It’s about your reputation – Crisis Communications Planning is critical to your business success!

At Next-Mark, public relations crisis management is one our of main areas of focus. It can take a company many years to build and sustain a strong reputation. The downside is that a good reputation can be destroyed in seconds. Between word of mouth, media communications, social media influence and other online distribution of information, your reputation is always at risk.

It’s important to stay proactive when it comes to reputation management. For example, having a plan of action for when a crisis happens or taking steps to make sure conflicts are avoided. These six tips recently reported on www.mashable.com will help you in knowing how to handle a reputation crisis.

1. Don’t Pretend a Crisis Is Not Happening

Having a response ready in a timely manner is important. Delaying on this could make you pay the price. Also, you do not want to over respond. This is just as bad as not responding at all.

2. Don’t Make an Empty Gesture

Apologizing for apologizing only comes across as lazy and uninspired.

3. Don’t Refuse to Backtrack

Backtracking is simply meant in regards to covering your tracks and not being afraid to admit you were wrong. Social media is the perfect location to communicate directly to your consumers about what your next steps will be to fix the problem, use it.

4. Develop Channels of Communication

Develop your social media by creating a Facebook, Twitter and blog. Combining this with the creation of a strong company will put you in a good position for the future. By having the social media pages, it allows you convey messaging by using video, email and webchats.

5. Establish a Crisis Communication Response Team

This will be beneficial for anything someone sees on the Internet or external stakeholders. Having a response team in place will create immediate attention to the areas needed. Be careful though, some comments or “rumors” may not need attention. There are people that want attention from you and post things that are untrue. If you know it’s going to fall under the radar and not create a potential disaster, it may not be worth your time. Remember, your company must drive the response and messaging.

6. Become Influential and Change Perceptions

Connect with your audience. Becoming a role model and being influential is important. If not, your may fall under the radar yourself, so speak about things that will influence others positively. Use these channels to focus the conversation around your brand so when a crisis does arise, you have more control over the perception.

Remember, a reputation can be tarnished in a matter of seconds, so following the proper steps in a crisis is critically important. Don’t hope that your crisis will blow over, it won’t. Next-Mark has significant experience in public relations crisis management. If you are ever unsure how a situation should be handled, or the proper steps you should take, don’t hesitate to contact our team.

Joe

Joseph S. Grano, Jr., has a record of success providing vision and strategic direction to organizations experiencing rapid growth and change. He is one of those rare individuals who have made a successful transition from corporate leader to entrepreneur and owner of his own growing company.