“Things happen to people by accident.”
― Frances Hodgson Burnett, A Little Princess
You're on top of the world. One day you're Sarah Crewe, riding a pony with your father. Your brand's riding high and everything is smooth sailing. But then a crisis sets in and your job has become a nightmare as your company’s reputation dwindles to ashes. You're now with Becky peeling potatoes.
There's no telling when – and how – a crisis can ruin your brand. No one is immune. The biggest companies in the world – Apple, GE, Johnson& Johnson – have faced them multiple times.
A crisis needn’t be the end of everything though.
When facing a crisis, take a deep breath and keep calm.You need a cool head and clear mind to save your brand.
Know the issue.
Don't make careless remarks without the facts. Get the most comprehensive and up-to-date information as quickly as possible.
Prepare information that your audience needs to know.
Weigh the facts to determine which are relevant to your audiences –your stakeholders, employees, customers, and the general public. Sharing too many details can obscure the real issues and open your brand to new attacks.
Adhering to good ethics will help repair a damaged reputation. Even if the truth is hard to swallow, be upfront about it. Develop a strategy that can draw out any opportunities for change, but never mess with the facts.
Prepare the team.
Crisis management requires people with different capabilities – writers who can turn a bad story good without being deceptive;a media relations team with print, broadcast and online media contacts; and consultants who can craft a strongstrategy. Assemble a team with all the talent you need to give your brand the best chance at recovering its reputation.
A crisis doesn't last forever. With the right strategy, your brand can rise above the challenge, better than before. Just like Sara Crewe.