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False accusations are not as uncommon as you might think.
From disgruntled employees to mistaken customers, it’s easy for an allegation to be made.
Even if you are proven innocent, the potential damage to your reputation and brand should be taken with the utmost seriousness.
So, what do you do in the event that a false accusation is leading to a PR nightmare?
Start looking internally
If your business has been accused of handling a customer in a certain way or of allowing a certain practice, your first reaction might be to deny it.
Avoid doing that or saying anything too concrete before you know the actual situation and whether they’re false accusations.
An internal corporate investigation team can help you get to the bottom of it with a little independent help and without the pressure of a serious criminal investigation.
Find the lie
That said, if you know for a fact that they are false accusations, then your best bet might be to quietly try and find the evidence of libel or slander that could get them thrown out.
You shouldn’t make the information public on your own just yet.
But rather gather that evidence for the moment that it should end up saving you from legal consequences and your business from a serious public relations disaster.
Don’t go it alone
An accusation (even false accusations) is most often going to lead to some kind of criminal investigation.
Don’t wait for it to come and find you, learn about this criminal defense attorney and make sure that you have a defense put up in advance.
If you have found any evidence of libel or slander, or your internal investigations have brought to light any crucial information, your attorney can help ensure that it’s used in the most effective way possible.
Get in front of the story
While you shouldn’t make any concrete assertions just yet, you shouldn’t maintain complete radio silence when it comes to the public, either.
Their speculation may grow only worse in time. It’s not impossible to turn bad PR around, as these companies have shown.
However, you need to start by acknowledging the concerns and make it clear that you’re doing everything you can to get to the bottom of the situation.
When the dust settles, you can go into more detail about how any potential wrongdoing happened, and even if it didn’t, what steps you’re taking to protect your customers from such risks in future.
Learning from mistakes you didn’t commit
A false accusation can feel very unfair, but it often brings up serious risks and concerns that might one day impact you.
Take the opportunity to take a closer look at business risk to ensure you have a crisis management plan in the event that such an accusation comes to light again.
Conclusion: How to deal with false accusations
Reacting too quickly and without the proper assistance can end up getting you in a lot more trouble than if you had done nothing.
Make sure that you have the legal help you need and understand as much of the situation as you can before you make any assertions.