Don’t Just Paper Over the Cracks!
Every company will have potential issues that might lead to cracks in their reputation. These can stem from both the real world and online – either way, it is best to have plans in place to deal with as many as possible before they happen as, left untreated, a business’s reputation can shatter.
Companies should take the time to consider what possible issues might affect their business before one actually occurs! There are many different scenarios and these can vary greatly from company to company and from sector to sector. If a variety of possible eventualities are considered, a strategic approach to safeguarding a company’s reputation can be put in place, allowing an organisation to handle professionally, rather than flail, its way through a negative story or situation, which can ultimately help to retain a reputation.
Look at all the threats to your business internally and externally, as well as those in the real world and possible virtual ones. This will help you to develop a list of possible issues - you may be surprised at just how long the list is! These can then be broken down by level of severity and then reputation management plans can be put in place to help companies to be prepared for the unexpected.
Think about who may be approached for a comment by the press. You? Are you media trained? If not, a media training session should help you to be able to convey your message confidently. Your employees? Would they have positive things to say about the organisation? If the answer is no, perhaps a staff education process could be undertaken.
Do you know your local elected representatives and more importantly, do they know you? In many cases, elected representatives are one of the first ports of call for journalists looking for a comment about a crisis within their constituency. If they are aware of what you do, your ethics and mission, then they will have a reference point when deciding on how to comment and if they know you, they may be more inclined to lift the phone to you. They are much less likely to be negative or misinformed if you have established and developed a relationship with them.
A good communications company will be able to help you to consider what reputation damaging issues may affect your business and can train key team members to deal with them appropriately. It will also be able to advise you on what information should be kept on file, such as facts and figures about the company and holding statements as well as effective methods to communicate successfully with your employees.
A company with a strong public affairs division will be able to inform you as to which elected representatives should be engaged with and how this should be approached.
You can contact senior account director, Suzie Fisher, of dcp strategic communication who has managed many clients’ reputations through the years, in the following ways:
T – 028 9037 0137
W – www.dcppr.co.uk
E – firstname.lastname@example.org
The content of this article is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute professional or other advice.
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