When some negative press occurs about you or your organization it is your job to address that complaint right away, and if it is a large story gaining momentum you need to stop it immediately. The negative news is like a small leak in your boat if you choose to ignore it or take to long to fix it, the leak gets worse. The leak will get larger and more water (negative press/publicity) will get into your boat (company) and stall your engines and maybe even sink the boat. Even after stopping the leak you will still have to take the time to clean up the water damage caused by that leak.
Jay Culter was recently injured during the NFC Championship Game against the Green Bay Packers. While injuries do happen the Chicago Bears took what many consider to be too long to release a statement regarding his injury. Much of his negative back lash could have been stopped if they told the media that he suffered an MCL sprain in his left knee.
While Taco Bell took an immediate and proactive approach to a lawsuit claiming that Taco Bell doesn't use enough meat in their tacos and instead it is mostly oats and other fillers. Taco Bell used social media and the tradition press release to address the lawsuit immediately. The action they took helped to slow the damage and more importantly let the public know the(ir) facts about their meat.
A timely response is the best action to take against any negative publicity or press. In the current age of instant information from the use of social media a delay of a response will only make the problem worse.
How quick do you expect a response from a company? Does a later response have the same impact to you as an instant response? Any other examples you know of and would like to share?