RBS Reputation Management/ February 21, 2020/ Online Reputation Management/ 0 comments

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Unflattering images, fake news, divisive social movements, are the reasons behind the soaring up demand for having a crisis management plan at your fingertips.

Because you can’t deny the importance of reputation management in this digital era.

Even, a recent survey showed up that 60% percent of your company’s market value is dependent on its online reputation.

And did you know, 46% of consumers buy products from a company that makes them feel happy?

But, what if you’re unable to make your customers happy or you’re too reluctant to do it?

Well, in such cases it’s best to opt for an affordable reputation management agency, as denying the fact can lead you to a reputation crisis.

A crisis occurs when the situation gets out of your control and you suffer from poor reputation management.

Let’s understand it in detail,

What is the Reputation Crisis?

Reputation Crisis Survey

Reputation crisis is the situation where an organization faces severe damages due to a wretched reputation.

It’s similar to operational crises where an organization’s revenue-generating process becomes challenging. It can occur due to multiple reasons such as industrial accidents, product damages, etc. In operational crises, the stakeholders’ safety becomes the major concern.

But, a reputation crisis poses minute risks to stakeholders’ safety.

For example, if a group of people complains against your organization stating its irresponsible behaviors, and the scenario gets attraction from top journalists, social media users, then it’s a crisis in reputation for that organization.

If the stakeholders too perceive the company as irresponsible and publicly charge for its irresponsibility, then it’s considered to be seriously destructive to its reputation.

The Difference Between a Reputation Crisis and Para-crisis

A majority of people can’t distinguish between these two situations as both of them are connected and the procedures are almost the same to manage both the situations.

However, if the situation is clearly damaging an organization’s reputation then it’s a crisis.

Wherein a para-crisis is the situation where your reputation holds the possibility to hit by a crisis but hasn’t yet hit by it.

And you can prevent the destructive situation to come by having a proper crisis management plan.

But, a crisis doesn’t occur over-night. It happens in three stages.

Different Stages of Reputation Crisis

Effective crisis management strategies can only be crafted once you’re aware of the different stages of a reputation crisis.

Let’s have a look,

  • Pre-Crisis

It’s a warning stage where you get the symptoms of a storm that can wash you off from the internet.

It’s a stage where you’ve to analyze the situation and figure out the harmful areas to take necessary action.

A crisis management plan helps you here to instantly take the suggested measures to come out of the risk zone.

  • Acute-Crisis

It’s the stage you’ve to face if you’d not taken necessary measures in the pre-crisis stage.

Acute-crisis is the situation when your reputation crisis is clearly visible to other people as well and it can be your employee, colleagues, family members, etc.

A Crisis management process should be activated in this stage to dismantle the situation quickly.

  • Post-Crisis

It’s similar to the situation after an area gets hit by a cyclone.

You try to cope with the losses, mental turbulence, and regaining the energy and efforts to come back with complete protection.

In this stage often people face traumas and fears of getting hit by a reputation crisis again. You can hire reputation repair services to help you overcome the situation.

How Does a Crisis Impact Your Business?

The crisis can be of different type be it reputation crisis, natural disaster, or any other. But it impacts your business. How?

Let’s have a look,

  • Damage in Your Reputation

Once your organization gets hit by the crisis, Google will be flooded with negative news about you.

And, people love to read fake news and henceforth Google always gives priority to these content which people love to read.

So, only a well-crafted crisis management plan can help you out.

Are You Facing Reputation Crisis? We Are Here to Help… Contact Us!

  • Loss in Revenue

People won’t bother to pay a visit or buy a product from your organization if you hit hard by a reputation crisis.

So, this will bring down your overall revenue in a year.

  • Disrupted Business

Your business operation might get disrupted during an acute crisis.

And since you’ll be hard hit to generate revenue, it’ll lead you to cut-off some staff.

This further leads to escalated work stress and an increase in hiring costs.

Best Reputation Crisis Examples

Here are some of the best examples of brands suffered from a reputation crisis, and how they’ve recovered it,

  • Subway

2000 was the “cursed year” for subway, an international brand when they hired Jared Fogle as its brand’s persona.

Jared Fogle lost 200 pounds while eating sandwiches only from Subway.

As soon as the company came to know about it, they made him the public persona or spokesperson to show up in their company ads and website.

After working with Jared for 15 years, in 2015, Subway came to know that Jarod Fogle was found guilty for engaging in sexual misconduct with a minor. And he was sentenced for 16years in prison.

This scandal brought serious turmoil in the subway’s reputation.

And they had to instantly roll out a reputation recovery plan emphasizing on the fact that subway’s journey started much earlier than associating with this spokesperson.

  • Samsung

In 2016, Samsung faced a huge crisis soon after it released its new device named Galaxy Note 7.

The device was reported by several customers to be explosive.

Samsung removed the faulty phones and replaced it in the market.

But, to their surprise, the replaced phones too were explosive. And it was not allowed on flights due to its explosive nature.

So, the company had to recall the entire 2 million galaxy note 7 and this cost them $5.3 billion.

The worst part?

The company had to recover its reputation and implement a crisis management plan because people were frightened to buy Samsung phones due to the technical glitch.

  • Uber

Uber had faced the worst reputation crisis ever.

Since the number of crimes for sexual assaults was increasing rapidly by Uber drivers, the company was hit hard by a poor reputation.

They used to not run a thorough check on its drivers, which results in several crimes.

So, in 2017 the company fired 20 people for being accused of sexual harassment. But, soon after that, investors forced one of Uber’s founders to leave the business.

But, even after facing such a critical reputation crisis, these companies have never gone out of the business due to having a strong brand reputation strategy and a proactive crisis management plan.

How Do You Get Out Of a Reputation Crisis Quickly?

  • Gauge the Situation

The moment you notice the symptoms and potential threats to your organization’s reputation, analyze it rapidly.

You should run a rapid analysis that includes,

  • A thorough idea of the situation
  • People who’re involved
  • How poorly is your reputation damaged?
  • Is there a group of people fabricating fake news or just a single influential person?
  • Does the media know it yet?

Once you analyze it, you’ll probably get an idea as to how to act on it. Or if you don’t then there are reputation management services to help you out.

  • Have a Conversation with Your Team Members

Your team members might have different opinions on crisis mitigation. But combining them can lead you to craft an unbeatable plan.

So, have a conversation with the stakeholders, team members, and other decision-makers to determine a plan.

  • Identify the Trigger Points

In every organization, there are some areas that are vulnerable and the situation can escalate from these areas.

Your company holds value and you can’t let a group of activists, national media, or a group of social media users ruin it overnight.

So, identify the trigger point and block these areas ASAP.

How to Craft a Reputation Crisis Management Plan?

Reputation is the key to unlock the innumerable opportunities in this digital world, especially if you’re running a business.

But, reputation management is not an easy task to accomplish. Even a minute mistake can seriously damage your digital presence.

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation, and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently” – Warren Buffet

This is an apt ideology especially in this digital world where radical transparency is at its peak.

And you can’t ignore these digital voices to mitigate your risks.

Instead, a reputation crisis management plan can help in maintaining the alignment with both the brand’s reputation and customers’ expectations.

Take a look at the ways to manage a reputation crisis,

  • Listen to Your Customers

A few years ago, an established American company names Gap, was accused of not taking its customers issues seriously.

And despite the company had over 4 decades of experience in the business field, it still suffered from a bad reputation.

The situation can be worse in the present day as people have more power in terms of submitting a review, complaining against a brands’ behavior, etc.

So, social chatters can reflect negatively on your brand if you don’t listen to your consumers’ queries.

The best part of a crisis management plan is that it picks up the early chatter on social media and end it right there before it starts impacting.

  • Timely Responding to Your Customers

Did you know, 54% of your customers revisit your store after seeing the way you respond to other customers?

But, startups face an issue with limited team members and lack of time to respond to each review.

The best way to deal with this issue is to pick up a scheduled time to respond to reviews as much as you can and be consistent on it.

  • Be Honest

Many companies have tried to remove the defamatory posts that they claimed false.

But, removing all the complaints right off the internet doesn’t do any good to your reputation.

The top-class online reputation builder firms, craft the crisis management plan in a way that doesn’t represent you as you’re ignoring the problems.

Rather, a crisis plan is designed to make your customers feel that you care for them.

It might be not easy to be upfront about your issues but people respect ones honestly.

So, don’t represent yourself or your brand as “the perfect”, but be honest and apologize if you’ve made a mistake.

  • Respond Instantly and Politely

“When it comes to people, customers expect the same quick response they are used to getting from electronic equipment and technology” – Shep Hyken

An instant response plays a key role in a reputation management crisis plan.

But, any professional reputation management agency would go a few extra miles by responding to the consumers instantly and politely.

The way you craft your thoughts into words creates a huge difference in the way people perceive you.

Your response shows how much you care for them, and it pays off.

  • Keep Your Team Prepared

“The secret to crisis management is not good vs. bad, it’s preventing the bad for getting worse” – Andy Gilman

The situation of a reputation crisis can occur anytime. So, it’s always a great idea to keep your team prepared.

Form a relevant team for crisis management and prepare them for handling any dangerous situation.

This can help you from facing acute-crisis in your reputation.

How to Recover after a Crisis and Prepare Yourself for the Upcoming Reputation Crisis?

Once you hit hard by a reputation crisis, the recovery process might be time-consuming for some people, especially if you’re vulnerable.

A reputation management expert is trained to assist you in these times to make you easily navigate through it.

However, there are proactive strategies to deal with these after-effects of the crisis and cope with the emotional rollercoaster.

Have a look,

  • Your Goals Should Be Attainable

Once you recover from the reputation crisis, never set an unattainable goal while crafting a reputation crisis management plan for the near future.

Most of the people think that creating a fancy goal will shield you from a crisis attack.

But, it’s not true in the real world, and there are limitations.

So, if you craft an unattainable goal, then the possible outcome will be your disappointment.

  • Analyze the Previous Damage

Conduct a thorough analysis of the previous damage you’ve faced.

Most people overlook this step right after coming over a reputation crisis.

But, this evaluation provides you with a baseline and the vulnerable areas of your reputation.

So, you can avoid possible future damages once you fix those areas.

Unable to Craft a Reputation Crisis Management Plan? Talk to Us Now!

  • Be Steady While You’re Riding the Emotional Rollercoaster

The crisis in reputation is a personal ordeal that shows off publicly. And with each negative comment, troll, and rejected meetings, the vulnerability takes its peak.

But, don’t panic, no matter how hard you’ve hit by the crisis.

Panic will be of no help, rather it’ll make the situation worse.

So, while you’re riding the emotional rollercoaster, try to be patient and wait for the right time.

  • Don’t Publicize Your Emotions on Social Media

After coming out of a reputation crisis, you might think that showing off your vulnerable state to gain sympathy from the web-users would be a good idea. Is it a good idea?

Well, it’s a clear no!

Social media is like a traditional way of transferring news from all over the world.

And using these profiles effectively especially when you’re a businessman or an eminent individual, takes strategy and planning.

So, don’t involve in any social media fights while showing off your uncontrolled motions.

Instead, you can use these tools to share the situation you’ve faced and how you’ve come over it so that it adds value to others who’re facing the same.

  • Map out Your Media Strategy

In some cases, media strategy isn’t necessary.

But, if your reputation crisis management plan included a media strategy planning then it’s time for you to craft another one to beat the future crisis.

Having a plan at your fingertips will help you to prevent the minor mistakes you commit to media inquiries in the near future.

Conclusion

Getting hit by a reputation crisis is not a situation to be panicked about. Instead, have an action plan in hand to implement it as quickly as you can and dismantle the situation.

After a thorough analysis, we’ve created the above guide to help you out with crafting a perfect plan for crisis management.

If you’ve any other plans in your head, don’t hesitate to drop us a line.

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