REPUTATIONAL RISK

Top three tips for repairing damaged corporate brands

By our News Team | 2021

The rise of online and social media has massively accelerated the velocity and impact of reputational damage.

In May this year, a tweet by global ice-cream giant Ben & Jerry’s on its new mint-flavoured ice cream set off a chain of events. That chain ended in widespread consumer boycotts, and numerous pension fund divestments from parent company Unilever, valued at hundreds of millions of US dollars.

The company had announced that it was halting sales in Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories. This was a controversial decision leading some consumers to criticise the company for boycotting Israel.

This controversy highlights the need for organisations to employ expert advice as soon as a crisis hits. Even more importantly, they need to incorporate reputation management into long-term risk strategies. It is this approach which proactively builds more resilient brands.

Reputation management

Image by Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

Business leaders need to understand that such events are not the exception. In fact, they’re the rule. There are several ways in which companies can repair their reputations in the wake of a crisis.

Tips for managing a crisis

Here are three simple tips from PR expert Madelain Roscher of PRWorx for businesses to successfully navigate their way through a crisis:

Contain the crisis: It is more important than ever that companies respond quickly and accurately to incidents as they arise. In the absence of a response, media and consumers may be left to indulge in harmful speculation. 

However, a simple knee-jerk denial is unlikely to satisfy the public’s need for information. This can only be done by focussing on clear-cut facts. Communicate honestly and transparently, and provide meaningful solutions to any legitimate shareholder grievances.

Seize control of the narrative: Even after the initial storm has passed, companies need to seize and maintain control of the narrative. This can be accomplished through other positive developments and stories. Marketers should set up social listening tools, media monitoring and keyword alerts online.

Rebuild brand trust and equity: Brands need to implement a long-term reputation management strategy to rebuild brand credibility and trust, and to regain SEO authority for company names.

Importantly, reputation management is not about ‘spin’ and hype. 

 

Source: Madelain Roscher of PRWorx, South Africa