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How to Deal With a PR Disaster

Especially at startup, negative PR can be bad. Find out how to handle it before it does any damage.

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This story appears in the February 2009 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Negative PR is never good, but it can be especially devastating during your launch. If a disgruntled customer or rival starts spreading harmful rumors about your business, "don't just react in a knee-jerk [way]," says Samantha DiGennaro, founder of DiGennaro Communications LLC, a PR and strategic communications agency. "Take a deep breath, take it all in, then come up with an informed plan of action."

Find out exactly what's being said and through what medium: e-mail, blogs and so on. Though it may be tempting to go "tit for tat" on a anonymously, it could backfire and cause even worse publicity.

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