In today’s society, good news travels fast and bad news travels even faster. Dealing with negative situations, or those which could quickly turn into a crisis, is both a daunting task and a reputational risk for brands and those representing them.
However, all is not lost – with careful management and a robust strategy, a crisis can be turned into an opportunity to enhance reputation, even in a time of adversity.
Risk vs crisis
Not all risks turn into a crisis – of course we cannot control everything, an obvious example being the current global pandemic, but in many instances, it is the way in which you react that determines its severity and level of control.
The way in which you handle a situation can help or hinder the outcome. Have a plan with regular, consistent messaging to maintain as much control as possible – in this way you increase the probability of being able to influence decisions.
Be adaptable and agile
Good planning and strong leadership can help to lessen the negative effects of a crisis and protect the reputation of the business. Preparing the team with training, regular internal communications and a business continuity plan owned across the organisation; you can create a more resilient team, equipped to adapt to the ever-changing demands of a crisis situation.
A task group within the organisation focused on reputation management can plan for and tackle both internal and external issues. Addressing issues in advance can avert further risk, quickly adapting to change to strengthen the continuity of the business.
Be accountable and transparent
Whether it is a spokesperson or a message on social media, it is important to be empathetic and react appropriately. Connecting with people via a transparent response, acknowledgement of responsibility if necessary and a clear description of the actions you have taken (or are going to take) to improve the situation, will reassure and engage your audience.
Seize the opportunity
Saying and doing the right things go a long way in the eyes and minds of consumers. People remember the way companies behaved and handled crisis situations – words, gestures and actions are judged, generating more negative or more positive perceptions of your brand.
Carefully manage opportunities to make a positive difference – show you care for people, remain transparent and true to your core values. In this way, your dialogue will resonate with stakeholders, building trust and embedding a lasting impression of what your brand represents.
Get in touch if you’d like to discuss how Narrative can support your team to navigate challenges and protect your reputation during difficult times.This post was created on 8th June 2020