No company is immune to the risk of a PR crisis. From BP to Toyota, we’ve seen some major brands take huge blows to their reputations over the past few years. While you might not find yourself facing a crisis that garners as much attention as those previously mentioned, your brand’s reputation could still take a serious blow that puts your company’s future at risk.
Here’s what you need to do when the worst happens.
- Act swiftly—The longer you wait to respond to the crisis at hand, the worse it will get. You can’t just bury your head in the sand and pretend nothing is wrong. You have to jump on the problem immediately to minimize the damage and gain control of the situation.
- Admit fault—Why do so many people hate corporations? It’s because corporations rarely take responsibility for their actions. They point fingers at others any time a problem arises, killing any goodwill they might have had with their customers. There comes a time where you just have to swallow your pride, step up to the plate, and admit you made a mistake. A sincere apology can go a long way to recovering your reputation.
- Correct the problem and take measures to prevent it from happening again—Just saying your sorry isn’t going to cut it if you make the same mistake again and again. You have to identify the source of the problem and take major steps to correct it and keep it from ever happening again.
- Go above and beyond to make things right—It’s important that you take the necessary steps to make things right with anyone you may have wronged. But rather than doing just enough to make it right, go above and beyond what’s expected to show your commitment to rebuilding the relationship.
- Don’t give up—Repairing your reputation is going to take time. Think about it like this. When someone you know does something horrible to you, do you repair that relationship overnight? Not usually. It takes time for them to win back your trust. The same goes for when your company gets caught in a scandal. You have to keep working to win back the trust of your customers. Just look at BP. They’re still running ads trying to recover from damage done to their brand after the oil spill disaster.
What other tips would you add? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.