Managing your reputation with good crisis communication
How to prepare for a crisis?
In life, and in business, reputation is everything. That said, reputation is very fragile and it only takes one mistake to cause irreparable damage to your company’s image.
First and foremost, personally i think, every company or top management should really a need crisis management strategy.
As part of the planning process you should:
- identify potential crises that might affect you
- determine how you intend to minimise the risks of these disasters occurring
- set out how you’ll react if a disaster occurs in a business continuity plan
- test the plan regularly http://www.infoentrepreneurs.org/en/guides/crisis-management-and-business-continuity-planning/#1
How to manage a crisis?
According to 10 steps of crisis communication http://bernsteincrisismanagement.com/the-10-steps-of-crisis-communications/
1. Anticipate Crises
If you’re being proactive and preparing for crises, gather your Crisis Communications Team for intensive brainstorming sessions on all the potential crises that could occur at your organization.
2. Identify Your Crisis Communications Team
A small team of senior executives should be identified to serve as your organization’s Crisis Communications Team. Ideally, the organization’s CEO will lead the team, with the firm’s top public relations executive and legal counsel as his or her chief advisers.
3. Identify and Train Spokespersons
Categorically, any organization should ensure, via an appropriate policy and training, that only authorized spokespersons speak for it, and this is particularly important during a crisis. Each crisis communications team should have people who have been pre-screened, and trained, to be the lead and/or backup spokespersons for different channels of communications.
All organizational spokespersons during a crisis situation must have:
- The right skills
- The right position
- The right training
4. Spokesperson Training
Two typical quotes from well-intentioned organization executives summarize the reason why your spokespersons should receive professional training in how to speak to the media:
“I talked to that nice reporter for over an hour and he didn’t use the most important news about my organization.”
“I’ve done a lot of public speaking. I won’t have any trouble at that public hearing.”
Regarding the first example, there have hundreds of people skewered by CBS’ “60 Minutes” or ABC’s “20/20″ who thought they knew how to talk to the press. In the second case, most executives who have attended a hostile public hearing have gone home wishing they had been wearing a pair of Depends. They didn’t learn, in advance, the critical differences between proactive PR, which focuses on promoting your organization, and crisis communications, which focus on preserving your organization.
All stakeholders, internal and external, are just as capable of misunderstanding or misinterpreting information about your organization as the media, and it’s your responsibility to minimize the chance of that happening.
Spokesperson training teaches you to be prepared, to be ready to respond in a way that optimizes the response of all stakeholders.
5. Establish Notification and Monitoring Systems
6. Identify and Know Your Stakeholders
Who are the internal and external stakeholders that matter to your organization? I consider employees to be your most important audience, because every employee is a PR representative and crisis manager for your organization whether you want them to be or not! But, ultimately, all stakeholders will be talking about you to others not on your contact list, so it’s up to you to ensure that they receive the messages you would like them to repeat elsewhere.
7. Develop Holding Statements
While full message development must await the outbreak of an actual crisis, “holding statements,” messages designed for use immediately after a crisis breaks, can be developed in advance to be used for a wide variety of scenarios to which the organization is perceived to be vulnerable, based on the assessment you conducted in Step 1 of this process. An example of holding statements by a hotel chain with properties hit by a natural disaster, before the organization headquarters has any hard factual information.
8. Assess the Crisis Situation
Reacting without adequate information is a classic “shoot first and ask questions afterwards” situation in which you could be the primary victim. However, if you’ve done all of the above first, it’s a “simple” matter of having the Crisis Communications Team on the receiving end of information coming in from your team members, ensuring the right type of information is being provided so you can proceed with determining the appropriate response.
9. Finalize and Adapt Key Messages
With holding statements available as a starting point, the Crisis Communications Team must continue developing the crisis-specific messages required for any given situation. The team already knows, categorically, what type of information its stakeholders are looking for. What should those stakeholders know about this crisis? Keep it simple. Have no more than three main messages that go to all stakeholders and, as necessary, some audience-specific messages for individual groups of stakeholders.
10. Post-Crisis Analysis
After the fecal matter is no longer interacting with the rotating blades, the question must be asked, “What did we learn from this?”
There is another aspect that i found an interesting infographic about this: How to avoid a social media
How to manage your reputation after the crisis?
Everybody makes mistakes. But having a solid plan in place to address the negative whiplash or complaints in a timely and transparent manner will not only help preserve your company’s reputation, but confirm yet again that you are a business that cares about its customers and willing to go an extra mile to make them happy and live up to your reputation.
1. Listen and Be Present
In the past, companies like The Gap have been accused of not responding to customers’ concerns about faulty merchandise or refund issues – simply because they were not set up to handle customer service problems through their social media channels. Unfortunately, in the digital age, not listening to the social chatter or having presence on social communities can reflect badly on your brand. Even responding with a simple link to the correct website page is helpful – and shows your customers you take them seriously.
2. Set The Right Expectations
3. Be Transparent
Warren Buffet once said: “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”
4. Respond Thoughtfully
Caring really pays off. It builds trust and allows you to further nurture relationships with your current customers. Word-of-mouth recommendation from your current satisfied customers are much more influential than your own brand messages, and they will bring new customers in.
5. Do Not Lose Your Cool – Ever
6. Have a Crisis Management Team In Place
7. Manage Access To Your Social Media Accounts Carefully
8. Post Moderation Guidelines
http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/gaps-biggest-problem-it-lost-its-brand-identity-1653679. Hire Experienced Community Managers
There are still some organizations that treat social media communities like an afterthought and leave it to the interns to post an occasional tweet. Your social media is every bit a part of your brand image and reputation – so hire professionals!
10. And Remember… You Will Never Please Everybody http://www.forbes.com/sites/ekaterinawalter/2013/11/12/10-tips-for-reputation-and-crisis-management-in-the-digital-world/