It takes 20 years to build a reputation and 5 minutes to ruin it – Warren Buffet
We live in a digital age where a tweet can become newsworthy and gather momentum at the speed of lightning and before you know it you are trending on social media and the mainstream media have picked up the story before you can blink! If you do not have a well-defined and current crisis communications plan incorporating a social media policy, you are in trouble.
If you don't communicate immediately, you lose your greatest opportunity to control events. The mantra for any crisis is to tell it all, tell it fast and tell the truth – speed is of the essence in order to mitigate brand and reputational damage!
The questions don’t do the damage – only the answers do!
In our fast-paced digital world where communication continues to evolve, managing your organisation’s reputation needs to be a priority that like any business process, is structured and well planned, considering all eventualities. Do not wait until a crisis hits to try and develop a plan – it will be far too late and totally ineffective.
Preparing for a reputational crisis needs to start at executive board level and permeate right down through an organisation with everyone’s roles and responsibilities clearly defined. When a crisis arises the organisation needs to be agile and able to communicate with speed and accuracy across all communication channels both traditional and more especially digital platforms with particular emphasis on social media. Do not underestimate the speed at which information travels across social media and the ensuing damage that it can cause to your reputation if not managed correctly.
Managing your organisation’s reputation can be achieved through the following 5 key areas:
There is no “one size fits all” content strategy for a crisis. The sooner you can identify and engage with those who matter, the sooner you can begin tackling the situation directly. What is important is to have a detailed strategy and documented processes in place that makes it easier to deal with.
At SWM Communications we have prepared Crisis Communications Processes and Plans, as well as Social Media Policies for a number of industry organisations. We have also assisted these organisations through a number of crises and therefore have the expertise to assist you!