Rescuing your Brand from Scandal
If there ever comes a time in your life where your business is in the midst of scandal, don’t panic. Although it may seem impossible, there are steps you can take following a crisis in order to bounce back. Use these tips to help you navigate scandal effectively.
One of the most important things you can do is to monitor coverage of the scandal. You have to be aware of what people are saying about you. According to an article written by Andrew Bradshaw for bbn-international.com, “Knowing what’s being said about you in traditional and social media, by your employees, customers, and other stakeholders often allows you to catch a negative “trend” that, if unchecked, could turn into a crisis. Likewise, monitoring feedback from stakeholders during a crisis situation allows you to accurately adapt your strategy and tactics.”
Lay Low in the Meantime
In the wake of scandal, most PR professionals will advise you to be as open as possible. Once the issues have been addressed and overcome, it may be a good idea to lay low. An article written for knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu states, “If the company handles the initial crisis poorly, resulting in weeks or months of negative headlines, it might want to sit back for a time before returning to the public eye, adds Schmitt. “You would want to let the dust settle. Depending on the company, it might be a month or a year. Then you would start the re-branding process.”
Get your Story Out
One of the most effective ways to get in front of a situation is to get your story out to the media. However, this does not necessarily mean large news networks. Consider using social media and blogs to address consumers. These platforms are host to millions of users each day. In order to ensure you’re in control of your story and narrative, these are the best options available. Based on special interests and bias, large media networks might not report your story the way you want. In order to ensure accuracy, it may be in your best interest to work with alternative news outlets.
Analyze the Situation
Following a scandal or crisis, it’s incredibly important to analyze how well the crisis was managed. Bradshaw also states, “After a crisis, formal analysis of what was done well, what could be done better next time and how to improve various elements of your crisis response plan. As the crisis comes under control, a company should examine how effective their plan was during the crisis and the impact the incident has had on its employees, brand(s) and reputation. ” The more you analyze now, the better prepared you will be for your future.
There are many companies who have dealt with scandal successfully. Accidents happen. When you take the right steps to handle these situations correctly, you will find it much easier to bounce back and move forward.