Updated: Mar 6
summary: Being prepared to manage a reputation crisis is a success strategy, not just an effective defence. You’ll be judged on your response, or lack thereof, and the consequences can be far worse than the original issue. Despite the pain of the experience a lot of good can come from it. Confidence in a company’s ability to effectively manage risk translates directly to buying behaviour. What many organisations fail to recognise is that the biggest risk comes from within. How prepared are you?.
The biggest risk for companies with a reputation issue comes from within
In our experience, the biggest risk for companies with a reputation issue comes from within the organisation. Structure and internal process are not geared towards driving effective response strategy at the rapid pace dictated by the unfolding issue. When combined with flawed preparation, this lack of agility is a major contributor to the commercial damage that comes from reputation loss.
You’ll be judged on your response and the consequences can be harsh
You’ll be judged on your response, or lack thereof, and the consequences can be far worse than the original issue. Why should a past mistake cost you your future? Companies that get it wrong deserve the opportunity to make it right, to restore trust. But when a reputation issue emerges companies often aren’t prepared because they didn’t see it coming or think it could happen to them, so they sustain greater damage from the way they react or because they take too long to do so. The issue might be minor. It might not even be a truth. But the rules of fairness don’t apply in the court of social media.
Preparation is no longer a defensive strategy, it’s a future success strategy
How confident people feel about a company’s ability to effectively manage risk translates directly to their buying behaviour. This confidence inspires trust and is dependent on open and honest engagement, on their (the consumer’s) terms. In the context of a crisis you need to get your strategy right, then your story straight and it needs to happen fast.
The truth rarely gets in the way of a good story…
Trust is a powerful antidote to fear. In today’s environment companies we trust are like a beacon in the darkness guiding us towards brands we can rely on to keep us and our families safeand happy. And while you hear about companies behaving badly all the time there is no tolerance for it. Thanks to social the truth can be shared with the world in an instant, though it rarely gets in the way of a good story.
Most companies have the right people and the right partners, so why do they fail in the moments that matter?
When companies fail in the moments that matter it’s not usually because they don’t have the right people, or the right legal, PR and agency partners. The bigger challenge is how to keep your best people when you need them most, and how to synchronise the efforts of your trusted partners. With the result of enabling them to work simultaneously on achieving the right outcomes to address the issue at hand, as well as the long game, while staying true to your purpose. This is where the reputation continuum can help by applying our knowledge as a business insider and our experience working with lawyers, regulators and agencies.
the good that can come, because of it
While navigating a reputation crisis can be a painful process, the key learnings and opportunities that drive change are a springboard for future success and increased brand resilience. Outcomes that empower your customers to be great brand ambassadors as well as attract new customers. Behaviours that attract the right sort of attention and make you a company people want to work for and feel proud to do so.
If you’d like to talk more about preparing for this challenge in your organisation, we’d love to hear from you.
About the reputation continuum
A strategic approach to managing reputation risk, to minimise the commercial damage caused by reputation loss. We can support you with comprehensive preparation, strategic management and recovery planning.
For more information: thereputationcontinuum.com