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Is your company equipped to handle a reputation crisis?

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In today’s fast-paced world, a reputation crisis can strike at any time, no organisation is immune and navigating your way through this depends on how ready you are.

Whether it’s a negative review, a product recall, an external incident or an internal scandal, the way your organisation responds can make all the difference.

We have 30 years’ experience in handling every sot of issue, incident and sometimes crisis to ensure you’re ready for whatever happens. From ash clouds, fires in factories and terror incidents to internal staffing issues, product recalls and malware attacks, we have supported many organisations over the years.

Here’s a brief guide on things to think about when reviewing your crisis preparedness strategy (if you have one) and incident response plans:

Understand the risks
  1. Know your vulnerabilities: Every business and organisation no matter its size has weak points and possible scenarios which could arise. Identify yours and create a plan to address them.
  2. Monitor online presence: Keep an eye on what’s being said about your organisation online. Use media monitoring tools to stay informed. Don’t get caught napping.
  3. Educate your employees: Your team should know what constitutes a crisis and the protocol for reporting potential issues. Time is always of the essence to make sure they are equipped with the knowledge and process to escalate easily.
Pre-crisis planning
  1. Have a Crisis Management Team: Assemble a group of individuals from various departments to lead in times of crisis. Make sure they are well briefed and know their roles. They should be empowered to make decisions and act swiftly and with the right training.
  2. Develop a Communication Strategy: Create templates for press releases, social media responses, and internal communications which can be accessed and not started from scratch to enable an efficient and decisive response.
  3. Simulate Crises: Conduct mock drills to test your company’s response to various scenarios.
During a crisis
  1. Act quickly but thoughtfully: Time is of the essence, but so is accuracy. Ensure your responses are both prompt and correct.
  2. Be transparent: Honesty builds trust. Be open about the situation and what your company/organisation is doing to resolve it.
  3. Control the narrative: Use all available channels to communicate your message effectively and efficiently. Make sure you have communicated with all your stakeholder groups.
Post-crisis/incident recovery
  1. Analyse and learn: Review what happened, what was done, and how effective it was. Use these insights to improve. This is a constructive debrief not a blame game.
  2. Repair relationships: Reach out to affected parties and work on rebuilding trust.
  3. Update your plan: Refine your crisis management plan based on recent experiences.
Build resilience
  1. Strengthen your brand: A strong brand can weather a crisis better. Invest in building a positive image.
  2. Engage with your community: Maintain good relationships with customers, suppliers, and the local community.
  3. Stay informed: Keep abreast of industry trends and potential risks.

By following these steps, your company or organisation will be better equipped to handle a reputation crisis. Remember, preparation is key, and a well-handled crisis can even become an opportunity to demonstrate your company’s values and resilience.

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