No company is immune to a public relations crisis. Even the biggest and most well-known corporations have found themselves in hot water at some point, often with damaging results. It’s therefore essential for all businesses to have a plan for handling such an event when it arises. This article will provide tips on how to manage your company’s reputation, especially during a PR crisis.
What is Company Reputation, and Why is it Important?
Your company’s reputation is how the public perceives your business. It’s the result of everything you’ve done as an organization, both good and bad. And it can have a significant impact on your bottom line. A positive reputation can lead to increased sales, while a negative one can cause customers to take their business elsewhere.
In today’s age of social media, it’s easier than ever for information — both good and bad — to spread quickly. This means that reputation management is more important than ever before.
Managing Your Company’s Reputation
There are several ways to proactively manage your company’s reputation. These include the following.
Monitor what is being said about your company online. You can monitor feedback by setting up Google Alerts for your business name or key personnel. You can also utilize crisis management tools such as social media monitoring and reputation management software to help you keep track of what’s being said about your company. Address negative feedback or reviews by responding quickly and professionally, and take action to resolve any issues that may have led to the complaint.
Be responsive to customer inquiries and complaints on your social media and any other channels such as e-mail. Quickly addressing customer concerns shows that you’re listening and that you care about providing a good experience.
Engage with your customers on social media to build and strengthen relationships. Respond to comments and questions promptly. Show them that you care about their experience and are interested in hearing feedback, both positive and negative.
Encourage customers and employees to leave positive reviews on popular review sites such as Google, Yelp, and TripAdvisor. These will help counteract any negative feedback on the company.
Use social media to share positive news and updates about your company. Regularly publish high-quality content that promotes your brand in a positive light. This can help create a more positive perception of your business.
Develop and maintain a strong corporate social responsibility program. This shows that your company cares about more than just making money. It can also help build goodwill among customers and employees.
Make sure your employees are representing the company well, both online and offline. Train them on how to handle difficult customer service. Encourage employees to speak positively about the company.
Tips for Company Crisis Management
Be prepared for a crisis by having a plan in place for how to handle it. Prepare for different scenarios and have a plan for how you’ll respond to each of them. This will help you be ready for anything that may come up. Your plans should include the following.
Designate a spokesperson who will be the face of the company during the crisis. This person should be media-savvy and have experience dealing with difficult situations.
Develop key messages that you want to communicate during the crisis. These should be focused on addressing the issue at hand and reassuring the public that you’re taking appropriate action. Be honest and transparent in your communication with the public. Don’t try to hide anything or downplay the severity of the situation. Doing so will only make things worse.
Monitor social media and other channels more closely for any negative discussion about the company. Address these issues quickly and professionally. Seek out positive stories and share them widely to help offset any negative publicity.
Work with a brand management agency experienced in crisis management if you don’t have the internal resources to effectively manage the situation. Crisis management firms can help you develop a plan, craft key messages, and train your employees on how to handle difficult situations.
Case Study: A Tweet Gone Wrong
It can happen to anyone. Perhaps you are sleepy or distracted, and you don’t notice that you are on your company’s Twitter account. You post something, and when you realize your mistake, you scramble to delete it. It’s too late, however, because even if only one other person online has seen it, taken a screenshot, and posted that, your deleted tweet can still go viral.
You must be prepared to deal with the consequences. But what if you don’t remember exactly what you wrote in the tweet? Should you just wait and see if it goes viral and then react?
No, you don’t have to wait because it’s possible to view deleted tweets from your account. Use Twitter’s “People” subhead on its Advanced Search page. Put your username without the “@” in the field for “From These Accounts” and add the start and end date of your search. Twitter will show all your tweets from that period. Now you can review what you wrote and prepare for any possible backlash.
No business is immune to a PR crisis. Follow these tips to be prepared to handle one effectively. Manage your reputation well, and one crisis will not mar your brand’s name for good.