If you run a business, you might be negatively affected by a smear campaign that a competitor launches against you to try to discredit your company. Fortunately, there are some proactive measures that you can take to protect your company’s reputation. Here are a few things that you should do if a rival company starts a smear campaign against you.

Be Honest with Your Clients

Letting your clients know that a rival company is spreading lies about your business can help maintain a sense of trust. Publishing materials online and in print that detail the smear campaign can be effective in dispelling any lies and rumors that are being spread. You may also consider making a TV commercial about the smear campaign to reach an even wider audience. When you’re informing the public of the smear campaign, you shouldn’t be afraid to expose the company that’s responsible for the defamation if you can show proof of liability.

Pursue Legal Action

If you can prove that the rival company is spreading blatant lies about you, pursuing legal action is an option to consider. You can hire a lawyer who handles defamation cases to try to prove that the smear campaign is misleading and harmful to your business’s reputation. If found guilty in a court of law, the rival company may be forced to retract all negative statements that were made about your company and compensate you financially for your losses. This compensation will help you to pay for the necessary tools and campaigns to reinstate your reputation and gain back the customers you may have lost from the lies spread about your company.

Hire a Reputation Management Company

There are companies that are dedicated to protecting the reputations of businesses that have endured vicious smear campaigns. An SEO reputation management company can help restore your reputation online by launching social media and website campaigns to showcase your business in a positive light and in a way that outweighs the negative press. They can also teach you how to get more out of your positive reviews and reputation. The right reputation management company can also take preventative measures to keep you from being a victim of another smear campaign in the future.

Don’t Resort to Their Tactics

You might be tempted to fight back and launch a smear campaign of your own against the other business, but resorting to your rival’s tactics could end up harming your company even more. Your customers will likely see your actions as childish and may take their business elsewhere. Plus, the other company could take legal action against you if you’re guilty of spreading lies, costing your company tons of money that could be spent in smarter, more useful ways.

The fallout from a smear campaign could be devastating for your business, but you can minimize the damage by taking the right course of action to combat the lies. By finding the most effective ways to move past the smear campaign, you’ll have a better chance of outdoing your rival while keeping your business afloat.