If you’ve been following our reputation management series, you’re well on your way to having your own plan in place. You’ve done some of the toughest work. Now that you have a team, understand how your organization is perceived and know where your vulnerabilities lie, it’s time to determine which strategies and tactics could help you avoid any possible crises.
Step 1: Improve your communications and transparency, both internally and externally. What did you discover during the self-assessment step that you could improve simply by changing how you communicate with your employees, customers and your industry partners? Use a variety of methods, like social media, earned media and paid media to get your proof points – the things your organization does well – out there to counter any misconceptions that may exist about your brand.
Step 2: Put comprehensive policies in place and promote them to increase awareness. If you uncovered negative customer feedback, do you have a system to deal with that feedback effectively? One negative online review from an anonymous, faceless person may not seem that worrisome, but hundreds or even thousands of potential customers may see it and change their opinion about your organization. Everyone gets negative feedback occasionally. It’s how you deal with it that really matters.
Step 3: Create reference materials that your response management team and spokespeople can use if needed. These materials could include key messages about your brand, frequently asked questions (FAQs), talking points and social media responses – all based upon the brainstorming and feedback gathering you did in Step 3. Review these materials regularly and update them to reflect your current position.
While this multi-step reputation management process may seem somewhat daunting at first, protecting your brand and your organization should always be your top priority – even if you think you’re safe. It takes a dedicated, consistent effort to constantly monitor your brand’s perception and position within the industry, fix organizational issues, consider possible crises and respond accordingly. Looking for some guidance? Reach out to our VP/Account Director Stephanie Hays at 402-437-6061 or firstname.lastname@example.org.