Are the biggest brands in the world immune to Brand Crisis or Public Relations (PR) crisis? Even though it looks ambiguous, but the truth is no company is impervious to a sudden outcome of a PR crisis.
In today’s world, the challenge for modern brands lies not in the high probability of crises arising but in the rapid development of digital media, which can turn a crisis into a viral catastrophe almost overnight. That is why a PR crisis is any company’s worst nightmare. In such a case, the best way to respond is to show sincerity and genuine concern.
What Can Cause a Reputational Crisis for a Brand?
Any minor or major issue can be vulnerable to your brand if not addressed properly.
A series of bad reviews or negative mentions over social media can become huge and tarnish your brand image; it could be serious scandals, unhealthy business practices, false brand propositions, customer issues, or employee-related concerns. There are times when your own social media posts/tweets/campaigns backfire on your brand reputation for various reasons. Brand imposters can also put your brand image at risk, causing a huge risk to your brand reputation.
A PR crisis takes away years of effort from the companies; sometimes your ability to continue business could be at stake. The main priority in such a situation is to survive in the market, regain the trust of your customers and clients, and rebuild the lost brand reputation.
Examples of Reputation Crisis for a Brand:
Facebook’s data privacy issue is nothing new to everyone. The 2021 data breach highlighted the fact of how vulnerable it can be for the users when a mishap like this happens. Over 533 million Facebook users’ data from 106 countries was leaked to unknown sources. Facebook has 2.89 billion active monthly users as of now. However, Facebook claimed that news to be old from the 2019 data misuse issue and denied any wrongdoings.
In 2017, premier mobility service provider Uber had been subjected to hate over social media for many reasons. Within a few days, it lost 200,000 users in the wake of the #DeleteUber trend, sexual harassment cases, hostile work environments, and whatnot.
What to Do When You Are Being Subjected to Such Sudden Turn of Events?
The early the issue gets addressed, the less vulnerable the situation will be!
Even though it is unlikely to predict `such a sudden turn of events; however, the best you can do is to have a strategy ready for incidents like these. Keep track of the media coverage that
Take a Few Measures to Prevent Any Reputational Crisis to your Brand:
In the event of a PR crisis, put in place a crisis management strategy and implement it.
Regardless of how chaotic things may seem, there is always redemption if the matter is handled well.
Create a Brand Crisis Management Plan:
When you are in the middle of a crisis, there is not much you could do if you are yet to figure out what to do next. Hence, it is always advisable to have a plan ready in advance.
A few considerations while developing a brand reputation management plan:
- Ensure that a response management team is in place to monitor and handle audience queries, complaints, or grievances.
- Brief your team regarding all the protocols they must follow while managing the situation.
- Identify and establish connection with a few renowned and well-regarded news portals in the online and offline space. These associations will help you when a reputation crisis strikes.
Understand the Customer Sentiment:
Pay close attention to what your customers are thinking about the issue. Social listening is the best way to keep a tab. Address the affected parties promptly, maybe with an official statement or a press release. That is how you can respond as the crisis unfolds and turn the hostile situation in your favor. Also, know that not every such event needs you to respond. Sometimes, neglecting and letting such negative events die a natural death is a good strategy.
Be Proactive, Not Reactive:
There is no perfect way to cope up with a crisis, which is why brands tend to mess things up. Each situation is different, so your best step is to be proactive and monitor your online presence carefully to deal with the situation head-on and stop further damage to your brand image.
Learn from the Incident:
As soon as you are on the other side, take a moment to review and analyze how you have handled the situation and what worked well and what did not. With this, you will understand better and prepare yourself for any such future risks that may arise. It is also beneficial to improve your services by learning what your audience expects from you.
Are you looking for an online reputation management agency to manage the reputation crisis of your business? Drop us a line right away.