Safeguarding your brand online is important. I’m sure at one time or another you have to deal with some sort of reputational management. Or maybe not?
Whatever business you deal in it’s uncertain that the company will never find itself on the jaws of a public relations crisis. Within a short moment, you can find yourself trying to get your brand’s name off the media headlines, rather than trying to promote it in there.
With adequate knowledge on crisis occurrence, it’s therefore important and safe to always stay prepared whether you run a roadside shop or a mega-mall. The following are five tips to help you stay immune and protect your brand and CEO reputation.
1. Form a team to address the crisis
It’s important to have a crisis team to ensure there are individuals knowledgeable and ready to address the media immediately any news catches their attention. Things should be set straight so that everyone is aware of who should receive such information and how such matters should be dealt with before any action approval. Make the team small to maintain precision and ease of handling the matter. It’s better having a strong team comprising of senior people with vast knowledge and the right qualities for fast decision making and giving responses. Inform members of staff and stakeholders on the need to avoid engaging in social media eruptions through much and irrelevant comments. In case of anything either a suggestion or inquiry, let the central crisis team get informed and deal with it.
2. Understand the situation first
Avoid any rush, instead, first, get to know the matter and what the situation looks like. The media may be trying to reach you by all means from phone to email, but avoid any communications with them until you have clear steps to address the situation. Take your time and dig into the matter, evaluate and find out the harm caused. Finally formulate a realistic solution, before the pressure from the media and stakeholders gets too much for you to handle.
3. Maintain integrity
Take responsibility for any fault and mistakes you made. Concealing any information gets matters unbearable once the truth is discovered. Be open and honest, take responsibility for any mistakes you made and give the steps set aside to normalize things. Use your company’s channels, for example, the social media marketing to communicate quickly and give all the necessary information. This way there will be no exaggerations on the issue. Similarly, the media will easily get the information they need without stressing your team.
4. Erase any fears and give a solution
Consider the audience hit directly by the crisis. Figure out what your customers are going through or anyone else touched in any way by the happenings. Clear any doubts and eliminate any fears of matters worsening by ensuring everything is being put in track. Assist the victims of the crisis so they can dust themselves as fast as possible and move on. What concerns you most is what will happen to your brand, and how this will affect it. However, everyone is worried about themselves – how this will affect them. It’s therefore advisable to clear any worries as fast as possible, to cool things down.
5. Keep your staff and stakeholders informed
As you address concerns by the media, similarly keep your employees and stakeholders at per with the occurrences. Rather than getting to know what’s going on, it’s normal that they would want to know about what’s likely to happen to their jobs and their hard-earned investments. Give them all the information they may require to get them prepared. In spite of the pressure you receive, mince your words as you communicate internally, since such may haunt you once it gets out.
Crises are difficult and tough to handle, especially today where information spreads fast to the rest of the world. However, what’s important is establishing the ‘rescue’ team for such, remain truthful and realistic no matter what hits.