Crisis Communication and Reputation Management

Crisis communication and reputation management are the two sides of the same coin. Businesses and companies need to manage these two-fold processes simultaneously that would threaten a company’s interests and reputation during a crisis. How businesses and companies manage public perception through effective communication, would impact their reputation. Today, we’ll discuss crisis communication and reputation management; their definitions separately; best strategies for managing crisis and reputation.

Crisis Communication

Crisis communication is the method of communicating with the targeted audience and company’s stakeholders during disruption, uncertain, and crisis events and circumstances. Companies invest in crisis communication planning to prepare themselves for the worst situation and achieve positive and best results under uncertain circumstances.

In fact, it is a PR crisis for the company; a quick initial response from the company and responding effectively to the crisis would set the tone for the success of the company. Crisis communication is not a generic solution; rather it is a step-by-step process that would reflect the strength of the company’s leadership. Some of the key elements you should keep in mind during crisis communication are as follows;

  • Always answer questions
  • Do not blame others and don’t become defensive
  • Showing concern and compassion for your audience
  • Communicate based on the facts and figures, and avoid guessing things if you don’t know about them
  • Respond openly and timely without any delays
  • Timely response is the key; waiting strengthens the rumors and false stories
  • Conduct crisis communication training for employees if you don’t have a plan
  • Allocate clear roles and responsibilities for the crisis situations

Reputation Management

Reputation management is the method of proactively preparing an effective crisis communication plan. It comprises conducting training programs for employees and taking proactive steps that would jeopardize the company’s reputation. Managing the crisis with an effective strategic approach would help the company build and maintain a positive brand image of the company. Well-managed and communicated crises have a great positive impact on the company’s reputation.

Strategies for Crisis Communication and Reputation Management

Some of the main strategies for effective crisis communication reputation management are as follows;

Sharing Positive Content

Companies need to maintain a positive brand image on social media platforms. It comprises of sharing articles on the company’s website, trade publications, and spreading brand awareness. Sharing new and positive information would help the company to leave behind the negative incident.

When a negative incident and a crisis happen, they should quickly acknowledge their mistakes and start sharing the positive steps that the company has been taking toward resolutions.

  • Sharing success stories of the customers
  • Putting emphasis on the new product
  • Engaging in philanthropic and charitable activities
  • Leaving the negative story behind
  • Kicking them out of the searches of Google

Communication With Customers

When a crisis incident hits the company, then it takes a lot of effort to rebuild the company’s reputation. In order to maintain the positive reputation of the company, they should inform their target audience about everything about the crisis and incident. They shouldn’t hesitate to ask for help in order to fix the crisis.

An employee of the software development company Gitlab accidentally deleted the company’s employees’ data from its server; along with IPR of Alibaba, Sony, IBM, and NASA. It impacted hundreds of customers and jeopardized billions of dollars of projects. However, some of the main steps the company took to resolve the problem are as follows;

  • Informing clients about the incident
  • Coordinating with customers and stakeholders on how to fix the problem
  • Following the open and transparent approach to managing the crisis
  • Not letting a single mistake jeopardize the company’s reputation

Leadership Reputation

The leadership and top management of the companies have a great impact on the entire reputation of the company. The CEO and co-founder of Uber received a lot of criticism from the public for promoting a negative workplace culture and his management style.

It is necessary for companies to conduct leadership training programs on how to manage the company’s reputation and the crisis. It would help them to manage their reputation online. They can no longer maintain a low profile, rather they should follow a proactive approach to maintain their reputation online.

Employing Technology

Companies should employ all the media channels to approach the targeted customers and their crisis communication response should be the same. It would help them to earn the trust, confidence, and loyalty of customers. For instance, they should employ mobile application technology to send alert notification messages to all the team members, management, and executives. One tool would help them to connect with the right people at the right time and share the right information.

Conclusion: Crisis Communication and Reputation Management

After an in-depth study of crisis communication and reputation management; we have realized that communication and reputation complement each other. If you are learning about crisis communication and reputation management; then you should keep in mind the abovementioned strategies and their separate definitions.

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