Reputation Management And Crisis Communication Support
A reputational crisis left unchecked can quickly damage your brand reputation; and in worst cases (think of the infamous Ratners speech) even come to define your brand. It’s amazing how quickly a damaging story will spread. And even worse, it’s often because the company in question has inflamed the situation rather than making things better.
So how do you stop a reputational crisis defining your company?
Here’s a few of our top tips for protecting your company’s reputation and bringing a corporate reputational crisis back under control.
1. Get expert advice during a reputational crisis – the sooner the better
Getting expert advice as soon as you can is essential. Now is not the time to be hoping for the best when it comes to safeguarding your company’s reputation. Executives making off-hand comments and giving informal interviews on a rapidly developing press story can quickly make a bad media situation worse, giving the impression your team are not in control of the crisis. This could damage your company’s reputation for months or even years to come so it’s important to put a media strategy in place before diving in to any interviews.
2. Set the right tone from the start
If you find yourself facing a reputational or corporate crisis it’s important to set the right tone straightaway. It’s vital your staff make it clear you appreciate the enormity of the situation and are working hard to understand what’s happened and get the full facts. It’s very important not to say anything that will make it appear that you are not on top of the situation, or out of the loop and not being fully briefed.
High-Rise Communications can help you understand what to consider when dealing with the media – even down to making sure your media spokespeople look the part and are dressed appropriately. People will judge your company based on how your media spokespeople present themselves, and that includes what they wear as well as what they say.
3. Don’t forget your staff in a reputational crisis – they can help you get your message across
There’s no excuse in a reputational crisis for forgetting to update your staff about what’s going on. Don’t forget they will be being asked about what’s happening by their friends and family – and while not everyone can know everything, you do want them to be able to say something. While it makes sense to have just a few key nominated media spokespeople, there are lots of other interactions happening all the time – for example responding to queries and reassuring your other existing customers – where they can help. Your staff are an important part of any crisis management plan. Show that you trust them to play their part in helping restore confidence in your company.
4. Invest in media training – preferably before the worst happens!
Media training should be an integral part of your company’s crisis management plans and it can be worthwhile having a number of trained company spokespeople rather than relying on just one person with media skills who could be away on leave or out of the country at the time they are needed. We can provide media training for spokespeople on key messages at short notice if need be. But if possible, it makes sense to invest in media training before you need it – and then ensure spokespeople keep their media skills up to date. For more information see our media training page.
Managing Director Helen Furnivall has helped manage serious reputational issues for clients including charities, private businesses and high profile individuals and will discuss your concerns in confidence.
Get in touch by email on [email protected] or call on 07921 021 326