How to Avoid Black PR: What to Expect and How to Fight?

By Eric Brown

January 10, 2024   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

how to handle negative publicity

Good reputation is a very important aspect of a successful business. But sometimes slander and black PR get in the way, damaging your business. Therefore, we will tell you how to act in this situation.

Fight with Black PR – Make Your Reputation Perfect Again

There is a famous expression – “first you work for a reputation, and then a reputation works for you.” When your business has a clear structure and is perfectly debugged, you can only make adjustments and make a profit. Moreover, you can even relax, distract from work, and engage in establishing personal life. For example, meet a beautiful girl on But what if competitors try to harm your business? Do not worry, there are certain ways to counter black PR and improve your reputation.

Basic Facts about Black PR

Black PR is a negative anti-advertising campaign in which a famous person, brand, or a specific product is denigrated. At the dawn of its formation, black PR was used primarily for political purposes: to discredit competitors and as an instrument of political struggle. However, it soon began to be used to eliminate business competitors, capture new markets, and increase own profits.

Initially, such campaigns were conducted in the media – they ordered defamatory publications in newspapers, magazines, and on television. With the development of the Internet, black PR has moved online and is actively using various internet tools.

Cheat dislikes

If your company publishes content on social networks or YouTube, unscrupulous competitors can order a cheat of negative reactions to your publications to lower their audience and hit your reputation. Also, here you can include the cheat of low ratings on different portals: for example, in Google Maps,, etc.

Custom negative reviews

Another black PR tool is to order numerous critical comments about your company. Anonymous users will criticize your product, thereby, scaring away new customers.


handle negative publicity

Another way to harm a company is to spread knowingly false information that puts you in a negative light. For example, to launch news in social networks that cockroaches and mice are found in your cafe, or to tell that you are deceiving customers.

Harm to Your Business from Black PR

Of course, negative reviews can even be helpful. But only if we are talking about small companies, poorly known to potential customers. They can hear about your product and pay attention. But for a medium or serious business, such as a “service”, bad feedback is very dangerous. So, for example, in 2012, due to rumors about the high risk of investments circulating in the network, which weren’t supported by facts, the notorious Forex broker Broco was forced to completely curtail its activities. Among the risks to a business, it is worth talking about the following negative aspects.

The reputation suffers

handling negative publicity

As a result of denigrating a brand, its reputation can be severely damaged. You may have created a favorable image of a reliable and honest company for many years, but black PR can significantly shake this image, or even destroy it.

Customers are leaving

If the negative advertising campaign succeeds, your customers will stop trusting you, change their opinions about your products for the worse, and begin to go to competitors. And new customers who rely only on reviews and brand reputation will not even want to contact you. Because of this, the company’s profits will fall markedly.

Problems with the law

A competitor may disseminate information that defames you. Because of this, you can’t avoid checks that will significantly slow down the development of the business, which would also take a lot of time and effort.

Bad partner

Also, black PR will negatively affect your cooperation with business partners: suppliers, customers, investors, foreign partners, etc. Naturally, most people don’t want to work with an entrepreneur with a bad reputation.

Learning to Fight Black PR

Remember that Black PR is not a sentence for your business. If you notice that “dirty tricks” are directed against your company, there are some tips on how to minimize losses and turn the situation in your direction.

Keep calm

Never respond to the opponent under the influence of emotions. It is better not to answer at all than to aggravate the situation with rudeness or restraint.

Optimize personnel policies

Very often, the customers of black PR are not competitors, but former employees, especially those who quit due to a scandal or were dismissed without their consent.

Cover the minuses with pluses

There must be more positive information about a company or product on the network than negative. To do this, you can create several separate site-related topics. This is sometimes done by online stores, adding additional sites to the main resource. These supplemental sites could be for wholesalers or anything dedicated to maintenance and repair and even charity. They’re also usually implemented in the format of information blogs and others.

Be proactive

It is necessary to regularly monitor publications mentioning the brand or product to be able to quickly respond to the pockets of negativity even at the stage of their ignition. It is important to achieve the maximum possible coverage of internet sites.

You can also create profiles on behalf of the company in relevant forums, order articles and posts for posting in the media and on social platforms that will be optimally adapted for these very platforms. In addition, you can prepare and send out press releases for any informational occasion and use the capabilities of SEO.

If you have ordered a lot of negative reviews

If you notice that there are a lot of negative comments and your product/service has the lowest ratings on some sites, you can contact the support service of these sites to check their authenticity and block those that are untrue. Also, at the same time, you can order positive reviews about your company or ask customers in the mailing list to provide their positive feedback in exchange for some kind of discount or bonus. It will also be useful to create and develop your controlled website with reviews that you can moderate.

See Also: How to Turn Negative Reviews Into Opportunities

Operate with facts

If you still need to react, do it calmly, benevolently, and with undeniable arguments and facts confirming the enemy’s wrongness. If you have ordered a critical article or post on social networks, you have two options. The first is to contact the moderators of the portal with a request to remove the material (some agree to do this for money). The second is to leave a comment on the article and, from the official account of the company, try to figure out the problem and solve it. The second option is suitable if the material is custom-made and unreliable. If the negative feedback is justified, the best option is to apologize, correct the situation, and compensate for the inconvenience.

General recommendation: Organize a system for monitoring reviews on the internet (special services will help) to track all the negative references in time and quickly respond to them, neutralizing black PR in the bud. You can also fight black PR in the courts if you are confident in your innocence. However, it takes a lot of time and money – the services of good lawyers are not cheap.


There is another well-known proverb: “Forewarned, mean armed.” Now you know how black PR works and how to counter attack to save your company’s reputation. Thanks to this information, your business will be able to pass this test and become better.

Eric Brown

Eric Brown is an experienced journalist who enjoys writing about sport and lifestyle. He has recently launched his own website where he covers topics of great interest for modern men.

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