Saturday, March 24, 2007

Bad Reviews... What Can You Do?

I had an email regarding 'bad reviews,' and thankfully I have two great examples to show you about how to handle them. Keeping my comments about the particular reviews and products out of things, these folks have, in my opinion, appropriately put their blogs to use in handling their concerns.

First is my friend Autumn, of Inky Blue Allusions, who feels that her site's review at Jane's was anything but thorough. The second is my publisher, Deanna with Ephemera Bound, who questions a reviewer regarding a book review.

Both ladies are respectful in their presentation. They link to the reviews, quote from the reviews, and are aware of and state their own biases. Better than just complaining, they use the conversational style and format of blogs to involve readers in the discussion.

Rather than just stopping their little feet they invite readers to discuss the issue, including pointing out where they may have gone 'wrong.' Are they right? Are they wrong? Hopefully their readers will tell them. After all, it is their readers, their target audience and fans, to whom these ladies need to appeal.

While their blog posts may not reach those reviewers (who I'm sure they'd like to change or otherwise address their ways), they are reaching the ones who matter: their customers and potential customers.

You may never be able to 'undo' the 'damages' of a less-than-favorable review, but you can make the most of it. If you made an error ~ if the reviewer has brought up points you should address ~ you can have a conversation and learn. If you or your product was treated unfairly, you have the chance to let your fans do some speaking for you.

I also recommend, if the ladies have not already done so, communicating with the reviewers. You can choose to do so prior to any public noise, or simply email them a link to your post inviting them into the discussion. It's really your call; do what feels most ethical and effective to you.

But you should never feel that you must accept the bad press in silence. In fact, I'd say you never should be silent about bad press (real bad situations or those which are just opinions) because every conversation is a learning opportunity.

Even if the bad press should prove to be just, you can learn from it and address it publicly too. If you remain silent, folks may think you just don't care. And that would be far worse than a simple bad review or comment.

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Blogger Autumn Seave said...

Thanks Gracie.

I had already done as you suggested and emailed Jane immediately. I haven't heard from her yet and sent a second follow up email with more specific thoughts.

One good thing is that, good or bad review, it has brought a fair amount of new traffic. People who visit can judge for themselves!


March 24, 2007 12:50 AM  
Blogger Marketing Whore said...

Don't you mean that the bad review has brought an "unfair amount of traffic?" ;)

March 27, 2007 2:45 PM  

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