvard Business Press. Good luck.
BOBBY BORG is the author of Music Marketing For The DIY Musician: Creating and Executing a Plan of Attack On A Limited Budget (September 2014). The book is available on Hal Leonard website under “Trade Books” http://bit.ly/1po5FyO (ISBN: 9781480369528), AMAZON http://amzn.to/X4Fwst, or Bobby Borg (www.bobbyborg.com).