One of the scariest moments for a modern business is when something happens to seriously tarnish its reputation. Often called a reputational crisis, this is a moment that can spell doom for many companies. A simple misunderstood tweet can be enough to tank your image, and experts in public relations for business can struggle to bring you back. But, when you have a good strategy for facing this challenge, your chances of coming out the other side intact rise considerably.
There are two ways to instantly make a reputational crisis immeasurably worse. The first is to try to cover it up. Don’t hope that secretly deleting a bad tweet will solve the problem.
The second bad idea is failing to take ownership. Shifting blame is almost always a bad look and will not help the reputation crisis. Even if the original issue is not entirely you or your business’s fault, you were a participant.
Own the problem and be as transparent as possible with your base. The crisis will come with some pain, but transparency will help people understand what went wrong and how you can make it right.
Have a Plan
Transparency only works when you have a plan to resolve the issue. That will depend on what causes the crisis, but you can preemptively mitigate the issues by having a reputation response team and plan of action.
You can hire externally to get expert insights, or you can contract a firm that handles online reputation management for business. However you go about it, gaining access to high-level reputation management will help you build your response plan that can soften a crisis into a bad moment.
The crux of recovering from a reputational crisis is solving the root problem. If your business suffers a data breach, you have to offer some level of meaningful, understandable security that prevents the breach from harming customers.
The best way to come up with impactful solutions is to pay attention to your customers. Understand why they are unhappy and what they want. If your solutions are built around that understanding, you can genuinely resolve problems and win many of them back to your business.
Drown the Negativity
The hardest thing about reputation management these days is that the internet is forever. The negativity will show up when people search your business, and you need to be able to overcome that. Once you resolve the issue, you can work to drown the negativity with positive content. Your announcements on how you resolve the issue and move forward are a start. Fill your social media and other communication resources with positive content. Work with local SEO services to push negative articles, reviews or statements to the bottom of web searches. This is the final step that helps you achieve lasting recovery from the damage of the crisis.
A reputational crisis is a serious challenge, but it doesn’t have to ruin your business. When you combine reputation management expertise with competent SEO services, you can survive and grow stronger.