A crisis can be triggered by a variety of factors: product damages, accidents, blackmail or extortion, violent conflicts, epidemics, rumors, supply shortages, data theft, environmental scandals, court proceedings, and many more. Such incidents affect a wide range of organizations – international corporations as well as small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Companies operating in classic high-risk industries are not the only entities facing these threats. Many companies that have never had to master a communicative crisis in their entire history have had to face serious difficulties due to a single business critical incident that caught them off-guard. Forgotten are all the years of successful work without any incidents: All media, whether classic or online, are acting more aggressively than ever due to the exponentially increasing competitive pressure within the industry. Thanks to social media, as well as other new communication possibilities and mechanisms, news spreads as quickly as lightning across the globe – in real time.
At the same time, consumers react more critically, more aggressively and are more sensitive than ever before. A company’s reputation and reputation management affect purchasing decisions, hiring potential, and customer retention. Nowadays, the public holds managers, owners, and CEOs personally responsible for the ineffective management of a crisis, empty promises and communication disasters.
Therefore, no one can afford to forego crisis prevention. Even if every crisis is different, there certain fundamental, general mechanisms and elements of crisis communication exist that can be prepare before a crisis and that every company should have at hand.
Communication often has a low priority in the operative chaos which accompanies a crisis. Wrongly so. Even if the cause of a crisis has already been dealt with, the consequences of a lack of or incorrect communication can harm a company’s reputation in the long term. The good image is gone. In extreme cases, this goes hand-in-hand with considerable material and financial damage. Today, before making purchase decisions, consumers often research the reputation of the company. Equally, future employees also want to work for a “decent business”.
However, a crisis can also create opportunities: For example, organizations that deal with a crisis in an empathetic, open and authentic manner are positively perceived by the public. In doing so, organizations are also able to demonstrate that they act responsibly and dependable even under extraordinary circumstances, which can limit their reputational damage. However, good crisis communication follows rules that are fundamentally different from a company’s usual day-to-day communication.
In an emergency, ADVICE PARTNERS has your back. Together with you and your team, we swiftly analyze the situation and develop intervention measures that enable you to communicate with your stakeholders as quickly and as effectively as possible, to avert lasting internal and external disruptions and to thereby limit any reputational damage – quickly, result-driven and professionally.
In the digital age, the saying “today’s news is tomorrow’s fish and chips papers” is no longer true. A glance at ranking companies google results is often enough to show that past crises are not easily erased from the public record and can have a significant and lasting impact on a company’s reputation.
The more media attention there is around a crisis, the longer it usually takes to drive negative reports and opinions out of the public eye. Not least of all, this especially applies to companies that have only invested minimal effort in public relations before the crisis. To counteract the reputational damage actively, first one has to analyze its extent. Which divisions or departments have suffered the most damage and how do stakeholders perceive the company at present and over time? The goal is to re-build the reputation and level of trust that existed before the crisis between the company and its various stakeholders or, ideally, to exceed it.
Based on a professional reputation analysis, we develop a holistic communication strategy that contributes to the rehabilitation of your company and your brand. Carefully selected measures such as target group-oriented placements of positive events in the media or strategic community management help to regain a positive public perception of the company.