In the olden days, most business owners thought that there was no such thing as bad publicity. This is because they never envisioned a time when people would get news from social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter instead of newspapers. Nowadays, reputation can be tarnished in a few seconds or minutes by a few unsatisfied customers on social media.
Your family business has a reputation that it should uphold to its clients, the public, and internal stakeholders. Each and every year, there are several reputable firms that experience reputation risks. Some companies fair better than others, and they can pass through public embarrassment without experiencing a lasting reputation damage, while others can lose the confidence of their clients, market share and strategic partners. The main difference between the two is having a reputation risk management program in your company. However, this is often easily said than done
Ensure you have a crisis team
When your company’s reputation is under risk, it needs immediate attention from an experienced team that is qualified to act in such a moment. This responsibility often falls under corporate communications, executive leaders and the legal counsel. However, all representatives from every element of the business have to be represented. After the plan has been designed, it should be rehearsed at least once per year.
In case you are taking a practical move to prepare for reputation crisis, begin by gathering your crisis communications team to brainstorm on some of the potential crisis that can arise in your business. This will help you weather the bad PR and hopefully help you find solutions of how to get out of the sticky situation.
Ensure that your family business has a trained spokesperson with the full authority to speak for the business during a crisis. The crisis communications team should also be made up of individuals who have been trained to lead different communication channels.
Adopt ERM (Enterprise Risk Management)
The responsibility of managing your business’s reputation does not rest on the hands of a single department or team, but it is inclusive of the entire enterprise. This is because any function of the company can either impact directly or indirectly the reputation of your enterprise in a positive or negative manner. Even when some departments are entrusted with the responsibility of handling a reputation crisis, every employee or stakeholder has a duty to make sure that the company survives through such trying moments.
Involve the media
Using the media can either break or make a reputation that is under fire. Some of the media outlets you can consider include social networking, blogosphere, Twitter feeds, and traditional media outlets. Because the key is to provide actual insight and content to the current situation, remember that a contravened response is worse than no response at all.
Create holding statements
Although creation of messages should await actual crisis, holding statements messages are specially tailored to be used after any crisis. These messages can be developed to be used in different scenarios which pause reputation risks to the business.
Get help from professionals
If your business’s reputation crisis has become chronic in nature, it’s wise to know the limits of your business. Choosing a reputation firm is necessary because you will receive professional assistance to save the reputation of your firm.
There is no doubt that reputation crisis preparedness is not an option today. Client demand for preparedness has increased over the last few years. However, it is worrying that over 90% of many American businesses are under-prepared for crisis response. Therefore, make the best choice and join the prepared minority.