Advertising and Reputation Management During a Crisis
Five steps for organisations to consider before and after a crisis
Reputation management can be defined as the influence or control an individual has over their businesses reputation. Reputation in this context is a stakeholder's overall evaluation, opinion, perception and feelings about a business. Therefore, reputation management is very important if it is assumed that business managers and owners think a bad reputation will negatively impact company value and vice versa a good reputation will positively impact value.
Every brand today should follow a reputation strategy to maintain and build its brand in its particular industry. It's very easy to find a brand in crisis due to various issues with their products and services, or both. Sometimes brands also find themselves in crisis because of another brand taking up the industry. In other times, the entire industry might find itself in a financial crisis. To avoid such situations, crisis planning and crisis communication support are essential.
Consumers today are communicating at a very fast pace and share a lot of news with people around them. This communication enables them to share their thoughts and put forth their views and suggestions, not only to people around them but even to the brands directly. Communication is a major factor that influences the perception of a brand. Therefore, in times of a crisis, a particular communication strategy will be helpful. Consumers of a brand will, however, do business with you again even after a crisis if you provide accurate details of how you are handling the situation and how reassuring your product or service will be in the future. In such a case, a crisis communication strategy will need to take over and reassure consumers about your brand.
Successful crisis management depends on the planning and solutions gathered with a sustained communication approach towards the situation. Here are five steps for organisations to consider before and after a crisis:
1. Plan Ahead
Having a crisis reputation strategy ready not only makes handling the situation easy but saves a lot of crisis planning time, which can benefit your brand's reputation. If you are well-prepared, it will be easier for you to execute the planned strategy and adapt it as and when required. The best crisis communication strategy is to define and form a group of important company stakeholders and provide them the information which you feel is necessary to communicate to help sustain your reputation.
2. Make Use of Every Opportunity
Every consumer loves to be thanked and rewarded for their unconditional support and loyalty towards your products and services. As a brand, take the opportunity to thank and reward them on occasions and make your consumers feel special as this will help manage and build your reputation in the growing industry.
3. Convince Customers to Return to Your Products
Communication plays a vital role in branding. As you communicate with your consumers, trying to convince them to return to your products, pay heed to their complaints about your products and services. You could also consider replacing a faulty product for free or sending some samples or vouchers to your consumer. Excellent customer service is often the key to repeat customers.
4. Personalise Communications
It is very important to get your consumers to identify your brand again. Communicate with customers on an individual level. Make your brand easily identifiable for your customers. Speak honestly to consumers about the measures being taken to prevent the recurrence of such a crisis.
5. Blend Your Media
Use differentiated media to reach out to consumers after a crisis break. This will increase the repetition of your message, making it known. An approach like this, which is blended, assures consumers that you are trying to reach them in various forms, which influences consumers positively.
These five steps are a road to rebuilding your consumer confidence and brand reputation. It is essential for companies to stay committed to their efforts and to identify the messages for communicating with customers during times of crisis.