Business magnate Warren Buffet once said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” In today’s digital age, these words are especially true. Social media platforms, online news outlets and traditional media quickly publicize mistakes, causing significant damage to a company’s brand as seen in recent scandals shrouding USA Gymnastics, Google and NBC.
Hubbell Communications has helped countless companies and individuals navigate crisis situations. Below are three tips for repairing your brand when faced with a difficult situation.
1. Assess the damage
Is this issue a result of faulty processes? Were people injured? Is your company at fault? Your responses to these questions will determine the communication plan moving forward. For instance, if people were injured, an immediate response is necessary. If the crisis is the result of a faulty process or failed system, then a longer-term approach is required to show the public that your company is changing for the better. If your company is at fault, in most situations, you must take the lead to fix the problem.
2. Acknowledge the problem and issue a statement
You’ve made a mistake, so recognize it and apologize – the public wants to forgive you and move on. At this point, it is important to share as much accurate information as possible. If you aren’t transparent or honest, it will only cause greater problems in the future.
3. Stay visible and offer a solution
After issuing an apology, you must show the public that you are committed to solving the problem. Depending on the severity of the issue, you may need to continue communicating with the public and take control of the narrative. This may be the time to reexamine the foundation of your brand and utilize these core messages to help remind people of who you are and that you are working diligently to make things right.
While every crisis demands a unique communication plan, Hubbell Communications utilizes best practices to help our clients effectively navigate through these challenging times and repair their brand. Act quickly, take control of the narrative and begin repairing the damage.