Love letters. We’ve all written them. Whether they’re actually delivered is a whole other matter.
Likewise, we’ve also written term papers and reports. Hopefully, those made it to their intended audience before the proverbial dog ate them.
It’s all about being prepared, personally and professionally.
Regrettably, too many people do the opposite:
Step 1: Ignore a problem until it’s too late.
Step 2: Panic.
Step 3: Close up shop and go into hiding.
It’s better to be proactive about protecting your organization and reputation. Brainstorm potential threats. Pick the top three to five. Develop a strategy. Do these, and you’ll be in a better position than most firms.
What should you be doing right now?
Anticipate various crises. Every industry has its own set of likely culprits. For example, if you’re in food packaging or manufacturing, threats of contamination and tampering are ever-present.
Analyze your state of readiness. Imagine in 30 seconds you get a call from the Board or a major news organization. Something has gone wrong. What do you say? Who is on your crisis team and what’s the best way to contact each? How will you notify all of your stakeholders? (Why? Because you need to control your side of the story.)
Monitor your brand and reputation. It’s good to know what others are saying about you, so that you can pounce at the first whiff of trouble. Set up Google Alerts or IFTTT with variations of your company’s name, your name, and anything else that would be helpful to keep tabs on. (Don’t forget common misspellings, too!)
Raise image of company and leaders. Think of it as a savings account of goodwill. When a problem hits, it’ll only chip away at your “goodwill greenbacks” instead of leaving you in debt.
Strengthen key relationships. People like to do business with people and organizations they know, like, and trust. During a crisis these relationships can be your biggest advocates while others are trying to knock you down.
Identify & train spokesperson(s). Who will be the face of your company when the calls start flooding in, or the cameras start rolling? Are they credible? Do they have authority on the issue? Are they capable of delivering your message effectively?
The moral? Better to do and not need, than to need and not have done.
“Because Reputation Is Your Most Valuable Asset”
Gillott Communications is a Strategic PR firm. We’re Fixers. Crisis & Reputation Management. Litigation. Media Relations. Crisis Prep. More than half a century of expertise working with clients to resolve issues both in and outside the media’s glare — in their professional and personal lives.
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