16 Dec reputation management agency
Crisis management advice from our reputation management agency.
When things go wrong, proactive crisis management is a must. When most of us think of a PR disaster, we jump straight to press conferences and media outrage. However, reputation management in 2020 is much more complex. The impact of your crisis will be far reaching due to both the media and the public’s prevalent use of social media.
Acting quickly is essential as it limits damage to your brand. It also reduces the potential costs, both in outlay on professional advice and in the loss of earnings.
When there is a negative impact on your reputation, there will naturally be a subsequent effect on your finances. Statistics show that when a potential customer finds a negative article on the first page of Google, 22% of people will not use that company. Furthermore, two negative articles lose almost 50% of business.
What do you need to do IMMEDIATELY?
First things first, the issue at hand needs to be either resolved or handled as quickly as feasibly possible. The way you respond will either boost your image or damage your brand. As such, professional management is essential.
Avoid knee jerk reactions at all costs. In the heat of the moment, it’s very easy to be reactive and say the wrong thing. Before you ‘do a Trump’ and tweet for all you’re worth, consult with your reputation management agency. They will almost always already have a preventative plan in place. These plans will have considered responses that can be utilised to minimise potential damage.
Transparency should be a priority as you’re already in a precarious position where people are no doubt questioning your morality. As such, you cannot risk any respect that you do have being further reduced. The three rules that any good reputation management agency will tell you are as follows: Proactive crisis management, transparency and holding oneself responsible.
Naturally, some form of apology will be expected from your brand.
Exactly how this is executed is entirely dependent on the nature of the incident and the next steps that are to be taken. However, this is a necessary step as your company needs to show remorse for the action.
A PR crisis should never be covered up as this will only exacerbate any damage. The situation should be managed quickly and efficiently, with relevant questions responded to appropriately.VerriBerri
Careful monitoring of the situation is paramount, so ensure that your marketing agency maintains vigilant and aware to any updates. They should be scrutinising online activity, social media included, to gauge public responsiveness at the given time. Do not allow them to reply without pre-approved content – this isn’t the time to fan the flames!
Talking of the proverbial fan, turn it off. Don’t fuel the fire, consider instead how you would feel if you were at the tail end of the very situation that you’re now managing. Gather all the information and carefully consider every valid point.
If the media contact you, never, and I mean never, reply with ‘no comment’. Simply explain where you are in your investigations. If you are still assessing the situation, simply tell them that. If you refuse to have a voice or opinion, the automatic assumption will be that you are guilty.
What can our reputation management agency do after the initial panic?
After the storm has died down, what then? It’s not unusual for a brand to spend time after a crisis looking for a scapegoat to pin their problems onto. We would suggest a change of perspective and that our clients instead take the valuable opportunity to review their processes and find innovative resolutions. By taking this stance you not only help your reputation but you minimise further risk.
We would strongly suggest future proofing with the help of a good reputation management agency. They will review your company and constructively try to pick holes. By attempting to create a problem internally, you should be able to find a solution now, and in doing so prevent the crisis from ever happening. If it is an unresolvable issue, you can instead put a crisis management plan in place in order to future proof your company. By doing this all your team will be aware of what action to take, should the worst happen. Preparation is key in preservation.
In tandem with the above, you should still be working to repair your reputation as a result of the crisis that has just passed. You need to effectively demonstrate to everyone surrounding your business that you care about what has happened and you genuinely wish to rectify the problem. After the crisis, you will still find that people ask you questions about what happened. Rather than bristle at this, use it as an opportunity to gain vital feedback. This will allow you to see if your resolution strategies are effective.
Ensure your crisis management team continue to monitor online activity. Not only will it ensure the current situation remains in hand, but on an ongoing basis you will be able to foresee potential future problems brewing.
Every company should have a reputation management agency working for them. The best plan is to have one before a crisis, as your company can be future proofed and should a crisis still arise, then you have help on hand. However, it’s never too late. Whether you are before, during, or after a company emergency, we can help.
The experts here at VerriBerri will offer complimentary initial advice and should we determine further assistance is necessary, then, and only then, will we discuss fees. Click here to get in touch.