While in many ways the online world does a wonderful job at improving lives and creating opportunity, it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows.
The pervasive nature of the online world, and social media, in particular, means that small problems can quickly snowball into much bigger concerns – of course, it’s even worse when you’re actually dealing with a major incident.
A full-blown crisis has the potential to devastate a company, in a way that might become irrecoverable, so how do you navigate these difficulties?
Well, that’s where crisis and reputation management teams prove themselves useful. But how do these teams, and the crisis and reputation management strategies they employ, actually help you?
What is Crisis and Reputation Management?
Crisis management and reputation management, although closely related, are definitely different – these are distinct areas of PR.
Let’s not confuse them, in fact, how about a quick rundown of what these terms mean, and why they’re important?
Let’s start easy. Crisis management is:
A crisis management team works to limit the damage to a company using a range of preventative and reactionary measures.
When you think of a crisis, your mind probably jumps to an empty fridge (if you’re like me), or a cat stuck in a tree (uh oh!), but that’s not quite what I mean.
In this context, a crisis is something that could cause damage to the reputation or finances of your business.
A big product recall due to faulty design? That’s a crisis. An ex-employee bad-mouthing you in the media? Yep, that’s a crisis. How about an executive getting caught up in a tabloid-worthy personal scandal? You bet that’s a crisis!
Crisis management teams are not only experts in managing these crises when they pop up, but they also get ahead of them, stopping them before they’re able to spread throughout the online world.
Okay, so you know what crisis management is, but what about reputation management?
Basically, this is:
Reputation management services allow you to cultivate positive feelings and associations about your business in the online world.
A highly skilled reputation management service can make a world of difference, not only in terms of general business performance but also for when a crisis strikes.
Reputation management services are part of why some cartoonishly amoral businesses actually have a pretty decent reputation.
Reasons to Consider Crisis and Reputation Management Services
There are so, so many advantages accessible for businesses in the online world, but there are some very present risks as well.
If you want to ride the online wave rather than sink into the murky depths below, you need to understand why crisis and reputation management is so important.
Brush up on some of the reasons to use these services by reading on.
1. Brittle Reputations
One of the big difficulties with regard to your online reputation is how quickly and easily it can crumble.
It can take months or even years to gain the trust of your customers initially, but one misstep, one bad decision, and all that hard work is undone.
If you want an example, look at United Airlines. When a passenger was forcibly removed from a flight in 2017, scandal struck. And the result? The business lost nearly a billion dollars in market cap value.
United Airlines hasn’t reached its previous heights, so to speak, and it’s not likely to anytime soon. It’s clear, right? Reputations are fragile.
2. Building Trust
It’s important for people that they trust the business that they’re making purchasing decisions with – and this is something that’s only getting more and more important.
Reputation management services allow you to create a brand and persona that people can relate to, that people can trust – and that means they’re going to use your services.
These measures even have an impact on how people will respond should your business get embroiled in a scandal. So, yeah, you definitely need this.
3. Taking Control
A mistake that many people fall prey to is that they let stories about their business get ahead of them.
The unfortunate truth is that people tend to stick to what they hear first, so it can be difficult to overturn opinions once they become deeply entrenched.
With a crisis and reputation management service taking care of you, that’s not going to be an issue. Taking control early, setting the tone, nipping issues in the bud – that’s their bread and butter.