December 15, 2021
Smart corporation communications executives know that all it takes is a single public relations crisis to bring down even the biggest enterprises in the industry. How the general public perceives your company directly correlates to how much they trust you.
The moment there's a reputation crisis, you can expect your company to suffer greatly. The brand and image you carefully constructed and protected over time will inevitably be damaged. It will take an immense public relations initiative to reconstruct the public's perception of the company. Considering how easy it is to find something on the internet, it can take a lot of effort to make the online masses forget.
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That said, if your company finds itself embroiled in a PR fiasco, how will you survive? How will you overcome it? Do you have a contingency plan in place for such a significant issue? This article will explore how businesses can regain the public’s trust through effective and efficient online reputation management.
- Analyze how much damage the PR crisis caused
The first step is to assess the severity of the situation and get started with damage control. Find out how the public currently perceives the company after such a fiasco. You can consider online reputation management and review management tools to track how people mention the company on social media. The right digital tools will unearth what people are saying on different discussion boards and social media posts. You can then prepare the initial report based on the data you gather.
You'll need to establish a baseline for the actions and create a workable plan. After, you will present it to stakeholders, offering a means to repair the damage to your collective reputation. It would also be best to identify the individuals who can be held responsible for the problem in the report.
- Get in touch with stakeholders and investors quickly
The next step is to convene with the stakeholders and investors — ensure they're on your side. Appease them because they're among the most affected by the situation. Their shares and investments suffered because of the crisis, so you need to ensure you still have their trust.
Be forthcoming with the information to appease and calm them, and assure them that the company can weather the storm. Explain that there will be a chance for them to recoup their momentary losses. You need to pull out all the stops to ensure you're doing what needs to be done.
- Plan out your media communications campaign strategy
A media communications campaign strategy must help reshape the public’s general perception about what happened. You must leverage your connections with media outfits to help stem the tide of negative publicity. You can also bombard social media platforms with messages and videos expressing your remorse, as well as a concrete plan on what you’ll do to fix the problem.
Remember that the message is of the utmost importance, so you must ensure you word your statements correctly and appeal to the public’s emotions.
- Focus on developing internal ambassadors
Empower your employees to become your brand ambassadors during this time of crisis. First, explain the situation to them and ask them to help protect the company. Then, urge them to go out on different platforms to reassure the most vocal critics that the company will do whatever it takes to rectify the problem.
Research states that if you want to influence others to change their minds, it will be much better to talk with people and not the corporate machinery. It's more personal and allows the masses to relate to the business.
- Maintain transparency and authenticity
Whenever you face a crisis, you must maintain your authenticity. Let the public know you’re remorseful and will rectify the concern immediately. Issue statements and videos acknowledging your mistake and outline what you’ll do to remedy the problem.
Shape their perception through your delivery. The public will generally react positively once they realize your company is sincere and consistent in its apology.
- Adjust your strategy to recover
Once you weather the PR storm, you need to reinstate public trust and opinion. You’ll have to adjust your strategy to ensure the general public will once again trust you. You can use different techniques to do this and recalibrate how they perceive your business. You can then place safeguards to ensure the problems won’t happen again.
Repairing your company’s reputation after a huge PR disaster isn’t easy. However, it is doable enough with various strategies that can help you recoup your losses. It won’t be quick, but your company will manage to weather the storm and stand better in the end.
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Topics: crisis communications