When your business is attacked in one of the UK's best selling and most influential tabloid newspapers what should you do? I would argue never - as too many who have faced this situation have - do nothing and if sure of your facts get on the front foot.
When glamour model and celebrity publicity hound Katie Price wrote her column in The Sun attacking Sandals resorts of being more like a smelly old flip-flop after holding her wedding and honeymoon at one of their resorts, the travel company could have seen their reputation severely damaged.
Instead they took these three steps:
Ever classy Price complained about the lack of exclusivity of the Sandals resort but the firm responded in detail by saying they'd offered her "use of the resort’s private offshore island, Sandals Cay, for her wedding ceremony and the duration of her stay. However,
Ms Price declined this offer, and against the Sandals team’s advice
opted instead to hold the ceremony on the public beach where she was
photographed by paparazzi." This is clever as it not only rebuts but undermines Katie Price's attack as well as communicating positive messages about the Sandals experience.
Price further alleged that a butler had asked if she was a porn star. In response Sandals brilliantly outlined a number of the selling points of their butler service who are all trained by the “Guild of Professional English Butlers”. A further brilliant example that every interaction with the media is an opportunity to communicate positively.
Finally the PR team knew how to fight back against negative coverage in The Sun - brief one of their biggest rivals. The Daily Mail were only too happy to dismiss the claims Price had made in The Sun at length and you can read the full statement from Sandals on the Daily Mail website. The Daily Mail were even good enough to publish picture postcard scenes of the Sandals resort as a further way to undermine Price's attack:
All of this makes Sandals my Communicator of the Week.