HOW TO FACE A REPUTATIONAL CRISIS!

When struck by reputational damageit is important to act promptly before the negative crisis transcends the public eye and starts eroding your company´s or organization´s image, undermining its entire commercial and financial backbone. 

As technological innovation and socia media become more prominent, everyone is subject to an unexpected reputational crisis, individuals and larger institutions alike. While preventing the imminent threat of a reputational crisis is difficult, it is still possible to identify the underlying cause.  

Indeed in most cases, reputational crisis are directly linked to “white collar” offenses or crimes. According to the most recent data, more than 49% of reputational crises are closely linked to a company’s leaders and directors.

In addition, the second most common reputational risk lies in administrative fraud or offenses, followed by class action lawsuits.    

Keep in mind some reputational crises might be direct attacks targeting an institution’s image with the  aim of sabotaging competitors to gain more market shares. These attacks might involve the dissemination or leakage of fabricated evidence such as fake news, altered videos, malicious links, defamatory articles, controversial images, and many more.   

To avoid a spiralling disaster, it is important to identify and understand certain phases of such a crisis before it is too late. 

Although there is no one-size-fits-all solution since each organization is different and unique, informed decision – making is of absolutely essential.  

Before a crisis, that is in the pre-crisis phase,we strongly recommend that you monitor your company’s information and data to detect the negative event as early as possible.   

During the crisis phase, we advise that you craft an appropriate action plan to manage and ideally contain your reputational crisis, effectively exercising damage control. This is no easy feat and for it you will require expert support in reputation management. You can rely on reputation management consultants from Influencia Digital to solve and oversee your crisis.   

Finally, as the scandal dies down in the post-crisis phase, your company’s image will begin to recover. This is a time to analyze the cause and consequences of your reputational crisis, to assess your remaining reputational risk and to put measures in place to minimize the possibility of another large-scale crisis.   

Strategies to tackle your reputational crisis 

When faced with a reputational emergency, you can react with different strategies; each one of them presenting its own advantages and shortcomings. Amongst these strategies, we highlight the silent wait, negotiation, transfer of responsibilities and confession. Using these in conjunction will be the most helpful to help you climb out of the crisis.  

According to reputation management consultants, waiting silently and declining to respond has some advantages such as quieting down rumors by not adding fuel to the fire. However, keep in mind that not responding to allegations also carries risk with it since press and communication outlets will go to other sources to obtain information instead of asking your company for a statement.   

As a second step, you can issue a statement to deny the allegations which can effectively stop a crisis on its track. Having said that, this approach is only successful when the reputational attacks are based on fake evidence or malicious reporting which can actually be clarified by your institution.  

Then, we have the third step which is the transfer of responsibilities which relies on deferring the accusations to a third party with the goal of removing your company from the center of the crisis. This strategy is effective in the short-term, as it calls for the investigation of the allegations made to the third party. But, keep in mind that transferring the accusations to someone else will rarely sit well with your client base as they might interpret it as an avoidance of responsibility and a lack of accountability from your company.  

Lastly, you can resort to openly confessing, that is assume all responsibilities linked to the allegations and admit your mistake to the public. This course of action will verify the transparency and accountability of your institution. Communicating the truth to the public shows your company’s values and boosts your credibility as an institution. By confessing in a thoughtful way instead of resisting, your company gets to shape the narrative by providing accurate information, facing the crisis with active engagement and disempowering the original attacks to your reputation.  

If you are currently undergoing a reputational crisis,Influencia Digital has a team of experts ready to support you and control the damage before it is irreversible. We are here to help, reach out to us here:  info@influenciadigital.net  

 

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