How PHCs Can Address Negativity Online

How to respond to negativity online? With grace.

It’s not new for PHCs to receive negative comments online. The best way to handle these negative comments – whether they are Google reviews or comments on social media – is to respond with kindness. When faced with unpleasant or potentially harmful comments online, it’s important to be prepared to respond. Check out these 5 online reputation management tips for your PHC:

1. Respond

When your center receives a negative review or a hurtful comment, your first instinct might be to delete it. However, it is important to respond to each incident, whether positive or negative. This gives your organization a sense of transparency and allows you to show empathy towards individuals expressing frustration.

2. Take the Issue Offline

Not only is it important to respond to any negative comments, but also to encourage the rest of the conversation to happen offline. To prevent a back-and-forth dialogue from occurring on your page, respond with a phone number or email address, where you can privately discuss the issue further. In the event of a disagreement, it’s always better to discuss things out of the public eye to ensure that your message isn’t misconstrued by onlookers and that the situation is handled in a compassionate, professional manner.

3. Respond in a Timely Manner

If you see any comments or reviews come through your notifications, it’s important to respond as soon as possible. Letting an issue sit for too long can escalate a seemingly small problem and causes more harm down the road. If you don’t have an answer to a question or concern right away, simply reply and let the individual know that their concerns have been heard, that you are looking into the issue and will get back to them as soon as possible with an answer/solution.

4. Have a Plan

Sometimes, it can be difficult to respond objectively to negative comments. We often let our emotions take over, which can hinder any progress of fixing the problem. Having a plan or an outline of how to respond to different situations can allow you to take your emotions out of the equation and focus on helping solve the issue at hand. Here are a few canned responses to get you started:

If a woman has a negative experience at your center:

Hi ___, thank you so much for reaching out. We appreciate your feedback. We apologize that this incident has occurred and would love to discuss how we can rectify the situation. Please give us a call at [phone number] or send us an email at Again, we apologize for your frustration and hope to hear from you soon.

If someone opposes the mission of your PHC:

Hi ___, thank you for expressing your opinion. Our goal is to provide low/no cost services to women who think they might be pregnant. We serve as a safe place for women to receive resources and support without judgment. If you would like to learn more about what we do, we would love to talk further! Please give us a call at [phone number] and we can continue our discussion. Thanks and have a great day!

5. Be Genuine

Canned responses are great as an outline, but be genuine in your approach. Take your planned responses and tailor them to each comment or review. Each person should know that their voice is being heard by a real person, and not just a copy-and-pasted comment that reflects a failed attempt to mitigate a negative situation.

Overwhelmed by keeping up with online reputation management? Our team of digital strategists can manage social media, pay-per-click ads, and search engine optimization to ensure that your PHC is portrayed in the best light and reaches more abortion minded women. Contact us for more information!

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